IT'S a game that requires thinking ahead, planning and analysing your opponent's next moves.
But 12-year-old Nathan Laver doesn't mind the challenge of chess.
"I like it mostly because you have to think during the games and I like playing those types of games where you think and use your memory," he said.
Nathan plays chess at school and competes in local competitions.
"I play every now and then, probably around twice a month," Nathan said.
The youngster has played for four years now and thoroughly enjoys the game.
"Dad taught me and I thought it was fun," he said.
As well as the brain-challenge aspect of the game, he also appreciates the social side.
"Some of my friends play chess too, but I think more people should play it."
The game is growing in popularity, from youngsters to the oldies. It's a testament to the entertainment and challenges chess offers.
Gladstone Chess Club secretary Mary-Anne Fahey said the game was really for anyone.
"It's such a good and enjoyable game, being part of a club you can make new friends too," she said.
With members ranging from the ages of six to adult, junior chess is seeing a particular boom.
"I think children enjoy it so much. They're having lots of fun without even realising the educational benefits."
The club meets every Tuesday from 6pm till 9pm. Membership fees range from $50 for a junior, $70 for adult and $100 for a family.
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