Chess, played by two players, is one of the most popular games worldwide played in clubs, tournaments, by correspondence or online. Chess is a thinking game and a strong hold on strategy and tactics to play.
The game is played on a chessboard with 8 rows and 8 columns, so 64 squares in total. The squares are alternately white and dark colored.
The board must be laid down such that there is a black square in the lower-left corner.
To facilitate notation of moves, all squares are given a name. The lowest row has number 1 while the upper row has number 8. The columns are named from left to right: a to h.
e.g. the square in the lower left corner is a1 and the upper right corner is h8.
One player plays with the white pieces and the other player plays with the black. The players alternate moves, starting with the player that plays the white pieces.
Each player has 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns.
A move consists of moving one of the pieces of the player to a different square, following the rules of movement for that piece.
A player takes a piece of the opponent by moving one of his own pieces to the square that contains a piece of the opponent. The opponents piece then is removed from the board.
The object of the game is to take the opponent's king.
Each game can turn out very different from the previous one, and each game and situation requires different tactics to win.
Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play.
Players must take into account the value of pieces on board, pawn structure, king safety, space, and control of key squares and groups of squares.
There is a wide variety of chess sets to choose from. They range from the simple and cheap (plastic pieces) to Ivory, Oak or ebony boards with heavyset detailed pieces that exhibit extravagance.
Chess clubs have grown and become much more far-reaching than they ever have been. If you prefer an offline club, one you can actually visit and play face-to-face with others, there is a solution for you.
The Internet Chess Club has a directory of chess clubs worldwide, from the USA to Australia.
Tournaments are another huge part of Chess. You are able to compete in tournaments to gain ratings and advance in ranks worldwide. Many play Chess as a hobby, but when you get to the tournament level, things get serious.
The rating system is based on points, and typically, above 2000 denotes very skilled players. They are considered the best of the best, the elites, even the geniuses.
It is believed the origin of chess started in India before 600 AD. In India, the game was called Chaturanga.
However, old artifacts have been found in Italy too. Therefore, the true date is unknown.
Following the trade routes, Persia received the game, it was named chatrang. Arabs then conquered Persia and renamed the game into shatrang.
One variation of chess (called Shogi) is now popular in Japan.
Around 1000 AD Chess arrived in Spain and Italy (Sicily), and by 1100-1200 AD the game got widely spread in Europa and the rules (queen and bishops were added) were changed.
They also added the rule of promotion of pawns to increase excitement. Now, the game became even more popular and by the 19th century, America learned about this great game.
The first international chess tournament was the London Tourney of 1851, won by Adolf Anderssen of Germany, who then became known as the world's best chess player, but he didn't receive any award or title.