The West Australian capital is about 3300km from Sydney, but that doesn't mean that Perth is lost in the middle of nowhere. On the contrary, it is a city were you will find beautiful beaches, a vibrant lifestyle, lots of interesting wildlife and history and amazing food.
But, what about chess? Very similar to other cities in Australia, Perth has plenty of chess players and a quite active chess community that organizes tournaments, games and small gatherings.
If you are an avid chess player looking to connect with other chess players or just a beginner looking to learn some moves from chess pros, check out our recommendations.
Chess Classes: Where Did Chess Come From?
Did you know that the oldest recorded game of chess, found in a 10th-century manuscript, was played between a Baghdad historian, believed to be a favourite of three successive caliphs, and a pupil?
As you can see, chess is quite an old game and researchers have had a hard time figuring out exactly where it came from. While pieces similar to those used to play chess have been found dating to the 6th century, it seems that they were part of a different (while similar) game.
But the more substantial chess history is as follows (quoted from Encyclopedia Britannica):
"Muslims brought chess to North Africa, Sicily, and Spain by the 10th century. Eastern Slavs spread it to Kievan Rus about the same time. The Vikings carried the game as far as Iceland and England and are believed responsible for the most famous collection of chessmen."
Still, games like chess and dice were not particularly liked by kings and religious leaders. For example, King Louis IX forbid the game in France in 1254.
But what made chess different from dice was the status. A chess set was quite expensive to have so people who owned one were associated with wealth, knowledge, and power.
Rules in chess also varied over time, overcoming multiple modifications during the 14th and 18th centuries. The current rules were created in the 19th century and have been used since then.
When it comes to competition, chess is a competing game by nature, but standard tournaments took a while to appear.
The first major international chess event was a series of six matches held in 1834 between the leading French and British players, Louis-Charles de la Bourdonnais of Paris and Alexander McDonnell of London.
This event introduced the idea of a stakes competition in chess.
"Under those rules, any player who met certain financial conditions (in particular, guaranteeing a $10,000 stake) could challenge the World Champion. While the top players were trying to adhere to the London Rules, representatives of 15 countries met in Paris in 1924 to organize the first permanent international chess federation, known as FIDE, its French acronym for Fédération Internationale des Échecs."
Since then, there are various renowned tournaments like the London Classic and World Championship that take place around the world, with hundreds of top-level chess players reuniting to show the best of their skills.
Looking for chess lessons in Australia?
Chess Clubs in Perth
One great way to meet people who are passionate about chess and can teach you things by playing is by joining a chess club. Chess clubs are pretty popular in this city and here are some options that you can check out:
The Bunbury Chess Club
The Bunbury Chess Club is a casual collective of beginners and more experienced players alike. According to their website they "meet to have fun, socialize and improve our chess."
They are located at the Bunbury Library at 1 Parkfield St, Bunbury and meet from 10am on the third Saturday of the month. They also hold online tournaments through Lichess on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm.
The way they go about their Saturday meetings is as follows:
They start Saturday morning with a free 15 minute lesson, covering some beginner tactics and strategy. After this, players get into casual games over the board.
If you want a place to learn in a more relaxed environment, this might just be the club for you.
The Southern Suburbs Chess Club
The Southern Suburbs Chess Club was established in December 2014 and is famously known for being one of Perth's largest chess clubs. They organize chess tournaments and welcomes players of all ages.
Their members "range in playing strength from beginners up to leading WA players, including current and past WA Champions and WA Junior Champions in various age groups."
Another interesting side to this chess club is that it is affiliated with the Chess Association of WA. Because of this, players receive CAWA membership on joining the club, allowing them to participate in adult and junior tournaments run by the CAWA.
Are you looking for chess lessons in Brisbane? Make sure to read our article here.
South Perth Chess
Located at Cnr South Terrace and Sandgate St, South Perth Library, South Perth WA 6151 this chess club is open for anyone wishing to participate in a good game of chess.
"Whether you're simply wanting to learn the basics, or you're itching to try out your King's Gambit mainline moves over the board, our doors are open to all ages and abilities," reads their website.
Their opening hours are Thursdays from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm and they also have an online team you can join if you are more into playing in the digital world.
Looking for chess classes in Melbourne?
Kingsley Chess Club
If you are looking to get your kid or teenager started in the world of chess, this club could be a good option for you!
The Kingsley Chess Club is a Chess club for kids, teenagers and their parents of all ages. They define themselves as a "not-for-profit, parent-volunteer run community service for the Northern suburbs."
They meet every Tuesday during the Government school term, from 6:30-8:00pm at North Woodvale Primary School.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from in the city. We also recommend that you go to the CAWA (Chess Association of West Australia) website to find all the senior chess clubs that are affiliated. If your goal is to enter the world of competitive chess, being a part of one of these chess clubs is a good first step to reach your goals.
Looking to play chess in Adelaide?
Find a Chess Tutor in Perth
Another amazing option to practice chess and learn moves and strategies is to hire a chess tutor to take private chess classes.
This option might be more attractive to those who are looking to learn chess from scratch or even those who want to perfect skills like flash games of chess.
No matter the reason, if you are looking forward to learning chess one on one with a private tutor, Superprof is definitely the place to be. We have a wide network of chess tutors that are ready to help you become the best possible player.
The process to connect with one of the Superprof tutors is quite simple:
- Create a Superprof account
- Search for "chess" on our website
- Enter your location (in this case it would be Perth, but you can also look in other areas if you want to take online classes)
- Click enter and look at the tutors' profiles!
Now, before you jump into contacting a tutor, it is important that you look at their profile thoroughly. Like chess, making a quick decision isn't always the best move!
Here are some things you can look out for while checking out the tutors' profiles:
- Experience as a chess player
- Are they or were they even professional chess players?
- How do they plan on teaching you (teaching method)?
- Are they experts in any specific strategy that you want to learn?
- Are they open to online sessions or only in person?
- How much money do they charge per hour?
This last detail is important since hourly rates may vary from teacher to teacher. This happens because of their level of experience, transportation costs and class format.
To give you an idea of a budget for your chess classes, the average hourly rate for a chess tutor in Perth is $24 dollars. Still, some tutors might charge as low as $10 dollars per hour while others go up to $30 dollars per hour.
Once you find a tutor that looks like a good choice for you, you can set up the first lesson to get to know them. Typically, this lesson is free of charge, since it is a no-commitment sort of "interview" for you to get to know the teacher, ask any questions you might have and make sure that your goals and expectations are met.
You can also check out other students' reviews to get an idea of what chess classes with the tutors are like. There is no better way to know it than from someone who already took them!
When you find the right chess teacher, you can set up a schedule, figure out the logistics and start learning chess!
Chess is a great investment and with the right guidance and some practice, you will get yourself to a great level and, who knows, maybe even start competing with the pros.
Check out our article about playing chess in Sydney.
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