Thursday, November 16, 2006

Online Chess: Play Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime!

Have you ever played online chess? If you haven't you should know that it is a fun way to build your chess skills while enjoying one of the greatest games ever invented. The internet has revolutionized the way we do everything, even the way we enjoy our leisure time. Online chess is just one more example of this. You can play online chess with someone sitting in the house next door, or someone who lives continents away. Even though many people prefer to play chess with someone face to face, online chess is one way that you can play anytime of day or night without searching for a partner.

One of the first considerations when you are looking for an online chess site is the price. There are quite a few free chess sites where you can play games and even in tournaments for free. This is a very good option if you are still a beginning chess player or if you are looking for an online chess site for your child (there are kid-specific sites as well.) However the graphics and features on these sites may not be quite as advanced as those on the paid subscription sites. These online chess sites may also have more ads and pop-ups, so you would need to make sure that they are safe for children if it is not a child-specific site.

Most paid subscription sites will offer a trial period of a certain amount of days or games played. You may be required to enter credit card information when you apply for the trial period, so this is something you may want to think carefully about. A paid subscription to an online chess site can cost anywhere from under $10 up to $60 a year. Some subscriptions (both free and paid) have premium membership plans which will have an additional charge. These sites are good if you are really a serious player an you want better features and graphics with fewer advertisements.

One note: some sites will allow you to search around the site without a log-in or registration of any kind, while others do not allow you to access many of the features unless you give them some personal information first. You may want to look at a site which reviews chess sites to see which ones have the features you are looking for.

Then, you can play in tournaments, play the same player over and over, or play a random player. On many sites you can choose the skill level at which you want to play.

Eriani Doyel writes articles about Home and Family and Hobbies. If you would like more information about online chess visit

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How Chess Terms Were Derived

I’ve always been fascinated by chess. Today, I’m a whiz at planning strategy and using the various pieces to best advantage. But I still remember how I got hooked on chess as a young kid. Of course, like most kids, my love affair with chess started by watching my elders play. My eyebrows would always rise and I would always be spellbound whenever one of my elder cousins would exclaim “checkmate” which a triumphant smile and a gleam in his eyes. I told myself, I want that feeling, too. So, I started to play chess.

When I found out exactly how checkmate got its meaning, I was hooked all the more. Apparently, the word ‘checkmate’ comes from the English translation of the Persian phras “shah mat” which means “the king is finished”. As an impressionable young child with dreams of heroism and courage in warfare, slaying an opponent’s king was the ultimate for me. And even the pieces have such interesting meanings.

For example, the word ‘rook’ came from the word ‘rath’ in Sanskrit which is translated as ‘chariot.’ However, it has other meanings in other languages. In Persia, it refers to the word ‘roc’ which is a great mythical bird with supernatural powers. In India, the piece is called ‘haathi’ or ‘elephant.’

Interesting enough, the bishop is also called ‘elephant’ or ‘pil’ in Persia. There were little or no elephants in Europe and the west, yet the reference to this piece as an elephant spread there nonetheless. In Russia, the bishop is referred to as a ‘slon’ the Russian word for elephant. In Spain, the piece is called ‘alfil,’ which is believe to have come from the Arabic words for elephant (al is the, fil is elephant). The piece was previously only referred to as a bishop in England mainly because the original shape of the piece fetured the tusk of an elephant which resemble a bishop’s mitre.

The there’s the queen. The piece was originally called ‘farzin’ or ‘vizier’ in Persia and ‘firzan’ in Arabic. In Russia, the piece was called the ‘fers.’ It is also known as ‘alfferza’ in Western Europe.

Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Games, Tennis, and Boating