The game of chess has been played as far back as the 6th century, beginning with a military strategy game invented in India. The game moved throughout the Muslim world, traveling to Persia and North Africa, before being introduced to Italy, France, and the rest of Europe. Since the very beginning, chess has been one of the most popular board games in the world.
But is chess worth learning for you, in present day? Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Pro: Chess is very popular. It’s easy to find chess sets, software to practice with, books to read, and opponents to play against. You can even play online and get your chess fix immediately.
- Con: While the rules of chess are fairly simple, strategy is complex. It takes a lot of practice, and high-level strategic thinking, to become good at chess. Chess masters spend decades learning various types of gameplay to best approach each opponent they face.
- Pro: Playing chess can help improve your mental abilities. Chess masters often have better memories, better logical thinking skills, and better analytical skills.
- Con: Chess isn’t a quick game (usually). If you find a worthy opponent, games can go on for hours, or even days. The longest chess game to ever be played in one sitting was a 20-hour game played in 1989, which ended in a draw. The chess board saw 269 moves during this game.
- Pro: Chess can be learned by anyone, at any time of their lives. Professional players often start as children, but there have been chess masters who never picked up a chess set until adulthood.
Playing chess is a great way to connect to a tradition that spans back centuries, and gives people a way to exercise their brains while maintaining the fun of competition. Oh, and one final con: Chess can be addicting!
Do you want to become a stronger chess player?
Why not improve your instincts and skill with lessons from Chess World Champion Garry Kasparov?