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Chess Board & Pieces

Photo by pmillera4 / CC BY

Chaturanga board and pins

Photo by MSouza / CC BY

Boy Making chess pieces in Marrakech, Morocco

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Paul Morphy Memorial Chess  Tournament in 2012

Photo by derek_b / CC BY






Chess originates from India around the 6th century's game "chaturanga", which means four divisions. The game originally had the "elephant" piece instead of the bishop, adviser for queen, infantry for pawn, cavalry for knight, and chariot for rook. The game spread from India to Persia, and eventually to the Islamic world when Persia was overtaken. Chess eventually made its way into Europe around the 10th century through trading from Persia. [1]


In terms of the origin of Chess, many people often think Chess is originated from China because Chinese Chess was invented a lot earlier in the 5th Century BCE; however, the two games actually was developed and refined differently.  [4]




The boards are conventionally called "White and Black." But, in earlier European chess writings, the boards were often called "Red and Black" because those were the commonly available colors of ink when hand-drawing the chess game layout. In such layouts, each piece was represented by its name, often abbreviated (e.g. "ch'r" for French "chevalier"="knight"). The game went under several changes for individual piece representation to fit the knighthood life in many European countries. A poem Caïssa published in 1527 led to the chess rook being often renamed as "castle", and the modern shape of the rook chess piece. [2]


According to the chess researcher, Murray, the queen piece is the weakest piece on the board, follow by the bishop piece which had short range. This made the game much more slower than the modern play, so medieval chess players often started the game with midgame positions to speed up the game. The rules of Chess went through a key change in the 15th century, as the queen piece became the strongest piece on the board, followed by the bishop piece having long range. [3]



Chess is a two player game consist of two set of 16 pieces, and it is played on a 8x8 board in its modern form. Each set of 16 pieces include 8 pawn, 2 knight, 2 bishop, 2 rook, 1 king and 1 queen piece. The objective of the game is to take out all the opponent's pieces or checkmate the king.



Today chess is one of the most popular game and gaming sport in the world, with chess tournament held all over the world and title awards by the world chess federation (FIDE).


Chess is one of the most appreciated games in the world that there are many monuments and structures being built based on the game of Chess such as the Giant Chess Board in Lindenhof, Zurich.


Game box for playing Senet

Photo by ddenisen / CC BY

The origin of games is one of the oldest human civilization lineage, spanning over millenniums of development to date. From archaeological evidence traditional games is one of the fundamental aspect of life in the ancient world, and is paramount to the development of social culture and military strategies. Many of these games became modern day family fun for holidays and occasions to enjoy.

Family Playing Boardgame Together

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Giant Chess Board in Lindenhof, Zurich

Photo by pedrosz / CC BY

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