You might be interested in playing chess on the internet. Some Bourne End members like that form of chess and here are some of the sites they use. Popular sites include Gameknot , Chessworld.net , iccchess and playchess. www.gameknot.com and www.chessworld.net are both free sites. www.iccchess.com has a link to www.king.com where it is possible to play for free. www.playchess.com is a paying site after a trial period but you can be a guest with more limited facilities for as long as you like.
The standard varies widely and people generally use pseudonyms. Ihave heard of people playing alleged grandmasters and it is quite normal to play opponents from across the world. Sometimes there is gamesmanship and people can walk away from games but for the most part it is a good way of practicing and improving your chess at an appropriate level.
Some sites give gradings which can be a bit generous using the Elo system The English Chess Federation uses its own gradings for domestic tournaments and it is related to Elo by
ECF x 8 + 600 = Elo
(Elo - 600) / 8 = ECF
Typically players in club teams are at least Elo 1080.
If you want to play a real person across a real board, come along to one of the clubs in Berks and Bucks. See our home page for links.