Thanks to all the checkers games I have been playing with my kids, my mind has turned to the other, better game you can play with the same board: chess. I have been enjoying playing lots of games on’s iPhone and iPad app, which is part of Apple Arcade. The chess app has an assortment of bots with various skill levels to play against. I quickly plowed through the beginner bots and the first three intermediates. I think that my chess, as someone who has not played chess in 20 years, is probably around 1,000 right now. (That’s the beginning of the “intermediate” level.) I would have to play some real opponents online to find out for sure, and I am not ready to do that yet. I still make too many mistakes, and win too many of my games by clearing the board almost entirely, which doesn’t seem right. I must need more study and practice.

Chess is the only board game I find addicting. It is so addictive to me that, when I first got really into it, I had to quit after a few months. When I was 21, I started playing chess via the ChessMaster game on my PC, which had an excellent teaching mode. I then started playing real people on a chess website that was popular back then. I played many, many games each day. I was pretty good. I would win most of the games I played, presumably against beginners and intermediate players like me, but sometimes I would get beaten soundly. Soon, I couldn’t stop thinking about chess and was playing chess games in my mind all the time. I was losing sleep and couldn’t concentrate on my studies. I had to stop cold turkey, and I never picked it up again until now.

I’m finding myself becoming addicted again. I’m playing games on my iPhone and my iPad whenever I have a few minutes to myself. I am watching YouTube videos for chess instruction. I am thinking of doing daily chess puzzles on my phone, too. So far chess has not taken invaded my thoughts or disturbed my sleep. Then again, I did play a couple games on my iPad instead of reading in bed last night. At any rate, it is fun, and I wish my wife knew how to play or was eager to lean.