I love chess! What a great game. I'm decent at it, but not great. However, if you can stomach it and your friend is good, keep getting your ass handed to you.
When I left NYC for the West Coast, 17 years ago this month I just realized, the guys I worked with threw me a going away party. At the party there was a young man, early 20's, he was one of our laborers at the shop (we built scenery for broadway shows and the fashion industry), sitting next to a chess board, kicking everyone's ass.
I sat down and tried my hand. We played three games in under five minutes. I don't recall if I collected any pieces from him other than pawns. He aced me in a handful of moves every game. I stalled, tried the few openings I know and it was just awesome how concisely and quickly he backed me into unblockable scenarios.
I asked him how he got so good so young and he replied "I spent a lot of time in the park next to our apartment... single mom and that was where I was allowed to hang out when she was at work. There were concrete chess tables set up there and these old men, who hung out at the played for cash or fun. I've been beaten by them thousands of times, thousands. Once you've lost four or five thousand games, you begin to recognize the patterns and groupings of moves in which one can be beaten and start to use those methods yourself."
He talked in lines and conjunctions of pairings of pieces. It was all over my head. Alas, I am crap because I don't have the willingness to sit and take that kind of abuse over and over again.
I love Wei Qi and have been enjoying having the computer kick my ass at that recently... Most Westerners know it as Go since it was introduced here after WW2 from the soldiers stationed in Japan. Supposedly one of the oldest games in the world.
That game is elegant, alluringly simple and brutally deep. Alas, I can't get my wife or son interested in playing yet, so I play that online against a computer.
There is something to a chess set and the pieces all set up that resonates. Happy hunting mate.