Chess is beyond doubt one of the oldest and most played games in the world. Chess breaks all intellectual, age and languages barriers and can therefore be enjoyed by people from all corners of the globe. In an age where old traditions are quickly being replaced with new and adventure packed activities, it is surprising that tens of thousands of people learn chess each and every year.
For many, chess is some boring old game that is played by people with massive IQs. This is far from the truth. Chess is very easy to learn, and the best part is that it can be played on different levels. Beginner players for example can play with other beginner players and get the same amount of excitement and enjoyment from the game as two grand masters would if they were locked in battle.
Some of the great benefits of learning chess include:
- Chess is exciting. It is tremendously exciting to plan a trap and wait with bated breath as your opponent unwittingly plays into your hands.
- Chess teaches patience. Strategies and tactics take time to execute. Not all strategies will pan out, and as a result all of your hard work will need to start again.
- Chess can be learned. Unlike many social sports, you do not have to be a “natural” to play chess well. A player becomes better as they learn new tactics and strategies.
- Chess is really cheap. Most chess software is free. Chess boards are cheap. There are no ongoing running costs.
- Chess improves your life skills. It is not hard to draw parallels between chess and every day life. Chess requires a player to think about each move before it is made. So does life. Chess has setbacks. So does life. Chess requires you to plan for the long term. So does life.
- Chess teaches independence. Players must think on their own. They must make their own decisions.
- Chess breaks age barriers. Chess can be played equally as well between adult and child.
Unfortunately for chess, many TV shows and movies have portrayed chess as a difficult game. Once this myth has been set aside, many people often find that learning the rules of chess is actually a simple task. There are only six different pieces, each with their own special moves. The game simply requires you to force your opponent’s King (one of the six pieces) into a position where he can be captured. All in all, there are only a few rules, and these rules can be learned in a matter of hours.
The real challenge with chess is learning tactics and strategy. Tactics are short term moves that lead to long term gain. Tactical moves are used together to form a strategy. Tactics are specific moves that place a piece in a specific place on the board either to attack or defend an area of the board. Tactics are learned as a player becomes more experienced. Strategy is learned once a player has a sufficient arsenal of tactics to form a strategy. This may all sound very complicated, but the beauty of chess is that tactics and strategy are learned only as a player becomes more experienced, and therefore the initial steps of learning chess are not slowed down. As you become experienced, you will find that learning new tactics is extremely rewarding and satisfying. This is why people continue to play chess throughout their entire life.
What is important to conclude from the above article is that anybody can learn chess. Chess starts off easy and only becomes harder as your opponent gets better.