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  • Last updated on 2/11/15, 8:50 AM.

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Chess is a world-famous game played between two players using 32 pieces (16 each of two distinct colors) on a 64-square board of alternating colors (black and white, or, most commonly, light and dark).

The earliest known ancestor of modern chess was an Indian game called Chaturanga, where the knight, king, and rooks moved the same as in the modern game, but there was no castling or two-square move for the pawn, and the bishop and queen were much weaker. It then moved to Persia where it was known as Chatrang, eventually making its way through the still-youthful Islamic empire into southern Spain. By the 1500s, it had spread all throughout Europe and there were many different ways to play, including one variation where both king and queen can move at the same time. The modern rules were adopted in Spain sometime in the 1500s.

Legend has it that the queen's power on the chess board was an idea of the Spanish chess players modeling queen Isabella, arguably one of the most powerful female monarchs in European history.


  • 5 years ago · Quote · #41


    Degree 0 of History. Below than poor.

    For a good book of Chess History in English look at Richard Eales' Chess: The History of a Game.

    Or if you can find it, the "Bible": H.J.R.Murray "A History of Chess", 900p of pure erudition, published in 1913 still unsurpassed.

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #42


    it amazes  me how many people got a chess.com account and looked up chess though the article is interesting

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #43


    Great to know, how the game Chess has been evolved...

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #44


    "Immortal game" ...that's a nice name :D

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #45



  • 5 years ago · Quote · #46


    The Pawn and the King are going in the same box after the game!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #47




    information overload!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #48



  • 4 years ago · Quote · #49


    It is ironic 'Chaturanga' came back to India after Europeans had remodelled it (isabella et.al.) as Shatranj (persian) or Chess (english) and 'Chaturanga' itself is now totally forgotten..thanks for this article..

    breaking it down the word 'Chaturanga' has the following meaning -

    Chaturanga is made of two words - 'Chatur' and 'anga'

    Chatur - intelligent/sharp/witty

    Anga - parts/pieces/components

    Thus going back in time 

    Chess-> Shatranj->Chaturanga (meaning 'Intelligent Pieces')

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #50


    it is the life

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #51


    you know , in Iran we still call this game ' shatranj' . it is the Persian name of chess.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #52


    did u know in iran bishops of chess are in fact symbols of elephants?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #53


    I've heard a legend that it was created either in India or Persia, bid by an absolutely bored King. He promise  to grant any wishes to whoever could create a game to keep him interested more than any other existent game.

    It is said that the inventor requested just one grain for the first square, and to double the amount in every consecutive square. Unknowngly the King was surprised by such a 'humble' request. However when he summoned the mathematicians of the court to figure out the amount of grain that would result after the end of this calculation, he realized that such amount did not exist in all the granaries of his Kingdom. The amount: 2 to the Power of 64, which I believe gives a number of 35 + digits, if a remember correctly. If anyone knows about this, and the resulting number,  please complement the story.

    Have fun

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #54


    in india is rook elefant

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #55


    Yep, we Indians invented it first!!!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #56


    chaturanga was a nice game espcially playing with a dice who wanna play first with the high number of diced!!!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #57



  • 4 years ago · Quote · #58


    Making chess an Olympic sport will surely increase its popularity.
  • 4 years ago · Quote · #59



  • 4 years ago · Quote · #60


    Way back when the Queen moved like the King and Bishops only moved 2 squares at a time, and pawns only one square on their first move (yawn) making Rooks (ie Castles) the most powerful pieces just as in real life castles were very powerful until the advent of modern cannon. So chess seems to have advanced along with technology and possibly owes a debt to Queen Isabella too, although my ancestors (Jews) certainly don't!

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