October 13, 2012 - National Chess Day

Today has been declared National Chess Day (so, in case you were thinking Congress never gets anything done—they DID pass this “simple resolution”). So it's a great day to learn how to play chess, play chess, or even participate in a chess tournament!

Chess has been played at least 1,500 years, with the earliest forms originating in India before 600 AD (also known as 600 CE). The game spread from India to Persia (now Iran), and then to the entire Muslim world—which included the “Near East” and Southern Europe. In Europe the game evolved into its current form in the 1400s.

In the 1800s, modern chess tournaments began, and nowadays people can play against computers or online against other players from near and far.

Chess is a great strategy game that can be played quickly or v-e-e-e-r-r-r-y slowly, as players can make one move and then go on with their lives until they notice that their opponent has made a countering move. People used to play games at a distance even before online gaming! A chess player who is competing with a distant opponent makes a move on his chessboard and then mails a notice of that move to his opponent. Eventually he gets a letter back telling him his opponent's move, and he makes that move on the his board and then studies the new situation. A game played this way can last months! 

Chess Kids is a free online site offering lessons on chess, and much more. Kid Chess is another website with tons to offer! 

One way chess lovers improve their games and get the fun of playing even when they don't have anyone to play with is by doing chess puzzles or chess problems

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