National American Chess Day falls on September 2. If you’re a thinker who likes tight games of skill and wit, then you’re probably already a fan of chess. A truly ancient game, chess has been inspiring the brightest minds of humanity for well over one thousand years.
The game is deceptively simple: you use your pawns, rooks, knights, bishop, and queen to try to capture the opponent’s king. The first player to do so wins.
The first manuscript describing a game like chess was penned in Persia in the seventh century. The game is believed to have originated in India around the year 600, before spreading along the silk road.
The first recorded name for the game is chatrang, and the game’s theme and gameplay would be quite familiar to a modern audience. The game eventually spread to Europe, and by the late 1400s the game had evolved into a version essentially identical to the modern game.
Why it Matters
Chess is a great game for players of all ages. Thanks to its deceptively simple rule set and infinite permutations of attack and defense, the game is a great way to stimulate the mind. Studies have shown that older players can stave off dementia by staying engaged with the puzzle-solving, critical-thinking skills that chess encourages.
Moreover, players of any age can find themselves immersed in a great culture if they want to join chess competitions. Tournaments are held both in-person and over computer applications, and can appeal to players of all skill levels. From beginners to grandmasters, there are a lot of fun ways to interact with the chess community.
Chess Day Activities
The most straightforward way to enjoy National American Chess Day, of course, is to play a game of chess with someone. Maybe you’ve got a regular opponent who you occasionally take a few games off of before losing again. It’s time to challenge them to a rematch! Or, if you know someone who would like to learn the game, today is a great day to teach them.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even join a local chess league, or an online league. This will allow you to see how your tactical skills match up with those of other players. The only thing better than enjoying a game of chess is enjoying it in good company! Remember, the important thing is that you have fun and learn a few things along the way.