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The Evolution of Chess: From Ancient Origins to Modern Day


General Knowledge  •  27 May, 2024  •  39,397 Views  •  ⭐ 3.8

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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Chess, a game of strategy and intellect, stands as one of the most ancient and popular board games in the world. Its enduring appeal lies not only in its intricate gameplay but also in its deep cultural significance across various societies. Chess has evolved remarkably from its early beginnings, influencing and being influenced by the cultures it touched. This blog delves into the rich history of chess, tracing its journey from ancient origins to the modern era, and highlighting key developments and legendary players along the way.

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Ancient Origins, Chaturanga: The Birth of Chess

File:Chaturanga Chess Set.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The earliest known form of chess is believed to have originated in India around the 6th century AD. This game, known as Chaturanga, was a four-player war game that reflected the Indian military strategy of the time. The name "Chaturanga" translates to "four divisions," referring to the infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots that made up the ancient Indian army. The game's board, an 8x8 grid, laid the foundation for the modern chessboard.

Rules and Gameplay

THE ELEPHANT'S CHATURANGA
Image Credits: LinkedIn 

Chaturanga's gameplay was considerably different from modern chess. Each player controlled a quarter of the board, and the game involved dice, introducing an element of chance. The objective was to capture the opponent's king, similar to the checkmate concept in modern chess. The game pieces in Chaturanga included:

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GENERAL KNOWLEDGE QUIZ • 10 QUESTIONS • 2 MINS

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  • King (Raja): The primary piece that needed to be protected.
  • Minister (Mantri): The advisor to the king, weaker than the modern queen.
  • Elephant (Gaja): Moved like the modern bishop but with limited range.
  • Horse (Ashva): Similar to the knight in modern chess.
  • Chariot (Ratha): Analogous to the modern rook.
  • Foot Soldiers (Padati): Comparable to pawns in modern chess.

Shatranj: The Persian Influence

3L Shatranj by Madheke - Accessories | STIRpad
Image Credits: STIRpad
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