Chess- the oldest strategic skilled game in the world. To whom do we owe our gratitude for such an ingenious game? India? China? Persia? Europe?
Our 1st legend and my personal favorite, claims that a very old, wise man in India, Sissa Ibn Dahir, wanted his king, Shihram to understand the necessity of each person in society. Thus, he invented the game chess to display how the rooks needed the bishops, and the king needs the queen, and so on. The king was delighted and promised Sissa anything he wanted. Sissa wished for one grain of rice to be put on the first square, doubling on each subsequent square. Doing this, he showed that even though pawns (serfs) are small, you can’t overestimate their strength in numbers. It worked! The king got it! He ordered everyone to play this new game and no one took anyone for granted anymore. Ok, I added that last part… hey, dreaming is what keeps us alive, eh? 😊 Other sources claim that chess was derived from the 2-player Indian war game, Chatrang, around 600 B.C. and then it made it’s way to Europe via Persia in 1000 B.C.
Legend 2. China. 200 B.C. The story goes that Han Xin invented the game to represent a particular battle in history. Apparently, it didn’t start to really catch on until the 7th century, and also, the game board and pieces were different than what you would see today.
Number 3. Some believe chess came from Persia. My research concludes that an Indian ambassador took the game to Persia and challenged the most intelligent people of the Persian court to play with this unique board game consisting of ebony and ivory pieces. They played for the title of most intellectual and the loser paid a tribute. Legend has it that India lost, but that Persia most likely won by reason of bribery from Indian envoys.
There are as least as many legends as there are chess pieces, but, whether you play Makruk (Thai Chess),
Janggi (Korean Chess), Sittuyin (Burmese chess), or
Shogi (The Generals Game) a variant of chess in Japan, it doesn’t matter-just keep playing!
Stay tuned for our next blogs: “Medieval Pieces” and “Why did the Church ban chess?”
Chess History, http://www.chesshere.com/resources/chess_history.php.
“History Of Chess – A Simple Guide on Who Invented Chess.” IChess.net, 1 Dec. 2018, http://www.ichess.net/blog/history-of-chess/.
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