Who Plays Chess, and Why?

by Michiel Van Kets

Chess is played by a diverse range of people for many different reasons, they enjoy the companionship it offers, the skill and logical thinking it involves, the fact it can be played anywhere, and it's a lot of fun and extremely challenging.

The main advantage of chess is that it allows you to make new friends and meet interesting people, whatever your age or wherever you live you are never alone if you can play. Popular with retirees as they have a lot of free time, it gives them a chance to exercise their brains and maintain mental alertness but doesn't require too much physically.

Like many other games it's a great way to wind down after a hard day at work and to relieve stress, having to concentrate and think about strategies takes away all thoughts of what happened that day and has a particularly soothing and calming effect. Said to improve thinking skills it can help you to reach a decision that might have felt unsolveable previously, and get your thoughts under control.

There are chess clubs all over the country that attract people from all walks of life, and just go online and you'll find forums for the game where like-minded people have the chance to get together and talk about strategy and technique as much as they like. Carry a chess set with you when travelling and guaranteed you won't be alone a lot - people will see the board and either strike up a conversation or challenge you to a game and soon you'll have company and may even make a new friend or two!

Chess buffs are more than happy when they meet a fellow enthusiast as they can talk about their favourite subject for hours on end, and then some more! They love the structure of the game, the rules, and ruminating over strategies of famous games, they will invariably know every well-known player there is, what games they played, their opponents and the sequence of moves in famous games. An enthusiast is lively and logical, interested in lots of things, and they love a challenge particularly if it involves using the brain.

Professional players form chess clubs start off competing in local and then national competitions and tournaments, if they're good enough they'll end up travelling the world to participate in international matches. The best players have the capability to visualize the board in anticipation of moving the pieces, some are lucky enough to have a photographic memory which makes it easy for them to calculate the next move. Many hope to one day become grandmasters and they dedicate a lot of spare time to learning the inspired moves of past grandmasters and developing their own distinctive approach to the game. Try a folding chess board for easy transportation and take it with you wherever you go.

With online games becoming so popular it's becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation, in some schools chess is now included on the timetable due to its known positive advantages including improving the reasoning process, ability to assess situations, increased self-motivation and self-confidence. Chess clubs are also common in universities particularly with mathematics students, it makes people feel part of a team and so encourages friendships, and as it's known to develop both social skills and self-confidence it's a game you should be encouraging your kids to learn.

When buying chess set make sure it's practical and sturdy, particularly if you are planning on carrying it from place to place regularly. Take a look online as there's a broad range of chess boards and pieces available, compare prices and quality by checking a few websites before making any decision. Sets are made from all kinds of materials such as rubber, plastic, glass and even stone, wood sets are generally the most popular as many are designed to be folded in half so you can safely store the pieces inside which is convenient for travelling, some also have an added handle letting you carry it around like a briefcase. Wood lasts for a long time and grows more beautiful with age. Choose from pine, walnut or oak, or pay a little bit more and get a set in ebony or rosewood.

About the Author

Michiel Van Kets writes articles for Regency Chess, one of the leading UK chess retailer offering a beautiful collection of only the highest quality chess set plus chess boards and pieces. They work with only experienced craftsmen to source for finest boards from around the globe, bringing you a selection of luxury chess sets like no other company. Read more to find out about their folding chess sets as well as other luxury chess products available.