“I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” – Marcel Duchamp
Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games played all over the world. The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, when International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded in 1924. The idea to celebrate this day as the International Chess Day was put forward by UNESCO, and it has been celebrated as such since 1966.
The day is celebrated by over 605 million regular chess players around the world. A 2012 YouGov poll showed that “an astonishingly stable 70% of the adult population has played chess at some time in their lives”. This number holds at approximately the same level in countries as diverse as the US, UK, Germany Russia and India.
How to Play Chess?
Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered surface with 64 squares organized in an 8×8 grid. Chess is believed to be originated from India in sometime before the 7th century. The game was derived from the Indian game chaturanga, which is additionally the possible ascendant of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi.
The play doesn’t involve hidden data. Each player begins with sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops and eight pawns. Every one of the six-piece sorts moves differently, with the foremost powerful being the queen and also the least powerful being the pawn. The target is to checkmate the opponent’s king by putting it under an inescapable threat to capture.
Chess in IndiaChess has risen in popularity in India in the last few decades primarily due to chess Grandmaster and former World Champion Viswanathan Anand. He became India’s first grandmaster in 1988 and held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, thus becoming the first Asian to do so. Also, won the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2003 and 2017.
Pendyala harikrishna, Parimarjan negi, Surya shekhar ganguly, Koneru humpy are some of the other Indian Grandmasters who participated at various level and are well recognized worldwide.
There have been several attempts by FIDE to include chess in Olympics, however, the International Olympic Committee declined with the statement, “Mind sports, by their nature, cannot be part of the event.
“Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) Chess doesn’t really fall into any of these categories, which makes it harder to convince the IOC to add Chess to the Olympic program.”
Finally, Some fun facts about this amazing cerebral game.
- The word “Checkmate” in Chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the King is dead.”
- From the starting position of the game, there are actually 8 different ways to Mate in two moves and 355 different ways to Mate the opponent in three moves.
- The new Pawn move, advancing two squares on its first move instead of one, was first introduced in Spain in 1280
- Albert Einstein was a good friend of former World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker. In an interview with the New York Times in 1936, Albert said, “I do not play any games. There is no time for me to play it. When I get my work done, I don’t want anything which requires the use of the mind.” He did start playing Chess in his later life.
- Rookies i.e. players in their first year, are named after the Rook in Chess. Rooks are usually the last pieces to be moved into action, and the same is for the Rookies.
- The second book ever printed in the English language was about chess!
- The first computer to compete in playing chess was invented in 1951, by Alan Turing. However, no pc was powerful enough to process it, so Turing tested it by carrying out the calculations himself and playing in accordance with the results, thus taking several minutes per move.
- In many languages, the Pawn is a foot soldier, but in German and Spanish, it’s a peasant or farmer, instead!
- Initially, the Queen could move only one square at a time, and that too diagonally. Later, she could move two squares at a time, same as diagonally. And it wasn’t until Reconquista Spain, with its powerful queen Isabella, that the Queen indeed became the strongest piece on the board game.
- In Shatranj, the predecessor to chess, the Queen was a minister or vizier, and still is in many languages.