I had a conversation with a guy who I think was studying history and was a decent chess player and he said that in the USSR chess and dialectical materialism were considered related.
The usual reason we hear about the importance of chess to the Soviets is that Soviet dominance of international chess showed somehow the superiority of their educational system.
I wonder if "central planning" for their economy was considered related to the sort of planning involved in chess.
I note also that Botvinnik (an electrical engineer in the days when power transmission was more important than computing machinery, I think) was a pioneer in both computer chess and using computers to help plan the economy.
Is it possible that "central planning" (perhaps in addition to the other things) was a primary reason for the Soviets to emphasize chess?