Tonight, you’re going to class up date night with a game that every couple should know—chess. Not only does the ability to play this sophisticated game provide a wonderful way for you and your spouse to spend time together, it also makes you smarter. Yes, it really does. Playing chess has been proven to sharpen critical thinking skills and even help slow the onset of dementia. There is no downside to playing this amazing game together.
If you already know how to play chess, great. If you don’t, then teach yourselves. Visit a bookstore together and buy a book, or invest in a good chess set, one that contains a decent rule book. Watch a few instructional videos online if you want to complement your learning.
Chess is a game that loves to take its time. And that’s another reason it’s a great idea for a date night. You can arrange the board on your coffee table and curl up on the couch, settling in for a long night of strategy and trying to out-maneuver each other. In the background, you can play a chess-themed film like Pawn Sacrifice (2014, Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber), or Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993, Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley). There is also an excellent series on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit (2020, Anya Taylor-Joy) that features chess in the storyline. Or if you prefer, simply play by the fire or the light of a few candles, with some Classical music playing for atmosphere.
To bring even more sophistication to this date night, take a break at some point in the game and move into the kitchen to prepare a meal together. Go for something gourmet, something that takes a little effort. Set the dining table with an elegant tablecloth and your best dishware and cutlery. Light a candle in the center and dine together with romantic music playing in the background.
After you’re finished your meal, enjoy a nice after-dinner coffee. It’ll give your stomach time to settle and also give you the boost you need to either return to the game or to detour into the bedroom so the king and queen (so to speak) can play a game of a different sort. Your move, friends.
– Written by special contributor and relationship author Don Macleod
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