Anand on the origin of chess

PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
TIME's 2008 Summer Journey is dedicated to "Games people play". The chess section is written by no one else than world champion Viswanathan Anand.

"Who invented chess? Why is polo big in Pakistan? From the ancient city of Ur to modern Africa, from Cornwall to Korea, how sports and games have changed our world" is how TIME Magazine introduces their 2008 Summer Journey "Games people play". Quite an interesting read, and for the chess fans out here, naturally we have to mention the story about chess, written by... Vishy Anand. It starts

Where did chess begin? For many who play the sport at its highest, most obsessive levels, that's not just a question of history ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù it's a matter of ownership, of dominion. We're so completely lost in our universe of 64 black and white squares that we like to think every move we make changes the way the world exists. So it's easy for Russians to imagine that chess began when they started to play it. In 1991, at my first international tournament, in Reggio Emilia in northern Italy, a Russian grandmaster condescendingly told me I could at best be a coffee-house player because I had not been tutored in the Soviet school of chess, which then dominated the sport. With the arrogance of youth ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù I was 21 ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù I thought to myself, "But didn't we Indians invent chess? Why shouldn't I have my own route to the top of the sport?"

It would take me 17 years to find that route, and along the way I've had hundreds of conversations about the origins of chess ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù with players, fans, officials, taxi drivers, barbers and who knows how many people who sat next to me on a plane. I've heard the ownership of chess being claimed by Russians, Chinese, Ukrainians, Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Spaniards and Greeks. My own view is that the sport belongs to everybody who plays it, but the question of its origins is easy enough to answer: chess comes from India.


Here you can read the complete article and learn about the origin of chess from the world champion himself.
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