Well chess is giant in India, Europe, NA, and generally more popular in SA.
And at least in Japan, while Go is popular, in all my years living there I've only ever met shogi players (and the Chinese I have interacted with quite regularly don't play at all).
But oddly every Chinese person I know has played chess.
Without a doubt, both in absolute and computer professional relative terms, chess is more popular.
Really it's more likely brute force is easy to program compared to neural networks and in general, the advancement in chess was from position evaluation which is markedly easier than Go (because you can simulate chess to a deep enough level to see if a sacrifice of piece or position is worth it as long as you prune your tree even marginally intelligently). As a player, I find both games awesome (though I am terrible at Go), but I think it is pretty obvious position evaluation is easier in chess.