by Benjamin Wu, Palo Alto
Of the many games that exist currently, one of my favorites is chess. It is a game that has been around for thousands of years. Currently, it is played by millions of people, with some even devoting their careers to it in hopes that they will become the next chess champion. Chess is my favorite game because it is a hard game to master. Chess is a hard game to master because there are many openings, there are many strategies, and every game is different.
I like to play chess because the openings are hard to master. For example, there are offensive openings such as the King’s Gambit and the Halloween Gambit, but there are also defensive openings like the French Defense and Sicilian Defense. For openings such as the Halloween Gambit, if one falls for the gambit, one could end up in a horrible position. In one game, I fell for the Halloween Gambit and lost a lot of pieces to my opponent. When one plays defenses, if one’s opponent manages to break through one’s defense one would be in a very awkward position. In one game, despite knowing the Sicilian well, I still failed against a player who used his pawns to disrupt my defense. Chess is difficult to master because even people who study these openings for hundreds of hours can still fail against a variation for which they are not prepared.
I like to play chess because there are many strategies to play. Although I personally don’t do this, some players may try to attack the king early in the game. For example, one could make a checkmate in the beginning with the four-move checkmate. However, other players try to play more reserved and gain slight advantages in position and material. Then, they wait until their opponent makes a mistake, so they can play tactics such as forks, skewers, and discovered attacks to gain an advantage. I prefer to do this because it can be very effective. In one game, my opponent moved his pieces around until I was able to perform a discovered attack and take his queen. However, some players wait for their opponent to attack them. They play very defensively and keep their pieces close to their king. During the endgame, they usually have a material advantage. I enjoy chess because of the many strategies that players can employ.
I also like to play chess because every game is different. In chess, there are a near infinite amount of possible games. Although certain openings may be more commonly played than others, there are many variations to those openings because every player will respond differently. Since everyone is different, although the openings for two games might be the same, it will be highly unlikely that any game is identical to another. After the opening, the middle of the game also is very unique. With no guidelines to follow, players are left to think for themselves. In the endgame, there are even more opportunities for games to differ. Since there are few pieces left on the board, it is more open for pieces to traverse. In the games I play, I always start with the Italian Game, a very common opening. However, in almost every game I play, I end up with a different ending. One game, I was able to use a tactic called the Fried Liver attack to win easily. However, in another game, while I also used the Fried Liver Attack, the game took 50 moves to be completed, which is long for a chess game. I enjoy playing chess because it is different in every game I play. Although games may begin the same way, it is highly likely that when the game ends, the sequence of moves will have never been played before.
I like to play chess because of the many openings, the many strategies, and the different games. These elements all make the game hard to master and fun to play. Although there are many games to play in this day and age, I find myself returning to playing chess often. In fact, I might play online today.