Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chess: Three significant dates

In order to more fully understand the history of chess, there are three important dates that everyone needs to know.

6th Century A.D.
This is the date that experts say chess developed in either China or India. Chess used to be called shatranj and was very different than the game we play today. According to an article by historian Gerhard Josten, chess wasn't just invented by one person, but was the combination of several different types of games. Josten argues chess has so many pieces that move so differently (the pawns for example, are the only pieces that can't move backwards) because they come from different games. I think the 6th century is significant to my topic because it is the point at which all of these games came together.

9th Century A.D.

Chess traveled from Asia to Europe by a group of Africans called the Moors. According to an article by Dr. Daaim Shabazz, the Moors brought the early form of chess, shatranj, to Europe when they conquered Spain. The Moors brought quite a few scientific advances with them as well and helped advance European civilization.


This is the date that Queen Isabella took the throne in Spain. According to an article about the history of the queen in chess, the queen used to be a much weaker piece, but after the real-life queen came to power, the rules were changed and the queen became the most powerful piece. Historian Govert Westerveld, said that the development of chess has always mirrored real life events, which might be helpful towards finding out why the White pieces go first.

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