These Historical Photos Of Chess Will Make You Want To Play

If you've been considering getting into chess à la The Queen's Gambit, let us give you an extra push.

Chess has always held a sort of magic for me. The people who play it are smart, and the game draws true obsessives to it in a way that just makes me want to understand what higher plane they're reaching. Netflix's The Queen's Gambit, based on a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, took us by storm this fall. I am not the only person who felt drawn to the game, as I learned scrolling through Twitter. Over the course of seven episodes, we went from not knowing much about it to searching through eBay for the fastest shipping estimates for a Federation chess set from Belarus. Here are 22 photos of people from all walks of life enjoying the game. Reminder: If you haven't asked for that chess set for Christmas, it's not too late.

Three women in a backstage green room, wearing robes, underwear, and pearls, sit around a chessboard
Two men seated in the snow play chess as one man, standing and wearing an ushanka, watches them play
Two Black men in overcoats and hats play chess on three stacked-up milk crates behind a maroon minivan
A young girl in a checkered dress plays chess in front of trophies on a shelf
A man in a polo shirt plays large-scale chess with a man in pink bathing shorts
A young woman and an old man in a hospital bed playing chess.
A redheaded girl stares intently at a chessboard while a crowd watches behind her
Two men in scuba suits play chess underwater as a big fish swims over their heads
A girl in a wheelchair plays chess with a young boy
A woman dressed as a chess queen, with a crown and checkerboard dress, has her arms outstretched, standing on a giant chessboard and surrounded by other people dressed as pieces
A hand depresses a chess clock on a table between two chessboards in the sunlight.
Two men in uniforms and turbans playing chess indoors
An older woman and an older man play chess outside on a sunny day
Boys in red-and-white uniforms huddle around a green-and-white chessboard
Five women and a toddler, all in aprons and old-fashioned clothing, huddle around a chessboard on a stoop
Three child soldiers play chess on a blue tarp outside
A group of people sitting on stairs at a park surround two men kneeling and playing chess
Four men hang out in a backstage green room; two of them in the foreground play chess
An old photograph of two women sitting across a table and playing chess with a man
Two women with head coverings playing chess
A man and woman play chess in a hotel lobby
Two men sitting in the water in beach chairs play chess on a board that floats on an inner tube

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