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Play Chess

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by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published November 26th 2010
Given TV and technology are kings of the entertainment arena for many, it's easy to forget some of the games many of us used to play before surfing the net and planting bottoms on couches in front of the box became common pastimes. Playing chess had us entertained for hours as kids. It isn't nerdy. Quite the opposite. It's a thrilling, intelligent game requiring thoughtful manoeuvrings, tactics and strategy. It's like acrobatics for the mind.

While it can be played online (and, no, I'm not providing a link), interacting with family or friends over a game is much more rewarding. They, at least, can speak! It's so fun and rewarding in fact that people have been striving to checkmate their opponent's king (place it under direct attack so it can't avoid being captured), since the second half of the 15th century. Today, it remains of the world's most popular games and is played by millions worldwide.

If you don't know how to play, it's very easy to learn. Basically, you each start with 16 pieces: a king, queen, two rooks (we call that one 'the castle'), two knights (the only pieces that have the privilege of leaping over others), two bishops and eight pawns. Each piece has a designated direction and distance in which it's allowed to move, the aim being to capture your opponent's pieces, with the king the ultimate prize.

For a visual demonstration that will have you playing a game of chess in no time, gather a few of your nearest and dearest and view this great, short video. Got that? Now, it's onto Part 2.

You might like to have a regular chess night - with perhaps 2 or 3 boards in play with a few others for tons of fun - once a week or even once a month. If you'd like to take your game one step further, you can always join a club. Find one near you here.
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Why? “Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” Blaise Pascal
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