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Want to join my local Chess Club

  • #1

    I have never played OTB chess against strangers before and I was thinking of joining my local chess club for several reasons.   To get the one on one experience, have an official rating and let it go from there.  Anyone have any pros and cons about this.  I'm no young boy who want to go places with this, just wondering if it's worth it, or should i just stay behind the computer and play chess instead. 

  • #2

    I guess you don't know until you try.  For me it's worth it, to play at a chess club, have met a lot of interesting people.

  • #3

    You have to join. It's much more fun playing OTB than online.

  • #4

    The official rating doesn't just come by visiting a club, you have to probably play Federation- rated tournaments (assuming that the club hosts them).

    Pros of OTB/local club chess:

    - Social dynamic (interacting with people,  making real friends in the classical pre-Facebook manner)

    - Less likely to play total jerks. It's easy to be brave and mouth off somebody online but most clubs don't tolerate egomaniacs and loud/disruptive players.

    - If you do get to play hosted and rated tournaments, you are financially supporting your country's Chess Federation and in general, chess in your fair city.

    - If you like playing live games without a clock, a local club may be your best bet.

    - It presents opportunities where one can see a completely chess-illiterate (never picked up a book/software or even knows notation) player with enough natural talent and tactical skill to take your Najdorf and tell you where to shove it  *grin.

    Cons:

    - No free way to take game notation  / going over games afterwards requires you to be diligent about writing your moves down.

    - The skill differential may not suit you. If you want to exclusively play players rated X or above, you may not have that kind of an experience at the club, which usually attracts players of all skill levels.  Even worse if the casual beginner/weaker player takes ages in a clock-less game. You want to be decent/pleasant  and finish this game ....  but if you were waiting to try your luck against the Master on the table nearby, you may have to wait another night.

    - If the players at the club also play the same tournaments you play in, you usually have full visibility into their repertoires, and they, yours.  You can prepare your openings better vs. them and vice-versa.   Of course, this is a pro or a con depending on how you see it.  

  • #5

    I did this recently (though I had been a member of a club 25 years ago). It's well worth it. Your local club may have an option like mine of 3 month trial membership (which is actually put towards your annual fee if you decide to convert after 3 months).

    Accept that you will likely lose winnable games early on, just through being in an unfamiliar environment and being nervous. Once you get over that it's much more fun than playing online.

  • #6
    rockpeter wrote:

    I have never played OTB chess against strangers before and I was thinking of joining my local chess club for several reasons.   To get the one on one experience, have an official rating and let it go from there.  Anyone have any pros and cons about this.  I'm no young boy who want to go places with this, just wondering if it's worth it, or should i just stay behind the computer and play chess instead. 


     To me playing OTB with strangers is very challenging, especially the first game when neither opponent knows the abilities of the other.  OTB is more fun and challenging because one is able to experience watching the opponent's reactions to the moves and learning from them.  It is amazing how many opponents give away their weaknesses and problems dealing with certain moves just by their body language alone, not mention little remarks and sounds.  It can be amusing.

  • #7

    I have found the only downside to be the personal hygiene (or rather, lack thereof) of certain opponents, when stuck in a heated room with them for 3 hours Laughing

  • #8

    I'm getting excited already.

    The games are clocked at 25 minutes each.  3-4 games are played and there is a rating system at the club.  I just got an e-mail from the president of the club giving me more info and I look forward to joining.  The club has their own internet site and posts the results of the games. 

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