Are you ever too old to learn chess?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

In my opinion, you’re never too old to learn chess! I believe that age should never be a barrier when it comes to pursuing new interests and challenging yourself intellectually. So, if you’re a senior and want to learn to play chess for the first time, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Get a book: Chess books are a fantastic resource for beginners. Look for books specifically designed for beginners or seniors, as they often provide a gentle introduction to the game and explain the rules in a clear and concise manner. Some recommended titles include “Chess for Seniors” by Tigran Petrosian and “Teach Yourself Visually Chess” by Jon Edwards.

2. Find a local chess club or community center: Joining a chess club or attending chess classes can be a great way to learn from experienced players and meet fellow chess enthusiasts. Many clubs offer beginner-friendly sessions or even specific programs for seniors. Learning alongside others can provide a supportive and motivating environment.

3. Use online resources: The internet is a treasure trove of chess knowledge. There are numerous websites and online platforms that offer tutorials, lessons, puzzles, and even the opportunity to play against other players of varying skill levels. Websites like,, and are popular choices for learning and playing chess online.

4. Practice regularly: Like any skill, learning chess requires regular practice. Set aside some dedicated time each week to study the game, solve puzzles, and play practice games. Consistency is key to improving your understanding of chess strategies and tactics.

5. Play against computer programs: Chess software and computer programs are excellent tools for honing your skills. They provide the option to adjust the difficulty level, offer hints, and analyze your games. Playing against a computer allows you to practice at your own pace and gradually increase the difficulty as you progress.

6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: Chess is a game of strategy and foresight, and everyone makes mistakes, regardless of age or experience. Embrace your mistakes as learning opportunities and use them to improve your game. Analyze your games to understand where you went wrong and what you could have done differently.

7. Enjoy the process: Learning chess should be an enjoyable journey, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to become a grandmaster overnight. Appreciate the beauty of the game, the mental stimulation it provides, and the social aspects of playing with others.

Remember, age is just a number, and it’s never too late to start learning something new. So, grab a book, find a chess club, or explore online resources, and embark on your chess-learning adventure. Enjoy the process, have fun, and who knows, you might discover a lifelong passion for chess!