Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi (Chinese chess), janggi (Korean chess), and shogi (Japanese chess). Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.
Play involves no hidden information. Each player begins with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each piece type moves differently, with the most powerful being the queen and the least powerful the pawn. The objective is to checkmate the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. To this end, a player's pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, while supporting each other. During the game, play typically involves exchanging pieces for the opponent's similar pieces, and finding and engineering opportunities to trade advantageously or to get a better position. In addition to checkmate, a player wins the game if the opponent resigns, or (in a timed game) runs out of time. There are also several ways that a game can end in a draw.
The first generally recognized World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. Since 1948, the World Championship has been regulated by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the game's international governing body. FIDE also awards life-time master titles to skilled players, the highest of which is Grandmaster (GM). Many national chess organizations have a title system of their own. FIDE also organizes the Women's World Championship, the World Junior Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Blitz and Rapid World Championships, and the Chess Olympiad, a popular competition among international teams. FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee, which can be considered recognition of chess as a sport. Several national sporting bodies (e.g. the Spanish Consejo Superior de Deportes) also recognize chess as a sport. Chess was included in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games. There is also a Correspondence Chess World Championship and a World Computer Chess Championship. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players.
The king (♔,♚) is the most important piece in the game of chess. The object of the game is to threaten the opponent's king in such a way that escape is not possible (checkmate). If a player's king is threatened with capture, it is said to be in check, and the player must remove the threat of capture on the next move. If this cannot be done, the king is said to be in checkmate, resulting in a loss for that player. Although the king is the most important piece, it is usually the weakest piece in the game until a later phase, the endgame. Players cannot make any move that places their own king in check.
A children's chess tournament in the United States
Gliński's hexagonal chess, launched in 1949, became popular in Eastern Europe, reaching half a million fans. Three cell colors and three bishops per side are the norm for hexagonal variants.
1990s chess-playing computer
A chess party with live figures (in Bitola, 1924)
Setup at the start of a game
A tactical puzzle from Lucena's 1497 book
Noble chess players, Germany, c. 1320
Large chess set in Franklin Square, Tasmania
FIDE world ranking
- 19 February 2019 –
- The opening round of the Aeroflot Open, an international open chess tournament, is postponed a day after 45 minutes of play as a bomb threat locks down the Moscow hotel hosting the event. Similar threats also shut down cinemas, shopping centres, and theatres; thousands are evacuated. (Chess.com) (Chessbase)
- 28 November 2018 – World Chess Championship 2018
- Magnus Carlsen retains the title after a 3–0 victory against Fabiano Caruana in the best-of-four rapid tiebreaking series. (The Guardian)
- 26 November 2018 – World Chess Championship 2018
- After twelve consecutive draws, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana will enter a tie-breaker on Wednesday, for the first match in WCC history to have no decisive games before the tie-breaker. (The Guardian)
- 24 November 2018 – World Chess Championship 2018
- After eleven consecutive draws, a record for the 132-year-old championship, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are tied 5.5 points each in the best-of-12-games match. (The Guardian)
- 22 November 2018 – World Chess Championship 2018
- After ten consecutive draws, a record for the 132-year-old championship, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are tied 5 points each in the best-of-12-games match. (The Guardian)
- 21 November 2018 – World Chess Championship 2018
- After nine consecutive draws, a record for the 132-year-old championship, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana are tied 4½ points each in the best-of-12-games match. (The Guardian)
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