Hello and welcome to the world of chess!

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Today I would like to give our readers an overview of the origins of chess.

The most popular theories of how chess came into existence are as follows:

Chess History – A Famous Legend

One ancient legend we tell kids in the West Coast in South Africa is about the Indian king, and a wise old man in his kingdom. The king presented a challenge and asked the citizens to invent a game that would interest him and the winner will receive a treasure. The wise man wanted to convince the king of the importance of each citizen of his kingdom.

So, he invented a game to represent the kingdom consisting of the king himself, his queen, rooks, bishops, knights, and pawns (ordinary citizens), all of which were important.

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

Together with the king, he went to a chessboard and asked him to put one grain of rice on the first square, two on the second and to keep doubling it until the chessboard was full.

First of all, the king felt highly offended, but then he ordered his servants to fulfill the man’s wish. Desperately, the servants conveyed that such an enormous amount of rice did not exist!

The king understood that the wise man had given him a second lesson. Just like the pawns in chess, you should never underestimate the small things in life!

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

There are those who believe chess comes from India, but some people believe that chess was invented in China.

Until the end of the 15th century, chess changed numerous times, right up until the 1880’s, the game developed into the shape of the modern chess game.  This period is known as “the romantic era of chess”.

The first chess tournaments started to take place and even the first official World Championship was hosted in 1886 where Wilhelm Steinitz became the first official World Chess Champion.

Until the middle of the 20th century, there were tendencies towards romantic chess play, when players relied on tactics and extremely dynamic play. However, 20th century introduced another dimension to chess with the invention of databases, chess engines and several methods for comfortable and efficient strategical preparations.

Chess websites and online games were invented so that the romantic era was finalized and a new technological, digitalized era began.

Thus who invented chess? No one really knows, but it is a game of strategy and skill that is enjoyed the world over.

List of Classical Champs: The classical line of World Chess Champions began with Wilhelm Steinitz’s defeat of Johannes Zukertort in their 1886 match. Since that time, the World Championship has typically been contested in a match between the current champion and a challenger, though tournaments have been used on occasion for various reasons.

  • Wilhelm Steinitz(1886-1894)
  • Emanuel Lasker (1894-1921)
  • Jose Raul Capablanca (1921-1927)
  • Alexander Alekhine (1927-1935, 1937-1946)
  • Max Euwe (1935-1937)
  • Mikhail Botvinnik (1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-1963)
  • Vasily Smyslov (1957-1958)
  • Mikhail Tal (1960-1961)
  • Tigran Petrosian (1963-1969)
  • Boris Spassky (1969-1972)
  • Robert James “Bobby” Fischer (1972-1975)
  • Anatoly Karpov (1975-1985)
  • Garry Kasparov (1985-2000)
  • Vladimir Kramnik (2000-2007)
  • Viswanathan Anand (2007-2013)
  • Magnus Carlsen (2013-current)

List of Fide Champs: When Garry Kasparov split with the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and organized his 1993 World Championship match with Nigel Short, FIDE declared that they still controlled the World Championship title and staged their own championships. While the FIDE title did not carry the prestige of the classical World Championship, these players are still worth noting for their historical impact on the game.

  • Anatoly Karpov (1993-1999)
  • Alexander Khalifman (1999-2000)
  • Viswanathan Anand (2000-2002)
  • Ruslan Ponomariov (2002-2004)
  • Rustam Kasimdzhanov (2004-2005)
  • Veselin Topalov (2005-2006)

In 2006, the two titles were united when Classical World Champion Vladimir Kramnik defeated FIDE Champion Veselin Topalov in a reunification match.

Till next time, burn the chess candle on both ends.

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