The history and development of chess
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The history and development of chess

Chess is one of the most competitive indoor games followed in different parts of the world. Chess is a board game with black and white squares. There are black and white pieces depicting the queen and the king as well as animals such as horses, camels and elephants. There are pieces depicting soldiers as well. It is said that chess was originally from India and Persia. However, the form of chess played today originated in Western Europe in the 15th century. Today chess is played at a professional level in tournament and at an informal level homes and clubs, and as one of the many online gaming options. The purpose of the game is to checkmate the opposite player’s king.

The first signs of organized chess were observed in the sixteenth century. The first world champion in chess was Johannes Zukertort in the year 1886. The current world chess champion is Viswanathan Anand of India. During the last 20 years, scientists have been developing chess playing computers that can compete with human players. Deep Blue is a super computer capable of making millions of calculations a second for every move. Garry Kasparov, a world chess champion was defeated in 1996 by a super computer.

As mentioned before, the first signs of playing chess were noticed in India in the 6th century. The game was known as chaturanga then which refers to four divisions of the army such as the elephants, cavalry, infantry and chariots. The game was played as shatranj in Persia around 600 AD. The game then quickly became popular in Western Europe and Russia by the 9th century. In 1000 AD, the game spread throughout Europe. The rules of the game were modified a little in southern Europe in 1200. Again major changes were made in the year 1475.The modern rules were then adopted in Spain and Italy. The queen became the most powerful piece of the army and it could move any number of squares in horizontal, cross and vertical direction. Hence the queen was also known as the Mad Queen.

Chess soon moved from Europe to France in the 18th century. Chess was also played in coffee houses in European cities like Paris. The chess organization developed quickly in the 19th century. There were correspondence matches between various clubs. The first professional chess tournament was held in London in 1851. Adolf Anderssen of Germany won that tournament. In 1886, Johannes Zukertort from Germany became the first official World Chess Champion. Emanual Lasker then defeated him and held the title for 27 years.

The number of tournaments quickly grew at the end of the 19th century. The World Chess Federation was founded in 1924 in Paris. In 1927, the first woman world champion was Vera Menchik of England. The Soviets established their dominance in the sport after 1948 starting with Mikhail Botvinnik. FIDE became the official organization and it soon arranged chess tournaments for professional players. The players were divided into different zones depending on the number of tournaments they had won at different levels.
February 27, 2008, 9:18 pm

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