Chess is an ancient game developed many centuries ago. As such, with a few variations and improvements upon the original rules – it has stood the test of time to this very day. Nowadays millions of people enjoy playing chess for fun, and some even take things a step further and make a career out of their chess playing passion. But how did things originally start, when it comes to chess?
Historians in researching the theme of chess have reached a general consensus that the game was originally created in the country of India, somewhere between the third century and the sixth century AD. The original name of the game in the native language was chaturaṅga, and in translation, this word means “four divisions”, which in turn encompasses the four divisions of the military: the infantry, the cavalry, the elephants, and the chariotry. Of course, these pieces of the chess board, later on, evolved to be known as the pawn, the knight, the bishop, and the rooks, respectively. There are also some theories that the game originated in China – but those theories generally run out of favour in the historian circles.
From the year 1200 to 1700, the rules of chess were standardized and they have evolved in big part to their current version. The queen was the piece which gained the biggest boost in chess power, and this is why this game was known back then as “queen’s chess” or “mad queen chess”. The defensive manoeuvre of the castle was introduced then and originally was known as the “king’s leap”. The game continued to rise in popularity, and in this period, were written some of the first books in existence related to chess theory.
Then came the so-called romantic era of chess. This is a phase of the evolution of chess when people considered it much more an art than a science. So, some of the greatest chess masters of the time were known to have played games much more aggressively and wildly than the chess games we see today. There were a lot of sacrifices of chess pieces so that the player that makes the sacrifices will be able to achieve someone of a kind daring combination that will the game. This was considered the top of the mountain when it came to chess skill, and people revered this style of chess.
The modern period of chess began with the chess theories of Wilhelm Steinitz, the first world champion in chess, and arguably one of the greatest chess players in history. He has made tons of contributions to the theory of chess, and chess players were becoming aware of the intricacies various chess positions through his theories, for the first time ever. Since that time the number of chess master tournaments that were held annually began growing, and this rising popularity of chess has given birth to some of the greatest chess players in history: Mikhail Botvinik, Jose Raul Capablanca, Mikhail Tal, the legend Bobby Fischer, Gary Kasparov, and many others.
Today chess remains a hugely popular game that’s played by millions of people all around the world. This trend of popularity is projected to grow, and more and more people will get to know about the depth and intricacies of chess, and they’ll know just how fun it can be to play chess.