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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A selection of black and white chess pieces on a chequered surface.
From left to right: a white king, a black rook, a black queen, a white pawn, a black knight, and a white bishop
Players 2
Setup time about 1 minute
Playing time Casual games usually last 10 to 60 minutes; tournament games last anywhere from about ten minutes (blitz chess) to six hours or longer.
Random chance None
Skills required Tactics, Strategy

Chess is a board game played between two players. It is played on a chessboard, which is a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack on the next move.

The current form of the game emerged in Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from a much older game (Shatranj) of Indian origin. Aspects of art are found in chess composition. Theoreticians have developed extensive chess strategies and tactics since the game's inception. One of the goals of early computer scientists was to create a chess-playing machine. Chess is now deeply influenced by the abilities of chess programs and the opportunity for online play. In 1997 Deep Blue became the first computer to beat a reigning World Champion in a match when it defeated Garry Kasparov.

The tradition of organized competitive chess started in the 16th century. The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; the current World Champion is Viswanathan Anand. Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee, and is led by the FIDE. Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.



The official rules of chess are maintained by the World Chess Federation. Along with information on official chess tournaments, the rules are described in the FIDE Handbook, section Laws of Chess.[1] For a demonstration of the gameplay, see a sample chess game.

Initial setup

Pieces at the start of a game
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook b8 black knight c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn e2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 white knight h1 white rook
End of chess board.
Initial position: first row: rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, and rook; second row: pawns

Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks and denoted with numbers 1 to 8) and eight columns (called files and denoted with letters a to h) of squares. The colors of the sixty-four squares alternate and are referred to as "light squares" and "dark squares". The chessboard is placed with a light square at the right hand end of the rank nearest to each player, and the pieces are set out as shown in the diagram, with each queen on its own color.

The pieces are divided, by convention, into white and black sets. The players are referred to as "White" and "Black", and each begins the game with sixteen pieces of the specified color. These consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns.


The players alternately move one piece at a time (with the exception of castling, when two pieces are moved simultaneously). Pieces are moved to either an unoccupied square, or one occupied by an opponent's piece, capturing it and removing it from play. With the sole exception of en passant, all pieces capture opponent's pieces by moving to the square that the opponent's piece occupies.

White always moves first. Each chess piece has its own style of moving. The Xs mark the squares where the piece can move if no other pieces (including one's own piece) are on the Xs between the piece's initial position and its destination. If there is an opponent's piece at the destination square, then the moving piece can capture the opponent's piece. The only exception is the pawn which can only capture pieces diagonally forward.

Moves of a king
Start of chess board.
e6 cross f6 cross g6 cross
e5 cross f5 white king g5 cross
e4 cross f4 cross g4 cross
End of chess board.
Moves of a rook
Start of chess board.
d8 cross
d7 cross
d6 cross
a5 cross b5 cross c5 cross d5 black rook e5 cross f5 cross g5 cross h5 cross
d4 cross
d3 cross
d2 cross
d1 cross
End of chess board.
Moves of a bishop
Start of chess board.
a8 cross g8 cross
b7 cross f7 cross
c6 cross e6 cross
d5 white bishop
c4 cross e4 cross
b3 cross f3 cross
a2 cross g2 cross
h1 cross
End of chess board.

Moves of a queen
Start of chess board.
d8 cross h8 cross
a7 cross d7 cross g7 cross
b6 cross d6 cross f6 cross
c5 cross d5 cross e5 cross
a4 cross b4 cross c4 cross d4 black queen e4 cross f4 cross g4 cross h4 cross
c3 cross d3 cross e3 cross
b2 cross d2 cross f2 cross
a1 cross d1 cross g1 cross
End of chess board.
Moves of a knight
Start of chess board.
c6 cross e6 cross
b5 cross f5 cross
d4 black knight
b3 cross f3 cross
c2 cross e2 cross
End of chess board.
Moves of a pawn
Start of chess board.
d8 white circle e8 cross f8 white circle
e7 white pawn
a5 white circle b5 cross c5 white circle
b4 white pawn f4 cross
e3 white circle f3 cross g3 white circle
f2 white pawn
End of chess board.

* pawns can only move to the white circles to capture, and cannot capture with their normal move

Examples of castling


Once in every game, each king is allowed to make a special move, known as castling. Castling consists of moving the king two squares along the first rank toward a rook, then placing the rook immediately on the far side of the king. Castling is only permissible if all of the following conditions hold:[2]

  • Neither of the pieces involved in the castling may have been previously moved during the game;
  • There must be no pieces between the king and the rook;
  • The king and the rook must be on the same rank;[3]
  • The king may not currently be in check, nor may the king pass through squares that are under attack by enemy pieces. As with any move, castling is illegal if it would place the king in check.

En passant

Examples of pawn moves: promotion (left) and en passant (right)

When a pawn advances two squares and there is an opponent's pawn on an adjacent file next to its destination square, then the opponent's pawn can capture it in passing, and move to the square the pawn passed over. However, this can only be done on the next move. For example, if the black pawn has just advanced two squares from g7 to g5, then the white pawn on f5 can take it via en passant on g6 (but only on white's next move).


When a pawn advances to its eighth rank, it is exchanged at the player's choice for a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color. Usually, the pawn is chosen to be promoted to a queen, but in some cases another piece is chosen, called underpromotion. In the diagram on the right, the pawn on c7 can choose to advance to the eighth rank to promote to a better piece.


When a king is under immediate attack by one or two of the opponent's pieces, it is said to be in check. The only permissible responses to a check are to capture the checking piece, interpose a piece between the checking piece and the king (unless the attacking piece is a knight), or move the king to a square where it is not under attack. Castling is not a permissible response to a check, nor is it permissible during the castle move for the king to travel over a space that is considered to be in check. A move that would place the moving player's king in check is illegal. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent; this occurs when the opponent's king is in check, and there is no way to remove it from attack.

End of the game

The objective of the game is to checkmate the opponent. This occurs when a move places the opponent's king in check, and there is no legal response for the opponent that removes it from attack.

Chess games do not have to end in checkmate — either player may resign if the situation looks hopeless. If it is a timed game a player may run out of time and lose, even with a much superior position. Games also may end in a draw (tie). A draw can occur in several situations, including draw by agreement, stalemate, threefold repetition of a position, the fifty-move rule, or a draw by impossibility of checkmate (usually because of insufficient material to checkmate). As some forced checkmates cannot be done in less than 50 moves (see e.g. pawnless chess endgame and two knights endgame), the fifty-move rule is not applied everywhere,[4] particularly in correspondence chess.

Time control

Besides casual games without exact timing, chess is also played with a time control, mostly by club and professional players. If a player's time runs out before the game is completed, the game is automatically lost (provided his opponent has enough pieces left to deliver checkmate). The timing ranges from long games played up to seven hours to shorter rapid chess games lasting usually 30 minutes or one hour per game. Even shorter is blitz chess with a time control of three to fifteen minutes for each player, or bullet chess (under three minutes). Timing is most often controlled using a game clock.

Notation for recording moves

Algebraic chess notation

Chess games and positions are recorded using a special notation, most often algebraic chess notation.[5] Abbreviated (or short) algebraic notation generally records moves in the format abbreviation of the piece moved - file where it moved - rank where it moved, e.g. Qg5 means "queen moves to the g-file and 5th rank (that is, to the square g5). If there are two pieces of the same type that can move to the same square, one more letter or number is added to indicate the file or rank from which the piece moved, e.g. Ngf3 means "knight from the g-file moves to the square f3". The letter P indicating a pawn is not used, so that e4 means "pawn moves to the square e4".

If the piece makes a capture, "x" is inserted before the destination square, e.g. Bxf3 means "bishop captures f3". When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn departed is used in place of a piece initial, and ranks may be omitted if unambiguous. For example, exd5 (pawn on the e-file captures the piece on d5) or exd (pawn on e-file captures something on the d-file).

If a pawn moves to its last rank, achieving promotion, the piece chosen is indicated after the move,[6] for example e1Q or e1=Q. Castling is indicated by the special notations 0-0 for kingside castling and 0-0-0 for queenside. A move which places the opponent's king in check usually has the notation "+" added. Checkmate can be indicated by "#" (occasionally "++", although this is sometimes used for a double check instead). At the end of the game, "1-0" means "White won", "0-1" means "Black won" and "½-½" indicates a draw.

Chess moves can be annotated with punctuation marks and other symbols. For example ! indicates a good move, !! an excellent move, ? a mistake, ?? a blunder, !? an interesting move that may not be best or ?! a dubious move, but not easily refuted.

For example, one variant of a simple trap known as the Scholar's mate, animated in the picture to the right, can be recorded:

  1. e4 e5
  2. Qh5?! Nc6
  3. Bc4 Nf6??
  4. Qxf7# 1-0

Strategy and tactics

Chess strategy consists of setting and achieving long-term goals during the game – for example, where to place different pieces – while tactics concentrate on immediate manoeuvre. These two parts of chess thinking cannot be completely separated, because strategic goals are mostly achieved by the means of tactics, while the tactical opportunities are based on the previous strategy of play.

A game of chess is usually divided into three phases: opening, usually the first 10 to 25 moves, when players move their pieces into useful positions for the coming battle; middlegame, usually the fiercest part of the game; and endgame, when most of the pieces are gone, kings typically take a more active part in the struggle, and pawn promotion is often decisive.

Fundamentals of strategy

Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play. During the evaluation, players must take into account numerous factors such as the value of pieces on board, control of the center and centralization, the pawn structure, the king safety, the control of key squares or groups of squares (for example, diagonals, open-files, and dark or light squares), etc.

An example of visualizing pawn structures
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook c8 black bishop e8 black rook g8 black king
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn d7 black knight f7 black pawn g7 black bishop h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn d6 white rook f6 black knight g6 black pawn
e5 black pawn
c4 white pawn e4 white pawn
c3 white knight e3 white bishop f3 white knight h3 white pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn
c1 white king f1 white bishop h1 white rook
End of chess board.
After 12...Re8 in Tarrasch–Euwe[7]
Start of chess board.
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn f7 black pawn h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn g6 black pawn
e5 black pawn
c4 white pawn e4 white pawn
h3 white pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn
End of chess board.
…and its pawn skeleton (the "Rauzer formation")

The most basic step in evaluating a position is to count the total value of pieces of both sides.[8] The point values used for this purpose are based on experience; usually pawns are considered worth one point, knights and bishops about three points each, rooks about five points (the value difference between a rook and a bishop being known as the exchange), and queens about nine points. In the endgame, the king is generally more powerful than a bishop or knight but less powerful than a rook, thus it is sometimes assigned a fighting value of four points. These basic values are then modified by other factors like position of the piece (for example, advanced pawns are usually more valuable than those on their initial squares), coordination between pieces (for example, a pair of bishops usually coordinates better than the pair of a bishop and knight), or type of position (knights are generally better in closed positions with many pawns while bishops are more powerful in open positions).

Another important factor in the evaluation of chess positions is the pawn structure (sometimes known as the pawn skeleton), or the configuration of pawns on the chessboard.[9] Pawns being the least mobile of the chess pieces, the pawn structure is relatively static and largely determines the strategic nature of the position. Weaknesses in the pawn structure, such as isolated, doubled or backward pawns and holes, once created, are often permanent. Care must therefore be taken to avoid them unless they are compensated by another valuable asset (for example, by the possibility to develop an attack).

Fundamentals of tactics

A tactical puzzle from Lucena's 1497 book
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook c8 black bishop f8 black rook
b7 black pawn d7 black knight e7 black queen g7 black bishop
b6 black knight c6 black pawn e6 black pawn g6 black king h6 black pawn
a5 black pawn
d4 white pawn e4 white knight
b3 white pawn e3 white bishop
c2 white queen e2 white bishop f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
c1 white rook d1 white rook g1 white king
End of chess board.
From a match between Mikhail Botvinnik and Mikhail Yudovich.[10] After sacrificing a piece to expose Black's king, Botvinnik played 1. Bh5+ and Yudovich resigned as mate is inevitable, e.g. 1...Kxh5 2.Ng3+ Kh4 3.Qe4+ Rf4 4.Qxf4#, or 1...Kh7 2.Nf6+ double check Kh8 3.Qh7#.

In chess, tactics in general concentrate on short-term actions – so short-term that they can be calculated in advance by a human player or by a computer. The possible depth of calculation depends on the player's ability or the strength of the chess engine and the performance of the computer it is run on[citation needed]. In quiet positions with many possibilities on both sides, a deep calculation is more difficult or may not be possible[citation needed], while in "tactical" positions with a limited number of forced variations where much less than the best move would lose quickly, strong players can calculate very long sequences of moves.

Simple one-move or two-move tactical actions – threats, exchanges of material, double attacks etc. – can be combined into more complicated combinations, sequences of tactical maneuvers that are often forced from the point of view of one or both players.[11] Theoreticians described many elementary tactical methods and typical maneuvers, for example pins, forks, skewers, batteries, discovered attacks (especially discovered checks), zwischenzugs, deflections, decoys, sacrifices, underminings, overloadings, and interferences.[12]

A forced variation that involves a sacrifice and usually results in a tangible gain is called a combination.[11] Brilliant combinations – such as those in the Immortal Game – are considered beautiful and are admired by chess lovers. A common type of chess exercise, aimed at developing players' skills, is showing players a position where a decisive combination is available and challenging them to find it.


A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a game (the "opening moves"). Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings and have been given names such as the Ruy Lopez or Sicilian Defence. They are catalogued in reference works such as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings.

There are dozens of different openings, varying widely in character from quiet positional play (e.g. the Réti Opening) to very aggressive (e.g. the Latvian Gambit). In some opening lines, the exact sequence considered best for both sides has been worked out to 30–35 moves or more.[13] Professional players spend years studying openings, and continue doing so throughout their careers, as opening theory continues to evolve.

The fundamental strategic aims of most openings are similar:[14]

  • Development: To place (develop) the pieces (particularly bishops and knights) on useful squares where they will have an optimal impact on the game.
  • Control of the center: Control of the central squares allows pieces to be moved to any part of the board relatively easily, and can also have a cramping effect on the opponent.
  • King safety: Keeping the King safe from dangerous possibilities. A correct timing for castling can often enhance this.
  • Pawn structure: Players strive to avoid the creation of pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled or backward pawns, and pawn islands – and to force such weaknesses in the opponent's position.

Most players and theoreticians consider that White, by virtue of the first move, begins the game with a small advantage. Black usually strives to neutralize White's advantage and achieve equality, or to develop dynamic counterplay in an unbalanced position.


The middlegame is the part of the game when most pieces have been developed. Because the opening theory has ended, players have to assess the position, to form plans based on the features of the positions, and at the same time to take into account the tactical possibilities in the position.[15]

Typical plans or strategic themes – for example the minority attack, that is the attack of queenside pawns against an opponent who has more pawns on the queenside – are often appropriate just for some pawn structures, resulting from a specific group of openings. The study of openings should therefore be connected with the preparation of plans typical for resulting middlegames.

Middlegame is also the phase in which most combinations occur. Middlegame combinations are often connected with the attack against the opponent's king; some typical patterns have their own names, for example the Boden's Mate or the Lasker—Bauer combination.

Another important strategic question in the middlegame is whether and how to reduce material and transform into an endgame (i.e. simplify). For example, minor material advantages can generally be transformed into victory only in an endgame, and therefore the stronger side must choose an appropriate way to achieve an ending. Not every reduction of material is good for this purpose; for example, if one side keeps a light-squared bishop and the opponent has a dark-squared one, the transformation into a bishops and pawns ending is usually advantageous for the weaker side only, because an endgame with bishops on opposite colors is likely to be a draw, even with an advantage of one or two pawns.


Start of chess board.
c8 black king
c7 white pawn
d6 white king
End of chess board.
An example of zugzwang: The side which is to make a move is in a disadvantage.

The endgame (or end game or ending) is the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board. There are three main strategic differences between earlier stages of the game and endgame:[16]

  • During the endgame, pawns become more important; endgames often revolve around attempting to promote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth rank.
  • The king, which has to be protected in the middlegame owing to the threat of checkmate, becomes a strong piece in the endgame. It is often brought to the center of the board where it can protect its own pawns, attack the pawns of opposite color, and hinder movement of the opponent's king.
  • Zugzwang, a disadvantage because the player has to make a move, is often a factor in endgames but rarely in other stages of the game. For example, the diagram on the right is zugzwang for both sides, as with Black to move he must play 1...Kb7 and let White queen a pawn after 2.Kd7; and with White to move he must allow a draw by 1.Kc6 stalemate or lose his last pawn by any other legal move.

Endgames can be classified according to the type of pieces that remain on board. Basic checkmates are positions in which one side has only a king and the other side has one or two pieces and can checkmate the opposing king, with the pieces working together with their king. For example, king and pawn endgames involve only kings and pawns on one or both sides and the task of the stronger side is to promote one of the pawns. Other more complicated endings are classified according to the pieces on board other than kings, e.g. "rook and pawn versus rook endgame".



Iranian chess set, glazed fritware, 12th century. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chess is commonly believed to have originated in North-West India during the Gupta empire,[17][18][19][20] where its early form in the 6th century was known as caturaṅga (Sanskrit: four divisions [of the military]infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively). The earliest evidence of Chess is found in the neighboring Sassanid Persia around 600 where the game is known under the name became chatrang. Chatrang is evoked inside three epic romances written in Pahlavi (Medium Persian). Chatrang was taken up by the Muslim world after the Islamic conquest of Persia (633–644) where it was then named shatranj, with the pieces largely retaining their Persian names. In Spanish "shatranj" was rendered as ajedrez, in Portuguese as xadrez, and in Greek as zatrikion (which directly comes from Persian chatrang), but in the rest of Europe it was replaced by versions of the Persian shāh ("king"), which was familiar as an exclamation and became the English words "check" and "chess".[21] Murray theorized that this change happened from Muslim traders coming to European seaports with ornamental chess kings as curios before they brought the game of chess.[19]

Knights Templar playing chess, Libro de los juegos, 1283.

The game reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliest being in the 9th century. By the year 1000 it had spread throughout Europe.[22] Introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors in the 10th century, it was described in a famous 13th-century manuscript covering shatranj, backgammon, and dice named the Libro de los juegos. Another theory contends that chess arose from the game xiangqi (Chinese Chess) or one of its predecessors,[23] but has been refuted as unsubstantiated.[24]

Origins of the modern game (1000–1850)

Original Staunton chess set by Nathaniel Cook from 1849

Around 1200, rules of shatranj started to be modified in southern Europe, and around 1475, several major changes made the game essentially as it is known today.[22] These modern rules for the basic moves had been adopted in Italy and Spain.[25][26] Pawns gained the option of advancing two squares on their first move, while bishops and queens acquired their modern abilities. The queen replaced the earlier vizier chess piece towards the end of the 10th century and by the 15th century, had become the most powerful piece;[27] consequently modern chess was referred to as "Queen's Chess" or "Mad Queen Chess".[28] These new rules quickly spread throughout western Europe, with the exception of the rules about stalemate, which were finalized in the early 19th century. To distinguish it from its predecessors, this version of the rules is sometimes referred to as western chess[29] or international chess.[30]

Writings about the theory of how to play chess began to appear in the 15th century. The oldest surviving printed chess book, Repetición de Amores y Arte de Ajedrez (Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess) by Spanish churchman Luis Ramirez de Lucena was published in Salamanca in 1497.[26] Lucena and later masters like Portuguese Pedro Damiano, Italians Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona, Giulio Cesare Polerio and Gioachino Greco or Spanish bishop Ruy López de Segura developed elements of openings and started to analyze simple endgames.

François-André Danican Philidor, 18th-century French chess Master

In the 18th century the center of European chess life moved from the Southern European countries to France. The two most important French masters were François-André Danican Philidor, a musician by profession, who discovered the importance of pawns for chess strategy, and later Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais who won a famous series of matches with the Irish master Alexander McDonnell in 1834.[31] Centers of chess life in this period were coffee houses in big European cities like Café de la Régence in Paris and Simpson's Divan in London.[32][33]

As the 19th century progressed, chess organization developed quickly. Many chess clubs, chess books and chess journals appeared. There were correspondence matches between cities; for example the London Chess Club played against the Edinburgh Chess Club in 1824.[34] Chess problems became a regular part of 19th-century newspapers; Bernhard Horwitz, Josef Kling and Samuel Loyd composed some of the most influential problems. In 1843, von der Lasa published his and Bilguer's Handbuch des Schachspiels (Handbook of Chess), the first comprehensive manual of chess theory.

Birth of a sport (1850–1945)

The "Immortal Game", Anderssen-Kieseritzky, 1851

The first modern chess tournament was held in London in 1851 and won, surprisingly, by German Adolf Anderssen, relatively unknown at the time. Anderssen was hailed as the leading chess master and his brilliant, energetic attacking style became typical for the time, although it was later regarded as strategically shallow.[35][36] Sparkling games like Anderssen's Immortal game or Morphy's Opera game were regarded as the highest possible summit of the chess art.[37]

Deeper insight into the nature of chess came with two younger players. American Paul Morphy, an extraordinary chess prodigy, won against all important competitors (except Howard Staunton, who refused to play), including Anderssen, during his short chess career between 1857 and 1863. Morphy's success stemmed from a combination of brilliant attacks and sound strategy; he intuitively knew how to prepare attacks.[38] Prague-born Wilhelm Steinitz later described how to avoid weaknesses in one's own position and how to create and exploit such weaknesses in the opponent's position.[39] In addition to his theoretical achievements, Steinitz founded an important tradition: his triumph over the leading German master Johannes Zukertort in 1886 is regarded as the first official World Chess Championship. Steinitz lost his crown in 1894 to a much younger German mathematician Emanuel Lasker, who maintained this title for 27 years, the longest tenure of all World Champions.[40]

Wilhelm Steinitz, the first World Chess Champion

It took a prodigy from Cuba, José Raúl Capablanca (World champion 1921–27), who loved simple positions and endgames, to end the German-speaking dominance in chess; he was undefeated in tournament play for eight years until 1924. His successor was Russian-French Alexander Alekhine, a strong attacking player, who died as the World champion in 1946, having briefly lost the title to Dutch player Max Euwe in 1935 and regaining it two years later.[41]

Between the world wars, chess was revolutionized by the new theoretical school of so-called hypermodernists like Aron Nimzowitsch and Richard Réti. They advocated controlling the center of the board with distant pieces rather than with pawns, inviting opponents to occupy the center with pawns which become objects of attack.[42]

After the end of the 19th century, the number of annually held master tournaments and matches quickly grew. Some sources state that in 1914 the title of chess grandmaster was first formally conferred by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia to Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch and Marshall, but this is a disputed claim.[43] The tradition of awarding such titles was continued by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), founded in 1924 in Paris. In 1927, Women's World Chess Championship was established; the first to hold it was Czech-English master Vera Menchik.[44]

Post-war era (1945 and later)

World Champions José Raúl Capablanca (left) and Emanuel Lasker in 1925

After the death of Alekhine, a new World Champion was sought in a tournament of elite players ruled by FIDE, who have controlled the title since then, with one interruption. The winner of the 1948 tournament, Russian Mikhail Botvinnik, started an era of Soviet dominance in the chess world. Until the end of the Soviet Union, there was only one non-Soviet champion, American Bobby Fischer (champion 1972–1975).[45]

In the previous informal system, the World Champion decided which challenger he would play for the title and the challenger was forced to seek sponsors for the match. FIDE set up a new system of qualifying tournaments and matches. The world's strongest players were seeded into "Interzonal tournaments", where they were joined by players who had qualified from "Zonal tournaments". The leading finishers in these Interzonals would go on the "Candidates" stage, which was initially a tournament, later a series of knock-out matches. The winner of the Candidates would then play the reigning champion for the title. A champion defeated in a match had a right to play a rematch a year later. This system worked on a three-year cycle.

Botvinnik participated in championship matches over a period of fifteen years. He won the world championship tournament in 1948 and retained the title in tied matches in 1951 and 1954. In 1957, he lost to Vasily Smyslov, but regained the title in a rematch in 1958. In 1960, he lost the title to the Latvian prodigy Mikhail Tal, an accomplished tactician and attacking player. Botvinnik again regained the title in a rematch in 1961.

Following the 1961 event, FIDE abolished the automatic right of a deposed champion to a rematch, and the next champion, Armenian Tigran Petrosian, a genius of defense and strong positional player, was able to hold the title for two cycles, 1963–1969. His successor, Boris Spassky from Russia (1969–1972), was a player able to win in both positional and sharp tactical style.[46]

Current World Champion Viswanathan Anand

The next championship, the so-called Match of the Century, saw the first non-Soviet challenger since World War II, American Bobby Fischer, who defeated his Candidates opponents by unheard-of margins and clearly won the world championship match. In 1975, however, Fischer refused to defend his title against Soviet Anatoly Karpov when FIDE refused to meet his demands, and Karpov obtained the title by default. Karpov defended his title twice against Viktor Korchnoi and dominated the 1970s and early 1980s with a string of tournament successes.[47]

Karpov's reign finally ended in 1985 at the hands of another Russian player, Garry Kasparov. Kasparov and Karpov contested five world title matches between 1984 and 1990; Karpov never won his title back.[48]

In 1993, Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short broke with FIDE to organize their own match for the title and formed a competing Professional Chess Association (PCA). From then until 2006, there were two simultaneous World Champions and World Championships: the PCA or Classical champion extending the Steinitzian tradition in which the current champion plays a challenger in a series of many games; the other following FIDE's new format of many players competing in a tournament to determine the champion. Kasparov lost his Classical title in 2000 to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.

The World Chess Championship 2006 reunified the titles, when Kramnik beat the FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov and became the undisputed World Chess Champion.[49] In September 2007, he lost the title to Viswanathan Anand of India, who won the championship tournament in Mexico City. Anand defended his title in the revenge match 2008.[50] On January 1, 2010, Magnus Carlsen became the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world number one.[51]

Place in culture

Noble chess players, Germany, c. 1320


In the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance, chess was a part of noble culture; it was used to teach war strategy and was dubbed the "King's Game".[52] Gentlemen are "to be meanly seene in the play at Chestes," says the overview at the beginning of Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier (1528, English 1561 by Sir Thomas Hoby), but chess should not be a gentleman's main passion. Castiglione explains it further:

And what say you to the game at chestes? It is truely an honest kynde of enterteynmente and wittie, quoth Syr Friderick. But me think it hath a fault, whiche is, that a man may be to couning at it, for who ever will be excellent in the playe of chestes, I beleave he must beestowe much tyme about it, and applie it with so much study, that a man may assoone learne some noble scyence, or compase any other matter of importaunce, and yet in the ende in beestowing all that laboure, he knoweth no more but a game. Therfore in this I beleave there happeneth a very rare thing, namely, that the meane is more commendable, then the excellency.[53]

Two kings and two queens from the Lewis chessmen at the British Museum

Many of the elaborate chess sets used by the English aristocracy have been lost, but others survive, such as the Lewis chessmen.

At the same time, chess was often used as a basis of sermons on morality. An example is Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium sive super ludo scacchorum ('Book of the customs of men and the duties of nobles or the Book of Chess'), written by an Italian Dominican monk Jacobus de Cessolis circa 1300. This book was one of the most popular of the Middle Ages.[54] The work was translated into many other languages (first printed edition at Utrecht in 1473) and was the basis for William Caxton's The Game and Playe of the Chesse (1474), one of the first books printed in English.[55] Different chess pieces were used as metaphors for different classes of people, and human duties were derived from the rules of the game or from visual properties of the chess pieces:[56]

The knyght ought to be made alle armed upon an hors in suche wyse that he haue an helme on his heed and a spere in his ryght hande/ and coueryd wyth his sheld/ a swerde and a mace on his lyft syde/ Cladd wyth an hawberk and plates to fore his breste/ legge harnoys on his legges/ Spores on his heelis on his handes his gauntelettes/ his hors well broken and taught and apte to bataylle and couerid with his armes/ whan the knyghtes ben maad they ben bayned or bathed/ that is the signe that they shold lede a newe lyf and newe maners/ also they wake alle the nyght in prayers and orysons vnto god that he wylle gyue hem grace that they may gete that thynge that they may not gete by nature/ The kynge or prynce gyrdeth a boute them a swerde in signe/ that they shold abyde and kepe hym of whom they take theyr dispenses and dignyte.[57]

Known in the circles of clerics, students and merchants, chess entered into the popular culture of Middle Ages. An example is the 209th song of Carmina Burana from the 13th century, which starts with the names of chess pieces, Roch, pedites, regina…[58]


To the Age of Enlightenment, chess appeared mainly for self-improvement. Benjamin Franklin, in his article "The Morals of Chess" (1750), wrote:

"The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action [...] II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: - the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations [...] III. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily [...]"[59]

Through the Looking-Glass, Red King snoring, illustration by John Tenniel

With these or similar hopes, chess is taught to children in schools around the world today and used in armies to train minds of cadets and officers. Many schools hold chess clubs and there are many scholastic tournaments specifically for children. In addition, many countries have chess organizations that hold tournaments regularly, such as the United States Chess Federation and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation[60].

Moreover, chess is often depicted in the arts; significant works, where chess plays a key role, range from Thomas Middleton's A Game at Chess over Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll to The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig or Vladimir Nabokov's The Defense. Chess is also important in films like Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal or Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players.

Chess is also present in the contemporary popular culture. For example, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter plays "Wizard's Chess" while the characters of Star Trek prefer "Tri-Dimensional Chess" and the hero of Searching for Bobby Fischer struggles against adopting the aggressive and misanthropic views of a real chess grandmaster.[61] Chess has also been used as the core theme of a musical, Chess, by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.

Chess composition

Richard Réti
Ostrauer Morgenzeitung 4 December 1921
Start of chess board.
h8 white king
a6 black king c6 white pawn
h5 black pawn
End of chess board.
White to play and draw

One of the most famous chess studies ever. It seems impossible to catch the advanced black pawn, while the black king can easily stop the white pawn. The solution is diagonal advance, bringing the king to both pawns at the same time: 1.Kg7! h4 2.Kf6! Kb6 (or 2...h3 3.Ke7 and the white king can support its pawn) 3. Ke5!! (now the white king comes just in time to his pawn, or catches the black one) 3...h3 4. Kd6 draw.

Chess composition is the art of creating chess problems (these problems themselves are sometimes also called chess compositions). A person who creates such problems is known as a chess composer.[62]

Most chess problems exhibit the following features:

  • The position is composed, that is, it has not been taken from an actual game, but has been invented for the specific purpose of providing a problem.
  • There is a specific stipulation, that is, a goal to be achieved; for example, to checkmate black within a specified number of moves.
  • There is a theme (or combination of themes) that the problem has been composed to illustrate: chess problems typically instantiate particular ideas. Many of these themes have their own names, often by persons who used them first, for example Novotny or Lacny theme.
  • The problem exhibits economy in its construction: no greater force is employed than that required to guarantee that the problem's intended solution is indeed a solution and that it is the problem's only solution.
  • The problem has aesthetic value. Problems are experienced not only as puzzles but as objects of beauty. This is closely related to the fact that problems are organized to exhibit clear ideas in as economical a manner as possible.

There are many types of chess problems. The two most important are:

  • Directmates: white to move first and checkmate black within a specified number of moves against any defense. These are often referred to as "mate in n" - for example "mate in three" (a three-mover).
  • Studies: orthodox problems in which the stipulation is that white to play must win or draw. Almost all studies are endgame positions.

Chess composition is a distinct branch of chess sport, and tournaments (or tourneys) exist for both the composition and solving of chess problems.[63]

Competitive play

Organization of competitions

Contemporary chess is an organized sport with structured international and national leagues, tournaments and congresses. Chess's international governing body is FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs). Most countries have a national chess organization as well (such as the US Chess Federation and English Chess Federation), which in turn is a member of FIDE. FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee,[64] but the game of chess has never been part of the Olympic Games; chess does have its own Olympiad, held every two years as a team event.

The current World Chess Champion is Viswanathan Anand of India.[65] The reigning Women's World Champion is Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia but the world's highest rated female player, Judit Polgar, has never participated in the Women's World Chess Championship, instead preferring to compete with the leading men and maintaining a ranking among the top twenty male players.

Other competitions for individuals include the World Junior Chess Championship, the European Individual Chess Championship and the National Chess Championships. Invitation-only tournaments regularly attract the world's strongest players and these include Spain's Linares event, Monte Carlo's Melody Amber tournament, the Dortmund Sparkassen meeting, Sofia's M-tel Masters and Wijk aan Zee's Corus tournament.

Regular team chess events include the aforementioned Chess Olympiad and the European Team Championship. The 38th Chess Olympiad was held 2008 in Dresden, Germany; Armenia won the gold in the unrestricted event second time in a row after Turin 2006, and Georgia took the top medal for the women. The World Chess Solving Championship and World Correspondence Chess Championships are both team and individual events.

Besides these prestigious competitions, there are thousands of other chess tournaments, matches and festivals held around the world every year, which cater to players of all levels, from beginners to experts. Chess is also promoted as a "mind sport" by the Mind Sports Organisation alongside other mental-skill games, such as Contract Bridge, Go and Scrabble.

Titles and rankings

The best players can be awarded specific lifetime titles by the world chess organization FIDE:[66]

  • Grandmaster (shortened as GM, sometimes International Grandmaster or IGM is used) is awarded to world-class chess masters. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain. Before FIDE will confer the title on a player, the player must have an Elo chess rating (see below) of at least 2500 at one time and three favorable results (called norms) in tournaments involving other Grandmasters, including some from countries other than the applicant's. There are also other milestones a player can achieve to attain the title, such as winning the World Junior Championship.
  • International Master (shortened as IM). The conditions are similar to GM, but less demanding. The minimum rating for the IM title is 2400.
  • FIDE Master (shortened as FM). The usual way for a player to qualify for the FIDE Master title is by achieving a FIDE Rating of 2300 or more.
  • Candidate Master (shortened as CM). Similar to FM, but with a FIDE Rating of at least 2200.

All the titles are open to men and women. Separate women-only titles, such as Woman Grandmaster (WGM), are also available. Beginning with Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978, a number of women have earned the GM title, and most of the top ten women in 2006 hold the unrestricted GM title.[67]

International titles are awarded to composers and solvers of chess problems, and to correspondence chess players (by the International Correspondence Chess Federation). Moreover, national chess organizations may also award titles, usually to the advanced players still under the level needed for international titles; an example is the Chess expert title used in the United States.

In order to rank players, FIDE, ICCF and national chess organizations use the Elo rating system developed by Arpad Elo. Elo is a statistical system based on assumption that the chess performance of each player in their games is a random variable. Arpad Elo thought of a player's true skill as the average of that player's performance random variable, and showed how to estimate the average from results of player's games. The US Chess Federation implemented Elo's suggestions in 1960, and the system quickly gained recognition as being both fairer and more accurate than older systems; it was adopted by FIDE in 1970.[68]

The highest ever FIDE rating was 2851, which Garry Kasparov had on the July 1999 and January 2000 lists.[69] In the most recent list (October 2010), the highest rated player is Magnus Carlsen of Norway with a rating of 2813.[67]

Mathematics and computers

Mathematicians Euler, Legendre, de Moivre and Vandermonde studied the knight's tour.

The game structure and nature of chess is related to several branches of mathematics. Many combinatorical and topological problems connected to chess were known of for hundreds of years. In 1913, Ernst Zermelo used it as a basis for his theory of game strategies, which is considered as one of the predecessors of game theory.[70]

The number of legal positions in chess is estimated to be between 1043 and 1050, with a game-tree complexity of approximately 10123. The game-tree complexity of chess was first calculated by Claude Shannon as 10120, a number known as the Shannon number.[71] Typically an average position has thirty to forty possible moves, but there may be as few as zero (in the case of checkmate or stalemate) or as many as 218.[72]

The most important mathematical challenge of chess is the development of algorithms which can play chess. The idea of creating a chess playing machine dates to the 18th century; around 1769, the chess playing automaton called The Turk became famous before being exposed as a hoax.[73] Serious trials based on automatons, such as El Ajedrecista, were too complex and limited to be useful.

Since the advent of the digital computer in the 1950s, chess enthusiasts and computer engineers have built, with increasing degrees of seriousness and success, chess-playing machines and computer programs. The groundbreaking paper on computer chess, "Programming a Computer for Playing Chess", was published in 1950 by Shannon.[74] He wrote:

The chess machine is an ideal one to start with, since: (1) the problem is sharply defined both in allowed operations (the moves) and in the ultimate goal (checkmate); (2) it is neither so simple as to be trivial nor too difficult for satisfactory solution; (3) chess is generally considered to require "thinking" for skillful play; a solution of this problem will force us either to admit the possibility of a mechanized thinking or to further restrict our concept of "thinking"; (4) the discrete structure of chess fits well into the digital nature of modern computers.[75]

1990s chess-playing computer

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) held the first major chess tournament for computers, the North American Computer Chess Championship, in September 1970. CHESS 3.0, a chess program from Northwestern University, won the championship. Nowadays chess programs compete in the World Computer Chess Championship, held annually since 1974. At first considered only a curiosity, the best chess playing programs, for example Rybka, have become extremely strong. In 1997 a computer won a match against a reigning World Champion for the first time: IBM's Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov 3½–2½ (it scored two wins, one loss and three draws).[76] In 2009, a mobile phone won a category 6 tournament with a performance rating 2898: chess engine Hiarcs 13 running on the mobile phone HTC Touch HD won the Copa Mercosur tournament with 9 wins and 1 draw.[77]

The general structure of a chess program is to search for moves and evaluate the resulting positions to find the best move. Many enhancements are necessary to achieve high performance. Some of those enhancements are minimax, alpha-beta pruning, killer heuristic, iterative deepening depth-first search, negascout, MTD-f, SSS*, null-move heuristic and late move reductions.

With huge databases of past games and high analytical ability, computers also help players to learn chess and prepare for matches. Additionally, Internet Chess Servers allow people to find and play opponents all over the world. The presence of computers and modern communication tools have also raised concerns regarding cheating during games, most notably the "bathroom controversy" during the 2006 World Championship.


There is an extensive scientific literature on chess psychology.[78][79][80][81][82] Alfred Binet and others showed that knowledge and verbal, rather than visuospatial, ability lies at the core of expertise.[83][84] Adriaan de Groot, in his doctoral thesis, showed that chess masters can rapidly perceive the key features of a position.[85] According to de Groot, this perception, made possible by years of practice and study, is more important than the sheer ability to anticipate moves. De Groot also showed that chess masters can memorize positions shown for a few seconds almost perfectly. The ability to memorize does not, alone, account for this skill, since masters and novices, when faced with random arrangements of chess pieces, had equivalent recall (about half a dozen positions in each case). Rather, it is the ability to recognize patterns, which are then memorized, which distinguished the skilled players from the novices. When the positions of the pieces were taken from an actual game, the masters had almost total positional recall.[86]

More recent research has focused on chess as mental training; the respective roles of knowledge and look-ahead search; brain imaging studies of chess masters and novices; blindfold chess; the role of personality and intelligence in chess skill, gender differences, and computational models of chess expertise. In addition, the role of practice and talent in the development of chess and other domains of expertise has led to a lot of research recently. Ericsson and colleagues have argued that deliberate practice is sufficient for reaching high levels of expertise, like master in chess.[87] However, more recent research indicates that factors other than practice are important. For example, Gobet and colleagues have shown that stronger players start playing chess earlier, that they are more likely to be left-handed, and that they are more likely to be born in late winter and early spring.[88]


Glinski's hexagonal chess, a chess variant popular in the 1930s

Chess variants are forms of chess where the game is played with a different board, special fairy pieces or different rules. There are more than two thousand published chess variants, the most popular being xiangqi in China and shogi in Japan.[89][90] Chess variants include notably:

  • Direct predecessors of chess, chaturanga and shatranj.
  • Traditional national or regional chess variants like xiangqi, shogi, janggi and makruk, which share common predecessors with Western chess.
  • Modern variants of chess, such as Chess960, where the initial position is one selected randomly from a possible 960 starting positions. This random positioning makes it more difficult to prepare the opening play in advance.[91]
  • Variants with returning figures like bughouse chess or crazyhouse.

See also


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    Gobet, F. & Campitelli, G. (2007). The role of domain-specific practice, handedness and starting age in chess.PDF (196 KB) Developmental Psychology, 43, 159–172. Both retrieved 15 July 2007.
  89. ^ Pritchard, D. (2000). Popular Chess Variants. Batsford Chess Books. ISBN 0-7134-8578-7. OCLC 44275285. 
  90. ^ Pritchard, D. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Games & Puzzles Publications. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1. OCLC 60113912. 
  91. ^ van Reem, Eeric. The birth of Fischer Random Chess., 24 July 2001. Retrieved 30 November 2006.


  • Bird, Henry Edward (1893). Chess History and Reminiscences. Forgotten Books. ISBN 1606208977. 
  • Davidson, Henry A. (1949). A Short History of Chess. McKay. ISBN 0-679-14550-8. OCLC 17340178. 
  • Estes, Rebecca; Robinson, Dindy (1996). World Cultures Through Art Activities. Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1563082713. 
  • Harding, Tim (2003). Better Chess for Average Players. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-29029-8. OCLC 33166445. 
  • Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1992). The Oxford Companion to Chess, Second edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866164-9. OCLC 25508610. 
  • Kasparov, Garry (2003a). My Great Predecessors, part I. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-330-6. OCLC 223602528. 
  • Kasparov, Garry (2003b). My Great Predecessors, part II. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-342-X. OCLC 223906486. 
  • Kasparov, Garry (2004a). My Great Predecessors, part III. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-371-3. OCLC 52949851. 
  • Kasparov, Garry (2004b). My Great Predecessors, part IV. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-395-0. OCLC 52949851. 
  • Kasparov, Garry (2006). My Great Predecessors, part V. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-85744-404-3. OCLC 52949851. 
  • Leibs, Andrew (2004). Sports and Games of the Renaissance. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0313327726. 
  • Wilkinson, Charles K. (May 1943). "Chessmen and Chess". The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin New Series, Vol. 1, No. 9 (9): 271–279. doi:10.2307/3257111. 

Further reading

  • De Groot, Adriaan, Gobet, Fernand (1996). Perception and memory in chess: Heuristics of the professional eye. Assen, NL: Van Gorcum. ISBN 90-232-2949-5. 
  • Fine, Reuben (1983). The World's Great Chess Games. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-24512-8. OCLC 9394460. 
  • Gobet, Fernand; de Voogt, Alex; Retschitzki, Jean (2004). Moves in mind: The psychology of board games. Psychology Press. ISBN 1-84169-336-7. OCLC 53962630. 
  • Mason, James (1947). The Art of Chess. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-20463-4. OCLC 45271009.  (see the included supplement, "How Do You Play Chess")
  • Dunnington, Angus (2003). Chess Psychology: Approaching the Psychological Battle Both on and Off the Board. Everyman Chess. ISBN 9781857443264. 
  • Rizzitano, James (2004). Understanding Your Chess. Gambit Publications. ISBN 1-904600-07-7. OCLC 55205602. 
  • Tarrasch, Siegbert (1994). The Game of Chess. Algebraic Edition. Hays Publishing. ISBN 1-880673-94-0. OCLC 31152893. 
  • Hale, Benjamin (2008). Philosophy Looks at Chess. Open Court Publishing Company. ISBN 9780812696332. 

External links

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played on a square chequered chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight square between two players who each control sixteen pieces.

Chess is life.
- Bobby Fischer
Life is a kind of chess.
- Benjamin Franklin
Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy.
- Siegbert Tarrasch
Chess is the touchstone of intellect.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Every chess master was once a beginner.
- Irving Chernev



  • ...for chess, that superb, cold, infinitely satisfying anodyne to life, I feel the ardor of a lover, the humility of a disciple. —Herbert Russell Wakefield


  • A man surprised is half beaten. - Proverb
  • All that matters on the chessboard is good moves. - Bobby Fischer
  • A chess game is divided into three stages: the first, when you hope you have the advantage, the second when you believe you have an advantage, and the third... when you know you're going to lose! - Tartakover
  • A good player is always lucky. - Capablanca
  • Amberley excelled at chess—one mark, Watson, of a scheming mind. —Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Adventure of the Retired Colourman"


  • Bishops move diagonally. That's why they often turn up where the kings don't expect them to be. -Small Gods


  • Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy. —Siegbert Tarrasch
  • Chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art, and in its execution a science. —Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa
  • Chess is the game which reflects most honour on human wit. —Voltaire
  • Chess is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game. —Paul Morphy
  • Chess is the touchstone of intellect. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe. —Indian proverb
  • Chess is mental torture. —Garry Kasparov
  • Chess is so deep, I simply feel lost. —Vladimir Kramnik
  • [Chess is] as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find anywhere outside an advertising agency. - Raymond Chandler in The Long Goodbye
  • Chess is a fathead and feudal game —Georges Perec (in a book promoting Go)
  • Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders - Tartakover
  • Chess is a beautiful mistress. - Larsen
  • Chess is life - Bobby Fischer
  • Chess is like life - Boris Spassky
  • Chess is everything - art, science, and sport. - Karpov
  • Chess is 99 percent tactics. - Teichmann
  • Chess is really 99 percent calculation - Soltis
  • Chess is ruthless: you've got to be prepared to kill people. - Nigel Short
  • Chess is as much a mystery as women - Purdy


  • Every chess master was once a beginner. - Chernev


  • I'd rather have a pawn than a finger. —Reuben Fine
  • It all depends: which pawn and which finger? —Roman Dzindzichashvili
  • If chess is a Battle then Go is War -Anonymous
  • It's the horsey-shape piece that moves in an L shape. It's what makes chess complicated, and why stupid people can't play chess. Go play checkers! Knights are the first piece you look at. They elevate the game. No chess master wants to lose her knights. -Courtney Love


  • Life is too short for chess. - Lord Byron
  • Life is a kind of chess. -Benjamin Franklin
  • Life is like a game of Chess, changing with each move. - Lelouch Lamperouge


  • Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all. - Fischer


  • No price is too great for the scalp of the enemy King. - Koblentz


  • Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess. —attributed to both Irving Chernev and William Ewart Napier
  • Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box —Italian proverb


  • Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine. - Spielmann


  • The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. —Thomas Huxley
  • The pawns are the soul of chess. - Philidor
  • The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made. - Tartakover
  • The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. - Tartakover
  • There are two types of sacrifices: correct ones and mine. - Tal


  • Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks round, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves. -Thud!


  • When the chess game is over, the pawn and the king go back to the same box - Irish saying contributed by Etienne Goldstein


  • You cannot play at chess if you are kind-hearted. - French Proverb

Advice on the game of Chess

  • The middlegame I repeat is chess itself; chess with all its possibilities, its attacks, defences, sacrifices, etc. - Znosko-Borovsky
  • Methodical thinking is of more use in chess than inspiration. - Purdy
  • Chess is the art of analysis. - Botvinnik
  • Chess mastery essentially consists of analysing chess positions accurately. - Botvinnik
  • Half the variations which are calculated in a tournament game turn out to be completely superfluous. Unfortunately, no one knows in advance which half - Jan Timman
  • Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all. - Mikhail Chigorin
  • It is not a move, even the best move, that you must seek, but a realisable plan. - Znosko-Borovsky
  • The defensive power of a pinned piece is only imaginary. - Nimzovich
  • The combination player thinks forward; he starts from the given position, and tries the forceful moves in his mind. - Emanuel Lasker
  • Discovered check is the dive-bomber of the chessboard. - Fine
  • If the student forces himself to examine all moves that smite, however absurd they may look at first glance, he is on the way to becoming a master of tactics. - Purdy
  • The tactician knows what to do when there is something to do; whereas the strategian knows what to do when there is nothing to do. - Gerald Abrahams
  • Examine moves that smite! A good eye for smites is far more important than a knowledge of strategical principles. - Purdy
  • The scheme of a game is played on positional lines; the decision of it, as a rule, is effected by combinations. - Reti
  • In the perfect chess combination as in a first-rate short story, the whole plot and counter-plot should lead up to a striking finale, the interest not being allayed until the very last moment. - Yates and Winter
  • A thorough understanding of the typical mating continuations makes the most complicated sacrificial combinations leading up to them not only not difficult, but almost a matter of course. - Tarrasch
  • It's always better to sacrifice your opponent's men. - Tartakover
  • Before the endgame, the gods have placed the middlegame. - Tarrasch
  • When you see a good move, look for a better one. —Emanuel Lasker
  • The Pin is mightier than the sword. —Fred Reinfeld
  • Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation. —Max Euwe
  • All that matters on the Chessboard is good moves. —Bobby Fischer
  • The great master places a Knight at K5 (e5); checkmate follows by itself. -Savielly Tartakower
  • First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy. - Aron Nimzowitsch
  • It is not a move, even the best move, that you must seek, but a realisable plan. - Eugene Znosko-Borovsky
  • Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician and the endgame like a machine - Rudolf Spielmann

External links

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Chess is a synthesis between art, science and competitive endeavour, and is widely seen as a metaphor (however vague) for life in general or at least a philosophical interpretation or outlook on life. As with all games and sports, chess is about defeating a foe in a battle of skill and ability, but the struggle in chess involves deep analytical and intuitive subtlety due to its inherent appearance of simplicity but actual complexity.

The "game" is deceptively simple, with its relatively few rules, all of which are easily understood by people of all abilities. However, in chess there are twenty possible starting moves for White (who always plays first) followed by a further twenty for Black (each army starts as a mirror of the other), making 400 different positions on the first move alone. In each of these 400 scenarios, White would probably have a further, for example, 20 or 25 moves, taking the possibilities to at least 8000, then 150,000, 3,000,000 and so on. It has been proven mathematically that there are more possible ways for a game of chess to unfold than there are atoms in the Universe.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHESS, once known as " checker," a game played with certain " pieces " on a special " board " described below. It takes its name from the Persian word shah, a king, the name of one of the pieces or men used in the game. Chess is the most cosmopolitan of all games, invented in the East (see History, below), introduced into the West and now domiciled in every part of the world. As a mere pastime chess is easily learnt, and a very moderate amount of study enables a man to become a fair player,. but the higher ranges of chess-skill are only attained by persistent labour. The real proficient or "master" not merely must know the subtle variations in which the game abounds, but must be able to apply his knowledge in the face of the enemy and to call to his aid, as occasion demands, all that he has of foresight, brilliancy and resource, both in attack and in defence. Two chess players fighting over the board may fitly be compared to two famous generals encountering each other on the battlefield, the strategy and the tactics being not dissimilar in spirit.

Table of contents

The Board, Pieces and Moves

The chessboard is divided (see accompanying diagrams) into sixty-four chequered squares. In diagram I, the pieces, or chess-men, are arranged for the beginning of a game, while diagram 2 shows the denomination of the squares according to the English and German systems of notation. Under diagram I are the names of the various " pieces " - each side, White or Black, having a King, a Queen, two Rooks (or Castles), two Knights, and two Bishops. The eight men in front are called Pawns. At the beginning of the game the queen always stands upon a square of her own colour. The board is so set that each player has a white square at the right hand end of the row nearest to him. The rook, knight and bishop on the right of the king are known as King's rook, King's knight, and King's bishop; the other three as Queen's rook, Queen's knight, and Queen's bishop.

Briefly described, the powers of the various pieces and of the pawns are as follows.

The king may move in any direction, only one square at a time, except in castling. Two kings can never be on adjacent squares.

Black. The queen moves in any direction square or diagonal, whether forward or backward. There is no limit to her range over vacant squares; an opponent she may take; a piece of her own colour stops her. She is the most powerful piece on the board, for her action is a union of those of the rook and bishop. The rooks (from the Indian rukh and Persian rokh, meaning a soldier or warrior) move in straight lines - forward or backward - but they cannot Diagram I. - Showing the m ove diagonally. Their range is arrangement of the pieces at like the queen's, unlimited, with the commencement of a game. the same exceptions.

The bishops move diagonally in any direction whether backward or forward. They have an unlimited range, with the same exceptions.

The knights' moves are of an absolutely different kind. They move from one corner of any rectangle of three squares by two to the opposite corner; thus, in diagram 3, the white knight can move to the square occupied by the black one, and vice versa, or a knight could move from C to D, or D to C. The move may be made in any direction. It is no obstacle to the knight's move if squares A and B are occupied. It will be perceived that the knight always moves to a square of a different colour.

The king, queen, rooks and bishops may capture any foeman which stands anywhere within their respective ranges; and the knights can capture the adverse men which stand upon the squares to which they can leap. The piece which takes occupies the square of the piece which is taken, the latter being removed from the board. The king cannot capture any man which is protected by another man.

The moves and capturing powers of the pawns are as follows: - Each pawn for his first move may advance either one or two squares straight forward, but afterwards one square only, and this whether upon starting he exercised his privilege of moving two squares or not. A pawn can never move backwards. He can capture only diagonally - one square to his right or left front. A pawn moves like a rook, captures like a bishop, but only one square at a time. When a pawn arrives at an eighth square, viz. at the extreme limit of the board, he may, at the option of his owner, be exchanged for any other piece, so that a player may, e.g., have two or more queens on the board at once.

Check and Checkmate." The king can never be captured, but when any piece or pawn attacks him, he is said to be " in check," and the fact of his being so attacked should be announced by the Black.

a b c d e f g h 8765432 I a b c d e White.

Diagram 2. - Showing English and German Methods of Notation.

adverse player saying ” check," whereupon the king must move from the square he occupies, or be screened from check by the interposition of one of his own men, or the attacking piece must be captured. If, however, when the king is in Check, none of these things can be done, it is " checkmate " (Persian, shah mat, the king is dead), known generally as " mate," whereupon the game terminates, the player whose king has been thus checkmated being the loser. When the adversary has only his king left, it is very easy to checkmate him with only a queen and king, or only a rook and king. The problem is less easy with king and two bishops, and still less easy with king, knight and bishop, in which case the opposing king has to be driven into a corner square whose colour corresponds with the bishop's, mate being given with the bishop. A king and two knights cannot mate. To mate with king and rook the opposing king must be driven on to one of the four side files and kept there with the rook on the next file, till it is held by the other king, when the rook mates.

The pawn gives check in the same way as he captures, viz. diagonally. One king cannot give check to another, nor may a king be moved into check.

" Check by discovery " is given when a player, by moving one of his pieces, checks with another of them. " Double check " means attacking the king at once with two pieces - one of the pieces in this case giving check by discovery.

" Perpetual check " occurs when one player, seeing that he cannot win the game, finds the men so placed that he can give check ad infinitum, while his adversary cannot possibly avoid it. The game is then drawn. A game is also drawn " if, before touching a man, the player whose turn it is to play, claims that the Knight s move. game be treated as drawn, and proves that the existing position existed, in the game and at the commencement of his turn of play, twice at least before the present turn." " Stalemate." When a king is not in check, but his owner has no move left save such as would place the king in check, it is " stalemate," and the game is drawn.

" Castling." This is a special move permitted to the king once only in the game. It is performed in combination with either rook, the king being moved two squares laterally, while the rook towards which he is moved (which must not have previously :I '/?"?//, /// ?/Q; ? Q i / ?. R4 ?% / !?,, B4, / K4 II r r/ r. / %ii rirr r // ? ? ? i ii r ? L ab % % b?Leb?%?i? LH i'/? %LH??YP,, %//%'! j //? //,/ /? /; ? t %? ?

QR2?:K?jQB2 /,-/ K2 ? /KK2 ?

, ,,.,?,,,, ? ,;, ,,, -,-,%, ,?',?/? ???„, ??'?BNO' ?/? 813???88?;??;?;8a?1 ? QK s;Q ' Q s / iKBs ' ? 4?,-/?,? q / / ?rr'i g,?? ? 'KRsq /, ? r/i: i r ir/ir ? iii ? r% i bsb: i ic e b;"' ? bs N;b ?,i?; bs y? N bs y?, %??$% / ?? '? % /?? QR ? 6 8 ? ? K 8;F(%,, 8; KK t 8;k,? R;? „.- / ., r QK7%Î Q7 /k(?, KB 7?K..?, R 7 ? ,,,, ,/? i / r / r v i r r / fa / K ii Æ ab ?i' ? Eeb ?r ? ? x E?xN ? ? ?'? % //??/%??? // i?/?//G, QR 6%c! ?;,;i QB 6 /r,,. ?////,, K 6 KKt6%K?;%y ? „/„/ ?,. ? ?„ ,y „?, %%? ?i b ??/ 78 ?f???4b N 5 / /????? 5 ? / ??KB 5?/K??"'KR5 Q K /i ? Q ?,/? %/// /?,,,, /// /i 8765432 I f g h Rk. Kt. Rk.

[[White. D]] moved from its square) is placed next him on the other side; the king must be touched first. The king cannot castle after having been once moved, nor when any piece stands between him and the rook, nor if he is in check, nor when he has to cross a square commanded by an adverse piece or pawn, nor into check. It will be perceived that after castling with the king's rook the latter will occupy the KB square, while the king stands on the KKt square, and if with the queen's rook, the latter will occupy the queen's square while the king stands on the QB square.

" Taking en passant." This is a privilege possessed by any of the pawns under the following circumstances: - If a pawn, say of the white colour, stands upon a fifth square, say upon K5 counting from the white side, and a black pawn moves from Q2 or KB2 to Q4 or KB 4 counting from the black side, the white pawn can take the black pawn en passant. For the purposes of such capture the latter is dealt with as though he had only moved to Q3 or KB3, and the white pawn taking him diagonally then occupies the square the captured pawn would have reached had he moved but one square. The capture can be made only on the move immediately succeeding that of the pawn to be captured.

" Drawn Game." This arises from a stalemate (noticed above), or from either player not having sufficient force wherewith to effect checkmate, as when there are only two kings left on the board, or king and bishop against king, or king with one knight, or two knights against king, or from perpetual check. One of the players can call upon the other to give checkmate in fifty moves, the result of failure being that the game is drawn. But, if a pawn is moved, or a piece is captured, the counting must begin again.

A " minor piece " means either a knight or a bishop. " Winning the exchange " signifies capturing a rook in exchange for a minor piece. A " passed pawn " is one that has no adverse pawn either in front or on either of the adjoining files. A " file " is simply a line of squares extending vertically from one end of the board to the other. An " open file " is one on which no piece or pawn of either colour is standing. A pawn or piece is en prise when one of the enemy's men can capture it. " Gambit " is a word derived from the Ital. gambetto, a tripping up of the heels; it is a term used to signify an opening in which a pawn or piece is sacrificed at the opening of a game to obtain an attack. An " opening," or debut, is a certain set method of commencing the game. When a player can only make one legal move, that move is called a " forced move." Value of the Pieces. - The relative worth of the chess-men cannot be definitely stated on account of the increase or decrease of their powers according to the position of the game and the pieces, but taking the pawn as the unit the following will be an estimate near enough for practical purposes: - pawn i, bishop 3-25, knight 3.2 5, rook 5, queen 9.50. Three minor pieces may more often than not be advantageously exchanged for the queen. The knight is generally stronger than the bishop in the end game, but two bishops are usually stronger than two knights, more especially in open positions.


The laws of chess differ, although not very materially, in different countries. Various steps have been taken, but as yet without success, to secure the adoption of a universal code. In competitions among English players the particular laws to be observed are specially agreed upon, - the regulations most generally adopted being those laid down at length in Staunton's Chess Praxis, or the modification of the Praxis laws issued in the name of the British Chess Association in5862.

First Move and Odds

To decide who moves first, one player conceals a white pawn in one hand and a black pawn in the other, his adversary not seeing in which hand the different pawns are put. The other holds out his hands with the pawns concealed, and his adversary touches one. If that contains the white pawn, he takes the white men and moves first. If he draws the black pawn his adversary has the first move, since white, by convention, always plays first. Subsequently the first move is taken alternately. If one player, by way of odds, " gives " his adversary a pawn or piece, that piece is removed before play begins. If the odds are " pawn and move," or " pawn and two," a black pawn, namely, the king's bishop's pawn, is removed and white plays one move, or any two moves in succession. " Pawn and two " is generally considered to be slightly less in point of odds than to give a knight or a bishop; to give a knight and a bishop is to give rather more than a rook; a rook and bishop less than a queen; two rooks rather more than a queen. The odds of " the marked pawn" can only be given to a much weaker player. A pawn, generally KB's pawn, is marked with a cap of paper. If the pawn is captured its owner loses the game; he can also lose by being checkmated in the usual way, but he cannot give mate to his adversary with any man except the marked pawn, which may not be moved to an eighth square and exchanged for a piece.


If a player touch one of his men he must move it, unless he says j'adoube (I adjust), or words of a similar meaning, to the effect that he was only setting it straight on its square. If he cannot legally move a touched piece, he must move his king, if he can, but may not castle; if not, there is no penalty. He must say j'adoube before touching his piece. If a player touch an opponent's piece, he must take it, if he can: if not, move his king. If he can do neither, no penalty. A move is completed and cannot be taken back, as soon as a player, having moved a piece, has taken his hand off it. If a player is called upon to mate under the fifty-move rule, " fifty moves " means fifty moves and the forty-nine replies to them. A pawn that reaches an eighth square must be exchanged for some other piece, the move not being complete until this is done; a second king cannot be selected.

Modes of Notation

The English and German methods of describing the moves made in a game are different. According to the English method each player counts from his own side of the board, and the moves are denoted by the names of the files and the numbers of the squares. Thus when a player for his first move advances the king's pawn two squares, it is described as follows: " I. P - K4." The following moves, with the aid of diagram 2, will enable the reader to understand the principles of the British notation. The symbol X is used to express " takes "; a dash - to express " to." White. Black.

6. P takes P (or P X P) 6.

(Queen's Bishop's pawn takes pawn: no other pawn has a pawn en prise) It is now usual to express the notation as concisely as possible; thus, the third moves of White and Black would be given as 3. B - B4, because it is clear that only the fourth square of the queen's bishop's file is intended.

The French names for the pieces are, King, Roi; Queen, Dame; Rook, Tour; Knight, Cavalier; Pawn, Pion; for Bishop the French substitute Fou, a jester. Chess is Les Echecs. The German notation employs the alphabetical characters a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h, proceeding from left to right, and the numerals i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, running upwards, these being always calculated from the white side of the board (see diagram 2). Thus the White Queen's Rook's square is ai, the White Queen's square is di; the Black Queen's square, d8; the White King's square, el; the Black King's square, e8, and so with the other pieces and squares. The German names of the pieces are as follows: - King, Konig; Queen, Dame; Rook, Turm; Bishop, Laufer; Knight, Springer; Pawn, Bauer; Chess, Schack. P - K4 KKt - KB3 (i.e. King's Knight third square of the Bishop's file) KB - QB4 (King's Bishop to the fourth square of the Queen's Bishop's file) P - QB3 2. to the King's I. 4 5 P - Q4 3.



P - K4 QKt - QB3 (i.e. Queen's Knight to the third square of the Queen's Bishop's file) KB - QB4 KKt - KB3 P takes P (or P X P) (King's pawn takes White's Queen's pawn) KB - QKt5 (ch., i.e. check) The initials only of the pieces are given, the pawns (Bauern) being understood. The Germans use the following signs in their notation, viz. :-for " check " (t); " checkmate " CO; " takes " (:); " castles on king's side " (o-o); "castles on queen's side " (o-o-o); for " best move " a note of admiration (!); for " weak move " a note of interrogation (?). The opening moves just given in the English will now be given in the German notation: White. Black.

I. e2-e4 I. e7 -e5 2. S gI -f3 2. S b8 -c6 3. L f 1 -c4 3. L f8-c5 4. c2 -c3 4. S g8-f6! 6. c3-d4: 5. d2-d4 Lc5 -41' 5. e5-d4,' In both notations the moves are often given in a tabular form, thus: 1. P -K4 1 e2 -e4, the moves above the line being White's P -K4 e7-e5 and below the line Black's.

Illustrative Games.-The text-books should be consulted by students who wish to improve their game. The following are some of the leading openings: Giuoco Piano.

White. Black.

i. P-K4 I. P-K4 2. KKt-B3 2. QKt-B3 3. B-B4 3. B-B4 4. P -B3 4. K t P - KB3 6 P PXP 4 6. B-Kt5 (ch) 7. BQ2 7. XB (ch) 8. QKtXB 8. P B-Q4 9. PXP 9. KKtXP io. Q-Kt3 io. QKt - K2 II. Castles (K's side) II. Castles Even game.

RUY Lopez.


I. P-K4 QKt -B3 P -QR3 4. Kt-B3 5. P X P 6. Kt-K5 7. BK2 8. Kt-B4 9. Qpxb Io. Castles II. P -KB3 Even game.

Scotch Gambit.

White. Black.

i. P-K4 1. P-K4 2. KKt-B3 2. QKT-B3 3. P-Q4 3. PXP 4. B-QB4 4. B-B4 5. P-B3 5. Kt-B3 6. PXP The position here arrived at is the same as in the Giuoco Piano opening above.

Evans Gambit.

White. I. P-K4 2. KKt-B3 3. B-B4 4. P-QKt4 5. P-B3 6. P-Q4 7. Castles 8. PXP White has for its ninth move three approved continuations, viz. B - Kt2, P -Q5, and Kt -B3. To take one of them: 9. P-Q5 9. Kt-R4 10. B - Kt2 I o. Kt-K2 II. BQ3 II. Castles 12. Kt-B3 12. Kt-Kt3 13. Kt-K2 13. P-QB4 14. Q-Q2 14. P-B3 15. K-R sq 15. B-B2 16. QR-B sq 16. R-Kt sq This game may be considered about even.

King'S Knight'S Gambit (Proper).

White. Black.

i. P-K4 I. P-K4 2. P-KB4 2. PXP 3. KKt-B3 3. P-KKt4 4. B-B4 4. B 5 Castles 5. P - Q3 6. P-Q4 645..

. P-KR3Kt2 7. P-B3 7. Kt-K2. P Black has the advantage.


Wh ite. Black. .

2. P-KB4 6.4. 2. PXP K B P -t--KBKR4B4 3 31. PP -- KK t4 K4 -QKt5 5. Kt-K5 5. KKt-4B3 7. PXP 7 46... PPB-Kt2 8. P - Q4 8. Castles 9. BXP 9. KtXP io. BXKt io. QXB II. Castles II. P-QB4 Black has the better game.

King'S Bishop'S Gambit. Whi te. Black.

I. PK 4 i. P P - K B 4 2. PXP 3. BB4 3. P Q4K4 4. B X P 4. Q R5 (ch) 5. K-B sq 5. P -KKt4 KKt -B3 6. Q-R4 7 P - Q4 7. B -Kt2 P -KR4 8. P -KR3 9. Kt-B3 9. Kt-K2 io. K-Kt sq io. P -Kt5 II. Kt -K5 II.BXKt 12. PXB 12. Qxkp 13. Q-B sq 13. P-B6 14. P-P 14. Q - Kt6 (ch) 15. Q-Kt 2 Drawn game. Salvio Gambit.

White. Black.

io. KXP 4. B-B4 9. Kt-Q3 3. KKt - B3 6. K-B sq 5. Kt-K5 7. P-Q4 Kt -QB3 2. P -KB4 T. P-K4 i o. B - Kt2 9. P X P (ch) 3. P - KKt4 P -Kt5 5 Q - R 5 (ch) 6. Kt - KR3 8. P-Q3 2. PXP 7. P-B6 1. P-K4 II. Kt-B3 II. Kt -KB4 12. Castles 12. B-K3 13. Q-Q sq QKt -Q5 14. P-B3 White has a slight advantage.


KK t -B3 B-B4 Gambit 3 ' P - KKt4 ' P - Kt5 Black.

5. PXKt 6. Q-B3 7. Q X P 8. B-R3 9. Kt-K2 Io. QKt -B3 II. Q -KB4 12. Castles 13. B - Kt2 P -Q4 QKt4 Q -Kt3 I 7. Kt X Kt 18. B-B4 19. B-K3 20. PXB 21. RXR (ch) 22. R - B sq (ch) KtQ 5 And Black has the better game.


1. P-K4 KKt -B3 3. B - Kt5 4. B-R4 5. P-Q4 6. P-K5 7. Castles R -K sq 9. B X Kt io. Kt XP II. Kt -QB3 Black.

1. P-K4 QKt -B3 3. B-B4 4. B X KtP 5. B-B4 6. PXP 7. P-Q3 B -Kt3 I. io. 8. Kt-B3 II. QR -K sq 12. R-K4 13. Qbxp 14. Q-K2 15. Bxbp P -KR4 17. Kt XP 18. BXKt. QR - KB4 2019. BXB 21. R-K4 22. KXR 23. K -Kt sq Muzio P -K4 P -KB4 P-K4 2 ' PXP White.

Castles QXP P-K5 P-Q3 B -Q2 Queen'S Gambit. White.

I. P-Q4 1. P-Q4 2. P-QB4 2. PXP.

Black 3. P-K3 3. P-K4 4. BXP 4. PXP 5. PXP 5. B-Q3 6. Kt-KB3 6. Kt-KB3 7. Ca:,tles 7. Castles 8. P-KR3 8. P-KR3 9. Kt-QB3 9. P-QB3 The game is about equal, though White has a somewhat freer position.

The following is a selection of noteworthy games played by great masters: King'S Bishop'S Gambit.

White. Black.

Anderssen. Kieseritzki.

I. P-K4 I. P-K4 P -KB4 2. PXP 3. B-B4 3. QR 5 (ch) K-B sq 4. P -QKt4 5. BXKtP 5. Kt -KB3 Kt -KB3 6. Q-R3 7. P-Q3 7. Kt -R4 8. Kt-R4 8. Q - Kt4 9. Kt-B5 9. P -QB3 io. P -KKt4 io. Kt-B3 II. R-Kt sq II. PXB P -KR4 12. QKt3 13. P-R5 13. Q - Kt4 14. Q-B3 14. Kt - Kt sq 15. BXP 15. Q-B3 16. Kt-B3 16. B-B4 KtQ 5 17. QXKtP 18. B-Q6 18. QXR (ch) 19. KK2 19. BXR 20. P-K5 20. Kt -QR3 White mates in three moves.



P-K4 Kt -KB3 3. P-Q4 4. Pxkp KtKt5 6. P-K6 7. Kt-B7 8. B-K3 9. B-KKt5 io. Kt X R II. B-B4 12. Kt-B7 R -B sq P -KB3 Kt -QR3 16. BXB 17. QXKt 18. Castles B - Kt3 20. K - Kt sq 21. Kt-K5 22. Kt-Q3 23. Kt X B And White resigns.

Bishop'S Gambit.

White. Black. White. Black.

Charousek. Tchigorin. Charousek. Tchigorin.

I. P-K4 P-K4 13. QXP (ch) KK2 2. P-KB4 PXP 14. Kt XP KtXKt 3. B-B4 Kt-QB3 15. BXKt P-R3 4. P-Q4 Kt-B3 16. Kt-B3 B-B5 5. P-K5 P-Q4 17. P-K6 R-B sq 6. B - Kt3 B - Kt5 18. B-B7 PXP 7. Q-Q3 Kt-KR4 19. B XQ (ch) RXB 8. Kt-KR3 Kt-Kt5 20. Q-Kt7 (ch) R-Q2 9. Q-QB3 Kt-R3 21. R-B7 (ch) KXR II. B-R4 (ch) P-B3 10. Castles B - K7 12. BXP (ch) PXB 24. P-QKt3 Resigns.

22. QXR (ch) BK2 R-K sq R-Ksq in the tie match for first prize at This pretty game was played the Budapest tournament, 1896.

Queen'S Gambit Declined.


W. Steinitz.

P -Q4


Dr E. Lasker.

P -Q4


W. Steinitz.

21. Kt-B3


Dr E. Lasker.


2. P -QB4


22. QXP

Kt X B (ch)

3. Kt -QB3

Kt -KB3

23. PXKt

R - Kt sq

4. B-B4

B- K2

24. QXP

R -Kt3

5. P - K3


25. Q - B4


6. R-B sq


26. P -KR4

B- R2


8. PXP



27. B -K4


8. P -B4

Q - Q3

Q -Q2

9. Kt -B3

Kt -B3

29. B - Kt2

Q -Kt5

io I.. PX P 3


Kt P-Q5

3?. Q Kt

Kt -B4

B -K6

12. Castles

B - KKtS

32. R - B3


13. Kt- QKtS


33. KXR

Kt X P (ch)

14. P-B


3 4. K- R2

Kt X R (ch)

15. B -K5


35. K -Kt2

Kt-R5 (ch)

16. K-R sq

Q -Kt4

36. K-R2

Kt -B4

17. B -Kt3

QR -Q sg

3 7. R -QKt sq


18. Q-B2


38. R -Kt5

R-R sq

19. QR -Q sq

R-B sg

39. P-R3


20. Q - Kt3

P - R3


This game was played in the St Petersburg tournament, 1895, a fine specimen of Lasker's style. The final attack, beginning with 21. with Kt-Q5, furnishes a gem of an ending.

Rice Gambit.

White. Black.

Professor Major Rice. Hanham.

I. P-K4 P-K4 P -KB4 PXP Kt -KB3 P -KKt4 P -KR4 P -Kt5 5. Kt -K5 Kt - KB3 6. B-B4 P-Q4 7. PXP BQ 3 8. Castles B X Kt 9. R-K sq QK2 I o. P-B3 P -Kt6 II. PQ 4 K t -Kt5 12. Kt-Q2 QXP 13. Kt-B3 Q-R3 14. Q-R4 (ch) P-B3 The Rice Gambit (so called after its inventor, Prof. Isaac L. Rice of New York), whether right or not, is only possible if Black plays 7. B -Q3. Paulsen's 7. B - Kt2 is better, and avoids unnecessary complications. 8. P-Q4 is the usual move. Leaving the knight en prise, followed by 9. R-K sq, constitutes the Rice Gambit. The interesting points in the game are that White subjects himself to a most violent attack with impunity, for in the end Black could not save the game by 22. P-B8 claiming a second queen with a discovered check, nor by claiming a knight with double check, as it is equally harmless to White.

GIuoco Piano.









I. P-K4

P -K4

14. R-K sq

P -KB3

2. Kt -KB3

Kt -QB3

15. Q- K2


3. B-B4

B -B4

16. QR -B sq


4. P-B3

Kt -B3



5. P-Q4


1 8. Kt-Q4

K- B2

6. PXP

B - Kt5 (ch)

19. Kt -K6

KR -QB sq

7. Kt-B3

P -Q4

20. Q -Kt4

P - KKt3

8. PXP


21. Kt - Kt5 (ch)

K-K sq

9. Castles

B -K3

22. R X Kt (ch)

K-B sq

I o. B -KKtS

B -K2

23. R-B7 (ch)

K -Kt sq



24. R -Kt7 (ch)

K-R sq

12. KtXB


25. R X P (ch)


13. BXB

Kt X B






K-Kt sq



31. Q-Kt8 (ch)



K- K2


R-Kt7 (ch)

K-R sq

32. Q-B7 (ch)

K-Q sq


Q-R4 (ch)


33. Q-B8 (ch)

Q-K sq


Q-R7 (ch)

K-B sq

34. Kt-B7 (ch)



Q -R8 (ch)

K- K2

35. Q -Q6 mate.


Q - Kt7 (ch)

K - K sq

As a matter of fact, Bardeleben left the board here, and lost the game by letting his clock run out the time-limit; but Steinitz, who remained at the board, demonstrated afterwards the following variation leading to a forced win: This game was awarded the prize for " brilliancy " at the Hastings tournament, 1895.


.Black. Mor. I.P-Kphy1.

2. PBP-XQ3P 3. P 3 P -Q4 B -QB4 7 Q-B3 8. P-Q5 9 Q -B4 10. QXB II. Kt -QB3 12. QXP 13. Kt-B3 14. Kt -QKt5 15. BXP 16. Kt-Q6 (ch) 17. PXQ 18. B X Kt PQ 7 (ch) 20. B-B4 21. K-B sq 22. R-K sq 23. QXR Philidor'S White. Black.

Professor Major Rice. Hanham.



I. P-K4



P -K4



14. P -Kt6




2. Kt -KB3

Kt -QB3

15. Kt- Q 5


3. B - Kt5

Kt -B3

16. KR -K sq (ch) K-B sq

4. Castles

Kt X P

17. R-R3 Kt-K4

5. P-Q4

Kt -Q3

18. RXKt


6. PXP

Kt X B

19. R-B3 (ch)

K-Kt sq

7 P -QR4

P -Q3

20. B -R6

Q- K2

8. P - K6


21. BXP


9. PXKt

Kt -K2

22. R - Kt3 (ch)

K - B sq

io. Kt-B3

Kt -Kt3

23. R-B3 (ch)

K -Kt2

II. Kt - Kt5

B -K2

24. R - Kt3 (ch)

K - B sq

12. Q-R5


25. R-B3 (ch)

K-Kt sq

13. BXB



15. Q-R3 Kt -B7 16. R X B (ch) B -K3 17. K-B sq Q - R8 (ch) 18. Kt-Kt sq Kt -R6 19. PXKt P-B6 B -Kt5 Q - Kt7 (ch) 21. K-K sq P-B7 (ch) 22. K-Q2 P-B8=Kt (ch) 23. K-Q3 KQ2 24. P X B (ch) KB2 25. Q-K7 (ch) K -Kt3 26. Q-Q8 (ch) RXQ 27. B X Q and mates This brilliant game, played at the Munich tournament, 1900, would be unique had the combinations occurred spontaneously in the game. As a matter of fact, however, the whole variation had been elaborated by Maroczy and Halprin previously, on the chance of Pillsbury adopting the defence in the text. The real merit belongs to Pillsbury, who had to find the correct defence to an attack which Halprin had committed to memory and simply had to be careful to make the moves in regular order.

Sicilian Defence.

This game is most remarkable and brilliant. The coup de repos of 19. QR-Q sq is the key-move to the brilliant final combination, the depth and subtlety of which have never been equalled, except perhaps in the following game between Zukertort and Blackburne: English Opening.









1. P-QB4


18. P-K4


2. P-K3


19. P - K5

Kt -K sq

3. Kt -KB3

P - QKt3

20. P-B4

P -Kt3

4 B - K2

B - Kt2

21: R-K3


5. Castles

P -Q4

22. PXP e. p.


6. P -Q4

B -Q3

23. P-B5



8. P -QKt3


QKt -Q2

24. BXKt

25. PXKtP



B - Kt2

Q- K2

26. P XP (ch)

K - R sq

I 9.

O. Kt - Q Kt5


27. P- Q 5 dis. (ch)


I I. Kt X B

P X Kt

28. Q - Kt4

QR - B4

12. Kt -Q2

QKt -B3

29. R-B8 (ch)


13. P-B3

Kt X Kt

30. QXP (ch)

K -Kt2

14. QX


31. BXP (ch)



16. B -Q3


R sq

32. B - Kt7 (ch)

33. QXQ

K -Kt sq


17. QR -K sq

R- B2

This game, played in the London tournament, 1883, is one of the most remarkable productions of modern times, neither surpassed nor indeed equalled hitherto.

End Games.-A game of chess consists of three branches-the opening, the middle and the end game. The openings have been analysed and are to be acquired by the study of the books on the subject. The middle game can only be acquired practically. The combinations being inexhaustible in their variety, individual ingenuity has its full scope. Those endowed with a fertile imagination will evolve plans and combinations leading to favourable issues. The less endowed player, however, is not left quite defenceless; he has necessarily to adopt a different system, namely, to try to find a weak point in the arrangement of his opponent's forces and concentrate his attack on that weak spot. As a matter of fact, in a contest between players of equal strength, finding the weak point in the opponent's armour is the only possible plan, and this may be said to be the fundamental principle of the modern school. In the good old days the battles were mostly fought in the neighbourhood of the king, each side striving for a checkmate. Nowadays the battle may be fought anywhere. It is quite immaterial where the advantage is gained be it ever so slight. Correct continuation will necessarily increase it, and the opponent may be compelled to surrender in the end game without being checkmated, or a position may be reached when the enemies, in consequence of the continual fight, are so reduced that the kings themselves have to take the field-the end game. The end game, therefore, requires a special study. It has its special laws and the value of the pieces undergoes a considerable change. The kings leave their passive role and become attacking forces. The pawns increase in value, whilst that of the pieces may diminish in certain cases. Two knights, for instance, without pawns, become valueless, as no checkmate can be effected with them. In the majority of cases the players must be guided by general principles, as the standard examples do not meet all cases.

The handbooks as a rule give a sprinkling of elementary endings, such as to checkmate with queen, rook, bishop and knight, two bishops, and pawn endings pure and simple, as well as pawns in connexion with pieces in various forms. Towards the end of the Igth century a valuable work on end games was published in England by the late B. Horwitz; thus for the first time a theoretical classification of the art was given. This was followed by a more comprehensive work by Professor J. Berger of Gratz, which was translated a few years later by the late Mr Freeborough.

A few specimens of the less accessible positions are given below Position from a Game played by the late J. G. Campbell 1863. 'Black. ' Obviously White has to lose the game, not being able to prevent the pawns from queening. By a remarkably ingenious device White averts the loss of the game by stalemating himself as follows: I. B-Q2, P-Kt7; 2. B-R5, P - Kt8 = Q; 3. P - Kt4 stalemate.

Black. White. Pillsbury.

16. PXP 17. BXR 18. RR2 19. R-Q2 20. Castles 21. Q-Ktsq 22. B-Q sq 23. KXB K- Rsq 25. B - lilts: P 26. R-Kt sq Q-R4 (ch) 27. B-R5 Q-K4 28. BXKt PXKt 29. R-Kt2 P-Q6 30. Q-QB sq Drawn eventually.

game occurred at the Paris tournament, 1900.

Evans Gambit.


Pillsbury. Mieses.

1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. Kt-KB3 P -K3 P X P Kt -KB3 Kt -B3 B - Kt5 B X Kt (ch) P -Q4 P X P Castles Black. Mieses. Kt -Q5 KXB B -K3 R-K sq B -Kt6 B -Q4 BXP Q - Kt4(ch) QXR Q-B5 P -B4 Kt-B6 Q X B (ch) R -K7 Qxqp White. Anderssen.

I. P-K4 Kt -KB3 3. B-B4 P -QKt4 5. P-B3 6. P-Q4 7. Castles 8. Q - Kt3 9. P-K5 r.o. R-K sq II. B-R3 12. QXP Black. Dufresne. P -K4 Kt -QB3 B-B4 BXP B -R4 P X P P -Q6 Q -B3 Q -Kt3 KKt - K2 P - Kt4 R -QKt sq White. Anderssen.

Q - R4 QKt -Q2 15. Kt-K4 16. BXP 17. Kt -B6 (ch) 18. PXP 19. QR-Q sq 20. R X Kt (ch) 21. QXP (ch) 22. B -B5 (ch) 23. B -Q7 (ch) 24. B X Kt mate.

Black. Dufresne. B - Kt3 B - Kt2 Q -B4 Q - R4 P X Kt R-Kt sq QXKt Kt X R KXQ K-K sq K moves P -Q4 Kt X P Kt -QB3 KKt - Kt5 P -QR3 Kt XB P X P B - KKt5 BK2 Kt -K4 P - Kt4 Kt X Kt (ch) B -R6 This brilliant 910 .

II. 12.


? ?/?? % %//?? ?.? ?? k l%%,.., l j ? ?

/ White.

Position by Surratt, 1808.


White wins as follows:

I. P-Kt6, RPXP; 2. P-B6, P(Kt2)XP; 3. P-R6 and wins by queening the pawn. If BPXP then 2. P-R6, KtP X P; 3. P - B6 and queens the pawn.



A chess problem 1 has been described as " merely a position supposed to have occurred in a game of chess, being none other than the critical point where your antagonist announces checkmate in a given number of moves, no matter what defence you play," but the above description conveys no idea of the Position by B. Horwitz. Black.

A good chess problem exemplifies chess strategy idealized and concentrated. In examples of actual play there will necessarily remain on the board pieces immaterial to the issue (checkmate), whereas in problems the composer employs only indispensable force so as to focus attention on the idea, avoiding all material Position by F. Amelung. Black.

As a rule the game should be drawn. Supposing by a series of checks White were to compel Black to abandon the pawn, he would move K - R8; Q X P and Black is stale-mate. Therefore the ingenious way to win is: - 1. K - B4, P - B8=Q ch; KKt3 and wins. Or 1.. .. K R8 (threatening P - B8 =Kt); then 2. Q - Q2 preliminary to K - Kt3 now wins.

White with the inferior position saves the game as follows: 1. P - R6, PXP; 2. K - B3 dis. ch, K moves; 3. R - R2, or Kt2 ch, KXR; 4. K - Kt2 and draw, as Black has to give up the rook, and the RP cannot be queened, the Black bishop having no power on the White diagonal. Extremely subtle.


Position by B. Horwitz. Black..


Position by B. Horwitz. Black.

Without Black's pawn White could only draw. The pawn being on the board, White wins as follows: - I. Kt - B4, K - Kt sq; 2. Kt (B4) - K3, K - R sq; 3. K - Kt4, K - Kt sq; 4. K - R3, K - R sq; 5. Kt - B4, K - Kt sq; 6. Kt (B4) - Q2, K - R sq; 7. Kt - Kt3 ch, K - Kt sq; 8. Kt - B3 mate.

% %% ' ?? ? ?? ??

//, ji. ? i j / ?

j ? j A ji, „i.

/ ?

The main idea being to checkmate with the bishop, this is accomplished thus: - 1. B - K4 ch, K - R4; 2. QXR, QXQ; 3. K - B7, Q - B sq ch; 4. KXQ, BXP; 5. K - B7, BXP; 6. B - Kt6 mate.


Position by B. Horwitz. Black.

Position by A. Troitzky. White.


White wins with two pieces against one - a rare occurrence.


K6, B - R3; 2. B - Q4 ch, K - R2; 3. B - B3, B moves anywhere not en prise; 4. B - Kt7 and Kt mates.


White wins as follows: 1. P - Kt5, Kt - Kt5; 2. K - B3, Kt - K6; 3. B - K6, Kt - B8; 4. BXP, Kt - Q7 ch; 5. K - Kt4, Kt X P; 6. P - Kt6, Kt - B3, ch; 7. K - Kt5, P - K5; 8. KXKt, P - K6; 9. B - B4, KXB; 10. P - Kt7, P - K7; 11. P - Kt8=Q ch, and wins by the simple process of a series of checks so timed that the king may approach systematically. The fine points in this instructive ending are the two bishop's moves, 3. B - K6, and 9. B - B4, the latter move enabling White to queen the pawn with a check.

degree to which problem-composing has become a specialized study. Owing its inception, doubtless, to the practice of recording critical phases from actual play, the art of problem composition has so grown in favour as to earn the title of the " poetry " of the game.

1 The earliest known problem is ascribed to an Arabian caliph of the 9th century. The first known collection is in a manuscript (in the British Museum) of King Alphonso of Castile, dated 1250; it contains 103 problems. The collection of Nicolas of Lombardy, dated 1300, comprises 192 problems.


A position from actual play White plays 1. R - B5 threatening to win a piece. Black replies with the powerful Kt - Kt5, threatening two mates, and finally White (Mr Hoffer) finds an ingenious sacrifice of the Queen - the saving clause.

The following are the moves: I. R - B5, Kt - Kt5; 2. Q - Kt8 ch, K - Kt3; 3. Q - K6 ch, K - R2; 4. Q - Kt8 ch, and drawn by perpetual check, as Black cannot capture the Queen with K or R without losing the game.


which would tend to " obscure the issue." Hence the first object in a problem is to extract the maximum of finesse with a sparing use of the pieces, but " economy of force " must be combined with " purity of the mate." A very common mistake, until comparatively recent years, was that of appraising the " economy " of a position according to the slenderness of the force used, but economy is not a question of absolute values. The true criterion is the ratio of the force employed to the skill demanded. The earliest composers strove to give their productions every appearance of real play, and indeed their compositions White wins as follows: P - R8=Q, R - Kt7 ch; 2. K - Kt5, RXQ; 3. Kt - Q 7 ch, K - Kt2; 4. P - B6 ch, K - R2; 5. QPXKt, R - R sq; 6. Kt - B7 ch, R X Kt; 7. P X R = Kt mate.

Position by 0. Schubert. Black.


Position by Hoffer. Black.

partook of the nature of ingenious end-games, in which it was usual to give Black a predominance of force, and to leave the White king in apparent jeopardy. From this predicament he was extricated by a series of checking moves, usually involving a number of brilliant sacrifices. The number of moves was rarely less than five. In the course of time the solutions were reduced to shorter limits and the beauty of quiet (non-checking) moves began to make itself felt. The early transition school, as it has been called, was the first to recognize the importance of economy, i.e. the representation of the main strategic point without any extraneous force. The mode of illustrating single-theme problems, often of depth and beauty, was being constantly improved, and the problems of C. Bayer, R. Willmers, S. Loyd, J. G. Campbell, F. Healey, " J. B." of Bridport, and W. Grimshaw are, of their kind, unsurpassed. In the year 1845 the " Indian " problem attracted much notice, and in 1861 appeared Healey's famous " Bristol " problem. To this period must be ascribed the discovery of most of those clever ideas which have been turned to such good account by the later school. In an article written in 1899 F. M. Teed mentions the fact that his incomplete collection of " Indians " totalled over three hundred.

In 1870 or thereabouts, the later transition period, a more general tendency was manifest to illustrate two or more finished ideas in a single problem with strict regard to purity and economy, the theory of the art received greater attention than before and the essays of C. Schwede, Kohtz and Kockelkorn, Lehner and Gelbfuss, helped to codify hitherto unwritten rules of taste. The last quarter of the 19th century, and its last decade especially, saw a marked advance in technique, until it became a common thing to find as much deep and quiet play embodied in a single first-class problem as in three or four of the old-time problems, and hence arose the practice of blending several distinct ideas in one elaborate whole.

In the composition of " two-movers " it is customary to allow greater elasticity and a less rigorous application of the principles of purity and economy. By this means a greater superficial complexity is attained; but the Teutonic and Bohemian schools, and even English and American two-move specialists, recognize that complexity, if it involves the sacrifice of first principles, is liable to abuse. The blind master, A. F. Mackenzie of Jamaica, however, with a few others (notably T. Taverner, W. Gleave, H. and E. Bettman and P. F. Blake) have won some of their greatest successes with problems which, under stricter ruling, would not be allowed.

Bohemian (Czech) composers have long stood unrivalled as exponents of that blending of ideas which is the distinguishing trait of the later problem. Such is their skill in construction that it is rare to find in a problem of the Bohemian school fewer than three or four lines of play which, in economy and purity, are unimpeachable. Amongst the earliest composers of this class Anton Kbnig, the founder of the school, Makovky, Drtina, Palct and Pilnacek deserve to be honourably mentioned, but it was not until the starting of a chess column in the weekly journal Svetozor that the merits of the new school were fully asserted. It was in 1871 that Jan Dobrusky contributed his first composition to that paper: he was followed by G. Chocholous, C. Kondelik, Pospisil, Dr Mazel, Kviciala, Kesl, Tuzar, Musil and J. Kotrc; and later still, Havel, Traxler and Z. Mach were no unworthy followers of Dobrusky.

The faculty for blending variations is not without " the defects of its qualities," and consequently among the less able composers a certain tendency to repeat combinations of similar companion ideas is discernible at times, while the danger that facile construction might usurp the place of originality and strategy was already apparent to Chocholous when, in an article on the classification of chess problems (Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1890), he warned the younger practitioners of the Bohemian school against what has been dubbed by H. Von Gottschall Varianten-leierei, or " the grinding out of variations." When this one reservation is made few will be inclined to dispute the pre-eminence of the Bohemian school. To some tastes, however, a greater appeal is made by the deeper play of the older German school, the quaint fancy of the American composer Samuel Loyd, or the severity and freedom from " duals " which mark the English composers.

The idea of holding a problem competition open to the world was first mooted in connexion with the chess congress of 1851, but it was in 1854 that a tourney (confined to British composers) was first held. Since then a number of important problem tournaments have been held.

History of Chess. The origin of chess is lost in obscurity. Its invention has been variously ascribed to the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Scythians, Egyptians, Jews, Persians, Chinese, Hindus, Arabians, Araucanians, Castilians, Irish and Welsh. Some have endeavoured to fix upon particular individuals as the originators of the game; amongst others upon Japheth, Shem, King Solomon, the wife of Ravan, king of Ceylon, the philosopher Xerxes, the Greek chieftain Palamedes, Hermes, Aristotle, the brothers Lydo and Tyrrhene, Semiramis, Zenobia, Attalus (d. c. 200 B.C.), the mandarin Hansing, the Brahman Sissa and Shatrenscha, stated to be a celebrated Persian astronomer. Many of these ascriptions are fabulous, others rest upon little authority, and some of them proceed from easily traceable errors, as where the Roman games of Ludus Latrunculorum and Ludus Calculorum, the Welsh recreation of Tawlbwrdd (throw-board) and the ancient Irish pastime of Fithcheall are assumed to be identical with chess; so far as the Romans and Welsh are concerned, the contrary can be proved, while from what little is known of the Irish game it appears not to have been a sedentary game at all. The claims of the Chinese were advocated in a letter addressed by Mr Eyles Irwin in 1793 to the earl Charlemont. This paper was published in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, and its purport was that chess, called in the Chinese tongue chong-ki (the " royal game ") was invented in the reign of Kao-Tsu, otherwise Lin-Pang, then king, but afterwards emperor of Kiang-Nang, by a mandarin named Han-sing, who was in command of an army invading the Shen-Si country, and who wanted to amuse his soldiers when in winter quarters. This invasion of the Shen-Si country by Han-Sing took place about 174 B.C. Capt. Hiram Cox states that the game is called by the Chinese choke-choo-hong ki, " the play of the science of war." (See also a paper published by the Hon. Dames Barrington in the 9th vol. of the Archaeologia.) Mr N. Bland, M.R.A.S., in his Persian Chess (London, 1850), endeavours to prove that the Persians were the inventors of chess, and maintains that the game, born in Persia, found a home in India, whence after a series of ages it was brought back to its birthplace. The view, however, which has obtained the most credence, is that which attributes the origin of chess to the Hindus. Dr Thomas Hyde of Oxford, writing in 1694 (De Ludis Orientalibus), seems to have been the first to propound this theory, but he appears to have been ignorant of the game itself, and the Sanskrit records were not accessible in his time. About 1783-1789 Sir William Jones, in an essay published in the and vol. of Asiatic Researches, argued that Hindustan was the cradle of chess, the game having been known there from time immemorial by the name of chaturanga, that is, the four angas, or members of an army, which are said in the Amarakosha to be elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers. As applicable to real armies, the term chaturanga is frequently used by the epic poets of India. Sir William Jones's essay is substantially a translation of the Bhawishya Purana, in which is given a description of a four-handed game of chess played with dice. A pundit named Rhadhakant informed him that this was mentioned in the oldest law books, and also that it was invented by the wife of Ravan, king of Lanka (Ceylon), in the second age of the world in order to amuse that monarch while Rama was besieging his metropolis. This account claims for chess an existence of 4000 or 5000 years. Sir William, however, grounds his opinions as to the Hindu origin of chess upon the testimony of the Persians and not upon the above manuscript, while he considers the game described therein to be more modern than the Persian game. Though sure that the latter came from India and was invented there, he admits that he could not find any account of it in the classical writings of the Brahmans. He lays it down that chess, under the Sanskrit name chaturanga, was exported from India into Persia in the 6th century of our era; that by a natural corruption the old Persians changed the name into chatrang, but when their country was soon afterwards taken possession of by the Arabs, who had neither the initial nor final letter of the word in their alphabet, they altered it further into shatranj, which name found its way presently into modern Persian and ultimately into the dialects of India.

Capt. Hiram Cox, in a letter upon Burmese chess, written in 1799 and published in the 7th vol. of Asiatic Researches, refers to the above essay, and considers the four-handed game described in the Sanskrit manuscript to be the most ancient form of chess, the Burmese and Persian games being second and third in order of precedence. Later, in the 11th and 2 4 th vols. of the Archaeologia, Mr Francis Douce and Sir Frederick Madden expressed themselves in favour of the views held by Hyde and his followers.

In Professor Duncan Forbes's History of Chess(1860) Capt. Cox's views, as founded upon Sir William Jones's Sanskrit manuscript, are upheld and are developed into an elaborate theory. Professor Forbes holds that the four-handed game of chaturanga described in the Bhawishya Purana was the primeval form of chess; that it was invented by a people whose language was Sanskrit (the Hindus); and that it was known and practised in India from a time lost in the depths of a remote antiquity, but for a period the duration of which may have been from 3000 to 4000 years before the 6th century of the Christian era. He endeavours to show, but adduces no proof, how the four armies commanded by four kings in Sir William Jones's manuscript became converted into two opposing armies, and how two of the kings were reduced to a subordinate position, and became " monitors " or " counsellors," one standing by the side of the White and the other of the Black king, these counsellors being the farzins from which we derive our " queens." Among other points he argues, apparently with justice, that chaturanga was evidently the root of shatranj, the latter word being a mere exotic in the language of the inhabitants of Persia.

Van der Linde, in his exhaustive work, Geschichte and Litteratur des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1874), has much to say of the origintheories, nearly all of which he treats as so many myths. He agrees with those who consider that the Persians received the game from the Hindus; but the elaborate chaturanga theories of Forbes receive but scant mercy. Van der Linde argues that chaturanga is always used by the old Indian poets of an army and never of a game, that all Sanskrit scholars are agreed that chess is mentioned in the really ancient Hindu records; that the Puranas generally, though formerly considered to be extremely old, are held in the light of modern research to reach no farther back than the 10th century - while the copies of the Bhawishya Purana in the British Museum and the Berlin Library do not contain the extract relied upon by Forbes, though it is to be found in the Raghunandana, which was translated by Weber in 1872, and is stated by Biihler to date from the 16th century. The outcome of van der Linde's studies appears to be that chess certainly existed in Hindustan in the 8th century, and that probably that country is the land of its birth. He inclines to the idea that the game originated among the Buddhists, whose religion was prevalent in India from the 3rd to the 9th century. According to their ideas, war and the slaying of one's fellow-men, for any purposes whatever, is criminal, and the punishment of the warrior in the next world will be much worse than that of the simple murderer; hence chess was invented as a substitute for war. In opposition to Forbes, therefore, and in agreement with Sir William Jones, van der Linde takes the view that the four-handed game of the original manuscript is a comparatively modern adaptation of the Hindu chess, and he altogether denies that there is any proof that any form of the game has the antiquity attributed to it. Internal evidence certainly seems to contradict the theory that Sir William Jones's manuscript is very ancient testimony; for it mentions two great sages, Vyasa and Gotama, the former as teaching chaturanga to Prince Yudhishthira, and the other as giving an opinion upon certain principles of the game; but this could not well be, seeing that it was played with dice, and that all games of hazard were positively forbidden by Manu. It would appear also that Indian manuscripts are not absolutely trustworthy as evidence of the antiquity of their contents; for the climate has the effect of destroying such writings in a period of 300 or 400 years. They must, therefore, be recopied from time to time and in this way later interpolations may easily creep in.

Von der Lasa, who had, in an article prefixed to the Handbuck in 1864, accepted Forbes's views, withdrew his support in a review of the work just noticed, published in the September and November numbers of the Deutsche Schachzeitung, 1874, and expressed his adherence to the opinions of van der Linde.

Altogether, therefore, we find the best authorities agreeing that chess existed in India before it is known to have been played anywhere else. In this supposition they are strengthened by the names of the game and of some of the pieces. Shatranj, as Forbes has pointed out, is a foreign word among the Persians and Arabians, whereas its natural derivation from the termchaturanga is obvious. Again al-fil, the Arabic name of the bishop, means the elephant, otherwise alephhind, the Indian ox. Our earliest authority on chess is Masudi, an Arabic author who wrote about A.D. 950. According to him, shatranj had existed long before his time; and though he may speak not only for his own generation but for a couple of centuries before, that will give to chess an existence of over a thousand years.

Early and Medieval Times

The dimness which shrouds the origin of chess naturally obscures also its early history. We have seen that chess crossed over from India into Persia, and became known in the latter country by the name of shatranj. Some have understood that word to mean " the play of the king "; but undoubtedly Sir William Jones's derivation carries with it the most plausibility. How and when the game was introduced into Persia we have no means of knowing. The Persian poet Firdusi, in his historical poem, the Shahnama, gives an account of the introduction of shatranj into Persia in the reign of Chosroes I. Anushirwan, to whom came ambassadors from the sovereign of Hind (India), with a chessboard and men asking him to solve the secrets of the game, if he could, or pay tribute. Chosroes I. was the contemporary of Justinian, and reigned in the 6th century A.D. Professor Forbes seems to think that this poem may be looked upon as an authentic history. This appears, however, to be somewhat dangerous, especially as Firdusi lived some 450 years after the supposed event took place; but since other Persian and Arabian writers state that shatranj came into Persia from India, there appears to be a consensus of opinion that may be considered to settle the question. Thus we have the game passing from the Hindus to the Persians and thence to the Arabians, after the capture of Persia by the Caliphs in the 7th century, and from them, directly or indirectly, to various parts of Europe, at a time which cannot be definitely fixed, but either in or before the 1th century. That the source of the European game is Arabic is clear enough, not merely from the words " check " and " mate," which are evidently from Shah mat (" the king is dead "), but also from the names of some of the pieces. There are various chess legends having reference to the 7th and 8th centuries, but these may be neglected as historically useless; and equally useless appear the many oriental and occidental romances which revolve around those two great central figures, Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. There is no proof that either of them knew anything of chess or, so far as the latter is concerned, that it had been introduced into Europe in his time. True, there is an account given in Gustavus Selenus, taken from various old chronicles, as to the son of Prince Okar or Otkar of Bavaria having been killed by a blow on the temple, struck by a son of Pippin after a game of chess; and there is another well-known tradition as to the magnificent chess-board and set of men said to have been sent over as a present by the empress Irene to Charlemagne. But both tales are not less mythical than the romance which relates how the great Frankish monarch lost his kingdom over a game of chess to Guerin de Montglave; for van der Linde shows that there was no Bavarian prince of the name of Okar or Otkar at the period alluded to, and as ruthlessly shatters the tradition about Irene's chessmen. With respect to Harun alRashid, among the various stories told which connect him with chess, there is one that at first sight may seem entitled to some degree of credit. In the annals of the Moslems by Abulfeda (Abu'l Fida), there is given a copy of a letter stated to be " From Nicephorus, emperor of the Romans, to Harun, sovereign of the Arabs," which (using Professor Forbes's translation) after the usual compliments runs thus: - " The empress (Irene) into whose place I have succeeded, looked upon you as a Rukh and herself as a mere Pawn; therefore she submitted to pay you a tribute more than the double of which she ought to have exacted from you. All this has been owing to female weakness and timidity. Now, however, I insist that you, immediately on reading this letter, repay to me all the sums of money you ever received from her. If you hesitate, the sword shall settle our accounts." Harun's reply, written on the back of the Byzantine emperor's letter, was terse and to the point. " In the name of God the merciful and gracious. From Harun, the commander of the faithful, to the Roman dog Nicephorus. I have read thine epistle, thou son of an infidel mother; my answer to it thou shalt see, not hear." Harun was as good as his word, for he marched immediately as far as Heraclea, devastating the Roman territories with fire and sword, and soon compelled Nicephorus to sue for peace. Now the points which give authority to this narrative and the alleged correspondence are that the relations which they assume between Irene and Nicephorus on the one hand and the warlike caliph on the other are confirmed by the history of those times, while, also, the straightforward brevity of Harun's reply commends itself as what one might expect from his soldier-like character. Still, the fact must be remembered that Abulfeda lived about five centuries after the time to which he refers. Perhaps we may assume that it is not improbable that the correspondence is genuine; but that the words rukh and pawn may have been substituted for other terms of comparison originally used.

As to how chess was introduced into western and central Europe nothing is really known. The Spaniards very likely received it from their Moslem conquerors, the Italians not improbably from the Byzantines, and in either case it would pass northwards to France, going on thence to Scandinavia and England. Some say that chess was introduced into Europe at the time of the Crusades, the theory being that the Christian warriors learned to play it at Constantinople. This is negatived by a curious epistle of St Peter Damian, cardinal bishop of Ostia, to Pope Alexander II., written about A.D. 1061, which, assuming its authenticity, shows that chess was known in Italy before the date of the first crusade. The cardinal, as it seems, had imposed a penance upon a bishop whom he had found diverting himself at chess; and in his letter to the pope he repeats the language he had held to the erring prelate, viz. " Was it right, I say, and consistent with thy duty, to sport away thy evenings amidst the vanity of chess, and defile the hand which offers up the body of the Lord, and the tongue that mediates between God and man, with the pollution of a sacrilegious game ? " Following up the same idea that statutes of the church of Elna, in the 3rd vol. of the Councils of Spain, say, " Clerks playing at dice or chess shall be ipso facto excommunicated." Eudes de Sully, bishop of Paris under Philip Augustus, is stated in the Ordonn. des Rois de France to have forbidden clerks to play the game, and according to the Hist. Eccles. of Fleury, St Louis, king of France, imposed a fine on all who should play it. Ecclesiastical authorities, however, seemed to have differed among themselves upon the question whether chess was or was not a lawful game according to the canons, and Peirino (De Proelat. chap. 1) holds that it was permissible for ecclesiastics to play thereat. Among those who have taken an unfavourable view of the game may be mentioned John Huss, who, when in prison, deplored his having played at chess, whereby he had lost time and run the risk of being subject to violent passions. Among authentic records of the game may be quoted the Alexiad of the princess Anna Comnena, in which she relates how her father, the emperor Alexius, used to divert his mind from the cares of state by playing at chess with his relatives. This emperor died in '118.

Concerning chess in England there is the usual confusion between legend and truth. Snorre Sturleson relates that as Canute was playing at chess with Earl Ulf, a quarrel arose, which resulted in the upsetting of the board by the latter, with the further consequence of his being murdered in church a few days afterwards by Canute's orders. Carlyle, in The Early Kings of Norway, repeats this tale, but van der Linde treats it as a myth. The Ramsey Chronicle relates how bishop Utheric, coming to Canute at night upon urgent business, found the monarch and his courtiers amusing themselves at dice and chess, There is nothing intrinsically improbable in this last narrative; but Canute died about 1035, and the date, therefore, is suspiciously early. Moreover, allowance must be made for the ease with which chroniclers described other games as chess. William the Conqueror, Henry I., John and Edward I. are variously stated to have played at chess. It is generally supposed that the English court of exchequer took its name from the cloth, figured with squares like a chess-board, which covered the table in it (see Exchequer). An old writer says that at the coronation of Richard I. in 1189, six earls and barons carried a chess-board with the royal insignia to represent the exchequer court. According to Edmonson's Heraldry, twenty-six English families bore chess rooks in their coats of arms.

As regards the individual pieces, the king seems to have had the same move as at present; but it is said he could formerly be captured. His " castling " privilege is a European invention; but he formerly leaped two and even three squares, and also to his Kt and. Castling dates no farther back than the first half of the 16th century. The queen has suffered curious changes in name, sex and power. In shatranj the piece was called farz or firz (also farzan, farzin and farzi), signifying a " counsellor," " minister " or " general." This was latinized into farzia or fercia. The French slightly altered the latter form into fierce, fierge, and as some say, vierge, which, if true, might explain its becoming a female. Another and much more probable account has it that whereas formerly a pawn on reaching an eighth square became a farzin, and not any other piece, which promotion was of the same kind as at draughts (in French, dames), so she became a dame or queen as in the latter game, and thence dama, donna, &c. There are old Latin manuscripts in which the terms ferzia and regina are used indifferently. The queen formerly moved only one square diagonally and was consequently the weakest piece on the board. The immense power she now possesses seems to have been conferred upon her so late as about the middle of the 15th century. It will be noticed that under the old system the queens could never meet each other, for they operated on diagonals of different colours. The bishop's scope of action was also very limited formerly; he could only move two squares diagonally, and had no power over the intermediate square, which he could leap over whether it was occupied or not. This limitation of their powers prevailed in Europe until the r5th century. This piece, according to Forbes, was called among the Persians pil, an elephant, but the Arabs, not having the letter p in their alphabet, wrote it fil, or with their definite article al-fil, whence alphilus, alfinus, alifiere, the latter being the word used by the Italians; while the French perhaps get their fol and fou from the same source. The pawns formerly could move only one square at starting; their powers in this respect were increased about the early part of the r6th century. It was customary for them on arriving at an eighth square to be exchanged only for a farzin (queen), and not any other piece; the rooks (so called from the Indian rukh and Persian rokh, meaning " a soldier ") and the knights appear to have always had the same powers as at present. As to the chessboards, they were formerly uncoloured, and it is not until the 13th century that we hear of checkered boards being used in Europe.

z 03

Development in Play

The change of shatranj into modern chess took place most probably first in France, and thence made its way into Spain early in the 15th century, where the new game was called Axedrez de la dama, being also adopted by the Italians under the name of scacci all y rabiosa. The time of the first important writer on modern chess, the Spaniard Ruy Lopez de Segura (1561), is also the period when the latest improvement, castling, was introduced, for his book (Libro de la invencion liberal y arte del juego del Axedrez), though treating of it as already in use, also gives the old mode of play, which allowed the king a leap of two or three squares. Shortly afterwards the old shatranj disappears altogether. Lopez was the first who merits the name of chess analyst. At this time flourished the flower of the Spanish and Italian schools of chess - the former represented by Lopez, Ceron, Santa Maria, Busnardo and Avalos; the latter by Giovanni Leonardo da Cutri (il Puttino) and Paolo Boi (il Syracusano). In the years 1562-1575 both Italian masters visited Spain and defeated their Spanish antagonists. During the whole 17th century we find but one worthy to be mentioned, Giacchino Greco (il Calabrese). The middle of the 18th century inaugurates a new era in chess. The leading man of this time was Francois Andre Danican Philidor. He was born in 1726 and was trained by M. de Kermur, Sire de Legal, the star of the Café de la Regence in Paris, which has been the centre of French chess ever since the commencement of the 18th century. In 1747 Philidor visited England, and defeated the Arabian player, Phillip Stamma, by 8 games to r and r draw. In 1749 he published his Analyse des echecs, a book which went through more editions and was more translated than any other work upon the game. During more than half a century Philidor travelled much, but never went to Italy, the only country where he could have found opponents of first-rate skill. Italy was represented in Philidor's time by Ercole del Rio, Lolli and Ponziani. Their style was less sound than that of Philidor, but certainly a much finer and in principle a better one. As an analyst the Frenchman was in many points refuted by Ercole del Rio (" the anonymous Modenese "). Blindfold chess-play, already exhibited in the 11th century by Arabian and Persian experts, was taken up afresh by Philidor, who played on many occasions three games simultaneously without sight of board or men. These exhibitions .were given in London, at the Chess Club in St James's Street, and Philidor died in that city in 1795. As eminent players of this period must be mentioned Count Ph. J. van Zuylen van Nyevelt (1743-1826), and the German player, J. Allgaier (1763-1823). after whom a well-known brilliant variation of the King's Gambit is named. Philidor was succeeded by Alexandre Louis Honore Lebreton Deschapelles (1780-1847), who was also a famous whist player. The only player who is known to have fought Deschapelles not unsuccessfully on even terms is John Cochrane. He also lost a match (1821) to W. Lewis, to whom he conceded the odds of " pawn and move," the Englishman winning one and drawing the two others. Deschapelles' greatest pupil, and the strongest player France ever possessed, was Louis Charles Mahe de la Bourdonnais, who was born in 1797 and died in 1840. His most memorable achievement was his contest with the English champion, Alexander Macdonnell, the French player winning in the proportion of three to two.

The English school of chess began about the beginning of the 19th century, and Sarratt was its first leader. He flourished from 1808 to 1821, and was followed by his great pupil, W. Lewis, who will be principally remembered for his writings. His literary career belongs to the period from 1818 to 1848 and he died in 1869. A. Macdonnell (1798-1835) has been already mentioned. To the same period belong also Captain Evans, the inventor of the celebrated " Evans Gambit " (1828), who died at a very advanced age in 1873; Perigal, who participated in the correspondence matches against Edinburgh and Paris; George Walker, for thirty years chess editor of Bell's Life in London; and John Cochrane, who met every strong player from Deschapelles downwards. In the same period Germany possessed but one good player, J. Mendheim of Berlin. The fifth decade of the 19th century is marked by the fact that the leadership passed from the French school to the English. After the death of la Bourdonnais, Fournie de Saint-Amant became the leading player in France; he visited England in the early part of 1843, and successfully met the best English players, including Howard Staunton; but the latter soon took his revenge, for in November and December 1843 a great match between Staunton and Saint-Amant took place in Paris, the English champion winning by 11 games to 6 with 4 draws. During the succeeding eight years Staunton maintained his reputation by defeating Popert, Horwitz and Harrwitz. Staunton was defeated by Anderssen at the London tournament in 185r, and this concluded his match-playing career. Among the contemporaries of Staunton may be mentioned Henry Thomas Buckle, author of the History of Civilization, who defeated Kieseritzki, Anderssen and Lowenthal.

In the ten years 1830-1840 a new school arose in Berlin, the seven leaders of which have been called " The Pleiades." These were Bledow (1795-1846), Bilguer (1815-1840), Hanstein (1810-1850), Mayet (1810-1868), Schorn (1802-1850), B. Horwitz (b. 1809) and von Heydebrandt and der Lasa, once German ambassador at Copenhagen. As belonging to the same period must be mentioned the three Hungarian players, Grimm, Szen and J. Lowenthal.

Among the great masters since the middle of the 19th century Paul Morphy (1837-1884), an American, has seldom been surpassed as a chess player. His career was short but brilliant. Born in New Orleans in 1837, he was taught chess by his father when only ten years of age, and in two years' time became a strong player. When not quite thirteen he played three games with Lowenthal, and won two of them, the other being drawn. He was twenty years of age when he competed in the New York congress of 1857, where he won the first prize. In 1858 he visited England, and there defeated Boden, Medley, Mongredien, Owen, Bird and others. He also beat Lowenthal by 9 games to 3 and 2 drawn. In the same year he played a match at Paris with Harrwitz, winning by 5 to 2 and 1 drawn; and later on he obtained a victory over Anderssen. On two or three occasions he played blindfold against eight strong players simultaneously, each time with great success. He returned to America in 1859 and continued to play, but with decreasing interest in the game, until 1866. He died in 1884.

Wilhelm Steinitz (b. 1836) took the sixth prize at the London congress of 1862. He defeated Blackburne in a match by 7 to 1 and 2 drawn. In 1866 he beat Anderssen in a match by 8 games to 6. In 1868 he carried off the first prize in the British Chess Association handicap, and in 1872 in the London grand tourney, also defeating Zukertort in a match by 7 games to 1 and 4 drawn. In 1873 he carried off the first prize at the Vienna congress; and in 1876 he defeated Blackburne, winning 7 games right off. In 1872-1874, in conjunction with W. N. Potter, he c nducted and won a telegraphic correspondence match for Lond n against Vienna. In Philidor's age it was considered almo t incredible that he should be able to play three simultaneous games without seeing board or men, but Paulsen, Blackburne and Zukertort often played ro or 12 such games, while as many as 14 and 15 have been so played.

In 1876 England was in the van of the world's chess army. English-born players then were Boden, Burn, Macdonnell, Bird, Blackburne and Potter; whilst among naturalized English players were Lowenthal, Steinitz, Zukertort, who died in 1888, and Horwitz. This illustrious contingent was reinforced in 1878 by Mason, an Irish-American, who came over for the Pari tournament; by Gunsberg, a Hungarian; and later by Teic mann, who also made England his home. English chess flour shed under the leadership of these masters, the chief prizes in t urnaments being consistently carried off by the English repre entatives.

T gauge the progress made by the game since about 1875 it wil suffice to give the following statistics. In London Simpson's Diva was formerly the chief resort of chess players; the St G orge's Chess Club was the principal chess club in the West End, and the City of London Chess Club in the east. About a hu dred or more clubs are now scattered all over the city. For erly only the British Chess Association existed; after its disso ution the now defunct Counties' Chess Association took its place, and this was superseded by the re-establishment by Mr Hoffer of the British Chess Association, which again fell into abeyance after having organized three international tournaments-London, 1886; Bradford, 1888; and Manchester, 1890 -and four national tournaments. There were various reasons why the British Chess Association ceased to exercise its functions, one being that minor associations did not feel inclined to merge their identity in a central association. The London League was established, besides the Northern Chess Union, the Southern Counties' Chess Union, the Midland Counties' Union, the Kent County Association; and there are associations in Surrey, Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, Cambridgeshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Lancashire. All these associations are supported by the affiliated chess clubs of the respective counties. Scotland (which has its own association), Wales and Ireland have also numerous clubs.

Still, England did not produce one new eminent player between 1875 and 1905. First-class chess remained in the hands of the veterans Burn, Blackburne, Mason and Bird. The old amateurs passed away, their place being taken by a new generation of powerful amateurs, so well equipped that Great Britain could hold its own in an amateur contest against the combined forces of Germany, Austria, Holland and Russia. The terms master and amateur are not used in any invidious sense, but simply as designating, in the former case, first-class players, and in the latter, those just on the borderland of highest excellence. The professional element as it existed in the heydey of Simpson's Divan almost disappeared, the reason being the increased number of chess clubs, where enthusiasts and students might indulge in their favourite pastime to their heart's content, tournaments with attractive prizes being arranged during the season. The former occupation of the masters vanished in consequence; the few who remained depended upon the passing visitors from the provinces who were eager to test their strength by the standard of the master. Blackburne visited the provinces annually, keeping the interest in first-class chess alive by his simultaneous play and his extraordinary skill as a blindfold player-unsurpassed until the advent of Harry Nelson Pillsbury (1872-1906), the leading American master since Morphy.

Germany has produced great chess players in Tarrasch, E. Lasker, Lipke, Fritz, Bardeleben, Walbrodt and Mieses, besides a goodly number of amateurs. Austria produced Max Weiss, Schlechter, Marco and Hruby, to say nothing of such fine players as the Fleissigs, Dr Mertner, Dr Kaufmann, Fahndrich, Jacques Schwarz and others. Hungary was worthily represented by Maroczy, Makovetz and Brody, Maroczy being the best after Charousek's death. Russia, having lost Jaenisch, Petroff and Schumoff, discovered Tchigorin, Janowsky, Schiffers, Alapin, Winawer and Taubenhaus. France showed a decline for many years, having only the veteran M. Arnous de Riviere and the naturalized M. Rosenthal left, followed by Goetz and two good amateurs, MM. Didier and Billecard. Italy had only Signor Salvioli, although Signor Reggio came to the fore. Holland had a fair number of players equal to the English amateurs, but no master since the promising young van Lennep died.

The first modern International Chess Tournament held in London in 1851 was the forerunner of various similar contests of which the following is a complete table: Tournaments.

1851. London. 1 Anderssen, 2 Wyvill, 3 Williams. 1857. Manchester. 1 Lowenthal, 2 Anderssen. 1857. New York. 1 Morphy, 2 L. Paulsen. 1858. Birmingham. i Lowenthal, 2 Falkbeer. 1860. Cambridge. 1 Kolisch, 2 Stanley. 1861. Bristol. I L. Paulsen, 2 Boden.

1862. London. i Anderssen, 2 L. Paulsen, 3 Owen. 1865. Dublin. 1 Steinitz, 2 MacDonnell. 1866. Redcar. De Vere.

1866. English Championship Cup. De Vere.

1866. British Chess Association. I Steinitz, 2 Green. 1867. Paris. I Kolisch, 2 Winawer, 3 Steinitz.

1867. Dundee. 1 Neumann, 2 Steinitz, 3 De Vere and MacDonnell.

1868. English Championship Cup. I Blackburne, 2 De Vere. 1868. British Chess Association Handicap. i Steinitz, 2 Wisker, 3 Blackburne.

1870. Baden-Baden. 1 Anderssen, 2 Steinitz, 3 Blackburne and Neumann.

1870. English Championship Cup. I Wisker, 2 Burn.

1870-1871. City of London Handicap. i Potter, 2 De Vere. 1871-1872. City of London Handicap. 1 Steinitz, 2 Keats. 1872. London. 1 Steinitz, 2 Blackburne, 3 Zukertort.

1872. English Championship Cup. I Wisker (becoming permanent holder of the cup), 2 De Vere.

1873. Vienna. 1 Steinitz, 2 Blackburne, 3 Anderssen.

1876. London. I Blackburne, 2 Zukertort, 3 Potter.

1878. Paris. I Zukertort, 2 Winawer (after a tie with Zukertort), 3 Blackburne.

1880. Wiesbaden. I, 2, and 3, a tie between Blackburne, Englisch and A. Schwarz.

1881. Berlin. I Blackburne, 2 Zukertort, 3 Tchigorin and Winawer. Tchigorin made his first public appearance in this contest. 1882. Vienna. 1 Steinitz and Winawer, 3 Mason.

1883. London. 1 Zukertort, 2 Steinitz, 3 Blackburne.

1883. Nuremberg. 1 Winawer, 2 Blackburne, 3 Mason. This tournament is a milestone in modern chess history. The prizes being comparatively small, it was thought that it necessarily must be a failure, the munificently endowed London tournament having just been completed. But, strange to say, whilst in London fourteen players competed, there were nineteen entries in Nuremberg. Winawer, not placed in the former, won the first prize in the latter.

1885. Hamburg. 1 Gunsberg; the next prizes were divided by Blackburne, Mason, Englisch, Tarrasch and Weiss. 1885. Hereford. 1 Blackburne, 2 and 3 Bird and Schallopp.

1886. London. 1 Blackburne, 2 Burn, 3 Gunsberg and Taubenhaus. 1886. Nottingham. 1 Burn, 2 Schallopp, 3 Gunsberg and Zukertort. 1887. Frankfort. I Mackenzie, 2 Blackburne and Weiss. 1888. Bradford. 1 Gunsberg, 2 Mackenzie, 3 Mason and Bardeleben. 1889. New York. 1 Tchigorin and Weiss, 3 Gunsberg.

1889. Breslau. 1 Tarrasch, 2 Burn, 3 Weiss.

1890. Amsterdam. 1 Burn, 2 Lasker, 3 Mason. There were only nine competitors, Lasker unexpectedly losing to van Vliet by a trap.

1890. Manchester. 1 Tarrasch, 2 Blackburne, 3 Bird and Mackenzie. 1892. Dresden. I Tarrasch, 2 Makovetz and Porges. Blackburne received a special prize.

1894. Leipzig. I Tarrasch, 2 Lipke and Teichmann.

1895. Hastings. 1 Pillsbury, 2 Tchigorin, 3 Lasker. This tourna ment is historical for the first appearance of Pillsbury, the American champion, and Maroczy, the Hungarian champion. 1896. Nuremberg. 1 Lasker, 2 Maroczy, 3 Pillsbury and Tarrasch. 1896. Budapest. I Tchigorin, 2 Charousek, 3 Pillsbury.

1897. Berlin. 1 Charousek, 2 Walbrodt, 3 Blackburne. Englisch had to abandon the tournament and return to Vienna ill.

He never recovered and died a few weeks later.

1898. Vienna. 1 Tarrasch, .2 Pillsbury, 3 Janowsky. Tarrasch achieved a remarkable victory in this important tournament. Pillsbury's chances were better than his, but he managed to run him neck and neck and beat him in the tie match which followed.

1898. Cologne. I Burn, 2 Charousek, Cohn and Tchigorin.

1899. London. 1 Lasker, 2 Janowsky, Maroczy and Pillsbury.

Janowsky sacrificed the second prize by trying to win a game against Steinitz when with an easy draw in hand he could have secured the second place for himself alone.

1900. Munich. Tie between Maroczy, Pillsbury and Schlechter for three chief prizes.

1900. Paris. 1 Lasker, 2 Pillsbury, 3 Maroczy and Marshall.

1901. Monte Carlo. I Janowsky, 2 Schlechter, 3 Scheve and Tchigorin. A novel rule was introduced at this tournament, viz. the first drawn game to count; to each player, to be replayed, and in case of a draw again to count 4 each, and in case of win z to the winner. Theoretically this seems logical, but in practice it did not work well.

1902. Monte Carlo. 1 Pillsbury and Maroczy, 3 Janowsky. 1902. Hanover. 1 Janowsky, 2 Pillsbury, 3 Atkins.

1903. Monte Carlo. 1 Tarrasch, 2 Maroczy, 3 Pillsbury. 1904. Monte Carlo. 1 Maroczy, 2 Schlechter, 3 Marshall. 1904. Cambridge Springs. I Marshall, 2 Lasker and Janowsky. 1905. Ostend. 1 Maroczy, 2 Tarrasch and Janowsky.

1905. Scheveningen. I Marshall, 2 Leussen, 3 Spielmann. 1906. Stockholm. 1 Schlechter and Bernstein, 3 Mieses. 1906. Ostend. 1 Schlechter, 2 Maroczy, 3 Rubenstein.

1906. Nuremberg. I Marshall, 2 Duras, 3 Schlechter and Fleischmann.

1907. Vienna. 1 Mieses, 2 Duras, 3 Maroczy and Vidmare. 1907. Ostend. 1 Bernstein and Rubenstein, 3 Mieses.

1907. Ostend. 1 Tarrasch, 2 Schlechter, 3 Janowsky and Marshall. 1907. Carlsbad. 1 Rubenstein, 2 Maroczy, 3 Niemzowitch and Leonhardt.

In the absence of any recognized authority to confer the title of chess champion of the world, it has usually been appropriated by the most successful competitor in tournaments. On this ground Tarrasch claimed the title in 1907, although Lasker, who had twice beaten Steinitz, the previous champion, in championship matches, in addition to such masters as Bird, Blackburne, Mieses and Marshall, was well qualified to assume it. Accordingly in arranging the programme for the tournament at Ostend in 1907 it was agreed that the winner of this contest should receive the title of tournament champion, and should play a match with Lasker for the championship of the world. Tarrasch having proved successful at Ostend, the match between him and Lasker was played at Munich in September 1908, and resulted in the victory of Lasker by 8 games to 3 and 5 draws.

Chess has developed various schools of play from time to time. The theory of the game, however, did not advance in proportion to the enormous strides in its popularity. Formerly the theory of play had been enriched by such enthusiasts as Dr Max Lange, Louis Paulsen, Professor Anderssen, Neumann, Dr Suhle, Falkbeer, Kieseritzki, Howard Staunton, Dr Zukertort, W. N. Potter and Steinitz, foremost amongst them being Louis Paulsen. The openings were thoroughly overhauled, new variations discovered and tested in practical play over the board. These are now things of the past. The masters who find flaws in old variations and discover new ones bring them to light only in matches or tournaments, as new discoveries have now a market value and may gain prizes in matches or tournaments. The old " romantic " school consequently became extinct, and the eliminating process resulted in the retention of a small repertoire only, sufficient for practical purposes in important contests. Gambits and kindred openings containing elements of chance were avoided, and the whole stock which a first-class player requires is a thorough knowledge of the " Ruy Lopez," the " Queen's Pawn Openings," and the " French " and " Sicilian Defences " - openings which contain the least element of chance. The repertoire being restricted it necessarily follows that the scope for grand combinations is also diminished and only strategy or position play remains. The " romantic " school invariably aimed at an attack on the king's position at any cost; nowadays the struggle is to obtain a minute advantage, and the whole plan consists in finding or creating a weak spot in the opponent's arrangement of forces; such is the theory of the modern school, conceived and advocated by Steinitz. But it is a curious fact that Steinitz founded the modern school rather late in life. He felt his powers of combination waning, and being the world's champion and eager to retain that title, he started the new theory. This novel departure revolutionized chess entirely. The attacking and combination style was sacrificed to a sound, sober and dry method; but Steinitz, strange to say, was not even the best exponent of his own theory, this position falling to younger players, Siegbert, Tarrasch, Schlechter, Amos Burn and Emanuel Lasker. Pillsbury and Janowsky adhered to both styles, the former in a high degree, and so did Zukertort and Charousek; Tchigorin being a free-lance with a style of his own. The old charm of the game disappeared - in match and tournament play at least - and beauty was sacrificed to exact calculation and to scoring points. This is to be regretted, for the most beautiful games still occur when a player resorts to the gambits. One of the finest games in the Hastings tournament was played by Tchigorin against Pillsbury, and this was a " King's Gambit Declined." Charousek won a " Bishop's Gambit " against Dr Lasker in the Nuremberg tournament; and some brilliant games occur in the " Queen's Gambit Declined," if either White or Black sacrifices the KP. Another reason why gambits should be adopted by players in tournaments is that competitors would necessarily be readily prepared for the regulation openings, so that the gambits might take them by surprise. After all, the new school is a natural consequence of the progress of the game. Paulsen, Anderssen and Tchigorin devoted a lifetime to the Evans Gambit, volumes of analyses were written on it, and then Lasker revives an obsolete defence, and the Evans Gambit disappears! Zukertort achieved a great success with "1. Kt to KB3 " in the London tournament, 1883, and this, or the kindred P to Q4 " opening, has since become the trusty weapon in serious encounters. Lasker wrote Common Sense in Chess, and gave the best defences of the Ruy Lopez (a certain form of it); but the " common sense " was demolished in the Paris and Nuremberg tournaments, and old forms of that remarkable opening have to be refurbished. These instances will suffice to show the reason for the cautious style of modern times. The Moltkes have replaced the Napoleons.

The old versatility of style could be revived if club tournaments were organized differently. The players might be compelled to adopt one single opening only in a two-round contest, each player thus having attack and defence in turn. The next season another opening would form the programme, and so on. Even in international tournaments this condition might be imposed; the theory would be enriched; full scope would be given to power of combination and ingenuity; whilst the game would be more interesting.

There are still amateurs who devote their energies to the theory of the game; but so long as innovations or new discoveries are not tested by masters in serious games, they are of no value. Steinitz used to keep a number of new discoveries ready to be produced in masters' contests, the result being that his novelties were regularly demolished when it came to a practical test. The mistake was that he did not try his novelties over the board with an opponent of equal strength, instead of trusting to his own judgment alone.

The British Chess Federation was instituted in 1904, its first congress being held at Hastings in that year, when a British championship, a ladies' championship and a first-class amateur tournament were played. These competitions have been continued annually at the congresses of the federation, with the following results: - British Championship. 1904. Hastings. i H. E. Atkins and W. E. Napier, 3 J. H. Blackburne.

1905. Southport. I H. E. Atkins, 2 G. E. H. Bellingham and J. H. Blackburne.

1906. Shrewsbury. 1 H. E. Atkins, 2 R. P. Michell, 3 G. E. Wainwright.

1907. Crystal Palace. 1 H. E. Atkins, 2 J. H. Blackburne, R. P. Michell, E. G. Sergeant and G. E. Wainwright.

Ladies' Championship. 1904. Hastings. I Miss Finn, 2 Mrs Anderson and Mrs Herring. 1905. Southport. 1 Miss Finn. 2 Mrs Anderson and Mrs Houlding. 1906. Shrewsbury. 1 Mrs Herring, 2 Mrs Anderson, 3 Miss Ellis and Mrs Houlding.

1907. Crystal Palace. 1 Mrs Herring and Mrs Houlding, 3 Mrs Anderson.

First Class Amateur Tournament. Section A. I W. H. Gunston, 2 H. F. Cheshire and F. Brown.

Section B. 1 G. E. Wainwright and C. H. Sherrard, 3 W. P. M`Bean.

Section A. 1 Dr Holmes, 2 J. Mortimer, 3 H. G. Cole and J. E. Purry.

Section B. 1 F. E. Hamond, 2 F. Brown, T. J. Kelly and C. H. Wallwork.

1906. Shrewsbury. i G. Shories, J. F. Allcock, P. W. Fairweather and E. D. Palmer.

In 1896 and following years matches between representative players of Great Britain and the United States respectively were played by cable, with the following results: 1896. America won by 41 games to 32 1897. Great Britain 51 41 1898. Great Britain 51 41 1899. America 6 4 1900. America „ 6 4 1901. Drawn 1902. America „ 51 ,, America 52 ,, 42 1907. Great Britain ,, 51 42 1908. America 61 31 1909. Great Britain „ 6 4 Since 1899 cable matches have also been played annually between representatives of English and American universities; of the first six three were won by England, the remaining three 1904. Hastings 1905. Southport being drawn. In England chess matches have been played annually since 1873 between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, seven players on each side. Up to 1907 Oxford won eleven matches, Cambridge twenty-one, and three were drawn.

Literature Of The Game. - The first known writer on chess was Jacobus de Cessolis (Jacopo Dacciesole), whose main object, however, though he gives the moves, &c., was to teach morals rather than chess. He was a Dominican friar, and his treatise, Solatium Ludi Scacchorum, scilicet, Libellus de Moribus Hominum et Officiis Nobilium, was written before the year 1200. It was afterwards translated into French, and in the year 1474 Caxton, under the title of The Game and Playe of Chesse, printed an English translation of the French version.

In 1490 we have the Gottinger Handschrift, a work containing nine different openings and fifty problems. The author of this manuscript is not known. Then comes Vicent, a Spanish writer, whose book bears date 1495. Only the title-page has been preserved, the rest of the work having been lost in the first Carlist war. Of Lucena, another Spanish author who wrote in or about 1497, we are better informed. His treatise, Repetition des Amores y Arte de Axedres, comprises various practical chess matters, including 150 positions, illustrated by 160 well-executed woodcuts. Various of these positions are identical with those in the Gottinger Handschrift. In the 16th century works upon the game were written by Damiano, Ruy Lopez and Horatio Gianutio della Mantia; in the 17th century by Salvio, Polerio, Gustavus Selenus, Carrera, Greco, Fr. Antonio and the authors of the Traite de Lausanne; in the 18th century by Bertin, Stamma, Ercole del Rio, Lolli, Cozio, Philidor, Ponziani, Stein, van Nyevelt, Allgaier and Peter Pratt; in the 19th century by J. F. W. Koch and C. F. Koch, Sarratt, John Cochrane, Wm. Lewis, Silberschmidt, Ghulam Kassim and James Cochrane, George Walker, A. MacDonnell, Jaenisch, Petroff, von Bilguer, von der Lasa, Staunton, Kling and Horwitz, Bledow, Dubois, Kieseritzki, Max Lange, Lowenthal, Dufresne, Neumann, Suhle, Zukertort, Preti and others.

English chess owes much to W. Lewis and George Walker. But to Howard Staunton must be ascribed the most important share in creating the later popularity which the game achieved in England. Staunton's first work, The Chess Player's Handbook, was published in 1847, and again (revised) in 1848. For want of further adequate revision many of its variations are now out of date; but taking the handbook as it was when issued, very high praise must be bestowed upon the author. His other works are: The Chess Player's TextBook and The Chess Player's Companion (1849) (the latter being a collection of his own games), the Chess Praxis (1860), republished in 1903, his posthumous work, Chess Theory and Practice, edited by R. B. Wormald (1876), and various smaller treatises. The laws of the game as laid down in the Praxis formed the basis of the rules adopted by the British Chess Association in 1862. Besides editing The Chess Player's Chronicle and The Chess World, he was the chess editor of The Illustrated London News from 1844 till his death in 1874.

Among continental chess authorities von Heydebrandt and der Lasa (more usually known by his second title) stood pre-eminent. The German Handbuch was completed in 1843 by von Bilguer, who died before the first edition was completed. The second,third,fourth and fifth editions (the last published in 1874) were edited and revised by von der Lasa.

Among the more important modern works the following may be mentioned: Vasquez, El Archedrez di' Memoria (Havana, 1893) M. Lange, Paul Morphy (Leipzig, 1881) (German); La Odisea de Pablo Morphy (Havana, 1893); Bauer, Schachlexikon (Leipzig, 1893); Jean Dufresne, Kleines Lehrbuch des Schachspiels (6th ed., Leipzig, 1893); E. Freeborough and Rev. C. E. Ranken, Chess Openings, Ancient and Modern; Arnelung, Baltische Schachblritter, &c. (Berlin, 1893); Bachman, Geistreiche Schachpartien (containing a number of brilliant games) (Ansbach, 1893-1899); E. H. Bird, Chess History and Reminiscences (London, 1893); The SteinitzLasker Match (1894); Chess Novelties (1895); Max Lange, Paul Morphy (3rd ed.); C. Bardeleben and J. Mieses, Lehrbuch des Schachspiels (very useful); Jas. Mason, The Principles of Chess in Theory and Practice (1894); The Art of Chess (1895); Social Chess (Horace Cox, London); Dr Tarrasch, Dreihundert Schachpartien (Leipzig, 1895); Dr Eugen V. Schmidt, Systematische Anordung von Schacherenungen (Veit & Co., Leipzig, 1895); Numa Preti, A B C des echecs (Paris, 1895); C. Salvioli, Teoria generale del giuoco degli Scacchi (Livorno, 1895); W. Steinitz, Modern Chess Instructor (New York, 1895); L. Hoffer, Chess (Routledge); E. Freeborough, Select Chess End-Games (London, 1895); Euclid, The Chess Ending King and Queen against King and Rook (London, 1895); Tassilo von Heydebrandt and der Lasa, Leitfaden des Schachspiels; Dr Lasker, Common Sense in Chess (London, 1896); Oscar Cordel, Neuester Leitfaden des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1896); and a vast number of other publications.

Further, The London Tournament Book (1883); Twelve Tournament Books of the German Chess Association (Veit & Co., Leipzig); The Hastings Tournament Book (London, 1896); The Vienna Tournament Book, by Halprin and Marco (1900); The Nuremberg Tournament Book, by Dr Tarrasch; The Book of the London Congress, by L. Hoffer (Longman, 1899); The Paris Tournament Book (Paris, 1900), by Rosenthal, &c.

The following are some of the best works in English on chess problems: - " J. B." of Bridport, Chess Strategy (1865); F. Healey, A Collection of 200 Chess Problems (1866); English Chess Problems, edited by James and W. T. Pierce (1876); H. J. C. Andrews, E. N. Frankenstein, B. G. Laws, and C. Planck, The Chess Problem TextBook (1887); A. F. Mackenzie, Chess: its Poetry and its Prose (Jamaica, 1887); J. A. Miles, Chess Stars (self-mates), (1888); James Rayner, Chess Problems (1890); B. G. Laws, The Two-Move Chess Problem (1890); The Chess Bouquet, compiled by F. R. Gittins (1897); Mr and Mrs T. B. Rowland, The Problem Art (2nd ed., 1898); E. B. Cook, T. Henery and C. A. Gilberg, American Chess-Nuts (1868); Samuel Loyd, Chess Strategy (1878); W. H. Lyons, Chess-Nut Burrs and how to open them (1886); C. A. Gilberg, Crumbs from the Chess Board (1890); Canadian Chess Problems, edited by C. F. Stubbs (1890); W. Pulitzer, Chess Harmonies (1894) G. E. Carpenter (N. Preti of Paris), 200 Chess Problems (1900).

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

If you have questions related to chess, ask at the Q&A.


Some chess pieces: (from left to right) white king, black rook, black queen, white pawn, black knight and white bishop.

Chess is an ancient strategy game that some believe to have originated in India. It is played by two individuals on an 8x8 grid. The objective is to maneuver one's pieces so as to trap the opposing king in "checkmate". This book will cover the basic pieces of chess, before going on to some more advanced topics.

The history of chess began in India during the Gupta Empire where its early form in the 6th century was known as chaturanga, which translates as "four divisions of the military" – infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. In Sassanid Persia around 600 the name became shatranj and the rules were developed further. Shatranj was taken up by the Muslim world after the Islamic conquest of Persia, with the pieces largely retaining their Persian names. In Spanish "shatranj" was rendered as ajedrez, in Portuguese as xadrez, and in Greek as zatrikion, but in the rest of Europe it was replaced by versions of the Persian shāh ("king").

Table of Contents

  1. Playing The Game
  2. Notating The Game
  3. Tactics
  4. Tactics Exercises
  5. Strategy
  6. Basic Openings
  7. Sample chess game
  8. The Endgame
  9. Variants
  10. Tournaments
  11. Puzzles
  12. Optional homework

The Wikibooks opening explorer, which treats the chess openings in much more detail, may be found at Chess Opening Theory.

Associated Wikimedia for Chess


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Chess is a board game based solely on skill and tactics. It is played between two players on an eight-by-eight board with squares of alternating white and black. The object of the game is to trap the opponent's king so there is no possible escape from capture; this is called checkmate.

If a player cannot make a legal move (placing their king in check is not a legal move) but the king is not in check, the game is drawn (stalemate).



The object of chess is simple. There are two players, one traditionally uses black pieces, the other uses white pieces. Each player is given sixteen pieces, eight pawns, two rooks (also known as castles), two bishops, two knights, one king and one queen. The idea is to trap the king by taking turns to move your pieces around the board in a strategic manner.



  • Pawn This is the most basic chess piece. The pawn is allowed to move one space forward (or two from the starting position), and can only take other pieces diagonally. If they reach the opposite end of the board, they are replaced with any other piece except another king (owner's choice). Each player starts with eight of these pieces.
  • Rooks Rooks start at each end of the board. They can move any amount of squares horizontally or vertically, unless they are either blocked by a friendly piece or take a piece.
  • Knights Knights are the most unusual pieces on the chess board. They must move three spaces in an L Shape. So either two vertically and one horizontally, or two horizontally and one vertically. They may only take pieces at the end of this movement. They are also allowed to pass over other pieces during this movement.
  • Bishops Bishops are similar to the Rooks. However, they are only allowed to move diagonally.
  • Queen Possibly the most versatile and considered by beginners to be paramount to winning a game of chess. Queens are able to move and take in any direction.
  • King The target for each player. The aim is to trap this piece so it is unable to avoid being captured in any way. The King may only move one space in any direction (except when castling, see below). The King is the only piece that cannot be taken.

Special Moves

Castling If the spaces between the king and one of the rooks (on the same side) are clear, this move can be performed by moving the king two spaces toward that rook and placing the corresponding rook on the other side of the king. However, castling cannot be done if the king has ever been moved during the game, and cannot involve any rooks that have ever moved during that game.

En Passant A pawn can capture an opposing pawn (en passant) if it has advanced two spaces to the square next to it in the previous turn.

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Simple English

File:Staunton chess
A chess set in the starting position. In a competitive game, a clock is used. Each player has an equal overall time for the game, and decides how best to use the time given.
File:Alfonso X Libro
Libro de los juegos, Alfonso X of Castile, showing Muslim playing Christian.

Chess is a board game for two players.[1] It is played on a square board, made of 64 smaller squares, with eight squares on each side. Each player starts with sixteen pieces: eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, and one king and queen.[2] The goal of the game is for each player to try and checkmate the king of the opponent. Checkmate is a threat ('check') to the opposing king which no move can stop. It ends the game.[3][4]

The game is played by the two opponents taking turns to move one of their pieces to a different square of the board. One player ('White') has pieces of a light color; the other player ('Black') has pieces of a dark color. There are rules about how pieces move, and about taking the opponent's pieces. The player with white pieces always makes the first move.[4] Because of this, White has a small advantage, and wins more often than Black in tournament games.[5][6]

Chess is popular and is often played in competitions called chess tournaments. It is enjoyed in many countries, and is a national hobby in Russia.[7]



A king from the Isle of Lewis chessmen (c12th C. British Museum)

Most historians agree that the game of chess was first played in northern India during the Gupta Empire in the 6th century AD.[8][9] This early type of chess was known as Chaturaṅga, a Sanskrit word for the military. The Gupta chess pieces were divided like their military into the infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots. In time, these pieces became the pawn, knight, bishop, and rook. The English words chess and check both come from the Persian word shāh meaning king.[8]

The earliest written evidence of chess is found in three romances (epic stories) written in Sassanid Persia around 600AD. The game was known as chatrang or shatranj. When Persia was taken over by Muslims (633–644) the game was spread to all parts of the Muslim world. Muslim traders carried the game to Russia and to Western Europe. By the year 1000 it had spread all over Europe. In the 13th century a Spanish manuscript called Libro de los Juegos describes the games of shatranj (chess), backgammon, and dice.[10]

The game changed greatly between about 1470 to 1495. The rules of the older game were changed in the West so that some of the pieces (queen, bishop) had more scope, development of the pieces was faster, and the game more exciting. The new game formed the basis of modern international chess. Historians of chess consider this as the most important change since the game was invented.[8][11]


The rules of chess are made by the World Chess Federation, which is known by the initials FIDE, meaning Fédération Internationale des Échecs. The rules are written and explained in the section Laws of Chess. FIDE also give rules and guidelines for chess tournaments.[4][12]


Chess is played on a square board divided into eight rows of squares called ranks and eight columns called files, with a dark square in each player's lower left corner.[13] This is altogether 64 squares. The colors of the squares are laid out in a checker (chequer) pattern in light and dark squares. To make speaking and writing about chess easy, each square has a name. Each rank has a number from 1 to 8, and each file a letter from a to h. This means that every square on the board has its own label, such as g1 or f5. The pieces are in white and black sets. The players are referred to as White and Black, and at the start of a game, each player has 16 pieces. The 16 pieces are made up of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns.[4]


Definitions: vertical lines are files; horizontal lines are ranks; lines at 45° are diagonals. Each piece has its own way of moving around the board. The X marks the squares where the piece can move.

  • The knight is the only piece that can jump over another piece.
  • No piece may move to a square occupied by a piece of the same color.
  • All pieces capture the same way they move, except pawns.
Moves of the king
Moves of the rook
Moves of the bishop
Moves of the queen
Moves of the knight
Moves of the pawn

  • The king's move is one square in any direction. The king (K for short) may not move to any square where it is threatened by an opposing piece. However, the king can move to a square that is occupied by an opponent's piece and capture the piece, taking it.
  • The queen (Q) can move any distance in any direction on the ranks, files and diagonals.
  • The rooks (R) move any distance on the ranks or files.[4]
  • The bishops (B) move diagonally on the board. Since a bishop can only move diagonally, it will always be on the same color square.[14]
  • The knights (Kt or N) move in an "L" shape. Each move must be two squares along one horizontal and one square along another horizontal. It is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Like the other pieces, it captures an opposing piece by landing on its square.
  • The pawns can only move up the board. On its first move a pawn may move either one or two squares forward. A pawn captures one square diagonally, not as it moves: see white circles on its diagram. Pawns have a special capture called en passant, which means in passing in French.[4]


Most pieces capture as they move. If a piece lands on an opponent's piece, the opposing piece is taken off the board. There are three special cases:

  1. The king cannot be taken (see check and checkmate).
  2. No piece can be taken while castling.
  3. Pawns take one square diagonally.

Special moves

Check and checkmate

[[File:|thumb|An example of checkmate|right]] If a move is made which attacks the opposing king, that king is said to be 'in check'. The player whose king is checked must make a move to remove the check. The options are: moving the king, capturing the threatening piece, or moving another piece between the threatening piece and the king.[15] If the player whose king is in danger cannot do any of these things, it is checkmate, and the player loses the game.[4]


A chess castling move

Once in every game, each king can make a special move, known as castling. When the King castles, it moves two squares to the left or right. When this happens, the Rook is moved to stand on the opposite side of the King.[16] Castling is only allowed if all of these rules are kept:[12]p120

  • Neither piece doing the castling may have been moved during the game.
  • There must be no pieces between the king and the rook.
  • The king may not be currently in check, nor may the king pass through any square attacked by the opponent. As with any move, castling is not allowed if it would place the king in check.[4]

En passant

En passant

En passant ('in passing' in French) is a special capture. It is only available when a pawn moves forward two squares past an opposing pawn on an adjacent file. The opposing pawn must be on the 5th rank from its own side. Then the opponent's pawn can capture the double-mover as if it had only moved one square forward. This option is open on the next move only.[4]

For example, if the black pawn has just moved up two squares from g7 to g5, then the white pawn on f5 can take it by en passant on g6. The en passant rule was developed when pawns were allowed to make their double move. The rule made it more difficult for players to avoid pawn exchanges and blockade the position. It kept the game more open.


When a pawn moves to its eighth rank, it must be changed for a piece: a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color (player's choice).[17] Normally, the pawn is queened, but in some advantageous cases another piece is chosen, called 'under-promotion'.[4]

Ways a game may end

Checkmates are rare in competitive chess. The most common ends are decisions made by one or both players.


  • Checkmate. When a king is in check, and cannot get out of it.
  • Resignation. A player may resign at any time, usually because his/her position is hopeless. A losing player is able to resign by placing their king on its side on the chessboard.
  • Out of time. If player's clock time is over (exceeding the time control). Strictly speaking, this is not part of the rules of the game, but part of the rules of tournament and match chess where chess clocks are used.[4][12]Chapter 8


  • Draw agreed. A game may end in a draw at any time if one player offers a draw and the other accepts.
  • Dead position. A position where no series of legal moves could lead to a mate (example: K+B vs K). The game is drawn.[12]p92
  • Stalemate. If a player cannot make a move, and the player's king is not in check, this is also a draw. This kind of draw is called a stalemate, and is rare.[4]
  • 50-move rule. A game will also end in a draw if no piece is captured and no pawn has moved after fifty moves. This is called the fifty-move rule, and happens late in the game.[18]
  • Threefold repetition. If the exactly same position is repeated three times during a game with the same player to move each time, the player next to move may claim a draw. The game is now drawn. This is called a draw by threefold repetition.[19]

Competition rules

The FIDE rules for competitive chess include all the above rules, plus several others.[4][12]p92 et seq

Touch and move law

If a player wishes to adjust a piece on the board, he must first say "J'adoube" (I adjust) or the equivalent. Apart from that, if a piece is touched it must be moved if possible. This is the 'touch and move' law.[9]p425[4] If no legal move is possible with the touched piece, the player must make a legal move with another piece.Section 4[12]p90 et seq There are a few famous cases where players appeared to break this rule without being punished. The most famous example was by the then World Champion Garry Kasparov against Judit Polgar in a top-class tournament.[20][21]

Chess clocks

Competitive games of chess must be played with special chess clocks which time a player only when it is his/her turn to move. The essence is that a player has to make a certain number of moves in a certain total time. After moving, the player presses a button on the clock. This stops the player's clock, and start's the opponent's clock. Usually the clocks are mechanical, but some are electronic.[4]Article 6[12]p92 et seq

Notation for recording moves

File:SCD algebraic
Algebraic chess notation

The moves of a chess game are written down by using a special chess notation. This is compulsory for any competitive game.[4]Article 8 & Appendix E Usually algebraic chess notation is used.[22] In algebraic notation, each square has one and only one name (whether you are looking from White's side of the board or Black's). Here, moves are written in the format of: initial of piece moved – file where it moved – rank where it moved. For example, Qg5 means "queen moves to the g-file and 5th rank" (that is, to the square g5). If there are two pieces of the same type that can move to the same square, one more letter or number is added to show the file or rank from which the piece moved, e.g. Ngf3 means "knight from the g-file moves to the square f3". The letter P showing a pawn is not used, so that e4 means "pawn moves to the square e4".

If the piece makes a capture, "x" is written before the square in which the capturing piece lands on.[23] Example: Bxf3 means "bishop captures on f3". When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn left is used in place of a piece initial. For example: exd5 means "pawn captures on d5."

The "Scholar's mate"

If a pawn moves to its eighth rank, getting a promotion, the piece chosen is written after the move, for example e1Q or e1=Q. Castling is written by the special notations 0-0 for kingside castling and 0-0-0 for queenside. A move which places the opponent's king in check normally has the notation "+" added. Checkmate can be written as # or ++. At the end of the game, 1-0 means "White won", 0-1 means "Black won" and ½-½ is a draw.

In print, figurines (like those in diagrams, but smaller) are used for the pieces rather than initials. This has the advantage of being language-free, whereas the initials of pieces are different in every language. Typefaces which include figurines can be purchased by chess authors. Also, basic notes can be added by using a system of well-known punctuation marks and other symbols.[23] For example: ! means a good move, !! means a very good move, ? means a bad move, ?? a very bad move (sometimes called a blunder), !? a creative move that may be good, and ?! a doubtful move. The purpose of these methods is to make publications readable in a wider range of countries. For example, one kind of a simple "trap" known as the Scholar's mate, as in the diagram to the right, may be recorded:

1. e4 e5
2. Qh5?! Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6?? (3...Qe7 would prevent the mate, with 4...Nf6 next move)
4. Qxf7# 1-0

With figurines in place of the initials, this would be understood by players everywhere.

Playing arena

Players may not smoke in the playing area, but only in areas designated by the organiser. Mobile phones may not be used or even switched on. Players may not use any sources of advice, and may not analyse on any device. These and other matters are covered by the FIDE Laws on the conduct of the players.[4]Article 12

Stages of a game

Chess is an easy game to learn the moves, but a difficult game to master. Strategy is an important part of the game. First of all comes the openings, about which a great deal in now known. The best-known move, the King's Pawn opening, is the white player moving his king's pawn on e2 forward two spaces to e4. Black can reply to that move in various ways.[24]


The first moves of a chess game are called the opening.[25][26] A chess opening is a name given to a series of opening moves. Recognized patterns of opening moves are openings and have been given names such as the Ruy Lopez or Sicilian Defence. They are listed in reference works such as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. There are dozens of different openings. They range from gambits, where a pawn, say, is offered for fast development (e.g. the King's Gambit), to slower openings which lead to a manoeuvring type of game (e.g. the Réti Opening). In some opening lines, the sequence thought best for both sides has been worked out to 20–30 moves, but most players avoid such lines.[27] Expert players study openings throughout their chess career, as opening theory keeps on developing.

The basic aims of the opening phase are:[24]

  • Development: to place (develop) the pieces (mostly bishops and knights) on useful squares where they will have the most powerful impact on the game.[28]
  • Control of the center: the centre is the most important part of the board. The player who controls the center can move his pieces around freely. His opponent, on the other hand, will find his pieces cramped, and difficult to move about.
  • King safety: keeping the king safe from danger. Castling (see section above) can often do this.
  • Pawn structure: pawns can be used to control the center. Players try to avoid making pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled or backward pawns, and pawn islands – and to force such weaknesses in the opponent's position.

Players think, and chess databases prove,[5] that White, by virtue of the first move, begins the game with a better chance. Black normally tries to equalise, or to get some counterplay.


The middlegame is the part of the game after most pieces have been developed. It is where most games are won and lost. Many games will end in resignation even before an endgame takes place.[29][9]

A middlegame position has a structure. That structure is determined by the opening. The simplest way to learn the middlegame is to select an opening and learn it well (see examples in English opening and French defence).

These are some things to look for when looking at a middlegame position:

  • Material: changes in the balance of material are critical. To lose a piece for nothing is enough to lose a game. If the players are evenly matched, then a rough material balance of pieces is normal. Material balance is often quite static: it does not change for many moves.
  • Development: the opening may have left one player with a lead in development. That player has the initiative, and may attack before the opponent can get his pieces out. It is a temporary asset: if a lead in development is not used effectively, it will disappear.
  • The centre: in the centre pieces have their greatest effect, and some (such as the knight) attack more squares in the centre than at the sides. The player who controls the centre will almost always have the advantage.
  • Mobility: a position is mobile if the pieces can get where they need to. Almost all middle game positions have some limitations to mobility. Look for open files for the rooks, and open diagonals for the bishops. Outposts are what knights need, places where they can not easily be dislodged.
  • King safety: where is the king? Ideally, a king should be castled, and kept behind a screen of pawns. Many other things may happen in practice. If a king is weak, it may be put under direct attack.
  • Pawns: they provide the skeleton of a position. They move slowly, and may become blocked for many moves. Everything takes place round the pawns. Different openings produce different pawn structures. In this way openings influence the whole game (Philidor: "Pawns are the soul of chess").
King's Indian, main line

Here is an example from the borderline between opening and middlegame. In the diagram to the left, White will operate mainly on the Q-side, and Black on the K-side.

White, to play, may wish to cope with Black playing 10...Nf4. He can do this by playing 10.g3, or by playing 10.Re1 so that if 10...Nf4 11.Bf1 will preserve the bishop (in this position an important defensive piece). Or maybe White will plough ahead with 10.c5, the key move on the Q-side.

ChessBase shows that the number of tournament games with these choices were:

10.Re1 2198
10.g3 419
10.c5 416

The data base also shows that the overall results were significantly better for 10.Re1. What the player does is note the features on the board, and formulate a plan which takes the features into account. Then the player works out a sequence of moves. Of course, in practice, the opponent is interfering with the plan at every step!


The endgame (or end game or ending) is the part of the game when there are few pieces left on the board. There are three main strategic differences between earlier parts of the game and endgame:

  • Pawns: during the endgame, pawns become more special. In the endgame, one thing players try to do is to promote a pawn by advancing it to the eighth rank.
  • Kings: may become strong pieces in the endgame. The king may be brought towards the center of the board. There it can support its own pawns, attack the opponent's pawns, and oppose the opponent's king.
  • Draws: in the endgame, a game may be drawn because there are too few pieces on the board to allow a player to win. This is one of the main reasons for games to be drawn.

All endgame positions can be put into two camps. On the one hand are positions which may be won by force. On the other hand are positions which are drawn, or which should be drawn. The ones that are drawn for certain may be legally drawn (mate could not happen) or drawn by chess experience (no sane defence could lose). All endgames in master chess revolve around the borderline between winning and drawing. Generally, once a 'textbook' drawn position is reached the players will agree a draw; otherwise they play on.

Endgames can be studied according to the type of pieces that remain on board. For example, king and pawn endgames have only kings and pawns on one or both sides and the task of the stronger side is to promote one of the pawns. Other endings are studied according to the pieces on board other than kings, e.g. rook and pawn versus rook endgame.[9]

Basic checkmates

Basic checkmates are positions in which one side has only a king and the other side has one or two pieces, enough to checkmate the opponent's king. They are usually learned at the beginner stage. Examples are mate with K+Q v K; K+R v K; K+2B v K; K+B&N v K (this one is quite difficult).

Chess and computers

There are two types of chess programs. One is to play against you; the other is to help you become a better player by learning more. The two types can be made to work together, though they have different functions.

Chess engines

Chess engines are computer systems that can play chess games against human opponents. Quite a number have been devised; they can play at master level, though their processes are quite different from a human being.[9]p87


Fritz is a German chess program by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist, published by ChessBase. It is the current market leader. There is also a different kind of Fritz called Deep Fritz that is made for multi-processing. The latest kinds of the consumer products are Deep Fritz 12 and Fritz 12. They came with reviews by Josh Waitzkin, who said that "Fritz is like a woman that you can't get with. It just drives (makes) you to think in ways you've never thought before".[30][31]


Shredder, also a ChessBase product, is claimed to be the strongest engine at present.[32]


Rybka, a product by Vasik Rajlich, is Shredder's main rival.[33]

Chess databases

Chess databases do not actually play. They give access to the recorded history of master chess. There are two components. First, there is the software, which lets one search and organise the database material. Then there is the actual database, typically one to four million games.

In practice, databases are used for two purposes. First, for a player to train his/her ability at specific openings. Second, to look up specific opponents to see what they play, and prepare against them beforehand.

The existence of chess databases is one of the reasons young players can achieve mastery at an early age.


ChessBase is the biggest database, and widely used by masters. Although it can be used online, most users download the software and data onto their laptop. Then they take the laptop to tournaments, to help prepare for games. Players may not use computers or any other aid during games, but much preparation goes on behind the scenes. ChessBase has to be purchased, and it is not cheap.[34]

New in Chess

This is a Dutch magazine for advanced players, which runs an on-line database called NicBase as part of its services. NicBase is free, and has over a million games.[35]

Chessgames runs an on-line database of games. It is partly free, but requires registration. Full access to all its facilities is by a fairly modest subscription. It has over half a million games on its database.[5]

On-line playing sites

There are websites which a player can join (for a fee) and play on line. In this case, the subscriber will play against other subscribers, not a computer. All standards of players are amongst the members, and various events are on offer at different rates of play. The two leaders in this market are:

Internet Chess Club [36]
Playchess [37]

Further reading

  • Burgess, Graham and John Nunn 1998. The mammoth book of the world's greatest chess games. Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0786705870
  • Chandler, Murray 1998. How to beat your dad at chess. Gambit, London. ISBN 1-901983-05-6 (Improvers)
  • Chandler, Murray 2004. Chess for children. Gambit, London. ISBN 978-1904600060 (Beginners)
  • Euwe, Max and Kramer H. 1994. The middlegame, books I and II. Hays. ISBN 978-1880673959 and ISBN 978-1880673966 This goes further than improvers need, but might be used by chess teachers as a source of classic positions.
  • King, Daniel 2000. Chess: from first moves to checkmate. Kingfisher, London. Illustrated, 64 pages. (Beginners, children).
  • Polgar, Laszlo 2006. Chess: 5334 problems, combinations and games. Illustr. ed, Black Dog & Leventhal. ISBN 978-1579125547
  • Pritchard, David Brine 2008. The right way to play chess. 8th ed, Right Way. ISBN 978-0716021995 (Beginners > impovers)
  • Silman, Jeremy 1997. How to reassess your chess. 3rd ed expanded, Siles. ISBN 9781890085001
  • Tarrasch, Siegbert (1931 original; reprint 1994). The game of chess. Algebraic edition. Hays Publishing. ISBN 1-880673-94-0. OCLC 31152893. 
  • Ward, Chris 1994. Opening play (think like a chess master). Batsford, London. ISBN 0713475110
  • Wolff, Patrick 2005. The complete idiot’s guide to chess. 3rd ed, Alpha, New York. (Beginners > improvers)
  • Znosko-Borovsky, Eugene 1980. The middle game in chess. Dover. ISBN 978-0486239316 (Improvers > intermediate)


These are endgames for improvers, based on reviews by John Watson. [38]

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  1. Abate, Frank R. (ed) 1997. The Oxford desk dictionary and thesaurus. ISBN 0-19-511214-8
  2. Costello, Robert E. et al (eds) 2001. Macmillan dictionary for children. Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0-689-84323-2
  3. Paton, John et al (eds)1992. The Kingfisher children's encyclopedia. Kingfisher Books, New York. ISBN 1-85697-800-1
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 "Laws of Chess". FIDE. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
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  7. Gifford, Clive; Lisa Clayden (2002). Family flip quiz: Geography. Great Bardfield, Essex, CM7 4SL: Miles Kelly. ISBN 1-84236-146-5. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Murray H.J.R. (1913). A history of chess. Benjamin Press (first published by Oxford University Press). ISBN 0-936317-01-9. OCLC 13472872. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Hooper D. and Whyld K. 1992. The Oxford companion to chess. 2nd ed, Oxford University Press.
  10. Audubert, Pierre 1978. Das spanische Schachbuch des Königs Alfons des Weisen vom Jahr 1283. Idion, Munchen.
  11. Eales, Richard. 1983. Chess: the history of a game. Batsford, London.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Reuben, Stewart 2005. The chess organiser's handbook. 3rd ed, incorporating the FIDE Laws of Chess. Harding Simpole, Devon.
  13. "Chess Basics". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  14. "Chess Moves - How chess pieces move - chess piece movements". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  15. "Checkmate in Chess". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  16. "Castling, by Chess Corner". chess corner. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  17. Robert Harrison. "Chess tips: How to promote a pawn". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  18. "Learn Chess:Check and Checkmate". 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  19. "Chess Rules :: Draw threefold repetition". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  20. Peters, Jack (Jan.5,1995). "Chess Highlights of 1994". Los Angeles Times: p. 27. 
  21. Berry, Jonathan (Mar.19,1994). "Victory boosts Karpov's rating". The Globe and Mail (Toronto): p. A18.  Berry, himself a Fide Master and International Arbiter, describes the incident: "Mr. Kasparov picked up his knight at d7 and placed it on c5. "Touch move" requires a player to move a touched piece, but the move is not over until the hand leaves the piece. Seeing that 37.Bb7-c6 would be bad for Black, Mr. Kasparov instead put the knight on f8. However, the way Miss Polgar saw it, Mr. Kasparov's hand did leave the piece on c5. Accounts diverge from there. We do know that Spanish TV recorded the game and that there were several spectators, some of whom thought that Mr. Kasparov removed his hand from the knight at c5.
  22. See paragraph E. Algebraic notation in:
    "E.I.01B. Appendices". FIDE. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Chess Notation". Roger McIntyre. Huntsville Chess Club. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 Tarrasch, Siegbert (1987). The game of chess. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-25447-X. OCLC 15631832. 
  25. "A beginner's garden of chess openings". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  26. "CHESSOPS: A basic guide to chess openings". Peter Hobbs. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  27. Collins, Sam (2005). Understanding the chess openings. Gambit Publications. ISBN 1-904600-28-X. OCLC 57484838. 
  28. "chessguru". BBC News. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  29. "The Chess Website- Chess Middle Game Strategy". Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  30. "Chess champion loses to computer". BBC News. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 04-05-2008. 
  31. Fritz as seen by ChessBase "ChessBase news: Deep Fritz 12 download". ChessBase. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  32. Shredder home page "Shredder Computer Chess". Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  33. Rybka "Welcome to!". Vasik Rajlich. Rybka. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  34. "ChessBase Service and Download". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  35. NicBase "NicBase online". New In Chess. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  36. "The Internet Chess Club". Internet Chess Club. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  37. "Playchess". ChessBase. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  38. John Watson's reviews "John Watson Chess Book Reviews". The Week in Chess. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 


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