"Talk to people. Connect with them. Make the e-learning sound like it's a conversation between people. Real people, not robots." -Cammy Bean

In today's digital world, absolutely everything can be learned online via videoconferencing platforms. As a result, the e-learning sector has become a multibillion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down since it is effective and greatly appreciated by students of all ages worldwide.

Throughout the rough times experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing video calling apps saved us from becoming too bored and still allowed us to connect with our friends. Not only were Zoom calls or Skype visits for brief catch-ups with loved ones, but they were also created to form clubs and events where activities were practised.

If there's one positive thing that the pandemic taught us is that no matter what the circumstances are, we will join forces by any means necessary to take part in things we love. 

Games such as chess can be played online with like-minded players from all corners of the earth. Many individuals have created virtual chess clubs to practice their skills with others; all you need is a webcam, an internet connection, and a chessboard to participate!

So, without further delay, let's take a look at how it is possible to create a virtual chess club with your friends and what are some tips when engaging in previously organised chess games.

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Why Play Chess Online?

As we slightly mentioned at the beginning of this article, in a world dominated by the internet and all things virtual, it comes as no surprise that specific games and activities have moved online. One of those games is chess.

However, it's worth mentioning that since chess boards and pieces are relatively cheap and can be purchased practically everywhere, why would a person want to learn chess online? Are there any practical reasons? Absolutely!

The following are a few motives that would make a person want to play chess online:

  • It's Interactive: a primary reason people like to play chess online is that it's interactive and accessible. You don't need to set up a chessboard, and the digital graphics make the experience of practising chess a lot more interesting.
  • Quick Access to a Playing Partner: if you're not a fan of playing by yourself and you sometimes struggle to find a playing partner to engage in chess matches with, you'll love playing chess online. Why's that? Depending on the website, there are often thousands of online players at any given time ready to play chess with you. You can choose your level of expertise and find competitors from around the world. Also, to practice your skills, you can play against the computer and win or lose.
  • It's a Productive Online Game: instead of wasting time on your computer playing a game that will not benefit you in the future, it's worth taking part in a game such as chess. Why's that? Playing chess, whether online or in-person, you are developing transferrable skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and logical reasoning, all of which are highly favoured. So, if you like online games, we suggest that you play chess; it won't let you down!
  • Great Practice and Preparation: instead of wasting time waiting to practice chess with a competitor, playing online allows you the opportunity to work on your abilities and get prepared to win important chess matches. Moreover, as we mentioned above, you can choose your opponent's level, making it possible to try new strategies before the games get serious, and you have to play like an expert.

All of the previously mentioned reasons make playing chess online a fantastic idea that shouldn't be avoided, especially during pandemic times when we are searching out things to do!

What is a Virtual Chess Club?

online learning
During virtual chess club meetings, time may be spent listening to seminars, honing new playing techniques, or participating in matches against a playing partner. (Source: Unsplash)

Most likely, when you saw the title of today's article, you asked yourself, what is a virtual chess club? If so, you're not alone. Since many standard terms have only existed for the past two or three years, many internet phrases such as "virtual chess club" are new.

However, to better comprehend what a virtual chess club is, it's essential to know what a chess club is in the first place. So,  what's a chess club? Well, a chess club is an association that aims to join people together as a group to play and compete in the board game of chess.

Chess clubs often provide a safe space for both casual and tournament games to occur. League play in chess clubs often features a scoreboard, and people all over the area compete against one another. Chess clubs are tailored for all types of chess players, no matter their age and previous experience. For instance, you often get characterised to compete in matches with a group of players of the same level as you; beginners with beginners, intermediate ones with intermediate players, and so forth.

Chess clubs are most commonly often created in schools, universities, and often in community centres. 

Therefore, since we've highlighted the basics of an in-person chess club, it's now much easier to explain what a virtual chess group is. In the simplest terms, a virtual chess club is a chess society that does everything a face-to-face club does but instead of in-person, the chess games and events happen online.

What do you need to participate in a virtual chess club? The following are some essential items that are necessary for digital chess club meetings:

  • A stable internet connection, 
  • A Laptop or desktop computer, 
  • A webcam (preferably HD), 
  • A chessboard. 

With all of the necessary items mentioned above, you are setting yourself up for success when playing chess virtually.

It's worth mentioning that a movable and high definition webcam is of great importance when playing online chess with other competitors since you'll want to observe their chessboard and vice versa.

But how does one join or create a virtual chess club? Keep on reading to find out more!

How to Join or Create a Virtual Chess Club

videochats and chess games
Through video conferencing platforms such as Skype and Zoom, it is possible to become involved in chess clubs with people worldwide. (Source: Unsplash)

The steps of joining or creating a virtual chess club are a lot more straightforward than most people might think. First, we shall look at the required measures to join and create an online chess club.

How to Join a Virtual Chess Club

Since there are so many things offered on the internet these days, it isn't challenging to find activities that you will enjoy and participate in groups and forums with other like-minded individuals interested in the same things, including online chess clubs!

While there are many worthwhile chess clubs to look at, some of the most popular may be found on chess.com. Therefore, without delaying the matter any further, the following are a few noteworthy tactics that should be followed to join a virtual chess group:

  1. You create and log into your chess.com account,
  2. Select the connect part and take a look at the different chess clubs available,
  3. Choose the chess club that interests you based on your level of expertise and chess interests,
  4. Join the chess club games at the specified time.

Learning How to Create a Virtual Chess Club with Others

On specific sites such as chess.com, it is pretty simple to create a virtual chess club with other chess enthusiasts in your community or from different parts of the world.

Also, it's worth mentioning that if you don't want to create a chess club with the assistance of online resources, if you have enough contacts/friends that enjoy chess, you can ask them to join and survey them as to which day and time works best for their schedule.

Nonetheless, for most who have picked up the game of chess alone and want to continue honing their skills, the following are a few steps to take to create chess clubs online:

  1. Create a chess club using a helpful online resource that specialises in the game of chess, such as chess.com,
  2. Customise the club to include essential features such as skill-level, time and date, and additional information about how you want the club to function,
  3. Invite members that you know or others who wish to embark on chess games and have a safe space to practice their chess skills.

With the previously mentioned information about creating and joining a chess club, you'll have the necessary tools to improve your chess abilities.

Tips and Tricks to Successfully Participate in Chess Clubs

chess gangs of friends
Whether conducted virtually or in person, chess club meetings are a great way to express new ideas with like-minded persons. (Source: pixabay)

As is the case with most things in life, once we have helpful tips from experienced ones, we fare better and can manage our skills or hobbies more effectively.

So, the following are some helpful pieces of advice to master the art of joining and participating in a chess club that has meetups online:

  • Have a Good Webcam: with virtual chess club meetings and games, the entire process takes place online; therefore, it is in your best interest to invest in an HD webcam that catches all angles of your board so that the other chess club members can fully participate and benefit.
  • Actively Participate: instead of joining a chess club to learn from others solely, it is highly recommended to take the time to participate actively and contribute to group discussions, tournaments, and matches. By actively and joyously participating, you'll get much more out of your experience.

In conclusion, if you're a chess enthusiast yet haven't participated in a virtual chess club yet, we powerfully suggest that you start to involve yourself more in the online chess community to benefit fully from all things chess in a comfortable environment of devoted chess players.

 

 

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.