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
. 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.
Selected article of the week
Wilhelm Steinitz, who in 1889 claimed chess is a draw with best play
The first-move advantage in chess refers to the inherent advantage of the player (called "White") who makes the first move in chess. Chess players and theorists generally agree that White begins the game with some advantage. Statistics compiled since 1851 support this view, showing that White consistently wins slightly more often than Black, usually scoring between 53 and 56 percent. Statistics show that White's winning percentage is slightly lower in rapid games and in games between weaker players. The advantage is about the same, however, for tournament games between humans and games between computers.
Chess players and theoreticians have debated whether, given perfect play by both sides, the game should end in a win for White or a draw. Since at least 1889, when World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz addressed the issue, the overwhelming consensus has been that a game of chess should end in a draw with best play. Some players have expressed fears of a "draw death" as chess becomes more deeply analyzed, and World Champions José Raúl Capablanca and Bobby Fischer both proposed chess variants to renew interest in the game. A few notable players, disagreeing with the general consensus, have argued that White's advantage may be sufficient to win: Weaver Adams and Vsevolod Rauzer claimed that White is winning after the first move 1.e4, while Hans Berliner argued that 1.d4 may win for White. It is possible that computers will eventually resolve the debate by determining the correct outcome of a perfectly played game of chess.
Read more about First-move advantage in chess...
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