Chess Online Vs Over The Board Chess (OTB)

Posted by Steven Barnhart on 19th Nov 2019

Over The Board Ches

Chess in the modern age

The modern age has changed some of the things we do at neck breaking speed whether it is how we travel, how we communicate, our advances in medicine, space exploration and so much more.

Gone is the slower paced lifestyle that our forefathers experienced, everything is rapid fire and instant gratification.

Whether you see that as bad or good is your vision of the world.

So it only stands to reason that the world of chess playing would change as well.

The family time around the table is not the same

With the introduction of the computer and then the Smartphone how we entertain ourselves has changed completely.

In the past if you wanted to play a game of chess you would need a chess set, a willing opponent and some time to play a match.

In the modern age you can pull up a chess app and be playing a match against a computer or another player in a matter of seconds, not to mention you can do this anywhere.

Which brings up the question will online chess make over the board OTB chess obsolete?

Once you go online would you ever go OTB again?

Of course you will there are players that use the different approaches for different reasons.

The love of the game will dictate how and when you play, so if you are on a subway with time to kill break out the app and play!

A true fan of the chess game is going to enjoy both options they just may find one is more convenient than another at times.

Is online chess and OTB the same?

Well not so much.

It has been noted that playing online you may run into more cheating.

Which seems silly when there is no monetary gain or otherwise, they don’t know you so what exactly are they gaining or proving?

Playing online may benefit your OTB game:

Because you can analyze and study openings as you're playing them.

Real opponents and not a computer may share ideas.

Hindsight is 20/20 you will be able to look back and learn. Not to mention you will have more playing time.

Over the board benefits

Most OTB games are longer which gives them a higher quality playing experience.

Because they are of a higher standard, you also learn more from those games (especially lost games of course) than from faster play time.

In addition if they are longer games, then the better player will usually win, rather than the quickest/luckiest/sneakiest player.

OTB playing is more social, since you actually have interaction between two players, instead of two anonymous players.

Studying Chess: Over the Board or Over the Internet?

Studying Over the Board

You can practice the way you play.

By studying at the board and using a clock, it becomes easy to simulate the environment of tournament chess.

Playing on the board eliminates the possible interruptions of texts, emails, and the temptation to stray into a notification rabbit hole.

There are certain chess skills that need to be developed away from the computer, the most important of which is evaluation.

Studying on my Computer

If you study chess openings, it’s becoming impossible to analyze a position without the assistance of an engine.

With a computer, you can search all of the games played in a position with one click.

There is a plethora of instructional mediums online now with deep analysis available: online videos, broadcasts, tactics trainers.

If you want to play against a computer or other chess players go to one of the best online chess sites.

Play Chess Online Now!

So to summarize:

Online Chess

Some of the advantages:

  • Quick access to for playing a game.
  • Wide variety of opponents and game options to grow your skill set.
  • A ton of free websites.
  • The ability to play anonymously and quickly try out new strategies and ideas without feeling pressure.

Some of the disadvantages:

  • Physically disconnected from opponent and their expressions or emotions.
  • Few opportunities to play long slow paced games.

OTB Chess

Some of the advantages:

  • Serious chess players, who are willing to play long, slow games.
  • Exciting live chess tournaments with cash prizes or other incentives.
  • Official chess associations offer superior rating systems and motivation for improving your chess game.
  • Foster an excellent social environment to meet and compete with other chess enthusiasts.

Some of the disadvantages:

  • Can be intimidating to be a new player.
  • Requires a greater time commitment.