How Hard Is Chess, Really?


So, Mr. DimebagdDerek, do either game help the other or are they so different there is no cross over?  I assume it's like going from the piano to the kazoo, or vice versa.

No, I don't think the difference between chess and checkers is equal to the piano and the kazoo.  No offense intended.


A useful measure of how hard, or perhaps a better word to use is challenging, a game is would be to look at the strength differential between good players and weak players.

Challenging games tend to have tactical and strategic subtlety (depth in other words) and strong players can exploit their superior knowledge and vision of these ideas. Equally, weaker players can gradually learn these ideas and improve.

So I would define a game as being hard if there is a broad range in standards of play. This would imply that games like chess and go and poker and maybe even scrabble are hard games.

Games like tic-tac-toe and snakes and ladders are not.


Chess is easy to play hard to master.

Shippen wrote:

Chess is easy to play hard to master.

"trip-klee, klee-kleeklee ."


Conflagration_Planet wrote:

nameno1had wrote:

Conflagration_Planet wrote:

Go #1 chess #2

Chess is far more intricate and difficult to master. I picked up on how to play go relatively well in a short time. For me there is no comparison and no way chess is second. I'd pick tic tac toe before go, simply because it is so hard to win.

Go has many orders of magnitude more possible moves.

I owe you an apology. I was thinking reversi...


I cannot believe what I am reading.

Chess is as hard or as easy as the opponant you play.

There is absolutly no luck in chess if you were a grand master for example.

Luck in chess increases the lower down the rating system you are.

By that I mean that a game can develop in your favour or not 9 or 10 moves down the road.

I am at the bottom end of intermediate players so obviously there is a slight luck elemant in my games in terms of development.

Checkers is NO WAY more complex than chess as there are so much less possibilities


I just read the post about checkers,

I did not realise there were that many possibilities lol.

But still ,,, less than chess


Q: How hard is chess?

A: Very easy.

Oh wait... I missed the "really." --

A: Very hard.


I think chess is only as hard as your opponent makes it for you. Considering all of us play against total numpties [i.e. our equivalents] it isn't all that hard at all. Maybe what makes it appear so difficult is that we play to the best of our ability but on the other side of the board is someone of equal strength, playing at the best of his ability too but in the exact opposite direction. That is what makes chess a mind struggle.


The consequences of measuring "best" moves against what is "perfection" is a different case. Then your mind starts to bend.


Maybe the most difficult chess game is Shogi, since the taken pieces can re-enter the game. Also Xiangqi (chinese chess) is more difficult than chess.

Then if it is board games in general Weiqi (Go) is surely more difficult than chess.

Once they were selling these simulations of war battles, made with hexagon, different pieces to represent different units, for sure those were impossible as difficulty level, today I'm sure they have been converted on computers.

However, the most difficult of all are surely the Pentagon simulations, since with all that money, they can only bomb flat a place, but are never able to win a war. The population generally rebel of the new puppet tyrant they put in place, and so on. But I guess that is the most difficult board-game of all, because there are political considerations, as well as the weather to consider.


Chess can not even be compared to checker's,does anyone dissagree with that?Not even close


I haven't actually said anything about the OP, but I think it's hard to answer this question.  The rules are very simple, and there are just 6 pieces.  I think there are fewer rules to chess than monopoly, but it's the people who play it that make it so complex.

There is a game, I'm not sure of it's title, but it is all of World War 2.  There are several maps that cover up the whole floor, players control production, alliances, troops, etc. and it has a very thick rule book.  It probably takes months to play.  I'd say that this game is much harder to grasp the basics.

A more well known series of games would be Warhammer.  The rule book for this is a few hundred pages, and there are hundreds of different units.  But, that's not really a board game.

paulified22 wrote:

Chess can not even be compared to checker's,does anyone dissagree with that?Not even close

A joke?


Chess is an extremely simple game to learn. A willing student can pick up everything they need to know to play a legal game in a very short period of time.

But having a simple ruleset does not translate into being an easy game to play well. Go is a far simplier game, but is at least equally difficult to play well.


paulified22 wrote:

How Hard Is Chess, Really?


It is hard if you don't have the right perspective. 

The right perspective consists of 3 elements:

1. Chess is Siege Warfare in the form of a board game.                                                              

2. There are 2 Chess Opening Theories (Classical and Hypermodern)

2. Pawn Structure

In combination the above 3 elements seem counterintuitive at first.  After 3 months of practice your game will have improved dramatically.  2-3 years of practice and your playing strength will approach USCF 2000+.

If you would like to knaow more, please let me know.                                                         


According to Wikipedia, chess is the second most complicated board game in existence, next to Go, which is about 10,000 times more complicated.

The reason is probably because Go has a vaguer objective than that of chess, which is to control the most territory instead of assassinating a specific piece. Thus, there are more ways to win Go than there is to win chess. 

Demidjinn wrote:

Of the games I know of (and I know a handful of others that don't involve chance). Chess comes second. It has to rank after go. Simply because go is so obscure (at least on a large enough board). But chess has to rank in front of checkers though. Checkers has no where near the same complexity.

Exactly my point. Go ranks first in complexity, chess ranks second, and checkers right behind it.


its the harderst board game i've ever played- most enjoyable too!


It really depends on the playing strength of your opponent. 

Playing against a life-long club level player can spawn some incredibly tough games, whereas an intermediate/novice level opponent would likely prove much easier.

The same will hold true in most competitive sports/games, it really depends on the level you want to play at..

capaz2 wrote:

its the harderst board game i've ever played- most enjoyable too!

What about Go?