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Current status: Featured article

Why is History section not the first section?[edit]

Is it because it's assumed that most people visiting this article are here for the rules? That goes against the neutrality of the Articles. I propose to reorder the sections to have History as the first section followed by the rest. --Yathish1618 (talk) 18:07, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Interesting question. Looking around at other games, I found that Backgammon and Checkers have the History section far from the beginning, while Poker has it first (but it's only two sentences, and has a maintenance tag for being too short). Looking at sports, I found that Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, and Tennis have History first, while Baseball does not. I do not know why these articles are organized the way they are. I do not see how "neutrality" (I assume you mean WP:NPOV) is affected one way or the other. Bruce leverett (talk) 18:29, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
What I meant by breaking neutrality is that the article may have been structured with the express intent of offering maximum utility to users (based on the assumption that most users come here mainly for rules of Chess). I don't know if that's actually the case. In any case, isn't it a logical progression to have history and origins as the first section (where available) immediately after lead section? I can't find any guidelines regarding the sequence of sections but that's what seems to make most sense to me. As an anecdote, I came here to read the history of chess and I thought it was missing since it wasn't even the second or third section. yathish1618 (talk) 19:06, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that History should not be the first section because I don't think it provides the most utility for the majority of the readers of this article. Readers primarily interested in the history of chess are advised to go to History of chess. In this article I think a moderately detailed description of chess must come first, including the names and moves of the pieces and the key rules. It's difficult for a reader to understand even the outline of chess history given here without knowing this background. For example, the history section details some things about the term "check", castling, the move of the queen, stalemate, etc., and referring to these things early in the article before explaining them in an previous section seems like a profoundly bad idea to me. (Definition before use is usually better.) That said I think we could profitably discuss how to order the many sections in this article. At a glance I think the Notation, Strategy and Tactics, and Phases sections could be moved later in the article, and this would move History closer to the beginning. (Actually I think Strategy and Tactics section and the Phases section should be merged and rewritten, and Phases is a terrible section name.)
What do people think? These are the prose sections today:
1 Rules
2 Notation for recording moves
3 Strategy and tactics
4 Phases
5 History
6 Place in culture
7 Composition
8 Competitive play
9 Publications
10 Mathematics and computers
11 Psychology
12 Variants
My only real concern with having the Rules section first is that I think it would be great if the article could somehow give a sense of what game play is like without being bogged down in the minutia of the rules. (And a explanation of the rules doesn't give a very good sense of what chess play is like anyway.) Maybe this isn't really something that a wikipedia article is well suited to do. An online video for absolute beginners is probably the better way. Quale (talk) 03:19, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree that because the history is tied up with changes in the rules, the Rules have to come before History.
Other than that I don't object to moving History forward. In fact, as I looked it over, each time I came to a new section, I wanted to move that section forward. They're all important! (Except, of course, that I agree that Phases should be merged with Strategy and Tactics.) But, unfortunately, if we move them all forward, we end up where we started :-) Bruce leverett (talk) 00:51, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
A random suggestion. Notation doesn't have to be near the beginning. I learned this from talking to the author of Chess for Dummies, which was a best-seller. That book teaches notation at about chapter 20! Most casual readers don't care for the notation; it only is helpful for people who already have a serious commitment to chess. Bruce leverett (talk) 03:26, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Consensus to move history section after the rules then? I'll just go ahead and do it. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 04:11, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I was thinking that the sections might be put in the order that they appear in our best version of the article lead paragraphs, but I'm not sure that's a helpful indicator. Description of play should be first (that's the Rules section), History should be early, Psychology should be near the end. Culture should be near History as the subjects have affinity. I think Strategy and tactics and Phases should be near the end too just because they're so poorly written. I suppose that means that if we improved them they could stay earlier. Quale (talk) 04:42, 17 September 2018 (UTC)
  • As Quale pointed out the history and culture sections are clearly interrelated, so I have moved the culture section next to the history section. I think these two sections should be merged, but this is quite a big job. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 09:16, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
I think the History section should follow immediately after the lead (and having Culture section after that may make sense, though it might also make sense to have it much later). This view applies to articles like Backgammon, Checkers and Baseball as well.
Essentially I see two objections two moving History up:
  1. History section refers to rules, so Rules must come first. Well, I disagree. It may require a little rewriting, but I don't think it is catastrophic if the History section mentions things that cannot be understood in detail by a chess novice till the Rules section has been perused. Nearly all chess terms used in the History section are introduced in the lead anyway, exceptions being "stalemate" and "castling" - and that, of course, could easily be fixed.
  2. History section is long, so the rules that many readers may come for will be pushed way down. Again, I disagree. "Neutrality" may not be the right term for it, but I don't think we can decide what people come for; we just have to write a balanced and logically structured article. But, given we have a main article History of chess, perhaps the History section should be trimmed down.
By the way, when I view Wikipedia articles, the lead is always followed by a table of contents. I don't know if that is the case for all readers, but I think it means we can prioritize logical structure higher than giving what most readers come for first.-- (talk) 11:20, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
Logical structure prohibits putting history before rules. The history section uses a lot of terms that are explained in the rules section. 02:59, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Actually it doesn't use "a lot of terms", but it uses a few - and as I wrote most are introduced in the lead, making the history section perfectly readable on that background.-- (talk) 09:56, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
History discusses changes in the moves of the pawn and queen and the introduction of castling. No details of those moves are explained in the lead, nor should they be. On the other hand, I agree that the mention of rules changes in the history section is very brief. It is likely that most readers wouldn't feel very inconvenienced by encountering that brief small bit before the rules are explained. As a matter of the focus of the article, I think the primary goal should be to impart a sense of what chess is today. (For people who are less interested in what chess is today and want to know what chess was, we have history of chess.) Chess history is important, but in my view that isn't primarily what chess is. Chess is a board game, and the article emphasis should be on that. Other aspects shouldn't be ignored, but they shouldn't be pushed to the front to obscure that essential nature. Also the earliest history of chess is uncertain and at times speculative, and I think it's less than ideal to start the article with that. It seems more sound to begin the article with things that are less susceptible to alternative facts than is chess history. Quale (talk) 21:15, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
"A few" and "brief" are somewhat understating the problem. All the subsections of the History section, except the last one, have at least a few references to the pieces, their moves, castling, etc. I would say that bringing these sections any farther forward has to be ruled out.
Re-reading the last subsection ("1945–present: Post-World War II era"), however, I realized that it's another aspect of history. It is largely the history of the World Championship (of which there is some more material in the previous section). It is quite readable to someone who doesn't know anything about the rules of the game. One could even envision detaching the history of the World Championship (and the personalities) into a section separate from the history of the rules and the history of the regional evolution of the game, and placing them separately. Just a thought. Bruce leverett (talk) 01:57, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Also there's a bit of illogic relying on the lead to acquaint w/ term(s) used in a body sec before defined: the lead (at least for large/mature articles) is supposed to be a summary which can "stand on its own"; therefore it's techincally despensible when reading. (WP:LEAD says most readers will read the lead of an article & nothing more. Ok. But consider if someone has sufficient time & decides they want to read the entire article ... They might very well then decide to skip the lead since they know it will be a summarization/duplication/redundancy to what they'll be reading. [So it'd be a logical choice to skip then; building reliance on the lead to feed understanding of a first-occuring sec defeats that choice.]) Intra-article links on term(s) seems workable but is probably not good writing. --IHTS (talk) 22:46, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Church and chess[edit]

Popularity of chess in Europe grows at the time of the Crusades. Europeans make some adjustments to movement of some pieces which makes the game more dynamic which bring about transformation of shatranj into modern chess around 1470.
Church at that time wasn't approving chess, putting it in the same category of vice as gambling and cards. Priests and monks were often forbidden from playing chess. First prohibition of that kind on record is from 1061 in Italy.

Unfortunately I don't have sources. But this kind of information would be great in the article. (talk) 02:45, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Sources are necessary for inclusion. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:48, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

illegal moves[edit]

i dont see any discussion of what happens if an illegal move is played (like you move a piece to an incorrect square by accident). i actually dont even know if there is any official rule for this situation. (my understanding being that it varies depending on the tournament/venue – such as a time loss penalty in games with certain time controls?)

anyway, i just point this out since an illegal move results in a loss in shogi and i just wrote a comment on that page mentioning that this is generally not true in chess. But, i dont know the full range of resolutions in chess to making an illegal move, so i thought this chess page should at least mention it or point to another article where one can learn about it. – ishwar  (speak) 04:31, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

My understanding -based on Golombek in the 1960's & no reference atm -is there is no penalty BUT the position must be restored to before the illegal move. In Rapidplay, I believe you can simply take the opposing king. If it's a sealed move you forfeit the game. JRPG (talk) 09:38, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
  • For tournament chess, the rules have been changed from time to time, they were last changed in 2018. The exact consequences depend on the time control:
    • In standard chess, with a long time limit, the first illegal move is handled by restoring the position to immediately before the illegal move was played, and the opponent gains two minutes on the clock. Touch-move applies as always. The second illegal move by the same player results in a loss (except when the position is such that the opponent cannot possibly win by any series of legal moves - in that event the game is drawn).
    • In rapid chess, the illegality of the move must be discovered before the opponent makes a move. In that case the position is restored, the opponent receives two minutes extra, and play continues. The second illegal move by the same player results in a loss. An illegal move that is not spotted is allowed to stand and play continues.
    • In blitz chess, the rules are as in rapid chess, except that the penalty for an illegal move is one minute to the opponent, rather than two minutes.
All the rules for irregularities in standard chess are laid out in Article 7 in the Laws of Chess, while the modifications for rapid and blitz are in appendices A and B.
These rules are quite detailed, and would probably overwhelm the main chess article, but Rules of chess covers it (although I see the coverage there on illegal moves is outdated). Sjakkalle (Check!) 16:18, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
i see. It's a bit more complicated than i thought. Thanks.

so, it varies across time control as well as across time (even fluctuating as recently as a year ago).
i might suggest that it be mentioned here with a very general single sentence with a pointer to the Rules of chess article. (Since this article also does not mention the touch rule, at least the lack of details in this overview article is consistent.)
at any rate, i now know where to point to from the shogi article. – ishwar  (speak) 18:34, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Was there not a documented game where a professional player made an illegal move in the opening by moving the bishop instead of knight to the third rank and he was then compelled to move his king and was immediately checkmated by the opposing Queen? I clearly remember that in a book from some years ago....

Semi-protected edit request on 2 March 2019[edit] (talk) 16:46, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
 Not done: blank edit request. Highway 89 (talk) 16:54, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

Broken reference link[edit]

Check note #8, reference 111, no apparent link to article text found for Turing Mark Silva (talk) 20:12, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: I can find evidence supporting the note in the provided source. Danski454 (talk) 20:23, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Edit warring on this article[edit]

I do not approve of the edit warring engaged in by Ihardlythinkso on this article and on his talk page. If someone disagrees, we discuss per WP:BRD, not simply revert it back. This editor has made no attempt to discuss on the talk page. --David Tornheim (talk) 07:30, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

If you take a look at many hundreds of WP chess articles, you'll see that diag markup is consistent w/ my edit you reverted. And, "six piece types" does not occur in the Chess article body, so it doesn't belong in the lead. Adding it to the body is just fine; go ahead and do it; or I'm happy to do if asked. But even if added to the body, it's still unnecessary detail, or trivial mention, for the lead. --IHTS (talk) 07:40, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Guess who changed "types of pieces" to "six piece types" in the article lead? *I* did, back in 2012: [1]. (I'm a much better editor now, than back then.) --IHTS (talk) 07:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, it is unnecessary to point out in this sentence that there are six piece types, since they have already been enumerated earlier in the paragraph. Having said that, I admit that I had not noticed this stylistic issue, and would undoubtedly not have noticed it, had not IHTS decided to change it back. I guess I would vote for the version without "six", on the grounds that less is usually better.
Another edit revert, not already mentioned above, was adding/subtracting spaces in diagrams to make them "easier to read". I would normally not expect to read these in the source. You might say they are "write-only". Even if I were editing a diagram, I would check my work using the preview, not by trying to read it carefully. Bruce leverett (talk) 14:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
When editing a diag, before preview, it first must be "read" (visually digested re square contents). (That's what was meant by "easier to read".) (For the same reason, empty squares are better 2 spaces not 1.) --IHTS (talk) 17:03, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

"The O-O-O-O Lubek Castle"[edit]

off topic
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

A talk post titled "The O-O-O-O Lubek Castle" has been removed and added far too many times. (First posting: [2]; first removal [3] with edit summary "Banned editor"; second removal had edit summary "banned user, also, WP:NOTAFORUM".) For the reasons stated in those edit summaries, I believe it should stay removed. I hope anyone not happy with the situation after my present post will, rather than adding or removing the original post again, state reasons briefly here (not just in edit summaries that many apparently do not read).-- (talk) 12:14, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

I think that it is appropriate to request semi-protection to prevent users from adding the inappropriate talk post. I will do that right now (unless someone protected this page already). LPS and MLP Fan (LittlestPetShop) (MyLittlePony) 14:03, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 August 2019[edit]

 Done Under the title and ranking section, need to add the online chess trainer titles that are awarded by FIDE for the overall development of chess. They are FIDE Senior Trainer, FIDE Trainer, FIDE Instructor, National Instructor, Developmental Instructor. The URL is Dev,pillai (talk) 16:05, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

Actually I don't think we need to add that to the main topic article on chess. It's trivia that belongs in FIDE titles, so I moved it there. Quale (talk) 04:37, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree with User:Quale. I do not see any notability. Can you name even one titled trainer/instructor? Do they ever get their names in the chess press? By comparison, this article doesn't mention arbiter titles, although there is a slightly stronger case for doing so, since IA's sometimes become notable. Bruce leverett (talk) 03:57, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Seventy-five-move-rule description is unclear[edit]

"Seventy-five-move rule: Similar to the fifty-move rule; however, if the final move in the sequence resulted in checkmate, this takes precedence. As with the fivefold repetition rule, this applies independently of claims by the players, and allows a tournament director to intervene. This rule likewise is a recent addition to the FIDE rules."

What does this mean? If the final move is checkmate, what does a move-limit have to do with anything? This makes no sense. Please clarify. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betaneptune (talkcontribs) 01:59, 20 September 2019 (UTC)

The FIDE rules say, "If the last move resulted in checkmate, that shall take precedence". It's just as confusing there as it is here. Best to just leave that part out. I'll fix it when I get a chance, unless someone else gets there before me. Bruce leverett (talk) 01:55, 21 September 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 September 2019[edit]


"Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century."

To "Chess is believed to be derived from the Tamil game sathurangam (சதுரங்கம்) before B.C 2600. Archeological excavation at Keezhadi reveals that chess was played using different sizes of Chessmen made of ivory and terracotta." Gamalai27 (talk) 13:26, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

 Not done: Looking into this request, the sources I've found seem to say that it was a chess-like game, not chess as a modern observer would roughly understand it. Sceptre (talk) 01:41, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
I do not think that that reply is quite sufficient. The description "a chess-like game, not chess as a modern observer would roughly understand it" might be applied to chaturanga as well (though, I suppose, much less so).
If the information about the Tamil game from 2600 BCE is valid, it is clearly inappropriate that neither the article Chess, nor History of chess, nor Chaturanga, traces the history of these games back to anything prior to 500 CE.
However, as the edit request stands, I agree with the conclusion (Not done). We need to quote valid sources. In fact, starting by writing a separate article Sathurangam might be the best approach.-- (talk) 14:10, 3 October 2019 (UTC)