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Photo of chess game in progress.I first learned to play chess on the computer, but I really wish I’d learned to play at Drop In Chess at the Millbrae Library instead. Getting constantly beaten by a computer is fairly demoralizing, but I love getting trounced by real people! Every Monday night at 6PM, both new and experienced chess players of all ages meet in the Millbrae Library Homework Center to play Drop In Chess. You’re welcome to join, even if you can’t tell a rook from a bishop.

Here are Some Good Beginners’ Resources for New Players

The Game of Chess by Siegbert Tarrasch

Chess for Juniors: A Complete Guide for the Beginner by Robert M. Snyder and Chess: From First Moves to Checkmate by Daniel King are both good titles for children who want to learn to play.

If you want to get more intense, Yasser Seirawan has written a number of well-regarded books focusing openings, closings, and general strategies.

Chess In Movies

Chess also makes for an excellent movie subject, or just quick short-hand to indicate that a character is smart--another good reason to learn to play! See Ray (Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, playing while in rehab); Blade Runner; Casablanca (extra points to Humphrey Bogart for playing against . . . himself); Aladdin (“That was a good move. I can't believe this. I'm losing to a rug!"); and countless others.

Supernatural and Mortal Chess

There’s wizards’ chess in the Harry Potter books and movies. And, of course, The Seventh Seal, the Ingmar Bergman film in which a man must play chess with death. Guess who wins . . .


Author Bio:

Nicole Pasini is the interim Branch Manager for the Millbrae Library, and her favorite chess memory is losing to her 13 year old cousin.