“Of chess, it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess.”  -William Napier

Are you a fan of the game of chess? Have you played chess for decades and can't seem to get enough? Is chess your favourite hobby? If so, your passion is shared with millions of individuals globally. Chess is one of the most popular games of all time, and it attracts persons of all ages and backgrounds.

Chess is so in-demand and acclaimed that even its federation, FIDA, is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure that chess is regulated country to country. 

In the most traditional sense, chess is played between two players who compete against each other face-to-face. But what if I told you that you could still practice your strategy and game techniques online? In recent years, chess lovers of all skills levels have been joining reputable sites to compete against a computer or online competitors from other countries.

Let's take a look at the benefit of playing online chess games, how they are played, and on which websites individuals can play virtual chess matches.

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Meng seng
Meng seng
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Irfan
Irfan
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Jackie
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The Benefits of Playing Online Games

Since we are living in the digital age, it seems that everything has moved online. When you sit down and think about it, almost every single activity may be completed online. Everything from banking to shopping has a virtual platform that makes things much more user-friendly.

Even the online entertainment industry has been booming for the last two decades due to its convenience and variety of options. 

If you think that "online games" is just a better way to describe video games, you're right. However, you shouldn't scoff at the term "video games" and think that playing them is a waste of time. Why not?

Well, video games often get a bad reputation without persons thinking of the benefits acquired through online gaming.

the pros of online games
Contrary to popular belief, online gaming is not all negative. Some excellent transferrable skills may be acquired when playing video games. (Source: Unsplash)

The following is a list highlighting the most significant advantages of playing online games:

  • Mental Capacities Honed: while most people think that video games turn the brain into mush, that couldn't be farther from the truth. How so? For example, it has been proven that online games that require strategy and problem-solving skills need the brain to retain information and remember it quickly. Therefore, mental capacities such as memory, concentration, and the brain's overall speed of assimilating information are perfected.
  • Teamwork Learned: Many online games are played with other friends and players; therefore, the team building activities, or any multiplayer game, help form healthy relationships with like-minded individuals. Social abilities are practised and people as if they belong somewhere; that is especially the case for teenagers.
  • Transferrable Skills Acquired: if you thought that nothing good comes out of playing video games, once again, you stand corrected! Online game players acquire analytical, problem-solving, and strategic skills greatly welcomed by employers later on in life when searching for a job.
  • How to Win and Lose: from a young age, we learned that you win some and lose some. It's impossible to be a winner at everything. Video games help persons recognise that losing isn't the worse thing globally and that they can learn from their mistakes and improve themselves.

All of these reasons are enough to silence the naysayers about video games. We also hope that by learning about the benefits of online games, traditional chess players might be inspired to take their skills online and participate in virtual chess matches against other individuals worldwide.

But how does one learn to play chess online? Read the following subheading to find out!

How to Play Chess Online

how to play online chess
Online chess has the same rules as in-person chess. The only difference is that the board is virtual. (Source: Unsplash)

If you are tech-savvy, you probably already know how to play chess online against other opponents or the computer. Still, for older chess players who are accustomed to playing face-to-face, it may seem like a far stretch to learn how to play chess via the web.

Therefore, to make sure every chess player is on the same page, the following are a few steps to keep in mind when starting to play chess online:

  1. Find a highly recommended chess website,
  2. Create a profile on the website if necessary,
  3. Select your skill level,
  4. Add friends, play against an online player, or compete to beat the computer,
  5. Know the unique features offered by the website,
  6. Start your first match!

Many chess websites provide hints if you are a beginner player. Also, by adding your friends on the site's platform, you can play against them as long as the two of you are logged in simultaneously.

If you're a little nervous about the process of playing chess online, before starting, we recommend taking a tutorial or watching videos.

The Best Websites to Play Chess Online

websites for chess lessons
There are various websites to find online chess lessons. (Source: Unsplash)

Since there are so many online resources, it is sometimes a struggle to find a website that best suits your needs for learning something new. An overabundance of information can make it difficult to encounter the most highly recommended educational websites.

Chess is a game that millions of people play worldwide, so you are bound to find a lot of chess tips and tricks. Still, however well-intentioned, not all blogs or websites published by chess enthusiasts are worth your time.

But what about the best websites to learn chess online? We shall highlight the four best sites to practice your chess skills virtually.

Chess.com

Widely recognised in the chess community for its informative articles, excellent chess playing advice, and educational videos, chess.com is also regarded as the best website to play chess virtually. Online chess playing is entirely free of charge, and there are hundreds of thousands of chess players at any given time.

Also, there are tens of millions of chess games played online every day on chess.com. 

Users of chess.com can choose to play online against opponents of their skill level or participate in customisable training bots against the computer. Another great feature of chess.com is that players can practice solving chess puzzles which is, according to some experts, the best way to improve pattern recognition.

Lichess.org

Though a little bit less known than chess.com, lichess.org is still one of the best online resources to practice chess lessons virtually. Some of the great features of the Lichess website include the following:

  • A clean interface free of plug-ins, ads, and other distracting features,
  • Users can choose to play online chess against their friends, other players from around the world, or the computer,
  • Chess players can choose which type of chess game they would like to learn,
  • You are matched with individuals who are at the same level as you.

Additionally, lichess.org is known for its great variety of chess puzzles, brilliant study guides that help improve strategy and playing techniques, and informative videos that demonstrate past game highlights.

Lichess.org doesn't feature all the bells and whistles of chess.com but who needs that when all you want to do is play a simple online chess game?

Chess Base

Another top online chess website is ChessBase. Thousands and thousands of individuals play online chess using the Chess Base website to great satisfaction. The most well-liked features of Chess Base include the following:

  • You can create a free account and have access to the entire website,
  • You can quickly look back on the games you played since they are stored in the cloud,
  • Players can participate in matches with chess enthusiasts that are at the same level as them,
  • Beginners are provided with some valuable hints in the beginning to help their playing techniques,
  • There is a choice between bullet, blitz, and slow games. Also, there are matches explicitly designed for beginners and even tournaments.

We highly recommend taking a look at the Chess Base site to improve your overall skills and play against some of the world's most talented online chess players.

Spark Chess

The last, but certainly not the least, of our recommended chess websites to play online is the Spark Chess site. Players have the option of choosing between learning, practising, and challenging chess matches.

Also, by looking at the recently published chess puzzles, you can practice the abilities required to excel at chess games. If you don't feel comfortable playing against another online player, there is the option of participating in matches against the computer.

Check out their leaderboards to see if you can top the score of other Spark Chess online players.

In conclusion, we are confident that by using any of the four mentioned online chess websites, you will be wildly content with your improvement and how user-friendly it is to participate in online chess tournaments with like-minded persons.

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