I have always looked at people who were able to play chess as gods. Knowing exactly where to move your piece to protect your pieces or attack your opponent seemed way too out of my comprehension. While all I saw were checkered boxes, those who played it saw it as a life-or-death matter, and in all honestly, I admire that kind of passion.
Growing up in a low-income family, I always thought of chess as a “rich person’s” hobby. Because I couldn’t afford a board, I gave up my dream of ever playing a game of chess. That is, until Netflix’s original miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” was released in 2020. Bill Camp, a custodian at the orphanage where Beth Harmon was staying, taught Beth how to play chess. If she could accomplish it, I was confident that I could as well.
That is where I began my journey with chess. My experience with chess has been short yet very enriching. Every time I start a new game, I learn about the different ways I could attack my opponent. Learning new ways I could sneak up on another player is always neat too. But of course, all of that is in vain if you do not have anyone else you could play with. So, I stick to computer-generated players in the meantime. Learning to play chess was not easy. Watching multiple gameplays, flipping through the rules, and even going back to watch how Beth Harmon played her moves, I can not say I am a pro at playing chess as of yet. However, it is always a learning experience every time I start a new game.
Chess is an absolutely incredible game to play. Playing chess leads to improved brain function, enhanced memory, cognitive abilities, strategic thinking, and concentration, all of which make it a desirable pastime. Every one of these advantages is inextricably linked to the act of playing chess, regardless of whether it is done in a real or simulated setting. If you are thinking of giving chess a go, please do so at your own risk because there will be moments when you would want to rip your own hair out when your opponent checkmates you. Still, I cannot recommend it enough!