History of Chess

If you know anything about chess at all – then you know that it’s a pretty old game. It’s several centuries old, and it comes from ancient times. Many people would like to know more about the history of chess, so if you’re one such person, then read on to learn.

history of chess

The general consensus among historians is that this game originated from the country of India, somewhere between the third and sixth century AD. Even though some theories place the origin of the game of chess in the country of China – they are by far discredited. The original game of chess was called “Chaturanga” in the native language, and in modern translation, this would go something along the lines of the 4 divisions of the military. Namely, the army was back then divided to cavalry, infantry, chariots, and elephants. You can at once see that this game was based on warfare and controlling an army on the field. The four divisions of the military were the chess pieces themselves, but with time they changed into the modern chess pieces.

The modern history of Chess

Between the thirteenth and the eighteenth century AD, the game of chess continued to evolve. It took the form that it has today, for the most part. At this part of the evolution of the game of chess, the queen was the piece that got overpowered. The game was then known as “queen’s chess” or “mad queen’s chess” to illustrate this fact. At this period there also came to be the move of castling – it was then called the king’s leap.

The romantic era of chess was next. There is a reason as to why this era is called romantic – and it’s because of the fact that the greatest chess players at the time considered the game an art form – not a science. So, the accent wasn’t put on sound, slow positional play, but on daring gambits and sacrifices. The most popular games at the time were the games where chess players made a sacrifice of the highest order – for example, a queen’s sacrifice, and then ended up taking the game by mating the king.

Wilhelm Steinitz was the first chess world champion, and he’s considered a pioneer in the modern understanding of chess. He consolidated the scientific, strategical principles behind the game of chess, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest chess players in history. Chess continued to grow in popularity at the time, and there were many tournaments that were held. This increased popularity of the game gave birth to some of the greatest chess masters of the time, such as Botvinnik, Fisher, Tal, Kasparov, and many others.

The future of Chess

And nowadays the game of chess continues to evolve. There will be fads that will come and go – such as the romantic period – but what’s important to note is that our understanding of the game continues to evolve unheeded. We constantly learn of new principles and of new methods of implementing the older principles in chess. So, chess is a game that will never be fully understood – but we can still progress in our understanding of it for a long time to come.