Chess: A Game of Skill for All Ages

Chess is a board game widely recognized as a game of intelligence and skill for people of all ages and backgrounds. It involves logic, critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities that have challenged its players throughout its centuries-old existence. The origins of chess can be traced to ancient India, and has spread and evolved throughout different cultures, shaping the game as we know it today.

Chess is also a game that transcends social and economic boundaries, promotes diversity and inclusivity and, perhaps most importantly, fosters a sense of community among its players. Batsford's Chess Bible is an in-depth chess companion guide that includes an interesting exploration into the culture and history of chess.

Chess has a long history in Chicago. In the late 1800s, one of the oldest chess clubs in the country, the Chicago Chess Club, was formed, creating a space for players and driving interest in the game. During that time, Chicago became known for producing top chess players and hosting high-profile tournaments and competitions, developing a reputation as a chess hub. The Chicago Park District has also provided chess instruction, clubs and tournaments, as well as dedicated public outdoor spaces, allowing visitors to learn while socializing. 

The most famous chess player from Chicago is Bobby Fischer. Born in Chicago and raised in New York City, Fischer was the first American to win an official world chess championship. Considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time, he explains winning chess moves in his book, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.

The Mammoth Book of Chess is an excellent source of instruction for beginners or experienced chess players.

Many Chicago Public Library locations have become centers for chess instruction within their communities, providing chess sets and hosting chess clubs for visitors who want to learn how to play. How has chess influenced your life?