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China

The Chinese Emperor Wen-ti executed two foreign chess players after learning that one of the pieces was called "Emperor."  He was upset that his title of Emperor could be associated with a mere game and forbade the game.  Chinese chess is played on a board 9 squares by 8 and the pieces move on the intersections of the lines rather than the squares, so that the actual playing area is 10 by 9.  One of the pieces as a cannon, unknown anywhere else. Chess was not listed as a competitive sport in China until 1956.  The Chess Association of  China was formed in 1966.  It didn't have its first championship tournament until 1974.  The first international tournament ever held in China was in 1980. :)

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