One of the oldest games is still being played to this day, chess is one of the most tactically challenging and difficult games in the world. Chess is a board game that is played on a board very similar to the game of checkers, however, there are different pieces that do different things and are more valuable than others. Strategy is key when playing chess and therefore many people consider chess to be much more than just a simple board game.

Some form of chess has been around since the sixth century. So that is over 1500 YEARS of people playing this game. Chess originated in Northern India, then made its way over to Persia and to Europe as well during the middle ages. Many strategies have been developed and redeveloped over and over again. Many people who prove to be masters of the game are often considered to be geniuses.

What exactly is chess? While if you ask many people to them it could be just a simple board game. However, chess can be seen as many different things and in many different ways. Chess is not only considered to be a board game but also a way to achieve peace of mind, an art, and a science.

Many people around the world also consider the game to be a sport. While chess is not a sport like basketball or baseball where you need to exert a lot of energy physically, mentally chess can take a toll on your body.

However, you view chess it is an extremely difficult yet rewarding game that can also be very fun to play at home with family or friends. Let's look at what exactly is the game of chess and how people view this ancient game.

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How to play Chess

Chess pieces on a chess board
Knowing what pieces do is very important in the game of chess. Source: Pexels

Firstly before we being to talk about how chess is seen, we first have to go over how you actually play chess. There are six different types of chess pieces that you can use and serve different functions. Some are more important than others but in the end, all serve a purpose for your strategy.

Pawn

The pawn is seen as the most dispensable piece in the game of chess. You may have heard of plenty of metaphors about using pawns as someone dispensible. There are eight pawns on each side of a chessboard and can only move forward one space or two if it's the first move the pawn makes.

Many people use the pawn as a form of bait so that the other player needs to put one of their more important pieces in a risky position. The pawn can take another player's piece, in other words, remove it if it is at a diagonal position from the pawn.

Rook

Each player has two rooks that sit at either end of the chessboard in the second of the two rows of chess pieces. They can move wherever there is space on the board and take an opponent's piece if it sits in front or to the side of the rook. It is a valuable piece as it can move across the board horizontally or vertically in any unoccupied space or to take one of the pieces of the other player.

Bishop

The bishop is much like the rook in the sense it can move a certain direction and across the board in one move. This piece can move diagonally from wherever it is positioned. A bishop can be valuable as it can capture an opponent's piece very quickly or set itself in a position to perform a check or checkmate. 

Knight

If you have ever seen Harry Potter you'll remember the first movie when Harry, Hermoine, and Ron played the Wizard's Chess. Harry and Hermoine were the help but Ron was the hero in this scene and choose to be one of the knight pieces. There are two knights that you can use while playing chess and they are valuable and require a lot of strategies.

The knight can move various spaces per turn but in a very different manner. While the bishop and rooks can move many spaces but forward, sideways, or diagonal, the knight can move only a few spaces but in a peculiar movement.

Knights move in an L shape, they can move two squares in any direction then one horizontally. Or a knight can move two squares horizontally followed by one square vertically. A knight can also jump over other pieces to get to where you want to place them. Mastering how to use the knight will be a great help in understanding how to play chess.

Queen

The Queen is considered to be the most valuable piece on a chessboard. You only get one queen but a queen has practically total freedom of movement. While it can't make an L shape like a knight it is really important as it can move horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to an empty space or to take a piece of the opponent.

King

A king can be considered the most important to some, in any case, it will be the most important piece to defend as if your opponent takes your king or puts you in check which means it can be taken with the next move you are obliged to move your king. If you can't move your king without it being taken, then you lose as you will be in checkmate.

Protecting the king is one of the fundamental strategies of chess.

Chess as a Form of Mindfulness

As mentioned before chess is a game or sport that requires an extreme amount of strategy and adaptation, especially for those who play at a competitive level. Chess is also a way for some to meditate and achieve a form of peace. You can use it as a form to increase your analytical skills, as well as problem-solving.

Learning to read the chessboard and understand problems that can happen in chess can really boost your problem-solving skills which can also help your confidence. Chess at the end of the day is a peaceful game and helps you to build your mental strength.

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Is Chess Considered a Sport?

For many people, chess is just a board game. When one thinks of sports they imagine a sort of ball and some sort of goal. However, many who study and play chess also consider chess to be a sport. In fact, even the International Olympic Committee considers chess to be a sport.

While the image of people playing chess isn't exactly what you may consider being athletics or of jocks in high school, there are organizations that consider chess to be a sport.

How is Chess a Form of Art

While chess may not exactly be art that you can hang in the Louvre Museum in Paris, it does have a certain sense of art to it. The uncertainty of the game, what your opponent may or may not do can be considered a form of art. As well the strategy and planning can also be seen as artful.

There are also many different styles and forms of chess which for lovers of the game can be considered beautiful and exciting.

Is Chess also a Science?

Chess pieces on a blank background
Chess is a game full of strategy and theory. Source: Pexels

We can easily see why chess can be considered a science. In fact, many great chess players are or were also great scientists. Chess moves by great players are based on power, logic, and theory. Playing chess is not about luck there are those who write about how to win in chess.

There is a theory of continual progress that has evolved since the invention of chess more than 15 centuries ago. Chess is not just any old board game it is can be seen as a science as well, which is studied by many.

For many people, chess can be one thing or another. What is the same for everyone is the fact that strategies, theories, and styles exist as well as change. Chess is quite a challenging game, but it can also be extremely fun and entertaining for many.

If you are interested in finding out about how to learn how to play chess or improve your game you can find a personal chess tutor. On Superprof there are personal chess tutors you can find to give you a class online or in the area where you live. If you want to compete and learn different chess strategies, learning with a tutor can be a great opportunity for you.

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Chris