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Chess history


Chess are without doubt the most exciting of intellectual games. Everybody knows what chess is. Many people can play chess more or less well. However, not every person knows what the history of chess began with.

There is no unambiguous answer for the question when chess appeared. However, 570 B.C. the official date of origin of chess. This date has been chosen because chess has been first mentioned in writing in 570 B.C.

Chess historians say that the chosen date is incorrect and chess had been invented much earlier. Most of them tend to adhere to the following version.

Chess was invented in 1000 B.C. by a then famous Indian mathematician who was also known for inventing the power of numbers. He presented his creation to the almighty Indian rajah. The rajah was so impressed that he decided to give a generous award to the inventor. So he asked: “What prize do you want for your invention?” The mathematician answered: “Put one wheat seed on the first field, two, on the second, four on the third, eight on the fourth and so on until you reach the last field.” The numbers in the beginning seemed so little to the rajah that he agreed immediately. He did not even think that it would be so easy. However, in practice it appeared that the last field should contain more wheat seeds than existed at the moment in India or even in the whole world.

This is one of the most ancient and beautiful stories about the birth of the great chess game.

Some scientists move the date of origin of chess towards the border of 2nd or even 3rd millennium B.C. To justify their theories they say that chess were known in India, Iraq and Egypt at the time. These claims even seem to be confirmed by archeological findings.

There are many theories and talks about the fact that chess were invented long before the ‘official’ date of their origin, they all require proves. Which they don’t have. This is why most scientists agree that it is correct to count the age of chess from the first written notice which happened in 570 B.C.

The first official account about chess is a book where it is described in detail how chess arrived in Persia from India. The Indians tried to coax the Persian king Chosroes I Anushiravan (531–579) with their presents. In the book everything that concerns chess is described in detail. Special attention is paid to terminology and capabilities of each piece. The next written account of chess is a poem by a very famous Persian poet Firdousi. In his poem he was closely describing a wonderful thing that was granted to the Persian king by the grateful Indian people. He calls it ‘a rather amusing game’. This is what Firdousi himself wrote: “Among the gifts to the Persian king there was a rather amusing thing. It was a game. It represented the battle of two armies: black and white”.

It is known that soon after that the Persian army began to loose one battle after another. Soon Persia was fully subdued. It is the subjection of Persia that brought the impetus for chess to travel around the civilized world.

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