Chess is Supposed to be FUN!

Mar 27, 2011, 10:44 PM |

Chess for FUN?

What happened to chess for fun? I’m not a rated player, in fact, I didn’t learn the game until well past my youth. However, I can still remember having a lot of fun playing chess. 

Yes, those were the days.  Bobby Fischer was KING.  We “average” players battled it out over coffee (sometimes, beer), and just had a blast.  Kibitzing wasn’t allowed. However, those not playing verbally commented on active games:

Too bad….

Oh, that hurts….

Wow! What a great move!


I can’t publish some of the more memorable comments. After all, we were young adults with healthy, competitive natures. The point is we all had fun playing or watching the ultimate, board battle game – chess.

We left all the technicalities of the game to the chess masters. After all, we were certain that all MASTERS had great minds and the capacity to memorize hundreds of various opening lines. Most of us only “knew” the first 5 or 6 opening moves of a few standard openings. And, those we learned through bitter experience. After that, it was a free-for-all, but, so much fun.

The only time I see chess for FUN today is at the “little kid’s tables” at chess club.  Those 5 and 6 year olds are absolutely fearless and they have fun:

Hey! I want my queen back!

What kind of move is that?



By age 7 or 8 these same chess kids have been told to be quiet, memorize openings, etc.  It’s sad, really.  Many seem to lose the joy of playing chess.

So how do you have FUN playing chess?  First of all, PLAY!  Online “live” chess can be fun. But, play OTB games for real fun.  Nothing is quite as exciting as facing your opponent across the board.  Next, just forget about memorizing openings past the first 5 or 6 moves.  This is all you need to have fun and enjoy the game. Five or six moves will usually keep you out of trouble in the early openings.

Finally, join a chess club or find some chess buddies, play chess, and have FUN! Coffee and/or beer are optional.