Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Brief Look on the History of CHESS

Chess is a competitive game normally played between two players. It is sometimes called the nternational or Western chess. The recent form of the game emerged in the southern part of Europe during the second half of the fifteenth century. Nowadays, the chess is one of the world’s most popular games.

English: A large chess game inside Enoch Pratt...
A large chess game inside Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Humble Beginnings

The game of Chess has been attributed both by the Arabs and the Persian people to the Indians. Chess then spread throughout the world and several variants of chess soon began taking form. Chess was introduced to the Near East from India and eventually became the part of a courtly and princely education of the Persian nobility. It is also known that the Silk Road traders, Buddhist pilgrims and others carried the game to the Far East where it was assimilated and transformed into a game played on the intersection of lines of the board rather than within the squares.

The game Chaturanga reached Europe through the Byzantine and Arabian empire, and Persia. By the tenth century, the Muslims carried the chess game to Sicily, North Africa and Spain.

Later on, chess was extensively developed in Europe during the late fifteenth century. Fortunately, the
game survived several series of prohibitions and sanctions by the Christian Church.

When the game arrived in Europe it attained a social value and seen as a prestigious pastime related with high culture and nobility. This status of the game explained the exquisite and expensively made
chessboards during the medieval era. The popularity of the game in the Western society peaked during the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.

Eventually, chess was incorporated into the knightly lifestyle in Europe. In fact, Peter Alfonsi mentioned in one of his books that chess is one the seven skills required by an individual to be a good knight. Also, the game became a subject of art during the period. There are several monarchs, like Queen Margaret of England who symbolized the position of chess in the royal art treasures through jasper and crystal chess sets.

Rise of Modern Chess

During the years 1834 and 1851, cutthroat chess became noticeable through the London Chess tournaments, which also made concern regarding the time taken by players to move their pieces. It was realized that the players normally took hours to analyze the moves and one almost took nearly two hours and twenty minutes to think over a single move during the tournament.

Fortunately, the development of speed chess was seen during the following years, where the most popular variant is the five-minute chess. There is also a final variant that allowed a player who made the predetermined amount of moves in the agreed time to receive extra time budget for his or her next moves.

It was not until 1861 when the first time limits, through the use of sandglasses, were used in a tournament at Bristol. Later on, the sandglasses were replaced by pendulums. During the turn of the 19th century, a tiny latch, also known as flag, helped settle the arguments over the players exceeding time limit turn.

Also in the 19th century, position analysis became popular. There is even a Russian composer with the name of Vladimir Korolkov who created the "Excelsior", which stated that the White side wins only by creating six consecutive captures by a pawn. Later, there are several analysts who emerged, including Vasily Smyslov, Jan Timman, and Mikhail Botvinnik.