With the internet now a major threat to the format of the board game, the Scottish custodians of chess are looking to step up the profile of the traditional contest with a new tournament this weekend.
The first Inverness Chess Congress aims to promote the game at a time when it faces significant challenges nationally ahead of hosting next year's Commonwealth Championships, which will precede the games in Glasgow. Some 500 players from all over the world are expected to attend next summer.
This weekend, more than 50 people have registered to play in Inverness from as far afield as London and Bristol with an age range from 10 to 71.
Earlier this year the national body Chess Scotland lost its Scottish Government grant of £10,600, around a quarter of the organisation's income. It now relies on subscriptions and donations.
David Congalton, from Irvine, is Chess Scotland's financial director and is organising the event in the Highland capital.
"As a whole, chess in Scotland has become a bit stuck. Numbers haven't grown much in the last 25 years with just over 2000 people regularly taking part in competitions and leagues. I'm sure there are many different reasons for this, such as the growth of computer games and life in general becoming faster-paced.
"Chess in Scotland is really at a critical point. The loss of Government funding for the national body earlier this year, after receiving support for many years, was a blow. Clubs are struggling to find new members and the average age of those playing chess competitively has been going up."
He said that more people were playing chess online either against the computer or against somebody else online. "I have tried playing online but it is a totally different game. There is nothing better than facing your opponent across a board, person against person.
"If you are playing on the internet, you don't know if the other person is using some fancy computer engine to work out their next move. So at Chess Scotland we have to harness those playing online and get them out of their room and along to a chess club."
He said that using the computer was for trying out a few moves,"but there is nothing like seeing your opponent crumble before your eyes, or indeed vice versa".
The President of Chess Scotland, Hamish Glen, agrees. He said: "A lot of good work goes on at primary school level, but trying to maintain that into secondary is where there is a gap."
He said the internet did have a role to play in teaching chess, but could never be a substitute for the real game and by organising the Inverness Congress, Chess Scotland, Mr Glen hoped to provide an annual or bi-annual focal point for chess in the Highlands.
Dave Congalton said Inverness would grow, having started a congress in Ayrshire in 2011 with around 80 participants.
He said: "By 2013 we had to move to a bigger venue to accommodate the 150 people taking part.
"The event has attracted players from as far away as Australia and we have also had a Lithuanian chess Grandmaster take part, as well as Scotland's top players."