Chess Originated In Africa


Yeah, about time.


Anytime, always willing to help🐾 lol




If Kirsan says it, who can dispute?


Egypt is an African culture. Very closely related to her sister the Nubian empire.


If memory serves, the Nubians ruled Egypt for a time. 🐾

iMacChess wrote:

If memory serves, the Nubians ruled Egypt for a time. 🐾

Yes, the 25th Dynasty. In 1000 B.C.E.,the Nubian Emperor was the most powerful man on Earth.


It was through Africa that chess spread from the civilised world to Europe. I know this because I introduced chess to Europe.


Bad Dog!!


Correct...this is a forum,not a research paper,however, if you wish to be understood as presenting a claim vs a mere opinion,then a reason has to be presented,such as a citation or some sort of evidence, on why your claim should be taken seriously.

Fiveofswords wrote:
Irontiger wrote:

well no...citation isnt needed. this is a forum not a research paper. (blah blah blah)

Sure. But if you have no way to give a reason besides "methinks so" when challenged on a claim, I hope no sane mind will trust you.

Btw, no need for the condescending tone - even if you were crushingly superior to me at chess, which you are not judging by your ratings, I would not take your word for it.





Virtual Museum 

Home PageThe Virtual CollectionPapers About GamesAncient Games PageThe Meaning of Senet


This elegant looking game board (pictured on the left) is made of ebony, ivory, lapis, and gold, and was found in King Tut's tomb, along with a number of other games of this type. Tut died about 1350 B.C., nevertheless, Egyptologist indicate that a version the game of Senet was probably played in Egypt prior to 3000 B.C. Archaeologists report that board games first appear about 9000 B.C., and Senet may be an evolved type of these very early board games.

Click on the left menu item above to read a scholarly paper written in 1980 about this game and some of interpretations concerning it over the years. Archaeologists and Egyptologist have been excavating Egyptian tombs for more than a hundred years, and have unearthed a great deal of information about the game of Senet. While there are no written instructions for play of the game that have survived the millenniums that it has been played, there are many types of "evidence" that have enabled Egyptologists to explain how the game can be played.

This evidence is in the form of many wall paintings in tombs illustrating people playing the game, papyrus scrolls which include information about the game, and of course, some hieroglyphic evidence. Since the game was played in the mid-east into the early A.D. centuries, there are findings about the game during those times.

Archeological findings from different periods range from the elaborate board such as found in Tut's tomb, to simple baked clay tablets. This range of materials suggests that people of all social classes played Senet.

When the Museum moved into new quarters on the University campus in the mid-1970s, it borrowed the Senet game (on the left) from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for an exhibit. The "board" was not a board as such, but 30 preserved earthen tiles held in a wooden frame built by the ROM. The game pieces (that the ROM provided) were similar to ones that would be used for Senet, but were from another archaeological find. The ROM's arrangement of the tiles was appropriate, since in the main, a "standard" Senet board consisted of 30 tiles arranged in 3 rows of ten. In almost all of the Senet "boards" found, only the last five squares (bottom row) as in the ROM board, contain etched hieroglyphics on their top faces. All the other tiles are usually blank.

What do these hieroglyphics say, and what do they say about the play of the game? It is assumed by Egyptologist that the hieroglyphics have something to do with the play of the game, and are not just decorative. Since Senet is thought to be a game in which two player's race to complete a course on a track, the last five tiles either impede or increase a player's change of winning. This is much like in a contemporary game in which a player lands on a square that says "back up 3" or "advance 7 spaces". As in most "racing games on a track" some chance device is required by players to indicate how many moves they can make on the track during each turn. In contemporary games, dice are often used for this purpose. In Senet a set of "throw sticks" were used by players as a chance device.

In 1979 the Museum acquired the reproduction of the Senet game pictured on the left. As in more elaborate ancient sets, this reproduction has a drawer in the base to hold the playing pieces and the throw sticks. The reproduction was manufactured by Northwest Corner, a company in Seattle, Washington, U.S. The board (box) is made of wood and is 13cm long x 41.5cm wide x 4.6cm high. The top is divided into 30 squares, 3.5cm each and each is surrounded by molding.

The set includes a booklet with a history of the game and instructions for a number of ways the game might be played.

According to the manufacturer, this version is a pre 18th Dynasty version from Egypt, and thus the 5 hieroglyphics are placed as in that original game with one in the middle of the board, and four in the third row.

The wooden playing pieces are shaped like spools (2.4cm high) and cones (2cm diameter x .3cm high) There are 5 of each in the set. The four wooden "throw sticks" are 10.6cm long x 1.6cm wide x .6cm high. Each stick has a rounded embossed and painted top, and a plain underside.

There are many published references to the game of Senet. Here are a few:

H.J.R. Murray, A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess, Oxford 1952.

R.C. Bell, Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations, Oxford, 1969.

David Parlett, Oxford History of Board Games, Oxford, 1999.

Irving Finkel, Five Ancient Games, The British Museum, 2005.

Last update January 5, 2010

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Super convincing, except it ain't a chess game.


Hahaha, I know. I was thinking the same thing. What the fugg does that have to do with chess?? 

By the way, I invented the question mark & I can write a bunch of stuff to prove it. Not only that but I can even give y'all links to it so it seems even more legit. Checkmate.



Oh my, a simple discussion on the origin of chess results in " Africa bashing". Sometimes I wonder why we are hated so much. 

Some people say Egypt isn't in Africa. It's not ignorance they know it's in Africa but simple don't want to hear anything positive about Africa or its people. That's the reality. Let's no beat around the bush. It's racism. 


Egypt - In 2012 DNA tests were done on the Amarna mummies and Ramses 3 belonged to haplogroup E1b1a. This is the most common haplogroup amongst Bantu people and African Americans. The ancient Egyptians themselves said they came from the beginning of the Nile which is in Uganda. The analysis done by DNA tribes confirms this.

Culturally the ancient Egyptians are closer to Africans. Their language is still related to languages spoken in Africa today and those of us who can speak African languages can even understand  many of the words. Their preists wore leopard skins. Similar to the Zulus.


If there was no racism we would have simply discussed and debated whether chess originated in Egypt or India. Unfortunately that's all been lost because of hatred for Africa. Some of you need to grow up and stop being so racist. 


I I know there were board games in ancient Egypt that resembled chess but I also know that India also had similar games. Which one came first? I have no idea. What I do know is that the Persians learnt about chess from the Indians, the Arabs learnt from the Persians and brought it to Africa and then Africans introduced chess into Europe during the Moorish invasions. 


I don't  fully understand the origins of Ethiopian chess but they have their own version.


Someone asked why there are not presently a lot of African grand masters if chess originated in Africa. I honestly don't think such people deserve an answer for asking such stupid  questions!


There are African grand masters though....


What at a shame when the article talks about Africa instead of discussing chess I have to give you a history lesson!!






Chess comes  from India ...that is a fact..

Treesong wrote:

Chess comes  from India ...that is a fact..


Or possibly China. That is a fact.


In fact, no one knows with certainty. But, it is possible to exclude most of the world in our search.


It's a little disingenuous to speak of the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians as being the same as sub-Saharan Africans as if this were a settled fact -- the topic is one that's still being discussed -- and it's worse to tar anyone who claims that they weren't as racist. Either way, we're still some way from establishing that a board game played in ancient Egypt bears any relation to chess.