The Timeless Game

Erik Svoboda, Staff Reporter

Video games come and go, but board games stay forever. Chess is no exception. Dubbed by Jeffrey Mueller as “the timeless game,” chess has been renowned as the king of all board games for centuries, and for good reason.

Chess is a mentally rigorous strategy game that requires intense focus for hours at a time, and because of this it has been renowned as the king of all board games. The game is played on an 8-by-8 checkerboard with 16 pieces per side. Each piece (pawn, knight, bishop, rook, queen and king) have various values and utilities, and the object of the game is to surround, or “checkmate” the king.

Elite chess players participate in international tournaments, although only the very best players can make a living from their prize money. Professionals can attain three different rankings based on their rating: Master (rating of 2300), International Master (2400) and Grandmaster (2500). Currently, the title for world’s best player is held by 25-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. His peak rating of 2882 is the highest in chess history.

One strategy board game that is quite similar to chess is Stratego. Many people think that since the objectives and game mechanics are closely related, Stratego is more or less a knock off of chess. However, this is not the case; in chess you know where the opponent’s pieces are and what they could do, which is not possible in Stratego. Each piece has unique movement abilities as well, whereas the only differences between Stratego pieces are their strength.

Once you have played the “timeless game,” you will undoubtedly understand the true brilliance of the game and those who play it. Even Newell W. Banks, the former world blindfold checker champion, thinks so, saying, “In answering the question ‘Which is the greater game, chess or checkers?’ I must, in all fairness, favor chess.”