Introduction To The World Of Chess
The game of chess is a recreational activity that involves two people competing on a board game. Chess is undoubtedly one of the world’s most popular board games, as shown by its official organizational structure and huge involvement in competitive events.
The objective of the chess game is to capture the opponent’s king, using the chess pieces assigned to the player. Checkmate, which is a term used to describe a captured king, is when the king cannot be positioned anywhere to defend itself.
A player can also resign and relinquish the chess game to the opponent if the former does not to pursue the game any further, in which the latter wins the game.
HISTORY OF CHESS
The history of chess spans over 1500 years. The earliest predecessor of the game probably originated in India, before the 6th century AD; a minority of historians believe the game originated in China. From India, the game spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century. The “Romantic Era of Chess” was the predominant chess playing style down to the 1880s. It was characterized by swashbuckling attacks, clever combinations, brash piece sacrifices and dynamic games. Winning was secondary to winning with style. These games were focused more on artistic expression, rather than technical mastery or long-term planning. The Romantic era of play was followed by the Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras.
In the second half of the 19th century, modern chess tournament play began, and the first World Chess Championship was held in 1886. The 20th century saw great leaps forward in chess theory and the establishment of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Developments in the 21st century include use of computers for analysis, which originated in the 1970s with the first programmed chess games on the market. Online gaming appeared in the mid-1990s.
MODERN COMPETITIVE CHESS
Competitive chess became visible in 1834, and the 1851 London Chess tournament raised concerns about the time taken by the players to deliberate their moves. On recording time it was found that players often took hours to analyze moves, and one player took as much as two hours and 20 minutes to think over a single move at the London tournament. The following years saw the development of speed chess, five-minute chess and the most popular variant, a version allowing a bank of time to each player in which to play a previously agreed number of moves, e.g. two hours for 30 moves. In the final variant, the player who made the predetermined number of moves in the agreed time received additional time budget for his next moves. Penalties for exceeding a time limit came in form of fines and forfeiture. Since fines were easy to bear for professional players, forfeiture became the only effective penalty; this added “lost on time” to the traditional means of losing such as checkmate and resigning.
In 1861 the first time limits, using sandglasses, were employed in a tournament match at Bristol, England. The sandglasses were later replaced by pendulums. Modern clocks, consisting of two parallel timers with a small button for a player to press after completing a move, were later employed to aid the players. A tiny latch called a flag further helped settle arguments over players exceeding time limit at the turn of the 19th century.
Another problem that arose in competitive chess was when adjourning a game for a meal break or overnight. The player who moved last before adjournment would be at a disadvantage, as the other player would have a long period to analyze before having to make a reply when the game was resumed. Preventing access to a chess set to work out moves during the adjournment would not stop him from analyzing the position in his head. Various strange ideas were attempted, but the eventual solution was the “sealed move”. The final move before adjournment is not made on the board but instead is written on a piece of paper which the referee seals in an envelope and keeps safe. When the game is continued after adjournment, the referee makes the sealed move and the players resume.