A Brief History of Chess

Unknown to many, chess has grown from a simple game to the complex game. While many countries claim to be the origin of the chess game, the earliest record point to India during the reign of the Persian Empire. The history of chess covers the development of the game from first being a common man’s game in the Persian Empire to being a royalty game when it came to Europe. Throughout the history of chess, a lot has changed including the increase in the number of pieces, the characters used and rules. The history of chess documents has its adoption world over and its popularity largely due to the challenge it poses and the fact that it can be played by anyone at anytime. There are only two things that have hardly changed in the chess history. This is the aim of the game and its essence.

The aim of chess is to capture the opponents general and its essence is basically using strategies to achieve this while at the same time countering your opponents’ moves. The first form of chess discovered in the 6th century in India was called Caturanga. It had four pieces which covered the infantry, elephants, the Calvary and chariots. This military association has stayed on throughout the history of chess. Over time, more pieces would be added depending on the culture of the country. The power of the pieces would also vary. For example, it was not until the 15th century that the queen became the most powerful of the pieces. This has largely been attributed to the European influence by the time.

A history of chess would be incomplete without mentioning the variations of the game that have existed prior to the modern game. Actually even the modern game would have different forms of the current chess sets until when Nathaniel Cook and Jaques invented chess set that would later become the standard of the game. The Chinese people have long held that their form of chess was the pioneer of the modern game. Their game called Xiangai is still popular in China and Vietnam. The characters include a general, an advisor, elephant, horse, a chariot, cannon and soldier. The Indian generation on the other hand was played in the 18th -19th century. It is from it that the concepts of castling and pawning first appeared. It had a king, queen, elephant a role played by the present bishop, a horse which is the modern knight, a boat and an army. The boat and the army are modern day rook and pawn.

The Korean chess is also another variant in the history of chess. It borrows largely from the Chinese game and even uses the same pieces, it is however unique from other forms as it involves jumping cannons and long range elephants. The Japanese form was played in the 10th to 12th century and had 1 king, I horse, 1 bishop, 9 pawns, 2 knights, two lances and had two categories of generals. Two silver generals and two gold generals. All models have greatly contributed in the making of the history of chess and the modern game.

Chess Pro is the author of this article on Chess Set.
Find more information, about Chess Set here.

Leave a Reply