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In english the name is written Chess



Chess is an abstract strategy board game for two players. It is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks) and eight columns (called files), giving 64 squares of alternating color. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces, which are progressively eliminated (captured and removed from the board by opposing pieces) as the game proceeds. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent. This occurs when no further move can prevent the king from being captured.

In Russian, the name is written Шахматы.

In Traditional chinese 國際象棋 - "international chess" (国际象棋; guoji xiangqi.

Chess is one of the world's most popular games; it has been described not only as a game but also as an art and a science. Chess is sometimes seen as an abstract wargame; as a 'mental martial art', and teaching chess has been advocated as a way of enhancing mental prowess. 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, janggi in Korea, and makruk in Thailand. The game described in this article is sometimes known as Western Chess or International Chess to distinguish it from other variants.

Overview of the game

Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks) and eight columns (called files), giving 64 squares of alternating color, light and dark, with each player having a light square at the bottom-right corner when facing the board. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces which can move in defined directions (and in some instances, limited range) and can remove other pieces from the board: each player's pieces comprise eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, one queen and one king. All pieces can remove opponent's pieces by landing on the space they occupy.

One player controls the white pieces and the other player controls the black pieces; the player that controls white is always the first player to move. In chess, when a player's king is directly threatened with capture by one or more of the opponent's pieces, the player is said to be in check. When in check, only moves that can evade check, block check, or take the offending piece are permitted. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent; this occurs when the opponent's king is in check, and no move can be made that would prevent the king's capture. Normally a checkmate will require the cooperation of several pieces, but can also be achieved with one.

Each kind of chess piece moves a different way. The rook (also known as a 'castle') moves any number of vacant spaces vertically or horizontally, while the bishop moves any number of vacant spaces in any direction diagonally (meaning a bishop will always remain on the same color; note that each side has a bishop for each colored square, and between them they cover the whole board. Losing one bishop often creates weaknesses on the same colored square as the lost bishop). The queen is a combination of the rook and bishop (it can move any number of spaces diagonally, horizontally, or vertically). The king can move only one square horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. The knight can jump over occupied squares and moves two spaces horizontally and one space vertically (or vice versa), making an L shape; a knight in the middle of the board has eight squares it can move to. Note that every time a knight moves, it changes square color.

With the exception of the knight, pieces cannot jump over each other. One's own pieces ('friendly pieces') cannot be passed if they are in the line of movement, and a friendly piece can never replace another friendly piece. Enemy pieces cannot be passed, but they can be 'captured'. When a piece is captured (or taken), the attacking piece replaces the enemy piece on its square (en passant being the only exception). The king cannot be captured in regular chess, only put in check. If a player is unable to get the king out of check, checkmate results, with the loss of the game.

Pawns capture differently than they move; they can capture an enemy piece on either of the two spaces adjacent to the space in front of them (i.e., the two squares diagonally in front of them), but cannot move to these spaces if they are vacant; conversely, a pawn can move forward one square, but only if that square is unoccupied. Alternatively, a pawn can move two squares forward if it has not moved yet and both squares are empty. If a pawn advances all the way to the eighth rank, it can be promoted to any other piece, except a King or another pawn -- in practice, the pawn is most often promoted to a Queen.

Chess games do not have to end in checkmate. Either player may resign if the situation looks hopeless; also, games may end in a draw (tie). A draw can occur in many situations, including mutual agreement to draw, draw by insufficient material, stalemate, threefold repetition or the fifty move rule.

Until the 1970s, at least in English-speaking countries, chess games were recorded and published using descriptive chess notation. This has been supplanted by the more compact algebraic chess notation. Several notations have emerged, based upon algebraic chess notation, for recording chess games in a format suitable for computer processing. Of these, Portable Game Notation (PGN) is the most common. Apart from recording games, there is also a notation Forsyth-Edwards Notation for recording specific positions. This is useful for adjourning a game to resume later or for conveying chess problem positions without a diagram.

Chess variants

Chess variants are forms of chess where the game is played with a different board, special fairy pieces or different rules. There are over 1500 unique variants of chess. Bobby Fischer noted the overemphasis on memorizing chess openings in normal chess and invented Fischer Random Chess. In this chess variant the initial position is selected randomly before each game, which makes it impossible to prepare the opening play in advance.

As computers can now well play Fischer Random Chess, a special anti-computer variant has been created for FICGS correspondence chess server, called Big Chess. There are many more chess variants, like Suicide chess, where the goal of the game is to lose all of one's pieces and if a piece can be taken, it must be taken by the opposing side. Very popular between chess players is also Bughouse chess, in which two teams of players play against each other and give captured pieces to their partner. In Progressive chess the number of pieces one can move increases each turn (i.e. white moves one piece, black moves two, white moves three, black moves four etc.) And in Nuclear or Atomic chess, not only the captured piece is being removed from the board after the capture, but also the capturing piece and every other piece of both players, positioned in any adjacent square to that of the capture! Chess boxing is a hybrid sport which combines the rules of chess and boxing.

Origins of chess

Many countries claim to have invented the chess game in some incipient form. The most commonly held view is that chess originated in India. As a matter of fact, the Arabic, Persian, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish words for chess, are all derived from the Sanskrit Chaturanga. The present version of chess played throughout the world is ultimately based on a version of Chaturanga that was played in India around the 6th century CE. It is also believed that the Persians created a more modern version of the game after the Indians, called Shatranj. Another theory exists that chess arose from the similar game of Xiangqi (Chinese chess), or at least a predecessor, thereof, existing in China since the 2nd century BC. Scholars who have favoured this theory include Joseph Needham and David H. Li.

Chess eventually spread westward to Europe and eastward as far as Japan, spawning variants as it went. One theory suggests that it migrated from India to Persia, where its terminology was translated into Persian and it name changed to chatrang. The entrance of chess into Europe, notably, is marked by a massive improvement in the powers of the queen. The oldest known texts describing chess seem to indicate a bi-directional spread from the Persian empire. 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 sha-h = '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 sha-h, which Europeans mispronounced in various ways.

* Checkmate. This is the English rendition of sha-h ma-t, which is Persian for 'the king is finished'.
* Rook. From Sanskrit 'Rath' which means 'chariot', or the Persian rukh which means 'chariot' or 'cheek' (part of the face). The piece resembles a siege tower. It is also believed that it was named after the mythical Persian bird of great power called the roc. In India, the piece is more popularly called haathi, which means 'elephant'.
* Bishop. From the Persian pi-l means 'the elephant', but in Europe and the western part of the Islamic world people knew little or nothing about elephants, and the name of the chessman entered Western Europe as Latin alfinus and similar, a word with no other meaning (in Spanish, for example, it evolved to the name 'alfil'). This word 'alfil' is actually the Arabic for 'elephant', where 'al' means 'the' and fil means 'elephant'. The Spanish word would most certainly have been taken from the Islamic provinces of Spain. The English name 'bishop' is a rename inspired by the conventional shape of the piece which resembles the tusk of an elephant and the mitre of a bishop.
* Queen. Persian farzi-n = 'vizier' became Arabic firza-n, which entered western European languages as forms such as alfferza, fers, etc but was later replaced by 'queen'.

The game spread throughout the Islamic world after the Muslim conquest of Persia. Chess eventually reached Russia via Mongolia, where it was played at the beginning of the 7th century. It was introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors in the 10th century, and described in a famous 13th century manuscript covering chess, backgammon, and dice named the Libro de los juegos. Chess also found its way across Siberia into Alaska.

Modern chess

Early on, the pieces in European chess had limited movement; bishops could only move by jumping exactly two spaces diagonally (similar to the elephant in xiangqi), 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: 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.

The most popular piece design, the 'Staunton' set, was created by Nathaniel Cook in 1849, endorsed by Howard Staunton, a leading player of the time, and officially adopted by Fédération Internationale des échecs (FIDE) in 1924.

Chess' international governing body is FIDE, which has presided over the world championship matches for decades. Most countries of the world have a national chess organization as well. Although chess is not an Olympic sport, it has its own Olympiad, held every two years as a team event. To enter the FIDE a fee must be paid that will enable you to be registered on the chess players directory.


The title International Master is awarded to outstanding chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. The title is open to both men and women. Instituted in 1950, it is a lifetime title, in chess literature usually abbreviated as IM. FIDE also awards the lower title of FIDE master (FM) and the higher title of Grandmaster (GM). See a list of chess grandmasters and FIDE rating list.

World chess champions

* Unofficial champions (pre-championship era)
o Philidor
o Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais
o Howard Staunton
o Adolf Anderssen
o Paul Morphy

* Official champions (1866-1993)
o Wilhelm Steinitz
o Emanuel Lasker
o José Raúl Capablanca
o Alexander Alekhine
o Max Euwe
o Mikhail Botvinnik
o Vasily Smyslov
o Mikhail Tal
o Tigran Petrosian
o Boris Spassky
o Robert 'Bobby' Fischer
o Anatoly Karpov
o Garry Kasparov

* 'Classical champions' (1993-2006)
o Garry Kasparov
o Vladimir Kramnik

* FIDE champions (1993-present)
o Anatoly Karpov
o Alexander Khalifman
o Viswanathan Anand
o Ruslan Ponomariov
o Rustam Kasimdzhanov
o Veselin Topalov
o Vladimir Kramnik

See also

Other resources about chess :

Chess servers
Chess forums
Computer chess

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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File last modified on 2016-5-11
Contributor : devassal thibault

See also this article on Wikipedia : Chess

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