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Try as I have to make Starcraft 2 our office game of choice, chess has recently emerged as the leading contender.

I played chess quite a lot as a kid, I felt pretty good at it as I won all the games I played against random family members and kids in school. As I got older though I realized that others were actually much, much better at it than I so my interest fell off. A similar plot arc happened with Scrabble, actually, but more on that later.

Some of my coworkers have been playing short games of online timed chess to take a break from work for some time, but it wasn’t until one invited me to a game on lichess.org that my interest began to re-kindle.

While the more common online variant of chess will be short timed games (blitz which is between 3 and 15 minutes a side, or speed chess which is 3 minutes and under), it is also quite acceptable to play the long, slow, correspondence type of chess. Both approaches take a lot of the time commitment out of playing the game and allows me, somebody rather out of practice, to either experience many different games quickly or to consider my moves more carefully at an asynchronous pace.

Words With Friends has done the same to me for Scrabble, being able to juggle multiple games at a time means usually having a move waiting in one of them, and playing more games means learning the patterns more quickly.

Of course, because we all started playing together we also purchased a couple chess clocks and boards for the office so we can play Bughouse chess, a fast-paced team variant of chess played with two boards. Not recommended for learning chess as the strategies are rather different, but definitely an exciting game between coworkers or friends that produces a surprising amount of adrenaline.

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