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Chess is a recreational and competitive game played between two players. The current form of Chess (sometimes called Western chess or international chess) has an international pedigree which evolved from similar, much older games in India and Persia. The modern form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century. Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.

The game is played on a square chequered chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight square. At the start, each player (one controlling the white pieces, the other controlling the black pieces) controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove it from attack on the next move.

The tradition of organized competitive chess started in the sixteenth century and has developed extensively. Chess today is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee. The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is the current World Champion. Theoreticians have developed extensive chess strategies and tactics since the game's inception. Aspects of art are found in chess composition.

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The title Grandmaster is awarded to strong chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. Apart from "World Champion", Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain. Once achieved, the title is held for life. In chess literature it is usually abbreviated to GM (similarly, FM stands for FIDE Master and IM for International Master). The abbreviation IGM for International Grandmaster can also sometimes be found, particularly in older literature.

GM, IM, and FM are open to both men and women. Beginning with Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978, a number of women have earned the GM title. Since about 2000, most of the top 10 women have held the GM title. A separate gender-segregated title, WGM for Woman Grandmaster, is also available, but is something of a misnomer. It is awarded to women who attain a level of skill between that of a FIDE Master and an International Master.

FIDE also awards separate Grandmaster titles to composers and solvers of chess problems, see list of grandmasters of the FIDE for chess compositions.

The International Correspondence Chess Federation awards the title of International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster (ICCGM).

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For chess news, see 2014 in sports, the 2014 in chess category, the current sports events portal, or the Wikinews sports portal. Below is the FIDE rating list of the top 20 players as of April 2014.

Rank Player Rating
1 Norway Magnus Carlsen 2881
2 Armenia Levon Aronian 2812
3 India Viswanathan Anand 2785
4 Russia Vladimir Kramnik 2783
5 Italy Fabiano Caruana 2783
6 Russia Alexander Grischuk 2777
7 Russia Sergey Karjakin 2772
8 Bulgaria Veselin Topalov 2772
9 United States Hikaru Nakamura 2772
10 Azerbaijan Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2760
11 France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2758
12 Cuba Leinier Domínguez 2757
13 Russia Peter Svidler 2756
14 England Michael Adams 2753
15 Israel Boris Gelfand 2753
16 Ukraine Vassily Ivanchuk 2753
17 Russia Nikita Vitiugov 2747
18 Netherlands Anish Giri 2745
19 Philippines Wesley So 2738
20 China Wang Hao 2734

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