Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Do I Know, What Do I Want To Know?

I know that the white pieces traditionally move first and it's been like that for a long time. I'm not sure for how long. I know that both white and black pieces are pretty much the same, so it's hard for me to figure out why it's important that the white pieces go first. I would like to know if it has anything at all to do with race.
I know that chess has been around for 1,500 years. I've read a lot about how chess first started as a game in China and/or India. I think the name of one of the first games was Shatrang. It was similar to chess because there was a knight, king, rook, and pawn, but there was no queen. Instead of a queen, there was something called a Vizier (or something like that) which was like the king's adviser. Apparently, back in the day, the game was a lot slower and over time they added the Queen and changed the way pawns moved in order to speed up the games. I know that every change to the game has been well-documented, but I have never heard or read anyone explain the reason for White moving first.

I read a book called "The Birth of the Chess Queen" which talked about how and why the queen appeared. Basically, it said that chess changed as it spread throughout the world and that the queen piece came about because there were queens in Europe who had a lot of power. The queens influenced peope to think that there should be a powerful feminine piece on the board.

I would also like to know did people in Africa play chess, because I know a lot of Arabic people played.


  1. i like it how you use geographical knowledge to map the blog. by startin in the beginning in india then using how the queen came about to included Europe. also you used your current knowledge and endend the blog with what you want to know(KWL).