Internet Chess Club: History of Chess
Although it is well know that the history of chess is a very old subject, quite how old chess is still appears to be up for debate! The Internet Chess Club brings you what we know!
What is the most popular theory behind the origins of Chess?
There have been reports with chess being played over 2000 years ago, but the clearest evidence to have been uncovered only appears to date back as far as the 6th century AD. Chess really seemed to become popular around the 1800′s, however, this is partly to do with the introduction of chess tournaments and chess championships around the world.
The Internet Chess Club understands that it is believed that the history of chess actually evolved from another game called Chaturanga, where less pieces of slightly different characters were used. On that basis it would appear that it was originally the Persians who gave the game of chess to the Arabs and from that point it was passed onto the Europeans. It was at that point the Europeans decided to rename various chess pieces to tie in with their everyday way of life.
Each chess player sets their pieces on opposing sides of the chess board which are made up of rooks or castles, knights, bishops, a king and a queen. In front of that is a line of pawns which are normally scarified early in the chess game to help protect the back line and those pieces around the king and queen.
Did the original chess set materials differ to the modern day sets?
In the earliest days of the history of chess, it was found that chess sets were usually made of bone with the more costly chess sets then being made up of wood. If you were seriously wealthy and liked to show that fact off then you would have your chess set carved from ivory. One of the earliest chess sets actually discovered was made of ivory and was discovered in Uzbekistan in fairly good condition. Unfortunately only a few chess pieces survived from the actual set.
What is the oldest chess set we know about?
It is believed you have to go back in the history of chess to the 12th century to find the oldest know ‘full’ chess set dates which was made up of four sets, a total of 96 different pieces, originally made in Norway from ivory. Prior to that some pieces were discovered in a monastery in Spain but unfortunately did not survive very well compared to the ivory sets – it is believed that the chess set found in Spain in 1021 was actually made from rock crystal.
We’ve found this great video to discuss further about the origins and history of playing chess:
Has Chess got a long future?
As our Internet Chess Club members will already know, in its most recent form there are quite literally millions of players still involved with the game of chess, whether it be in its online computer form, as a hobby or via your local chess club. With the level of strategy and tactical awareness which is required in each game of chess, still clearly manages to draw chess players in of all different ages. The history of chess continues… and especially for you Internet Chess Club readers, hopefully for a long time to come!