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For more than 500 years players have been trying to capture their opponent’s king on a civilized battlefield – the chess board. And Ocean County Library offers residents the opportunity to join in or improve their skills in that growing field of strategists.

A chess game is played on an eight by eight square board. Each player has 1 pieces, ranging in importance and rank from the lowly pawns to the king. The object of the game is to capture your opponent’s king before yours is captured.

The Little Egg Harbor branch (290 Mathistown Road) offers lessons to children, ages seven and up, Saturday afternoon, Jan. 8. Interested adults, siblings and care-givers are also invited to attend the classes. Chess players with any experience are invited to attend and assist the new players. Class size is limited so call the branch 609-294-1197.

The Jackson branch (2 Jackson Dr.) will host a chess night for teens in grades 5 through 12 Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. and give students a monthly opportunity to play.

The Point Pleasant Borough branch (834 Beaver Dam Rd.) chess club offers games for players of all ages and skill levels. The club meets Thursday, Jan. 13 and Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

The Brick branch (301 Chambers Bridge Rd.) offers opportunities for chess players to play a game with similarly skilled chess players Wednesday Jan. 26 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Whether one is the next grand chess master or a casual player, the night will be a fun event and offer a chance to learn a thing or two about the game.