History of chess

Chess is a sport known all over the world played by numerous fans.

There are a variety of legends, stories and conjectures starting from the dispute over the place and ending with the dispute over when the history of chess began.

However, everyone agrees that the invention of this game is not attributed to a single person, since chess is too complex for a single human mind to have been able to create all its rules.

Until Wilhelm Steinitz became the first official World Champion in 1886, the game of chess has been in constant flux. From a game of which almost no similarity to today's chess is recognized anymore, dominated by intuitive decisions to the super-logical struggle between engines.

An ancient legend that many children even find in their math books is about an Indian tyrant king, Shihram, and a wise man. The sage wanted to convince Shihram of the importance of each resident of his kingdom.

So he invented a game that represented his kingdom, consisting of the king himself, his queen, the towers, bishops, horses and pawns, all of which are important for survival.

The king liked the game very much and understood that the game was like real life. So he ordered everyone in his kingdom to play chess! Shiram offered the man all the gold and beach he wanted, but the wise man didn't want any treasure.

Together with the king, he went to the chessboard, and asked him to put one grain of wheat in the first square, two in the second, and keep doubling the amount until the chessboard was full.

First, the king was very offended, but then he ordered his servants to fulfill the man's wish.

Desperately, the servants concluded that such an enormous amount of wheat did not exist and the king understood that the wise man had given him a second lesson. As with the pawns in chess, you should not underestimate the little things in life!

This is one of the most popular legends about the history of chess. But there are many more...

One day, a man named H. J. R. Murray was interested in approaching the origins of chess. So he decided to share his discoveries with the world by writing the book "A History of Chess" in 1913.

In his book, Murray assumes that the history of chess began in northern India, traveled to Persia, and from there the game spread throughout the Asian continent.

In the eastern world, for example in India or Persia, chess became an important part of the courtly education of the nobility. Already in those days, words like "Shāh!" - king in Persian - or "Shāh Māt!" - the king is defenseless - they were used in the games in a similar way to our modern terms "Check" and "Checkmate". The rules were also quite similar to those we know today.

Murray describes the game from which chess was derived, called Shatranj. He then depicts the role of medieval chess in Europe during the Middle Ages, which travelled from the Middle East to Russia, and from there to Western Europe.

Finally, in the third game of his book, the author arrives at the beginning of modern chess in the 19th century, chess as we know it today.

Not only is it believed that chess came from India, but other ideas have also spread.

Many people believe that chess was invented in China. Legend has it that chess was invented in 200 B.C. by commander Hán Xin, who invented the game to represent a particular battle.

After the battle, which was very important for Chinese history, the game was forgotten and only reappeared in the 7th century A.D., with several new rules.

The game became popular under the name "Xiang Qi", which means "the elephant game", so it lost its reference to the old battle. The elephant game was very different from the chess we know today. It had other pieces, another board and even other rules.

According to this origin, chess went from China to India and then Persia, where it was slowly modified in chess with an 8 x 8 squares board and pieces that we know.

Up to the end of the 15th century chess changed numerous times, survived Christian Church sanctions as well as complete prohibitions from time to time.

From those days until 1880, the game was developed to achieve the form of modern chess. This period is known as the "Romantic Age of Chess!

Chess has slowly gained competitive character, concrete rules and grew in popularity among people. Strategic planning and a great study of theory were postponed topics.

In the first place, problems about rapid tactical motives and confidence in intuitive moves were the law.

The first chess tournaments began to be played and even the First World Championship was held in 1886, in which Wilhelm Steinitz became the First World Champion.

Until the middle of the 20th century certain tendencies of the romantic game were maintained, with players relying on tactics in the extremely dynamic game.

However, the twentieth century revolutionized chess with the invention of databases, engines and various methods for a comfortable and efficient strategic preparation.

First chess sites and online games were invented, so the romantic era ended and the new, digitalized, technological era began.

All in all, there is a great variety of hypotheses about the history of chess and its origins. But it can be said that no specific person invented this world-renowned game. It changed over the centuries and will probably continue to change.