Can Chess Players Play Chess Against Themselves?

Playing Chess Against Yourself

All Chess enthusiasts read books for hours and solve multiple puzzles, however, their true excitement is at it’s peak when they are playing hardcore chess matches. A common question that all chess players ask is can I play against myself, and I bet each player has wondered if all chess players can play against themselves.

The answer is – Yes, chess players can play chess against themselves, a practice commonly known as “solo chess” or “self-play.” Playing against oneself is a useful technique for improving chess skills, analyzing positions, and practicing different strategies.

When playing solo chess, a player sets up the chessboard and assumes control of both sides, making moves for each player in turn. The player can experiment with various moves and consider different lines of play, allowing them to explore different ideas, tactics, and positional concepts.

By playing against themselves, chess players can develop their analytical and visualization skills, as they have to think from both sides of the board and anticipate the opponent’s responses. It can also be a valuable method for studying openings, middlegame plans, and endgame techniques.

However, it’s important to note that playing against oneself is primarily a training exercise and not a substitute for playing against real opponents. Engaging in competitive play against other players, whether in person or online, is essential for developing a comprehensive understanding of chess and adapting to different playing styles.

When playing solo chess, a player assumes both sides of the board and makes moves for both white and black pieces. They must maintain objectivity and avoid giving preference to either side during the game. It requires a strong mental discipline to treat each side impartially and make the best moves for each position.

Solo chess can be a useful training method for various reasons:

Analysis and Improvement

It allows players to analyze positions deeply and consider different strategic options for both sides, which can help them improve their overall chess understanding.


Players can test new openings, tactics, and ideas without the pressure of a real opponent.

Board Visualization

Playing solo chess helps in visualizing the board and calculating variations effectively, which is crucial in real games against opponents.

Time Management

Players can practice managing their time effectively as they need to allocate their attention to both sides within the time constraints.

Playing chess against oneself can be a challenging exercise that helps players develop their strategic thinking, visualization abilities, and calculation skills. It allows them to explore different variations and test out various moves without the pressure of an opponent. It is especially useful for studying openings, analyzing complex positions, and practicing endgames.

Some chess players, particularly those at a high level, are capable of playing multiple simultaneous blindfold games against themselves, which requires exceptional memory and mental agility. However, playing against oneself is primarily used as a training tool rather than a competitive or formal way of playing chess.

So go ahead, and play that game you’ve always though of playing, against yourself.

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