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Hm...kinda like syphilis.
James stop doing that!!! BTW do you want a draw?
Sam Sloan thinks chess was invented in China. Just sayin'.
Sam is an old friend, although I never met him at the Richmond Chess Club when I started going in the late '60s (His name was fairly high on the club ladder, which was inactive at the time). He has some pretty strange ideas generally.
He was able to compete in Chinese Chess - in China - at a high level, that may have influenced any opinion he expressed about the origins of chess itself (in such regimes, praise for the country is always a way of winning favor, as with the Soviets who claimed baseball was a Russian invention).
It seems clear that many games derived from the earliest forms of a game in India, including dice, Parchesi, chess, and Backgammon. Alternative forms of chess developed in China, Vietnam, and Japan, but they seem to be early variants and not games which originated independently.
The game was brought to Europe via Persian and Arab conquerors returning from India, and early versions featured many local rules and customs. Around the 15th - 16th centuries, increasing trade and travel helped encourage standardization of the rules into basically what we play today. The rules adjustments made in recent decades center on the rules of competition more than the game itself.
I know that there are people who believe the Chinese invented Chess, but I think it's unlikely. If I look at Thai Chess, Japanese Chess, and Mongolian Chess, they all have more in common with Shatranj (the Persian game) than they have in common with Chinese Chess. To me, that suggests that Shatranj, or something very similar, is the common ancestor.
The Indian variants may be older than Shatranj, but I think Xiangqi, the Chinese variant, must have been a derivative, rather than an ancestor.
Tonight Jeopardy had a couple of chess questions; one involved the place of origin of the game, which was asserted to be Iran; a second point was made during the show that the game of chess originated when someone created figurative pieces to show how his brothers were killed in battle....
All I hope is that Sean Connery was on it.
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