The cerebral Indian mind has conceived many a feat like giving the concept of 0 et al, but the mindsport of chess stands all over the others. The game was initially originated in India, where it was called Chaturanga, which appears to have been invented in the 6th century AD. Chess can be visualized as an abstract war game, or as a “mental martial art”, and teaching chess has been advocated as a way of enhancing mental prowess. Despite the nerdy veneer, the game of chess offers a war like feel.
Chess is played both recreationally and competitively in clubs, tournaments, online, and by mail (correspondence chess). Many variants and relatives of chess are played throughout the world. The most popular, in descending order by number of players, are Xiangqi (in China), Shogi (in Japan), and Janggi (in Korea).
HOW TO GO ABOUT PLAYING CHESS
Chess, sometimes also known as international chess, is a board game for 2 players and is played on a square board of 8 rows (called ranks) and 8 columns (called files), giving 64 squares of alternating color, light and dark, with each player having a light square at their bottom right when facing the board.
HOW IS CHESS PLAYED
Each player begins the game with 16 pieces that each move and capture other pieces on the board in a unique way: eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, one queen and one king. One player (who is always first to move) controls the white pieces, the other player controls the black pieces. The colors are chosen either by a friendly agreement or by some official. White always moves first and has a slight advantage over black in this respect. The chess pieces should be set up on a standard chessboard with a white square in the bottom right hand corner.
In chess, when one or more of the opponent’s pieces directly attacks a king, the player is said to be in ‘check’. When in check, only moves that can escape from check are permitted. The object of the game is to checkmate your opponent- this is when their king is checked, and no move can be made that would escape from check.
The 2 main things that determine a player’s ability and his style of play are-TACTICS and STRATEGY. Nevertheless the game of chess as it progresses into the middle game it becomes so complex that not even the best players can consider all contingencies or permutations arising.
Each chess piece moves a different way. The rook moves along horizontal and vertical lines, while the bishop moves in diagonal lines of the same color. The queen is a combination of the rook and bishop (it can move diagonally, horizontally and vertically). The knight can jump over occupied squares and moves in an L shape. Pawns can move forward just one square at a time (they can move two squares if they haven’t moved off their starting square). Pawns are unusual because they attack diagonally and not in the direction of movement. The King is the most important piece, yet it can only move to an adjacent square.
When a piece is captured (or taken) the attacking piece moves towards and replaces the enemy piece on its square (en passant being the only exception). The king cannot be captured in regular chess, because if a king is under attack (known as check) then the player must move the king out of check. If a player is unable to get their king out of check it is called checkmate and the game is over.
Chess games do not have to end in checkmate. Often at the higher level of chess, games end in a draw (tie). A draw can occur under many situations including: mutual agreement to draw, stalemate, threefold repetition or the fifty-move rule.
A few positional elements are common to most chess “tactics” and “traps”.
FORK-: A fork is a situation where a piece is moved such that it is attacking (forking) two other pieces simultaneously. It usually is difficult for the other player to protect both of their pieces in one move.
PIN-: Pins can be used to prevent the movement of an enemy piece by threatening any pieces behind it should it move.
SKEWER-: Skewers are kind of reverse pin where the more valuable piece is placed in front of a less important one.
discovered attack-: is an attack where a piece moves and uncovers a line for another piece, which does the attacking.
Other tactical elements include: zwischenzug, undermining, overloading and interference.
During the endgame pawns and kings become relatively more powerful pieces as both sides often try to promote their pawns. If one player has a large material advantage checkmate may happen quickly in the endgame, but if the game is relatively even table bases and endgame study are essential. Controlling the tempo (time used by each move) becomes especially important when fewer pieces are left on the board. In some cases, a player will have a material advantage, but won’t have enough pieces to force a checkmate. There has been an immense proliferation in the number of books published and lines of play developed.
Some definitions of terms that are frequently used are as follows-:
Analysis – The part of the thinking process where you say to yourself, “If I go there, what is he going to do and then what I am going to do in reply?” – It is the part of the process which creates the mental “tree of moves” so to speak. Some players call this calculation, but I usually don’t use that term. If pressed for a definition, I would say that calculation is the part of analysis that deals with tactics
Evaluation – Looking at a position and deciding who is better, by how much, and why. Static evaluation is when you evaluate a given position without trying to move the pieces. Dynamic evaluation is done at the end of each analysis line, after you have tried to determine a potential sequence of moves. Note: When someone says “Evaluate this move”, they are really saying “Evaluate the positions that would result from this move – assuming each player is trying to make his best move.”
Planning – What you do with the information of why someone is better (evaluation of strengths and weaknesses) in possibly occurring lines. It is how you will try to exploit opponent weaknesses, negate yours, use your strengths, and negate his. It is the way you are going to try to achieve some general short and long-term goals.
Threat – A move that, if left unattended, could do something harmful to the opponent (win material, checkmate, damage the position) on the next move.
Attack – To move a piece so that it can capture a piece on the next move. An attack on the King, since you cannot capture it, is of course called a check. (In this sense I am not using the other definition of attack, which is to play aggressively, keeping the initiative). Note that not all threats are attacks (a threat to checkmate is not an attack, nor is a threat to control an open file), and many attacks are not threats. A Queen move which attacks a guarded pawn is not usually a threat since taking the pawn next move usually results in loss of material.
Candidate move – A reasonable move a player might/should consider.
Killer Move – A move that would refute most potential moves and prevent them from becoming candidate moves.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
Although the popular belief is that the game originated in India, but other popular myths also circulate. By some accounts the game arose from the similar game of Chinese chess, or at least a predecessor thereof, existing in China since the 2nd century B.C. Joseph Needham and David Li are two of many scholars who have favored this theory.
Chess eventually spread westward to Europe and eastward as far as Japan, spawning variants as it went. From India it migrated to Persia, where its terminology was translated into Persian, and its name changed to chatrang. From Persia it entered the Islamic world, where the names of its pieces largely remained in their Persian forms in early Islamic times. Its name became shatranj, which continued in Spanish as ajedrez and in Greek as zatrikion, but in most of Europe was replaced by versions of the Persian word shah = “king”.
There is a theory that this name replacement happened because, before the game of chess came to Europe, merchants coming to Europe brought ornamental chess kings as curiosities and with them their name shah, which Europeans mispronounced in various ways.
Early on, the pieces in European chess had limited movement, bishops could only move by jumping exactly two spaces diagonally, the queen could move only one space diagonally, pawns could not move two spaces on their first move, and there was no castling. By the end of the 15th century, the modern rules for the basic moves had been adopted from Italy i.e. pawns gained the option of moving two squares on their first move and the en passant capture therewith, bishops acquired their modern move, and the queen was made the most powerful piece, consequently modern chess was referred to as “Queen’s Chess” or “Mad Queen Chess.” The game in Europe since that time has been almost the same as is played today. The current rules were finalized in the early 19th century, except for the exact conditions for a draw.
Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) is the regulatory body which governs the game,it was founded in 1924.Although chess is not an Olympic sport, it has its own Olympiad, held every two years as a team event.
The “greatest chess” player of all time
The 1972 World Chess Championship contest, held in Reykjavík, Iceland, between the American Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, received unprecedented worldwide media coverage and boosted the game’s popularity to new hieghts. The enigmatic Fischer broke the Soviet stranglehold on the world title in a match reflective of cold war tension. Fischer, however, forfeited the title in 1974, the first player ever to do so, by refusing to play a championship match.
Chess’s popularity was enhanced in the 1980s by championship duels between Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. In 1993, Kasparov, who had held the world title since 1985, broke with the International Chess Federation (FIDE), which reinstated Karpov as champion after a playoff. Kasparov, still regarded the best player in the world, lost a match in 1997 to the IBM computer Deep Blue (see artificial intelligence a for a more detailed discussion of the development of computer chess programs), which was then “retired.” In 1998, Karpov retained his championship by defeating Viswanathan Anand of India, but relations with FIDE were further strained when Karpov refused to participate in a 1999 tournament, which was won by the relatively unknown Russian Aleksandr Khalifman. Despite Khalifman’s claims on the FIDE championship, by 2000 it was widely recognized that Kasparov was the world’s number-one player and that his onetime protégé, the 25-year-old Russian Vladimir Kramnik , was ranked second. In a 2000 match Kramnik defeated Kasparov in a 16-game match and became the world’s top chess master.