Here’s How to Play Chess by Mail, and What Movies to Watch to Get Your Game Going

Playing a classic apart, together.

Queen's Gambit (


A longtime tradition in my family is fully underway: chess by mail.

There's a chessboard on our dining room table. It's been there for months. This board mimics the one that's on the coffee table at my parent's house. These two separate chessboards are the same game, connected through mail.

It all started when my dad was telling stories of how his dad would play
multiple games of chess this way. Recently, my wife and dad started a chess game via snail mail. My family really gets into picking the right postcard for the upcoming chess move. You jot your note, add your chess move like, "b8 to a6," slap a stamp on it, raise the flag on your mailbox, and wait for your opponent's return move to arrive in your mailbox. It's a fun way of keeping in touch while supporting our postal service.

How to Play

1. Contact someone you want to start a chess game with.

2. Make sure you both have chessboards and all the pieces.

3. Study up on chess if need be and learn all the move notations. There's plenty of how-to's online to get you going.

4. Get some postcards and stamps. We love getting antique postcards from thrift shops.

5. Mail your first move!

Chess Viewing to Get You Going

The Queen's Gambit (streaming now on Netflix)
Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Magnus (2016)
Brooklyn Castle (2012)
Queen of Katwe (2016)

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