The tactical game of chess has taken Batemans Bay by storm over the past two years.
At Club Catalina between 5pm and 7pm every Wednesday, the Batemans Bay Chess Club meets to test their skills at becoming Grand Masters.
Founder of the club, James Clark, said interest in chess has grown since the group first started meeting in February last year.
"Our first meetup was in early February 2022 at Corrigan's Park with three people attending," he said.
"We now have people aged from five to around 70 attend our weekly chess meetups."
The game of chess has been around for over 1400 years and its popularity has fluctuated over time.
Recently the game has again become popular, with the online virtual site chess.com becoming increasingly popular.
From January 2020 to 2023, more than 102 million users signed up to play virtually.
Mr Clark said he wanted to start the local chess club so he could verse opponents face-to-face.
"After searching the internet for a local chess club and not finding one, I wanted a place to attend to sharpen my skills and so I decided to start a chess club myself," he said.
Mr Clark got his first chess set from his parents at age seven and has played in tournaments run by Street Chess in Canberra, a weekly outdoor chess competition for people of all ages and strengths.
The Batemans Bay Chess Club has about 200 followers on Facebook and about 25 people regularly attend the weekly catch-up.
Mr Clark said while attendance has dropped slightly over the past six months, it's still great to see the local community getting involved in chess' return to popularity.
"Chess is a simple game and learning the basic moves is quite easy, yet it can take a lifetime to master. I simply enjoy the intellectual challenge that chess provides."
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