According to the news reported by the British Newspaper the Guardian, Mufti Sheikh Abdullah al-Sheikh declared that Chess is not allowed and even forbidden in Islam. He made that statement in the TV program.
The TV program is basically a question-answer show in which Mufti replies to the question raised by the audience. Fatwas are being issued through this show as the answerer is always an authentic one. The Grand Mosque Mufti made a fatwa whilst answering a question regarding the board game. The reason of this forbiddance is that it encourages to be involved in the gambling and plus it is also a waste of time. This combination makes it haram and nothing to do with the prosperity of a Muslim.
Further, he also backed his decree by stating that the Chess is the part of the gambling games and causes hatred between the opposite players. He quoted the Quranic verse against the gambling also.
Chess is considered as the very intellectual game and not a part of the gambling business. There is an international body that conducts the World Championship of the sport. It is a very old game date back to the 600 B.C.