Figure yourself to be the king or queen of the board? Do you participate in leader boards, practice chess daily, watch others' moves and note your own, and live and breathe the game? The direction you will want your chess career to move is no doubt forward then.

The pieces and moves you make against your opponent can help you blitz and breeze across the squares, but what if you are not rated amongst the champs, being but a novice to this classic game? You may want to practice your chess and tactics with the support of like-minded enthusiasts around you.

Whilst this is great to do in person, daily practice with online resources can really capture the essence of what it means to get your fellow players into checkmate easily. Here's where an online account you can log in to every day can help you watch others, get support on your own methods as a player, and in this process learn about the right moves to make to improve your rating in the game.

Online chess has so many benefits, both to your classic chess abilities, that live chess can train as well, and also to brain training that can take place anywhere, any time.

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The Upsides of Playing Online Games

Playing chess on the world wide web might seem like a premium sport that requires a membership, but this game really is much more egalitarian than people might think. Piece by piece, square by square, most of the moves you make will be free, so you can truly connect regularly if you think yourself a really passionate player.

Now whilst you might actually find it more premium to play chess in person in your free time, why would you turn down the opportunity to look at your own moves when playing against a computer without any real stakes? This will definitely help you impress your counterparts when checkmate comes quickly in person.

Web-based gaming and tournaments might get lumped in with specific kinds of video game genres, specifically first-person shooters and MMORPGs, but the fact that online chess is so popular debunks that myth. Just have a look below at some of the virtual communities for chess lovers, and you will be able to piece this together yourself.

A chess set can make a find addition to your home
Chess is a game that can really be played anywhere. | Source: Pixaby - 5460160

Below, we outline what some of the best benefits to playing this global game online can be:

  • Refined Mental Capacities: we don't critique people for sitting and playing Candy Crush for hours, even though this doesn't require half of the brainpower that playing a game of chess does, be it against a person or computer. The fact you can play tactics and strategy on a day to day basis thanks to the internet is really a blessing for those who want a mental challenge. Even for those who don't want this challenge, it's a great and rewarding process as soon as you start.
  • Learning About Teamwork: even if the match itself isn't multiplayer, the sense of community around it will certainly make you feel as though it were. There are also collaborative chess matches you can partake in on the web too. In any case, observing the plays of others and building upon this with your own logic is a key part of the teamwork that you can learn here.
  • Acquisition of Transferrable Skills: you'd be surprised to know that playing video games is a great way of improving lateral thinking and problem-solving strategies. Playing chess virtually can have similar benefits, and you will find that whilst the transference is not literal, the strategising you do will be reflected in everyday life.
  • Teaches You How to Win and Lose Fairly: given that all ages and levels can play chess digitally, you will face off against players who have different strategies to you, and you or they may come out on top. What you will learn from this is that winning or losing gracefully is a life skill that is highly valued.

These lessons are easily learned as soon as you start partaking. Knowing where to look for the resources to learn them though can be a slight challenge. Thankfully, Superprof has compiled a list of different kinds of specific resources that exist and complement one another which can make you the aficionado you wish to be.

What about actually playing chess online though? Read on below to find out.

Ways to Play Chess Online

The chess board is a wonderland
Virtual vs in-person chess - which will be better for you to practice? | Source: Unsplash

For the younger generation, games on the web will seem like second nature. If you're older though, it might seem like virtual interactions should only be for video games and social media, so chess should be an in-person experience.

Thus, here are a few things to keep in mind to level the playing field:

  1. Work with a reputable chess site
  2. Create a membership if necessary to login
  3. Choose the most apt skill level for you
  4. Seek friends to play against and share tips, and also practice against a computer
  5. Explore the website's unique features
  6. Get your first match underway!

If you want hints and an assessment of your gameplay to boost your confidence, selecting a beginner level should achieve this for you. Another nice way to boost your confidence level is to play against people you're actually friends with in real life.

If you're still nervous before you start, we do recommend checking out some tutorials on Youtube first.

Chess lessons for kids online are available here on Superprof.

Noteworthy Websites to Play Chess Online

We do recommend complementing your web-based game time with something real, not least of all for the fact that looking at a screen for too long will damage your eyes. 

Beyond this though, using other resources such as books can help you digest information well and make it stick better. There's also the added benefit of learning by watching tutorials, so even though this might count as screen time, it could be quite informative if you stop and take notes.

To remain an invested player, doing a match every now and again (even daily if you're locked down!) is really worthwhile on the web though. The various communities that exist to play against each other and discuss tips and tricks, as well as analyse famous games and methods are really wonderful for learners and those who want to use the sport to social ends.

NB Fun fact, did you know that the International Olympic Committee recognises chess but it is actually administered by each individual country in terms of rules and regulation?

Join chess lessons on Superprof.

Chess is easy to enjoy online too.
Chess is easily practiced online, and can be a great way to practice skills. | Source: Rudy and Peter Skitterians

Chess.com

This one's name really speaks for itself, doesn't it? The one stop shop for all global chess related matters, this cornucopia boasts 50 million users worldwide and lets you play, talk, observe, refine, and enjoy the splendours of this ancient game.

Here, you can play against the computer and it will give you timed moves (usually capped at 10 minutes) as well as explain how you beat it or vice versa.

There are also a plethora of cool puzzles and chess problems to solve, which have forums for you to discuss. Given a large amount of members, you're sure to find someone or something of mention here!

Lichess.org

This website is slightly more low-key, but this gives a sense of intimacy, not to mention some of its neat features, including:

  • Plugin and ad-free interface that means you don't get distracted
  • Ability to choose to play against friends, simulators, or other amateurs/professionals across the world
  • Various kinds of games to learn
  • Matching with individuals at the same level as you

Strategic improvements and study guides also exist on this site, and come in the form of various puzzles and meticulously explained examples.

It's far simpler to interact with than chess.com, but this is precisely what makes it so personable.

Chess Base

This website also boasts tens of thousands of satisfied users, who love the site for features such as:

  • Free account creation for access to the entire website
  • Easy, quick look back at games you've played which are stored in the cloud
  • Players can participate in matches with chess enthusiasts that are at the same level as them
  • Beginners are offered hints based on previous matches to improve their playing
  • Game speeds can be chosen to really challenge you, including tournaments

This is a fantastic site for those looking to improve their overall chess skills.

Hopefully, this guide has been insightful for you and has shown you the various places and methods that exist to make your chess skills strong.

Such an ancient game requires discipline though, and those amateurs that want to go further with it should really consider the variety of resources on offer.

For those that are serious about tournaments, joining a team, or even making a career out of chess, consider engaging with the assistance of a dedicated and experienced private tutor.

Superprof is just the place to find such a tutor, either near you or online!

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Nelson