Chess was forbidden by the Taliban in Afghanistan for 15 years, possibly to prevent intellectuals from getting together. The Taliban believed chess was a form of gambling and it distracted people from saying their prayers. For five years, Afghanistan was the only place in the world where chess was illegal.
There is only one master in Afghanistan, Ismail Ibrahim. There are only 7 players from Afghanistan that have a FIDE rating. Afghanistan first became affiliated with FIDE in 1984. In 1989, Afghanistan issued stamps with a chess motif (chess in Alfonso paintings). Afghanistan was temporally excluded from FIDE for non-payment of debt.