Many people who are new to chess or have never played before are unaware of the game’s complexity or the rich culture that surrounds it. Chess is more than a casual game to be played; it’s an art, a culture, and a way of thinking. The following are some interesting facts about chess that will help you gain a greater appreciation for this game of reasoning.
Chess Is Thought to Have Originated in India
Historians disagree as to when and where chess originated. However, the most predominant theory is that chess originated in India around the 6th century, where it was originally called Chaturanga.
Later, the Persians modified the game. Ancient chess pieces have been found in excavated archaeological sites throughout Persia. The Moors brought chess to Spain in the 10th century, and then it spread through Europe.
The Longest Chess Game Lasted 269 Moves
Chess games vary wildly in length. Sometimes, a checkmate can be made in just a few moves. Other times, it takes hundreds of moves for one player to win. The longest tournament chess game lasted 269 moves and took place in 1989 between players Nikolić and Arsović in Belgrade. The game took them over 20 hours to complete and ended in a draw.
The Youngest Chess Grandmaster Was 12
Many players take years to develop and hone their chess skills, but some are seemingly born with natural talent. Sergey Karjakin from Ukraine certainly belongs to the latter group. In 2002, he became the youngest person to be awarded the Grandmaster title. Prior to 2002, the youngest Grandmaster in history was Bu Xiangzhi from China, who was awarded the title at age 13.
The youngest United States citizen to be named Grandmaster is Bobby Fischer, who was awarded the title at age 15 in 1958. Many consider Fischer to be the greatest player of all time. He initially learned to play from a set of instructions bought at a local candy store.
The World Chess Championship Was First Held in 1886
During this first championship, two players from the U.S. and two from Europe faced off against each other. Over the years, the competition expanded to include competitors from other counties. For many years, the World Chess Championship was held annually, but in 2014, the decision was made to hold the championship every other year.
The World Chess Championship is not a single contest. Rather, there are separate divisions for women, juniors, and seniors.
Emanuel Lasker Won the World Chess Championship 27 Years in a Row
Lasker, a German player, won his first World Chess Championship in 1894. Despite his impressive win, many felt that he wasn’t really the best player and had only won because of the old age of his opponent. He resigned after 14 games in 1921, citing ill health. He continued to play chess on and off in subsequent years before passing away in 1941 at the age of 72.
Some People Play Chess Blindfolded
Playing chess blindfolded is considered an excellent test of memory. Entire tournaments are dedicated to blindfolded chess, and the world record holder was able to play 46 games at once — all while blindfolded. Chess players sometimes practice playing blindfolded as a way to strengthen their memory and understanding of the game.
Now that you know a little more about chess, consider taking some lessons to hone your skills as a player. Chess Teacher offers live, online chess lessons customized to help you meet your goals. Contact us to learn more about our lessons, where you’ll receive one-on-one attention at an affordable price.