Interesting Chess Facts

Because the chess game is being one of the oldest games created there are many interesting facts surrounding this game? Many researchers say that chess originates from India, due to its similarities to a Hindu game called Chaturanga that has been around just as long. However, there are some that believe it originates from China, 2nd century BC and the word checkmate actually derives from a Persian phrase shah mat, translating into the king is defeated. The game is so lost in its antiquity that no-one really knows where its origins lay.

Chess originated in India in the 6th century. It was called “chaturanga”, which means literary “four divisions of the military”. Another theory is that is started in China around the 2nd century BC. Chess reached Europe and Russia around the 10th century. What we do know is that today Chess Games are held any where, in homes, at clubs, online and by mail either for recreation or in a competition or tournament. The most important aim of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king!

Most chess players, who evolved into masters, became students at an early age. World chess champion Jose Capablanca began to play chess at the age of four after watching his father, Anatoly Karpov was taught the moves of chess also at four years old and then went on to become a grandmaster and world champion, and Boris Spassky learned the strategies of the game at the age of five. International grandmaster is one of the highest titles you can receive, Judit Polgar achieved this at 15 years old and Bobby Fischer was awarded the title of international master at 14 years old. Of course chess isnt only for the very young; its popular with all ages. Gyorgy Negyesy who died in 1992, just before his 99th birthday, was the longest living master chess player.

Chess games can last hours or minutes depending on the skill of the players or even their fortune. It is unbelievable but there have been games which involved only 1 move, amazing! A famous game like this was held between Rogoff and Huber in 1972. But the longest game ever recorded was between Nikolic and Arsovic, held in Yugoslavia in 1989. This chess game involved 269 moves and took over 20 hours and no one won.

Not only men but women regularly win championships and claim world titles as well. Nona Gaprindashvili was the first woman to win a men’s chess tournament in 1977. Here she tied for first place and after this went on to achieve men’s international grandmaster status in 1978. Maia Chiburdanidze who was 17 years old was the youngest womens world champion of all when she won the women’s title in 1978. The first woman in history to qualify for the men’s world championship was Susan Polgar in the year 1986. Again is does not matter what age you are because Edith Price was 76 when she won the British ladies championship in 1946.

Not satisfied with a normal game of chess, some players like to set themselves a challenge and thats exactly what George Koltanowski did when he played 56 consecutive games in 1960. In 1977, Czechoslovakian Vlastimil Hort played 550 opponents, 201 of them simultaneously. He won all but 10 games in just over thirty hours. He won 50 and drew the other 6. He also played blindfolded! In 1997, Dimitrije Bjelica played 312 games simultaneously, winning 219, losing 1 and drawing 92. Not everyone is a winner of course as was proved when Austrian master Josef Krejcik played 25 games simultaneously in 1910 and lost every one.

Chess sets are not only simple and practical, many of them are beautifully hand crafted. A unique chess set was discovered in 1170. Carved from walrus tusks, each of the characters is shown in a bad mood, ranging from anger to depression. If you are looking for unique chess pieces, Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalis did an amazing job with a design that exchanged the traditional chessmen with fingers and thumbs made of silver based on his own digits.

Interested in the game of chess now? All you need to do is purchase yourself a basic chess set and you can start learning how to play chess today. Oh, and you will need a willing partner of course! Or if you already know how to play why not treat yourself and upgrade your chess board and chess pieces with a quality set?