Actually I am no good at playing chess – I only roughly know the rules and completely lack any kind of strategic thinking. Nevertheless, the open-air chessboard on Bärenplatz is one of my favorite spots to let the day go by. Its kind of hidden inbetween four trees and lies half way between the Bundeshaus and public transportation. Thus you can easily bump into a match between a beardy alcoholic and an honorable parliamentarian. Or between a elderly chess master and an 8-year-old Asian tourist wunderkind. Everyone is equal once the game has started.
Of course I’ve never dared challenge one of the guys that play there for hours each and every day. But if you are a confident chess player and dare to join in, be prepared for two dozen of (more or less drunk) people knowing every move better – and not keeping this for themselves. So good luck!
And by the way: If this spot is too crowded for you – there are more that three dozen public chess and merel boards in all parts of the city.