The surprising benefits of online chess for seniors


The centuries-old game of chess has been enjoyed by people of all ages from around the world. With the rise of the internet and online gaming, chess has also become a popular game to play online. For seniors, learning and playing chess online can bring many benefits, such as improved cognitive skills, more opportunities to socialize, and a sense of accomplishment.

senior person

Keeping your mind sharp

Chess requires concentration, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills, all of which can help keep the mind sharp and active. Chess players must analyze the board, think several moves ahead, and come up with a plan to outsmart their opponent. This type of mental exercise can help improve cognitive abilities, such as memory, concentration, and decision-making. This can be especially beneficial for older people, as cognitive functions decline with age.


I’m almost 82 and have played chess since I was 12. Now that I’m retired, I can say that chess is my life. I also enjoy computer chess. I have a small, dedicated chess computer and have played online. But of all the sites, I prefer SparkChess, and Claire in particular. I’ve been playing against it for at least 3 years, almost daily. I find that level more human-like than most of the others. I also like the 3-dimensional appearance and its aggressive nature. That trains me to deal with aggressive over-the-board opponents, since I tend to be intimidated by them and play too conservatively, which is counterproductive. Although I’m theoretically stronger than Claire’s 1500 (@ 1750 USCF), my record’s only about even with that level, the same as against the stronger but less aggressive Boris! For example, last night I lost a 55″ game to Claire, but this AM I won a 15″ game against her by playing more aggressively myself (see below).
Summing up, I’m glad for your site and for that opponent in particular. It brings a lot of joy to my life.


Playing chess online can also provide a sense of social connection and community. Online chess platforms like SparkChess allow players to connect with others from around the world, providing opportunities for social interaction and engagement. This can be especially beneficial for seniors who may be isolated or have limited access to social activities. While many seniors live alone or may be unable to leave their homes due to health reasons, playing chess online allows them to connect with other players. This can help them feel less isolated and give them a sense of community and belonging. SparkChess has a simple chat feature, allowing players to interact more closely.

SparkChess on laptop
SparkChess interface

Boosting Confidence

Playing online chess can also provide a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Chess can be challenging, and successfully completing a game is a confidence boost. This can be especially important for elderly persons, who may be dealing with age-related challenges and may feel that their abilities are impaired. SparkChess also features a single-player mode, with unique AI opponents modeled to think and behave like humans. It provides the whole spectrum of difficulty and it’s suited for players of all levels, from absolute beginners to masters.

Another benefit of playing chess online for seniors is the ability to exercise the mind as well as the body. While many seniors are unable to participate in physical activities due to health reasons, playing chess online provides a way to exercise their minds and engage in a mentally stimulating activity. In addition, playing chess online can also provide seniors with a sense of purpose and can help improve their overall mental health and well-being.

senior playing sparkchess on a laptop

Easy to use

Playing chess online can be a convenient and accessible way for seniors to engage with the game. Traditional chess boards and pieces can be difficult for some older people to handle, especially if they’ve mobility or dexterity issues. SparkChess, on the other hand, has an easy-to-use interface that can be used from a computer or mobile device. It uses simple, clearly labeled buttons and a simple, clickable board that doesn’t require dragging or complex gestures to operate. This means that seniors can play chess from the comfort of their own homes, without the need for special equipment or physical dexterity.


My name is Robert. I am 85 years old, a retired pharmacologist. I enjoy playing chess since I first learned in the 1950’s. After my active military obligation I attended reserve meetings in Manhattan where I attended Manhattan and Marshall chess clubs to observe the greats, e.g. Bobby Fischer, Sammy Reshevsky, etc. Today I mostly play against Claire who I can beat. Boris is another story. He is tough to beat, or even draw, but I like the challenge. I love to play against Sparkchess!

For privacy reasons, we don’t collect personal information like the age of our players at SparkChess, but we’ve numerous emails from seniors from all walks of life: Doctors, Vietnam War veterans, and former teachers – all of whom use SparkChess to keep their minds sharp and focused. The oldest customer we know of is over 96 years old!

Armand Niculescu

Armand Niculescu is a full-stack developer and creator of SparkChess. He has two BDs in engineering and marketing and a MSc in Management. He's been programming since the age of 12 and he also loves design, photography, and - obviously - chess.

2 Responses

  1. Vindaw
    Vindaw at

    but so much cheating!!!

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