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History of Chess 5
By Jonathan Pinet

  1. 4th to 7th century

    Apparition of chaturanga in India

    "The first ancestor of Chess appears in Northern India. The board game is called “Chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “Four Limbs”, and represented infantry, cavalry, charioteers and elephant corps of ancient Indian armies."

  2. 6th to 7th century

    Evolution to Chatrang in Persia

    "From their contacts with India, the Persians of the Sasanian Empire picked up the game and called it “Chatrang”. The goal of the game evolved to capture the king (“shah”). Today, we owe them the concept of “checkmate” (“shah mat”, or “the king is dead”)."

  3. 7th century onward

    The Islamic Diffusion

    "After the Islamic conquest of the Sasanian Empire, the Muslims took an active interest in the game, which they called “Shatranj”. They wrote a lot of literrature about the game and spread it to the West."

  4. 8th century

    Shatranj enters Spain and the rest of Europe

    "The Moors bring Shatranj to Spain, and the game began to be played in the courts of Christian Kings and Queens. The game also entered Europe through Russia and by 1000 CE, it has spread across the continent."

  5. 15th century

    Rules of Chess evolve in Europe

    "The Bishop and the Queen enter on the board, replacing the elephant and the chief minister. New rules appear and with the rise of power of women in prominent position in Western courts, the Queen becomes the most powerful piece of the game. "

  6. 16th and 17th centuries

    A game of the Renaissance

    "As the game relied on intelligence rather than luck, it embodied the Renaissance ideal of humanism, emphasizing human reason over divine intervention. Chess begins to be theorised in books by early masters like Ruy Lopez, Damiano or Greco."

  7. 19th century

    Modern Chess begin in Paris and London

    "The game becomes more and more popular as players gather in cafes in London and Paris. Many Chess books, clubs or journals contribute to spread the visibility of the game."

  8. 1851

    The London Chess tournament

    "The first modern Chess tournament was held in London in 1851 and was won by Adolf Anderssen. With the constitution of Chess as a new discipline, masters like Paul Morphy or Wilheim Steinitz would dominate the rest of the century."

  9. 1886

    The First World Chess Championship

    "Despite the absence of a formal international Chess body, a confrontation between Steinitz and Zukertort, the two leading Chess masters of the time, was staged in the US to determine the best player in the world. Steinitz went to win 10 - 5, with 5 games drawn."

  10. 1894 to 1921

    Emanuel Lasker’s Reign

    "After his victory over Steinitz in 1894, German Chess master Lasker would remain on top of the Chess world for an unbeated record of 27 years, the longest reign in Chess history."

  11. 1924

    Birth of the Federation Internationale Des Echecs

    "The Fédération Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) was born in 1924 in Paris, to coincide with the Olympic Games in the same year. While Chess failed to become an Olympic discipline, the FIDE went on to be the governing body of the game."

  12. 1948

    The first computer Chess programme

    "After the war, Alan Turing wrote a computer Chess programme, which was baptised “Turbochamp”. However, the most powerful computer of the time, the Ferranti Mark 1, was not powerful enough to run it."

  13. 1972

    Cold War over the board

    "At the height of the Cold War, Russian champion Boris Spassky disputed against American challenger Bobby Fischer for the World Champion title in Iceland. In the geopolitical context, “the game of the century” got worldwide attention. Fischer won the match 12½–8½, after a brilliant win in game 6. "

  14. 1986

    Garry Kasparov’s Reign

    "At age 22, challenger Garry Kasparov won against world champion Anatoly Karpov and became the youngest ever World Champion. He will retain his title until his retirement in 2005."

  15. 1997

    Deep Blue’s Victory

    "In a highly publicized game against Garry Kasparov, IBM’s chess computer Deep Blue was the first program to ever defeat a Word Chess Champion. Symbolically, many saw this as a sign that artifical intelligence was catching up with human intelligence."

  16. 2013

    The Rise of Magnus Carlsen

    "In a game against Indian world champion Vishy Anand, Norvegian challenger Magnus Carlsen became the new World Chess champion winning 6½–3½. He also became the youngest player to ever win the title."

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