Chess Sets: The Upsides And Downsides Of Going Electronic

Apr 18


David Powers

David Powers

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Exploring the evolution of chess from traditional boards to digital platforms, this article delves into the benefits and drawbacks of electronic chess sets. As chess experiences a resurgence in popularity, electronic versions offer convenience but may lack the interpersonal nuances of the game.

The Timeless Appeal of Chess

Chess,Chess Sets: The Upsides And Downsides Of Going Electronic Articles a strategic board game, has captivated minds for over 1500 years. Its popularity peaked in the 1970s, largely due to the charismatic and talented Bobby Fischer, whose personality was as engaging as his gameplay. After a period of decline, chess is enjoying a revival, thanks in part to the advent of electronic chess sets and a renewed interest in the game globally. According to the World Chess Federation, the number of registered chess players has increased by 15% since 2018.

The Rise of Electronic Chess Sets

Categories and Features

Electronic chess sets can be broadly categorized into two types: portable and stationary. Each type comes with a variety of designs and features, from basic models suitable for beginners to advanced sets equipped with AI technology for seasoned players.

Advantages of Electronic Chess Sets

  1. Availability of Opponents: One of the most significant advantages of electronic chess sets is the ability to play without a human opponent. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who find it challenging to find competitors with similar skill levels.

  2. 24/7 Practice: These sets allow players to practice anytime, which is invaluable for preparing for tournaments or improving skills. The AI opponents can often be adjusted for different difficulty levels, providing a scalable challenge.

  3. Learning and Strategy Development: For beginners, electronic sets can serve as an excellent learning tool, offering tutorials and hints that help players understand the game's basics and strategies.

Disadvantages of Electronic Chess Sets

  1. Lack of Human Interaction: Critics argue that chess is not only about the game but also about the interaction between players. Electronic sets cannot replicate the nuances of human emotions and behaviors that often play a crucial role in the game.

  2. Limited Foresight Training: While electronic sets teach basic strategies and responses, they may not effectively train players in advanced foresight and strategic planning, skills that are often developed through experience and human interaction.

  3. Dependency on Technology: There is a risk of becoming overly reliant on electronic aids, potentially hindering the development of independent strategic thinking.

Alternatives to Electronic Chess Sets

For those seeking the traditional chess experience or looking to avoid the high costs of high-end electronic sets, there are alternatives:

  • Online Chess Platforms: Websites like and offer interactive experiences where players can compete against others worldwide without the need for physical boards.
  • Chess Clubs: Joining a local chess club can provide the benefits of social interaction and live competition. Clubs often offer sessions with skilled players and coaches who can offer personalized guidance and strategies.


While electronic chess sets offer undeniable convenience and are an excellent tool for beginners and solo players, they cannot fully replace the depth and human element provided by traditional chess. Whether electronic or traditional, the choice of chess set ultimately depends on personal preferences and goals in the game. As the chess landscape continues to evolve, players have more options than ever to explore and enjoy this ancient game.