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The rules
A 2-man (or woman) duel on a 64-square black-and-white board. You each start out with 16 pieces (king, queen, castles, knights, bishops and pawns) and you take it in turns to move them around. The aim of the game is to put your opponent in checkmate, ie a position where he or she will lose their king. Each player works out a strategy and has to calculate his moves several turns in advance.

Who's it for
Chess is called the king of board games because it has a particular prestige. You need a lot of concentration, so if you're easily distracted don't bother! If you like quiet, relflective games, chess is for you. It's a good intellectual challenge because you need good tactics and a proper strategy to get the better of your opponent.

Who with?
Challenge your other half to a game on a long rainy afternoon: it'll keep you occupied. But try and be modest if you win, because men can be bad losers at times (especially when they lose to girls!).


Sarah Horrocks
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