There is an interesting activity at Puputan Badung Square, right at the zero-point of Bali’s capital. Dozens of people gather to play chess. The exercise requiring the foresight of mind is held every day and becomes a spectacle to attract visitors to this metropolitan city. Based on location of playing, there are two commonly used. The first one is located in the Northeast of Puputan Badung Square or in front of the Jagatnatha Temple. Meanwhile, another location is on the sidewalk of Jalan Kaliasem, east of the official residence of Governor of Bali.
Nevertheless, they can also play in rotation in accordance with the agreement with the opponent. There are also fanatic players that do not want to change location. Most players are men living in the city of Denpasar. In the meantime, there are also some players originating from outside the city that work in Denpasar.The number of players is uncertain. On usual days, there are 6-8 groups playing in front of the temple and some 10-15 groups on Jalan Kaliasem. By all means, such amount will be different on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays where the participants will be booming.
For the game, some players bring chessboard by themselves, while rental chessboard is also available at cheap price. In this game, no betting is allowed. They purely compete by relying on the ability of the brain in playing the chess. “Playing chess is just for self-entertainment,” said Mr. Wahyu, one of the fanatical chess players at location. Based on confession of some players, they are not reliable chess athlete. They mostly work as trader in Kreneng Market, Badung Market and Satria Bird Market. Meanwhile, there are also those working as driver or tour guide. (BTN/015)