I’ve always admired the game of chess. Like a musical instrument or a foreign language, becoming good at chess is a frustrating challenge, but one that I feel must lead to being a “better person”. I’ve always wanted to play more, but rarely find the opportunity.
I tried out several chess sites on the internet (Yahoo Games, for example), which had the annoying problem of being timed games. I’m far from being good enough that racing against the clock will have any benefit to my learning of the game. These games were short bursts of annoyance, without really much gain. Then I found the Chess.com Facebook App, and started playing against a couple of Facebook friends. This is by far my favourite “app”, so I went to the Chess.com site.
That was one week ago. So it’s still early innings for me. However, I really like the site. The games are timed, as in, moves should be within the next 3 days (as a default, but variable). So, then you can have several games on the go, each with different opponents from throughout the world. Aside from the playing, there are several other features including the option for a chess “blog”, email account, inter-chess social networking. There are chess forums where you can discuss your favorite Kasparov opening (I guess), or tutorials where you can learn what an opening is.
So far, I’ve only been playing the game. Right now I have finished five games, and are playing four others. Its great; I’m playing people from Venezuela, Philippines, the UK and the US. Some people are really good (so thats what you were doing!) and some aren’t.
Most importantly, I’m playing – and quite a bit. And I’m starting to understand the concepts a bit better and see the traps. With all the discussion of “Brain Training” and the fads that come with it, Chess certainly works – it has a track record that extends thousands of years.