Chess Games

Types of Chess Game

Our selection of chess games provides a digital way to enjoy one of the oldest and most popular tabletop games ever devised. Some of them allow you to play against a computer opponent; others allow you to challenge a friend to one-on-one combat. Whoever you choose to play against, one thing’s for certain: the thrill of chess hasn’t gone anywhere!

The Game of Kings

It’s also true, though, that chess —  ‘the game of kings’ — can seem more than a little intimidating at first. Perhaps you might think of the Russian grandmaster, Gary Kasparov, massaging his temples as he considers his millions of possible future moves while across the table sits Deep Blue, a military-grade supercomputer whose sole purpose is to compete at chess. Perhaps you are thinking of the fact that there are more possible variations of chess games than there are atoms in the observable universe. Either way, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed – but it doesn’t need to be that way. Despite its formidable reputation, chess doesn’t need to give you a headache. It can be fun and even relaxing! It doesn’t have to be adversarial, either. You can even play chess against yourself. In fact, solo chess play is not only enjoyable but a great way to improve your skills at the game and flex your creative thinking!

How To Play Chess

The rules of chess are simple, and once you understand them you’ll be able to play any of the games listed here. There are 64 squares on every board, with each player starting with 16 pieces, each of which is capable of moving differently. Bishops can move diagonally; rooks can move vertically and horizontally; queens can move in any direction they like. It gets a little more complicated than that, but you only need to figure it out once and you're set for life. A game of chess need not take hours (or days) either. Not every chess decision has to require Gary Kasparov levels of forethought! There's nothing wrong with going on your instincts. If a move feels good then go for it. And anyway, one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes so dive in.

The Origins of Chess

The precursors to the modern game can be traced back almost fifteen hundred years. The earliest form of chess was an Indian game called “chatarunga”. The board looked the same as it does now but the pieces looked quite different. It featured elephants instead of bishops and chariots instead of rooks. The oldest existing chatarunga pieces are an 8th century set, made from elephant ivory, that were found at a dig in Uzbekistan. (Though nowadays of course, they’re kept behind glass in the State Museum of Samarkand.) From India the game migrated into neighboring Persia, and then into the Islamic world, gradually evolving as it went. Eventually it spread all over the world, splitting into numerous local versions – shatranj, xiangqi, janggi, shogi, to name a few. But while many variants of the game came to be over the years, only one stood the test of time: the game we know today.

The Grandmasters

There are currently 1,771 professional chess players today competing in competitions with a prize money of two million Euros. The term “grandmaster” is awarded to the world’s best chess players by the World Chess Federation. But even the greatest players of all time — Bobby Fischer, Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlson — were beginners once. You never know, what might start with a few casual games of online chess on your phone or laptop could lead you — years from now — to joining the society of grandmasters (and maybe becoming a millionaire along the way.)

How To Win At Chess

The object of the game is to put your opponent in checkmate. This means that you’ll be able to take the enemy king on the next turn, and that nothing your opponent can do will stop it from happening. But along the way there are endless subtleties and special tactics. Will you open with the French Defense or the King’s Gambit, Grob’s Attack or the Réti Opening? And how will you finish, with the Smothered Checkmate, the Hippopotamus Mate or the Bad Uncle’s Cyanide Dart? Okay, I made that last one up. But you get the idea. There are (almost) infinite possibilities.

So Many Ways To Play Chess

If you want to be precise about it then, after each player has moved a piece just five times each, then there are 69,352,859,712,417 possible games that could have been played. That’s the kind of number it’s hard enough to say out loud, let alone contemplate while pushing little figures around a game board. Happily, most of us can settle for simply thinking one or two moves ahead.

Types of Online Chess Game

There are 2D versions of chess here and 3D versions, too. Since they’re all available for free, you’ll be able to play them digitally on any platform with a web browser. You could be on the bus and stuck on traffic — while taking on one of the great intellectual challenges of human society, a game with a history stretching back millennia. And you won’t need to worry about setting up a board or tidying away the pieces when you’re done. Give it a try!


What is the best first move in chess?

If you’re playing as white (which means you go first) then the most popular first move is to move your king’s pawn forward two spaces. The great Bobby Fischer was a fan of this one.

What is the best opening defense?

If you’re playing with the black pieces and your opponent starts with the move above then one of the best replies is The French Defense. This involves moving your king’s pawn forward one space and, on your second turn, moving your queen’s pawn forward two spaces. Good luck!

What are the most popular chess games?

What are the best online games?