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The History of Chess- Who Invented the Game of Chess?

By Anushka Shukla January 17, 2023

Which Country Invented Chess

Chess, considered one of the oldest board games in history and also known as the "game of kings," is still a famous game and sport that fascinates millions worldwide. Even if many individuals play chess, most players have yet to learn who developed it, how it started, or anything else about chess's fascinating history. It would be best if you took advantage of the opportunity to learn about the history of chess and its development over time since the game itself is intriguing enough. Continue reading to understand the rich history of chess and the game's evolution over the centuries.

When did the Chess game originate?

India's first known version of the game was under chaturanga and dated back roughly 1500 years. You can track the earliest variants of the fun back to India, where it was famous by the name Chaturanga. This four-player strategy game incorporated many of the critical components of contemporary chess. The word "chaturanga" refers to the four branches of the Indian military: the infantry, the cavalry, the elephantry, and the chariotry.

A grid of eight by eight squares was to play Chaturanga, and the pieces were quite similar to those in contemporary chess. Chaturanga's rules were identical to modern chess's, with just a few key exceptions. These exceptions included restrictions on how queens and bishops might move. Chaturanga's purpose differs since players may win the game by capturing all of their opponent's pieces other than the King.

The game's popularity was throughout Asia to Persia, where the Rajah piece, which represented the King, was given the name of the Shah. By the 10th or 11th century, Chaturanga was anglicized to chatting from its original form.

The game eventually made its way to the Islamic and Arab worlds and Europe. Additionally, it rose to popularity in China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian nations, giving rise to the games of shogi and xiangqi, which are the Japanese and Chinese versions of chess.

Beginning in the late 18th century, people played the chess game in the Romantic style, which included swift and strategic actions.

Chess History – Intriguing Ancient Legend

There is a plethora of folklore, urban mythology, and educated speculation around the birth of chess. Grand Vizier Sissa Ben Dahir invented the chess game and given as a present to the Indian King Shirham, also known as Shahram, according to one of those fascinating old stories. The gift overjoyed the monarch, and as a token of his appreciation, he promised to award the man with whatever he desired so long as it was within reason.

The Grand Vizier asked that there be only one wheat grain placed on the first square of the chessboard, followed by two on the second square, four on the third square, and continue to double the amount on the consecutive courts until all of the squares on the chessboard are filled with grains.

King Shahram scoffed at the Grand Vizier's request for a token gift and demanded that someone determine the necessary wheat grain quantity. He did this because he misjudged the significance of the Grand Vizier's request. According to the request made by the Vizier, the average amount of grains that would fill up all of the squares was 18,446,744,073,709,551,615, which was equivalent to the harvest of many decades for the whole planet.

The King gave orders to his warriors to carry out the Vizier's request, and as a result, he learned a valuable lesson about the importance of not taking little things in life, such as pawns in chess, for granted.

Chinese Roots of Chess

Although many people think that people played chess first in India, some maintain that the game was developed in China. The game of chess is said to have been invented about 200 B.C. A military leader named Hán Xin created the chess game to commemorate a significant conflict. The game quickly fell into oblivion. But, it was revived in China in the seventh century A.D. with some significant rule changes.

XiangQi, which translates to "elephant game," was the term given to chess in China before it became famous in the world. And eventually made its way to Persia, where it underwent significant development to become the game of chess. After that, people started playing chess on an 8x8 board with standard chess pieces. XiangQi was quite unlike modern-day chess games. In addition, the board, the details, and the rules of chess were all different.

Arrival in Europe & Influence on Chess

The game of chess originated in Arab culture and made its way to Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. Byzantine Empire took the game to Southern Europe. The kings and nobles of Europe soon took up the game of chess throughout the medieval era. And it reached its zenith of popularity during the late medieval period.

Learning to play chess was a necessary skill for the nobility and aristocracy of the game. This was similar to how ancient Chinese nobility learned to play the game. Although playing chess was a necessary skill for knights, people also used it for gambling, bloodshed, and revelry. As a result, several Catholic Churches moved to outlaw the game owing to these negative connotations.

European Influence on Chess

Due to its meteoric rise in popularity, people suggested many technical and aesthetic adjustments to the game of chess. The European players were the ones who came up with the checkered boards. Also, they modified the names of the pieces to be more in line with the prevalent characters in medieval Europe. For example, the bishop, the knight, and the rook represented historical characters from medieval Europe.

The chess games during this time lasted anything from a few hours to many days. The sluggish pace of the game resulted in several rule adjustments. It included introducing an option that allowed players to advance their pawns to two squares in the front on their first move. Castling was another method that assisted in safeguarding the monarch in the early phases of its construction.

Around 1500, chess players in South Europe made several modifications to the game. One was to give the bishop and queen pieces more excellent capabilities. During this period, the length of the game was shortened. Legendary chess players like Ruy Lopez de Segura and Frenchman Andre Danican Philidor greatly impacted the game. This is due to their analysis of the fundamentals governing chess openings and end-game scenarios. This was the point in time when the modern game and chess theory first began to enter the picture.

Modern Chess – How did chess evolve to become a competitive sport?

In the 1880s, the chess game started to develop into the contemporary version. The period during which chess evolved into a modern game was known as the romantic age of chess. During this time, players used a variety of strategies, dynamic play, and reckless sacrifices while competing in chess matches. The Immortal game, played between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritky, was a well-known game during the romantic period. The game became famous when Andersen allowed Kieseritky to checkmate him and take most of his pieces.

The 19th century saw an increase in the number of people playing chess. Hence, chess started featuring more often in newspapers and other aspects of contemporary European society. 1851 was the year when London played host to the very first international chess tournament. As a result of this competition, variants in speed chess were created, current methods of keeping track of time were developed, and sealed moves were introduced. The first official World Chess Championship was held in 1886, and Wilhelm Steinitz won.

This event established Wilhelm Steinitz as the very first official World Chess Champion. Wilhelm Steinitz was the first player to win the title of an uncontested world chess champion. He was famous for his aggressive Romantic style of play, but he is also famous for developing the positional style that was most popular in the 20th century. In addition, Adolf Anderssen was an essential contributor to the rise to prominence of contemporary chess difficulties.

Emanuel Lasker, who held the title of World Champion for a total of 27 years, and Paul Morphy, considered an early chess prodigy, were two of the other prominent players of the era.

World Chess Federation

The World Chess Federation, popularly known as FIDE, standardized chess rules and organized international tournaments throughout the 20th century. In the early years of the 20th century, new playing styles and the evolution of chess theory were famous.

Throughout the majority of the 20th century, World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik and other World Champions like Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov dominated the game of chess. The legendary battle between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in the 1972 World Championship Match, popularly known as the Match of the Century, significantly impacted the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Computers' Introduction and the Effects on Chess

In the postwar era, chess computers and internet chess games entered the scene. Computers capable of defeating the top human chess players had tremendous repercussions on the game. In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue beat Kasparov, the incumbent world champion, in a match of historical significance.

The introduction of chess computers, engines, and databases assisted players in recognizing flaws in their playing style and discovering previously unplayed great new approaches.

The absence of a predominating strategy or playing style characterizes modern chess. In this game, players use numerous methods and tactics. Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion, is notorious for playing a variety of openings to mislead his opponents.

All-time Memorable Chess Matches

There are three matches in the history of chess that historians and players often refer to. These matches caught the game's passion and presented new chess techniques and concepts. The following contests were the most memorable in the history of chess.

The Immortal Game: Adolf Anderssen vs. Lionel Kieseritzky

The match between German Masters Lionel Kieseritzky and Adolf Anderssen was dubbed in the "Immortal Game". It is a game that was famous during the Romantic period. The game popularized aggressive attacks and daring maneuvers.

Bobby Fischer vs. Donald Byrne

Bobby Fischer, aged 13, defeated Donald Byrne to win the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament at the Marshall Chess Club in 1956. It was a masterpiece in the annals of chess prodigies, since a 13-year-old completed a combo move. The courageous sacrifices made the game remarkable in chess history.

Game 6: Kasparov vs. Deep Blue

In 1996 and 1997, Garry Kasparov competed in a series of matches against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. Deep Blue beat the incumbent world champion, Kasparov. 1997's Game 6 was the last game between Deep Blue and Kasparov. Even though Kasparov had won the competition in 1996, an enhanced version of Deep Blue was in this game. In fewer than twenty moves, Kasparov surrendered after an innovative knight sacrifice.

History of Chess in a Nutshell

It is difficult to determine who first thought of playing chess or where it was first played. However, one thing we understood is that the game of chess and card games online expanded across countries and over the ages. It underwent multiple iterations of evolution. The many beginnings of the game of chess and the various championship matches contribute to the history of chess. It is no surprise that the game of chess has maintained its popularity over many centuries. However, First Games by Paytm continues to be a game for pleasure on various online gaming platforms and in international championships.


  • Who invented the game of chess? Arrow
    Wilhelm Steinitz, the first World Champion and generally regarded as the "father of modern chess," examined in detail numerous double king-pawn openings (starting with 1. e4 e5) in his 1889 and 1895 books The Modern Chess Instructor.
  • Who created India's chess? Arrow
    The group of Indologists, however, had practically concluded that chess began at Kannauj, the capital of the Maukhari empire. It was in the sixth century when Kannauj was the seat of power. In place of saltpeter, the Maukhari monarch Sharva Varman presented his contemporaneous Persian ruler Khushrau-II with the game chaturanga.
  • Is chess Indian or Chinese? Arrow
    Chess originated in India about 600 CE. The Persians adopted the Indian game before making its way to the West through the Arab conquest of Spain. In chess, two opposing teams of white and black pieces face off on an eight-by-eight chessboard.
  • Does chess boost intelligence? Arrow
    Chess offers several cognitive advantages, such as the capacity to enhance your I.Q., empathy, and memory.
  • Can we win a game of chess in two moves? Arrow
    Fool's Mate is the "two-move checkmate" in chess. Even among absolute novices, this checkmate happens seldom. Yes, you can accomplish it by using Black, resulting in a checkmate with the queen on the second move.


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