Why A Chess Game Has So Much To Offer

by Clive Jenkins

The ancient game of chess requires skill and strategy, and is only the pursuit of choice for the intellectually advanced or downright boring. Think again! Yeah, a chess game is a tough prospect, but it's really fun once you learn how to play, and get that little bit competitive with your wife or your buddy. Hear me out. Now I know when you hear the word 'chess' you automatically think of teenage grandmasters from eastern Europe, and bright sparks that can play more than one chess game at a time and still win. But there's a lot more to the game than you think.

The game of chess can be traced back to India around the 2nd century BC, and is one of the worlds most popular strategic thinking games. Widely played across all continents, the chess game today is considered the most challenging and intellectually stimulating games out there - not to mention, it's also great fun.

Many people before they understand the rules of chess see the game as overly complicated, although when you start to delve that little bit deeper, you find that it's not so bad. Firstly, all those strange little pieces - no problem. When set up, the pieces are arranged largely symmetrically, so that halves the number of unique pieces straight away. Then you end up with only a few different pieces to play with: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, Queen and King. The game progresses by moving the pieces, in alternating turns piece at a time, around the board, with each piece allowed a prescribed range of movements. An example of this would be the rook, which can move any number of squares vertically or horizontally, but cannot move diagonally, or the knight which can move in any L-shaped pattern (with ratio 3:1). The aim of the game is to make it impossible for the opponent to move without leaving his King (the King of opposing colour) in check, i.e. ensuring that whatever move your opponent makes, you would be capable of taking his King in the next move, which ends the game. If the opponent is unable to move without this occurring, he has lost, and his King is said to be in check mate.

There are loads of variations of chess games played around the world, although this standard method, or International Chess, is by far the most common. The game is a way of life for many of its dedicated participants, who play in clubs and tournaments regularly.

So now you've hopefully got an insight into the rules, you can consider giving it a go. To start with, it's always a good idea to play with someone who knows what's going on to avoid confusion, and ultimately improve your abilities. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and so you can't expect to be a grandmaster just yet! When you develop to the stage where you continually win, and where you think about strategy several moves in advance, it is perhaps an idea to join a club where you can play with like-minded individuals regularly to improve your chess game, and have a lot of fun in the process.

About the Author

Clive Jenkins recommends the Chess Clock website which provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the game of Chess. To find articles,
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