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A skittles room is where players play casual, unrated games of chess commonly referred to as skittles games. Skittles is a centuries-old European bowling game played on British lawns and pubs and in German beer halls and beer gardens in which a wooden ball is rolled to knock over wooden pins (skittles). Casual games of chess might have been given the nickname skittles games because during casual games of chess (particularly fast Blitz games) chess pieces (which used to be made exclusively of wood) can fly all over (and off!) the board the same way wooden pins do when struck by a wooden ball.

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