Chess Online vs Chess in Person

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Online play or over-the-board, which one is better? In this text, we will analyze pros and cons of both. If you like playing games online, try Online Slot Games, and you will get welcome bonus and free spins!

As everything else, technology has also transformed the way we play chess. IBM beat Kasparov, computer chess engines (Rybka) plagiarize other chess programs to create one unstoppable machine, online chess games databases are huge and instantaneously updated, and you can play chess with anyone anywhere at any time. Fischer taught himself Russian so he could stay up-to-date on current chess theory. Today, thanks to technology, information is just one click away. However, playing chess on the internet is not the same as playing over-the-board chess.

Granted, the rules are the same, and you still play one on one. However, board and pieces are different. Pattern recognition is crucial for playing chess, and while the pattern of the game is certainly very similar when comparing online chess vs over-the-board play, it is not identical. As you spend more time practicing and studying chess on the computer, your brain will habituate itself to recall those patterns more efficiently. This way, clicking the mouse and focusing on the screen will help you remember past experiences to assist your decision-making. This pattern recognition might not work equally well in your subsequent over-the-board play.

Online play enables us to play against a greater number of equally strong players, which is definitely an advantage. However, if you really want to be good at chess, especially if you intend to compete, you will have to train and play over-the-board chess too.

Another thing worth mentioning is that usually online we play quick chess, which differs in strategy from real “wooden” chess. Namely, in quick chess we don’t have to pay much attention to the opening because in 10 minutes it is very hard to exploit opening mistakes without losing on time. However, in standard chess, players have much more time to think about and exploit weaknesses in opponent’s defense.

Finally, we should also mention the psychological factor. The atmosphere is very different if you are in a nervous tournament hall with hundreds of other players, fighting it out with a stubborn opponent to the last seconds – than if you are sitting in your pajamas in front of your computer at 3 AM! Players who aren’t experienced with playing in person can fall prey to their opponents’ psychological tricks, such as attempting to scare, distract or irritate you. That is why if you really want to master chess, it is very important not to get too carried away with the comfort of playing chess online – make sure you push yourself to get out and play some real tournaments!