Online Game Guide: Chess

Chess is a type of board game that pits two players against each other in a test of tactical and strategic prowess. Unlike other board games whose outcomes depend largely on a roll of the dice, chess is based entirely on the moves of the players. The rules of the game are simple, but since it is driven by skill and not chance, mastering chess is the real challenge. The road to victory in chess is fraught with deceptive plays and traps, and every move is a contest of logic and wits. Chess is also about foresight, specifically when it comes to understanding one's opponent in order to predict their moves. It is a game that can take days to resolve, which is why players often agree to abide by time restrictions.

It is now possible for people to play against opponents around the world, or even against computers. Chess can be played in person in a face to face setting, on the Internet, and even by correspondence. In addition, there are chess clubs in almost all high schools and colleges in both industrialized and developing nations alike. Chess was especially popular in the Soviet Union and is still a national pastime in post-Soviet Russia. It is also prevalent in the United States, and increasingly popular in China, which has won most of the Women's World Chess Championship tournaments since 1990.

Famous world chess champions, or Grandmasters, include Garry Kasparov of Russia, Bobby Fischer of the United States, and Xie Jun of China. Chess championships are common, and a Chess Olympiad is held every two years, on even-numbered years. There are efforts under way to integrate chess into the official Olympic Games. Even computers are capable of playing chess, and have proven to be formidable opponents against even the best human players. For instance, IBM Corporation's Deep Blue computer defeated world chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a controversial match in 1997. Pocket Fritz 4, a chess playing computer in the form of a cell phone, became a Grandmaster in 2009 when it won 9 out of 10 official tournament games, with the balance being a draw. Other famous chess-playing computers include Deep Thought and Deep Junior, all variants of Deep Blue.

For more information on the game of chess, look to the following resources:

History of Chess

Chess Rules

Strategy and Tactics

Competitive Play

Chess Magazines, Publications and Books

Chess Organizations and Federations

Chess Mathematics and Psychology

Chess for Kids and Beginners