People who enjoy playing chess can read this and learn more about what makes this game so intriguing and as popular today as it has ever been. The traditional game of chess gets people together to concentrate and create mental strategies in order to defeat your opponent and it is this combination that we find so alluring.

Chess has captured the minds and hearts of generation after generation as the skills and know how have been passed down from father to son, mother to daughter in every age. This article takes a look at the game and explores just what it is about it that makes it such a truly attractive game.

Age Doesn't Matter

It doesn't really matter if you are aged nine, nineteen or sixty-nine; playing chess is as compelling as a game can be at any age. Of course there are limits to who can play effectively enough to be a worthy opponent, such as the very young who simply have not yet advanced sufficiently to grasp the game and its rules, or those with mental disabilities that prevent them from concentrating or learning the skills necessary to be able to strategise and compete.

However, anyone with reasonable mental capacity and the ability to learn can indeed learn to play this game and master its rules and complexities. The degree to which a person can elevate their mental abilities through constant playing, testing and learning appears to have no known bounds, as grandmaster players are able to achieve world champion status only to be eventually overtaken by another, better player.

Tactics, Skill and Strategy

The central focus of the game itself is to create a personal strategy through a set of moves that will at some point in the game result in the coveted checkmate. For those that do not know what this is, checkmate is the final move of the game where the opponent's king is directly in the clear line of threat from an opponent's piece and has no "safe" square available to move to.

In actuality, checkmate is the affirmation that the theoretical next move will be to "take" the opponent's king and there is no move available to the opponent that can prevent this from happening, although this is not physically carried out. It is the end of the game and the winner is the player who has the pleasure of uttering that utterly spine-chilling word!

The Long Game

In order to get to the point where checkmate is possible, the game will meander through a long series of moves and counter moves by opposing players' pieces designed to gain the advantage over the opponent's pieces. Games can take a long time to complete as each move must be carefully thought out and executed to ensure that no mistake is made that will unwittingly allow an opponent's piece to move in such as way as to thwart the strategy.

Games can therefore last for several hours, especially when two evenly matched, highly skilled and knowledgeable players are pitted against each other. On the other hand, some games can be as short as several minutes when players are not so evenly matched and the better player has knowledge of several rapid strategies that his opponent may not be aware of and becomes caught out by.

The Attraction of Chess

So what is it that attracts people to want to play this game?

It is certainly not as fashionable or as visually and aurally exciting as many high graphic computer games. It does not hold the fascination of a game that can be wagered on, such as a game of chance or skill as in many casino style games.

To many who do not play chess, it can even appear extremely boring and high brow, played by geeks and intellectuals and "not for" the likes of the ordinary folk. But in reality, this appraisal could not be further from the truth.

Chess is played and enjoyed by a wide cross section of the population. It is played by people of all ages, creeds, races, skill and intelligence levels, men and women, boys and girls. And once a non-chess player decides to learn to play, they soon become taken by the game and realize that it is actually a lot more attractive and compelling as any high action, graphic heavy computer arcade game!