Every time we talk about technology, we have to mention how much the world has changed. We owe that to technology, however, we also know that technology brought us a couple of changes which we didn’t really like. Some things which we used to do in person we no longer do as often as we should.

That doesn’t mean that the said things are forgotten, just moved to a different medium. The internet allows us to practice many things without actually going outside and meeting people.

Chess is one of those activities that requires an opponent, but does not specify that the opponent must be human.

Chess can be played online for free, so this begs the question, should we play chess online or in person, otherwise known as offline? Here are my thoughts on the topic.

Online Chess – Practical and Quick

Online chess is great! You can play against whoever you want, from wherever in the world, ranked accordingly. You can sometimes be matched with a higher ranked player, which is always good if you want a reality check. By beating the said higher ranked player, you can rise in the rankings yourself. In general, consecutive wins will gain you rating points, while losing will lose you points. 

Online chess is great if you need to kill time with a quick match. Sure, matches can last for a longer period of time, especially if you are both good enough to compete with one another and are taking it seriously, but most matches end relatively quickly.

Disconnecting often gets you a loss, particularly if it is intentional. 

Chess in Person – Playing the “Right” Way

Some people will tell you that the only way to play things is the old way, the right way, back to the roots. Well, that might be true for some things, but you can play chess against AI and still learn a ton. AIs have beaten grandmasters before and will beat them in the future, without much hassle. 

That being said, playing chess in person has that aspect of socialization which some chess players might be missing out on, mostly because chess practice and learning is often a solitary activity.

Going to a local chess club or even to a park and playing games of chess against complete strangers is a solid way to work on your socialization skills. With that, you can also play chess against your friends, which should be less “scary”..

Both Are Very Good

There is no either in this case, but rather, both. You should use both ways because they both have their benefits and cons. While the cons are few, you could still gain from online chess’ practicality and from the social aspect of playing chess in person. After all, most chess tournaments are played in person and doing this should give you an actual representation of how a tournament might go.

It is different when there are eyes watching you, that of your opponent and hundreds of other people watching the match. Both are great, each with their own practical benefits and some cons, which change depending on the use case. 

An amateur player might not need to play chess in person, while a very social person will most likely prefer playing in person rather than online.

Whether you choose to play chess online or in person, either of the two or even both, are more than good enough. If it means that you will be playing chess against quality opponents, then the medium you are using doesn’t matter. Make sure to have fun and to learn.