History of Chess

History of chess

The history of chess has a controversial origin, but it is possible to affirm that the game was invented in Asia. Currently, the generalized version is that it has emerged in India under the name of chaturanga and from there it was extended to China, Russia, Persia and Europe, where the current regulations were established. However, recent research indicates a possible Chinese origin from the third century BC, the region between Uzbekistan and ancient Persia (now Iran).

One of the oldest literary records on chess is the Persian poem Karnamak-i-Artakhshatr-i-Papakan, written in the sixth century, and, from this era, its evolution is well documented and widely accepted in the world academic. After the conquest of Persia by the Arabs, they assimilated the game and the diffusion in the West, which took it to North Africa and Europe, and even the current Spain and Italy around the 10th century, from where it spread to the rest of the continent. comes to the region of Scandinavia and Iceland. In the East, chess has expanded from its Chinese version, the Xiangqi, to Korea and Japan in the 10th century.

In the fifteenth century, the game was widely spread in Europe and among the existing variants of the game, the European was the one that stood out for the speed indicated by the inclusion of the queen and the bishop. Although at that time there was already chess literature, it was in this period that the first analysis of openings began to emerge due to the new possibilities of play.

Parties began to be registered more frequently and more theoretical studies have been published. In the 18th century, the first chess clubs and sports federations were founded in Europe, and due to the large number of small tournaments that take place throughout the continent, in 1851 the first international tournament was held in London.

Wilhelm Steinitz
This is Wilhelm Steinitz, first official world chess champion

The popularity of international competitions has led to the creation of the title of world champion, won by Wilhelm Steinitz in 1886, and, in 1924, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded in Paris, which organizes the first Olympiad of Chess and the women’s World Cup, won by Vera Menchik.

Chess In India

According to Harold Murray, philological analysis connects the game with clarity to the word chaturanga, 14 which designated the four parts of the Indian army: cars, elephants, cavalry and infantry, from the V century BC15.

Initially, the game was played on the advice of Ashtāpada, another game whose significance was established around the 5th century BC

Chaturanga is considered the oldest game with essential characteristics of the definition of the game found in later versions – two players were they face in an initial and symmetrical agreement of the pieces, with pieces of different movements and victory depending on the capture of a single piece.

China (Theory)

An alternative theory argues that chess arose from the Xiangqi or its predecessors, which already existed in China since the second century BC David H. Li, a retired accountant and translator of ancient Chinese texts, hypothesized that General Han Xin inspired in an earlier version of the game Liubo to develop a primitive version of Chinese chess in the winter of 204-203 BC. C.

The German historian Peter Banaschak, however, points out that Li’s theory has no basis, stating that the work “Xuanguai lu”, written by the Niu Sengru minister (779-847) of the Tang dynasty, remains as the first Accepted source of the Chinese variant Xiangqi.

Emergence of FIDE

From the St. Petersburg tournament of 1914, initiatives for the creation of a sports regulatory body grew. Finally, in 1924 FIDE was created. The first event organized by the entity was the Chess Olympiad, won by the Hungarian team, and the Women’s World Chess Championship won by Vera Menchik, held in London in 1927.

The FIDE congresses of 1925 and 1926 already expressed interest in organizing the men’s World Cup, but the fund of $ 10,000 required by Capablanca was impracticable for the entity, which decided to create a parallel title of “FIDE Champion” “in 1928. Bogoljubow defeated Euwe, but was forgotten after his defeat in the next World Cup in 1929 against Alekhine, the then world champion after defeating Capablanca in 1927. Alekhine agreed to contest the title organized by FIDE, except against Capablanca, where it requires the same conditions of departure carried out in 1927.

After the Russian revolution, the leaders of the newly formed Soviet Union encouraged the teaching of chess to the masses for the training of the mind and preparation for war in peacetime. The state took control of the organization of competitions, including international events as in Moscow in 1925.

The governmental incentive led to the creation of the Soviet Chess School, led by the future world champion Mikhail Botvinnik. The Soviet school advocated a physical and psychological preparation that also included a detailed analysis of the games of the opponents to exploit the weaknesses and strengthen their own strategy for confrontation.


With time, the duel between the machines (computers) and the man was accentuated, and the chess was not the exception. The first attempts at this interaction date back to the 19th century, with attempts to automatically annotate a game using electromagnetic devices on the board, connected to a printing device.

In the 1950s, with the arrival of the first computers, computer scientists immediately began to develop programs dedicated to chess.94 With the advancement of computer science, more sophisticated engines began to include evaluation functions, taking into account Count the position of the pieces in order to look for the possibilities of a great tree offer according to the strategy of the game.95 In 1974 the first world championship dedicated exclusively to computers was won, won by the Soviet program Kaissa. Since then, this type of contests have become routine and with the advance of computer science, the man-machine confrontation reached the level of the great masters: Bent Larsen was defeated in 1988 by a computer in a tournament.96

In 1997, the supercomputer Deep Blue defeated Kasparov, champion of the world by the ACP, in a mach of six games. The confrontation had great coverage in the press and was considered by Frederic Friedel as “the most spectacular event in the history of chess.”

However, Kasparov questioned some of the moves made on the team specifically in game two, raising questions about human intervention in the games, which was denied by IBM. Since then, they have become more frequent for software wins for the practice of chess against Grandmasters, even on computers with processing capacity below Deep Blue.

The Chess Game


To differentiate one side from another, the pieces of a player are of a different color, one directs the whites, called “the white ones”, and the other the dark ones, called “the black ones”. Each player has 16 pieces (pieces) of six different types, of which each player has: eight pawns, two towers, two horses, two bishops, a queen (also called “queen”) and a king. Each piece moves on the board in a different way.

  • The King: can move in any direction (vertical, horizontal and diagonal) advancing or receding a single square (except in castling, in which moves 2).
  • The Lady or Queen: you can also move in any direction by advancing or receding on the board the number of squares you want, until you hit another piece or the edge of the board.
  • The Bishop: move in a diagonal direction, as many squares as you wish until you come across another piece or the edge.
  • The Tower: move in the vertical and horizontal directions, not diagonally, until you come across another piece or the edge of the board.
  • The Horse, according to the official definition, can be moved to the nearest square that is not in its own row, column or diagonal, although to simplify it is said to move by advancing 2 squares vertically and one horizontally, or vice versa, performing a movement of ‘L’, being the only piece that can jump over the other pieces.
  • The pawn: advances one or two squares in vertical direction in its first movement, after advance for the first time can only advance one square, unlike the rest of the pieces can not go back and can not capture the opposing pieces that are in the same direction in which it moves, the pawn will be able to capture the pieces that are to a square in diagonal with respect to him, not to which they are in front of them (except in the taking of pawn to the step).

A pawn has the ability to transform into the piece that his player wants (usually in a lady) if he is able to reach the last row of the board opposite his side, so a pawn can acquire enormous tactical power in certain positions where he has no opposition to “crown” (past pawn).

Also Read: Rules of Darts Game and How to play?

The Chess Board

The Chess Board

The chessboard is a square subdivided into 64 equal squares or squares (8 × 8), also square, alternately light colored and dark colored. Each player stands facing the opposing chess player, placing the board so that each player has a white square in their right corner.

About the author

Daniel Johnson

I started this blog to provide advanced tips and information to raise your sports knowledge.

Leave a Comment