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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How did Chess Begin?

Chess is said to be the oldest game in the world, originating in India 5,000 years ago with the Buddhists, who believing war to be wrong, devised the game of chess as a peaceful substitute. From India the game spread to Persia, Arabia and then to Western Europe. The word ‘chess’ is derived from the Persian word ‘shah’ meaning king, and ‘check-mate’, from ‘shah mat’. The king is dead. At one time the king could be captured, which would be impossible in today’s game, and in ancient times the queen was the weakest piece on the board, only finding her present power 500 years ago. The method of ‘castling’ was introduced to the game 400 years ago and the rook got its name from the Indian word ‘ruhk’, meaning soldier.