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Am i still on chess.com or have i come to some alternate reality. I have to stop visiting these threads. I feel my intelligence slipping with each visit.
This reminds me of the old running gag on STOS. You know. Where Chekov was always telling everyone.. 'it vas inwented in Russia first'
So is there a town called Chessville and who is the mayo?. If somebody say their is a tale of gold chess board that will reveal all the secrets of great play i will visit you and chain you to a chess board and force you to play checkers for 48 consecutive hrs using the chess pieces.
I know only that I played chess in Baghdad, where it was popular, and that I took it with me to Cordoba, where it had not been played prior to my arrival. Inasmuch as the article mentions my actions, I cannot conclude that the author is wholly in error.
I wonder did they have debates over the game like we have at chess.com. Sure they had their equivalent of a GM.
There are ways to deduce the origins of many things. One of which is by the use of etymology.
For example, the name in Persia was the word chatrang, this is a derivation of the Sanskrit word chaturanga (meaning four arms of the military). The Arabians further evolved the word to shatranj.
The first documented use of the word in Middle Persia was between 300 and 700 A.D. The reference was to a Shah in the third century as a shatranj master.
The evidence does seem to suggest that the origins were from the sub-continent.
Clearly, in the pictures proposed as evidence, there are to be games that seem to appear similar to chess however, the rules of such may or may not be significantly differing, enough to negate the concept.
It seems disingenuous to equate Africa and Egypt and give credit to "Africa" because complex board games orginated in Egypt. Egypt was clearly tied to the Mediterranean World. Ancient Egypt should be considered part of the Near East, (along with Assyria,The Babylonian Empire,Palestine,etc.) And after Alexander the Great, Alexandria is in the sphere of Mediterranean Europe. North Africa was the breadbasket of Rome and when it was lost to the Vandals, it was considered part of the Roman Empire that was lost. The fringe of Africa along the Mediterranean is part of the Mediterranean World. Let's be real about this: Sub-Saharan Africa is not part of the picture here. It would be like saying that Germanic tribes in Scandinavia were really influencing everything happening in Southern Europe behind the scenes. Well I guess they did ultimately, but not until they were actually in Southern Europe. The most efficient form of travel in the ancient world was via water, and that is why the Mediterranean was the focus of everything. (It is why for example Russia was irrelevant for centuries until Peter the Great created the fresh-water port of Saint Petersburg on the Baltic.)Also the second article on Ethiopian "chess" says unequivocally they got it from the Arabs: "This counsellor moves diagonally, but only one square at a time; therefore the "Fers" is the same as the "Vizier" in the Arabic game of Shatranj. This is a clear indication of the fact that the Ethiopians adopted Shatranj and transformed it into the African brand of chess they call Senterej." So putting the two articles together, you can deduce the chain is Egypt->Arabia->Ethiopia.
Thanks to the article, was searching for something relating to this article and then read this comment. It made me laugh, clearly a misunderstanding about your Geography knowledge. Egypt is part of Africa. I think it's so easy in our modern days [of computers] to look up a google map. I will excuse the American education system, but I don't think you can blame your teachers/education system. It's more a fact of being ignorant.
Geography isn't entirely physical (...)
Voice of wisdom.
Some people seem to be taken that issue personally, as if inventions of the time were reflecting today's creativity (to avoid saying superiority) of some people over others.
But even if chess originated near the African Great Lakes (which it did not), "Africa" in the implied meaning of "today's countries belonging to the African continent, in that they form a roughly homogeneous cultural sphere" is wrong, because that area did not exist at the time. It's just as if you credited the European Union with Archimedes' inventions, and deduced that people with a Schengen-country passport are a superior people (this claim might not sound so ridiculous in 50 years).
As for some dubious claims :
Slaves did not build pyramids. No. It is just false.
Moreover, unlike what most people think, slave labor is highly unefficient because the "workers" have absolutely no incentive to work well. It was already pointed out by Adam Smith, and Stalin provided us with a bigger scale experiment, aka Gulag, and the results speak for themselves.
Just differing views of what's important in geography.
Some people will equate Egypt and its grandeur with Africa, based solely on its physical location, and be entirely reasonable in doing so. It does in fact sit right there in Africa. Just the same way there's clearly a physical entity called "America," and it lies on the North American continent.
Others view geography through a cultural lens, and justifiably claim that Egypt was far more strongly influenced by the culture and politics of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Just as America, Australia, etc. have no real cultural claim to anything of historical value, being essentially overflow spots for European imperialists.
Chess Originated In Africa
Sorry no it did not Chess came from India then it spread to Persia (Modern day Iran) when the Muslims conqured the Persians they adopted it and they were the ones who spread it to Europe H.J.R Murray spent over 10 years researching and writing a History of Chess in pain staking detail it's a collasal work over 900 pages long. He taught himself Arabic to decipher ancient texts and documents. He traced the history of the game from it's Indian beginnings all the way to the end of the 19th century.
Alexander Kotov in The Soviet Chess School (1983 book not the 1950's Soviet School of Chess which is a different work) affirms in his book that Chess came directly from Persia or Arabia to Russia around the 11th-12th century.
I don't find the OP's argument convincing.
Why is it that everytime someone talks about you there's always a racially toned flamewar going on in the comment section. Not blaming you, just want to know.
One love and much respect,
I thought it was India
africans created chess
Thank you for necroing a 2 years old thread for this amazingly detailed information
Chess did not originate in Africa. No, the game we know as chess is European game, circa 1490’s in Spain.
During that time, the Queen attained her current powers, the Bishop was made more active, and castling first appeared.
Chess had its humble origins in India. From there the games traveled westward through the Middle East, then to the northern coast of Africa, and then to the Iberian Peninsula. Essentially, chess advanced with the Muslim armies.
A secondary, commercial route took chess from the Middle East to what is now Italy, with the Muslim traders, but it doesn’t appear that chess made any rapid progress beyond Italy.
Egypt was just in the way of the movement of chess, making no contributions to the game. Some images, thousands of years old, exists of two players engaged in a board game. But a closer inspection of these images reveal the game to more resemble backgammon, a game that is older than chess and with considerably less documentation about its origins.
Saying chess originated in Africa is like saying yachting originated with the Egyptians as they had boats with sails.
Chess did not originate in the 1490s. Chess originated in the 500s or 600s. Bishops moved 2 squares diagonally and could jump. Pawns moved 1 square only. Queens 1 square diagonally.
1475 is when chess became what are today's rules except Castling wasn't included yet and nor was en passant.
Prior to 1475, the Rook was the strongest piece, Knight second.
I think suggesting that Senet lead to Chess is an unjustified leap based on them both being board games. There is always the possibility of "independant discovery" where another culture created something already existing on their own. Possibly, the oldest chessmen ever discovered were Afrasiab Chessmen from 700ad Samarkand (now Uzbekistan), so to make an unquestionable claim that Chess originated elsewhere, there would need to be evidence (archaeological/linguisitic, etc) that the game spread from Africa to Samarkand.
I think that BF made your point, distinguishing between modern chess and the old game. Modern chess's emergence in Spain, and ancient chess's origins in India are both in the quoted text.I'm curious about your precise 1475. I seem to recall that Marilyn Yalom was not able to offer that precision in Birth of the Chess Queen.
By what standard does one use to determine the origin of a board game? Remember the rooks were originally elephants and the other pieces differ in shape and/or function (with the exception of the knight).
Taken to the extreme, defining the origin of chess by saying that there were pieces that moved on a board is strictly arbitrary. One could argue that any board game, or anything else, that uses an 8 x8 board, is the origin of chess.
So why do we say that chess originated in India? It was;
(1) One of the first games with pieces that differ from one another,
(2) The game was not based on luck, but on strategy (no dice),
(3) Because the game was based on skill, it could be studied in great detail,
(4) Since it could be studied, it was attractive to intelligent people, to a level never reached before by another game (or at least none that we know of),
(5) the game could be used to teach patience (and it has been!).
The game has gone through many changes (and IMHO, those changes are improvements). These changes include the movement and design of the pieces (see above), board design (there were no black or white squares – which made it difficult to talk about dark square weakenesses), and notation.
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