The History of Chess

Chess is an abstract strategy game and one of the oldest and most popular games ever played. Chess is a demanding game of strategy, planning, and deduction. A skilled chess player plots their moves and makes an effort to always be one step ahead of their opponent. It’s a clever-witted contest that demands concentration and close attention to detail at all times. It is not surprising that chess has changed with all of its intricacies. There is much mystery and intrigue surrounding the history of chess. The question of who created the game of chess is still unanswered in the twenty-first century.

Earliest History

In the past, chess was a very different game. It is said that the game of chess originated in India circa 600 A.D. Then, it had a very different appearance.

The game, called chaturanga, was played with four players, an uncheckered board, dice, and some symbolic carvings that probably had nothing to do with the actual game. The goal remained the same, even though the specific rules are unknown: checkmate the opposing team’s king.

The Gupta Empire, which at its height ruled over almost the whole Indian peninsula, is when the game first emerged. The Gupta Empire was renowned for its contributions to academia, culture, and the canonization of literary works.

This was the period when the game gained more popularity. Following the Arab conquest of Persia in the 630s A.D., the Muslim world adopted the game of strategy and so contributed to the spread of culture.

The game expanded throughout Asia and the Byzantine Empire as a result of Arab influence. It probably entered Russian tradition from there.

Chess invaded the region and soon became the game of kings as it continued its western march toward Europe.

On to Europe

The game, which is now known as chess, gained popularity after being introduced to southern Europe. Usually, conquering armies carried it to new lands. For example, when the Normans conquered England, they brought chess with them.

Chess swiftly rose to prominence as a noble and sophisticated past time. Known as the “game of kings,” elaborate sets were made for the game, which had great social significance. Particularly in the West, courts began to play the game.

Chess became patronized by European kings and queens. Terms and comparisons related to the game started to surface in writing and everyday speech. It was fast rising to prominence as one of the most popular games in Europe.

The 16th century is when the form that we know today first started to take shape. The bishop and queen pieces developed greater strength and mobility during this period. As the queen piece gained value, pawn promotion became a more common strategy.

New laws were enacted all over Europe. Checkmate got simpler. There were fewer moves required to win a game, so the process was faster. Chess was truly in the process of evolving.

France rose to prominence as the hub of European chess activity in the 18th century. Significant progress was made in the game’s strategy and tactics during this period.

Coffee shops gained popularity as places to play and study chess, and chess theory emerged as a major area of study. Before long, players were searching for fresh approaches to elevate the game and usher it into the rapidly emerging modern era.

Two Hours, One Move

Chess quickly became more competitive as it gained popularity. With the advancements brought about by specialists and academics, the duration of time required to play a single game started to become a bigger issue.

The players who gave the game their all understood that a match could last for hours or even days.

It might have taken the players more than two hours to decide on a single move because they deliberated so much over each move.

This had to be altered.

The game’s universe was gradually expanded to include speed chess, starting with 5-minute games. More advanced iterations were quickly created. A fixed amount of time was given to each player for a set number of moves.

Before the game started, these guidelines were decided upon, and breaking them would result in forfeiture and fines. As chess became a more aristocratic and prosperous game, fines appeared to have less of an impact than forfeiting a game.

Time limits became the norm for fair play when clocks were first utilized in competitions in the 1860s. The game moved into a new stage of development as components and regulations were standardized.

The Sport

The first ever international chess tournament took place in London in 1851.Despite being designed by an Englishman, a German emerged victorious. The first-ever international chess champion was Adolf Anderssen.

It had become a sport, chess. More than that, the publications and new theories that sprang up around it constantly reflected its status as art. Gamers dug deeper and deeper into the game, always looking for new ways to execute moves and stratagems.

Chess enthusiasts worldwide seemed to be obsessed with finding the shortest path to victory in the game. As new theoretical developments were sought to enhance the game that had drawn attention from all over the world, a network formed.

There were exponentially more annual master tournaments by the end of the 19th century.

In 1886, there was the inaugural World Chess Championship, with Wilhelm Steinitz emerging victorious.

The sport of chess would keep evolving during the 20th century. In Paris, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was established in 1924. It took on the role of the sport’s governing body, overseeing all international contests.

World Chess Champion is an esteemed title, and tournaments have become more uniform. Chess keeps changing as time goes on. Furthermore, as chess players advance in strength and speed, the game becomes even more thrilling.

Who Invented Chess?

It is safe to say that more than one person did not create the game, even though we are unsure of who created it all those centuries ago. Through the efforts of people throughout history, chess has evolved into the game we know today, and its longevity and rich history demonstrate that it is here to stay.

Chess Basics: Chess Board Setup and the Rules of the Game

Perhaps the most glamorous game on a table is chess. Every time, the renowned strategic thinking battle promises interesting, original play. Many grandmasters from all over the world have achieved success and recognition for their abilities throughout its history.

Chess is an amazing game that anyone can play, even if they are a total beginner. Of course, knowing where to begin is helpful! Continue reading for a quick setup guide and some foundational guidelines. After that, take pleasure in losing yourself in the intriguing realm of chess.

Sometimes a chessboard arrangement is quite lovely. A welcoming level surface for gaming is adorned with glass, wood, or novelty figurines. Each player can easily see and plan their moves on the traditional board, which alternates between dark- and light-colored squares that are eight across and eight deep.

Even people who have never set up a chessboard before can easily understand how to do so. First things first, novices need to understand the fundamentals of each kind of game piece.

Chess Pieces

Each player has one king (the most important) and one queen (the most powerful). There is also a row of pawns that guard all other pieces in the initial few moves. A correct chess board setup includes each of these pieces:

  • One king, occasionally with the piece’s surface shaped like a crown
  • One queen, who is typically the tallest and who might have a unique crown
  • Two bishops, shaped like a diamond
  • Two horse-shaped knights
  • Two castle-shaped rooks
  • Eight pawns are typically the simplest and shortest

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the pieces in a niche or specialty set may have quite different looks. The boards and pieces listed above are only for conventional use. Many games completely reject the traditional piece shapes in favor of more creative carvings or designs.

Chess Setup

You’re all set to assemble your board once you can recognize the components mentioned earlier. Choose the two middle squares on the row nearest you whose colors match the colors of your pieces, then position your queen there. That middle square goes to the king.

Encircle the king and queen with two bishops, working your way outward. The rooks ultimately take the outermost two squares, while the knights own the next two squares. In front of this configuration is a full row of pawns.

All sixteen pieces occupy the first two horizontal rows when assembled correctly. Then, to accommodate gameplay, there are four vacant rows between the pieces with light and dark colors.

Well done! Your setup is now complete. Let’s now review some of the guidelines to get you going in your first game.

Basic Chess Rules

The pieces are light-colored or white, and the players take turns switching off. Each piece can choose to move to a vacant space or to get closer to a piece owned by the opposing player in order to capture it. The other player takes their piece off the board if they are able to successfully capture that piece.


The objective of a chess game is for one player to checkmate the king piece of the opposing team. When the king is unable to move to any square without being captured, checkmate results. A stalemate occurs when there are no possible moves and the king is not in check, which also ends the game.

A king must be in check, or in danger of being captured by the piece of the other player, in order for there to be a checkmate. Next, in order to protect himself, the king can either move or, if that is not possible, use another piece to block the check. Throughout a match, there may be multiple times when the king is checked and no obvious winner.

Every chess piece collaborates with every other piece, executing captures (offense) or offering cover (defense). Sometimes it’s better to “bait” the opposing player into a better position strategically by using one capture-able piece, like giving up a pawn to make a row of blanks across the board.

Typically, a player aims to take command of the board’s center. It will take several moves to accomplish this because the pawn row needs to open up in order for the other pieces to have a chance to move forward. Throughout the remainder of the game, you must choose which pieces to use in order to pursue the king of the other player without giving up too many of your own.

Piece-Specific Movements

Every chess piece has a specific movement pattern that they can follow. The most unusual is the knight, who moves in an L-shape (two squares in one direction, followed by one at a ninety-degree angle). Pawns can advance one square at a time or two at a time on their first turn, unless they capture a piece on a diagonal position.

The bishop only makes diagonal movements. A rook can move over a horizontal or vertical plane by zooming forward and backward as many spaces as it can without colliding with another piece. The strongest piece in the game, the queen, can move similarly to a rook and can also move diagonally like a bishop.

Lastly, the king is limited to one movement from its square in any direction. It can capture images in the same way as any other piece. The king and queen are always the pieces in a chess setup that need to be watched out for the most out of all the other pieces. 

Specialty Moves

  • Castling – When all squares in between a king and rook are empty, and if neither piece has yet moved, they may perform a castle. The king moves two spaces towards the rook or edge of the board, and the rook then flanks him on the square closest to the inner side. This provides greater protection to the king, pushing him further into the corner and creating a wall of defense towards the center of the board. If the king is switched with the closest rook, it’s called a kingside castle; if switched with the one further away, it’s called a queenside castle. 
  • En Passant is the French translation of this unique pawn move, which means “in passing.” It is only possible when specific requirements are fulfilled, like the pawn of the opposing player moving two squares into a specific location on the board. The first player can then capture the other pawn and allow their own pawn to advance freely up the board by moving the pawn adjacent to their own instead of moving it straight forward.
  • Promotion – If a pawn succeeds in traveling all the way to the other end of the board vertically, they may trade up to another piece. Typically a player will want to flip to a queen as it is most powerful, but in rare cases (such as a checkmate opportunity) another piece may be chosen instead.