Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Chess: History`s Game


If I were to compile a list of the greatest board games based not only on gameplay but also on impact, influence and history, Chess would most certainly be sitting at the top. Chess has a spot in board game history that no other game will ever occupy. Chess is the most recognized board game in the world and carries with it a prestige which echoes the luscious lifestyles of the Victorian Era and the reign of Louis XIV.
The development of Chess is a long and rich history, from its early stages in India and its spread through the Arab nations and into Europe, all the way to the world championship level status is caries today, even making celebrities out of people such as Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Chess holds a place in the world of board games all its own.


The gameplay of Chess is heavily analyzed and researched. It seems almost absurd to review to basics of the play and the goal of the game, as it has almost entered into the knowledge of public consciousness by this time. Yet for those who have somehow managed to remain oblivious of this game of games, the goal of Chess is to trap the opposing player’s king while protecting your own king. Each of the different pieces move in different ways, and it is this variability of movements which work to dictate the individuality of each player.

Chess is a game where you must not only react to the moves of the other player, you must also work to predict these moves and counter them before they happen, all the while setting up your pieces for your own offensive attacks. In this way Chess is very similar to Poker; you must feel out your opponent quickly and learn to adapt to their style, lest you be caught by surprise. If you are good at reading your opponent, your own strategy becomes that much easier.

Chess can be an intimidating game for many because of its ‘high society’ reputation, yet it really is not a difficult game to learn. All a new player really needs to know is which pieces make which moves. Formulating a strategy is something which cannot really be taught but must be self-learned through feeling out the game for yourself, in much the same way as a father can teach his daughter to ride a bike, but once she knows how to ride, it is up to her to learn how to ride with no hands, to pop-a-wheelies, and all of those other things which make riding a bike so much fun for kids. However for this very reason, Chess can be very lopsided depending on the experience level of the two players involved. Be wary of who you are playing lest you find yourself in a very one-sided battle.


The chess board is wonderful in its simplicity; 64 squares in alternating black and white colours, arranged in and 8 X 8 square. That is all that is needed, much like vanilla ice cream. The pieces, however, are the chocolate sauce and sprinkles. There are six different types of chess pieces, each with their own distinctive design. And these designs allow themselves the ability to be so well-crafted they can almost reach the level of fine art. Chess pieces can be made from any type of material, from the finest marble to the most colourful Lego. Not only that, but each design almost matches the purpose of the piece itself; the pawns are rather plain in concept while the queen is elaborate; the bishops are slender while the knights are rough in both moment and shape.
Visually, chess is a masterpiece. It is a beautiful game which graces coffee tables from around the world, from lakeside cabins to grand palaces. Its beauty can be seen in both its simplicity and its intricacy.


Chess is a cultural cornerstone in both the world of gaming and the wider world beyond. It is not a game that has been developed and designed as much as it is a game that has evolved. Perhaps for this reason it has reached the levels of excellence that it has. And surely because of this it is a game that will live on so long as we humans are around to play.

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