Chess is one of the most popular board games and is played by individuals who have the reputation of being smart, nerd, or the likes. Yet, in the course of time, almost anyone can actually play the game, but the “stigma” of ‘chess being a game for intelligent people’ has continued as a stereotype.
Chess is a classic two-person board game that is played with specially designed pieces on a square board made up of 64 alternating light and dark squares arranged in eight rows and columns. It first appeared around 600 AD and has steadily evolved into the modern game known today. The earliest methods of production involved carving the board and pieces out of wood or stone. Today, a variety of common modern manufacturing methods such as injection molding and lithographic printing is employed to mass produce thousands of games.
Most scholars believe chess was developed sometime around the sixth century AD but the exact time and place of its origin are still under debate. It is a descendant of a game called chaturanga, which was commonly played in India during that time. Chaturanga is a game derived from a much older Chinese game and the name is a Sanskrit word that refers to the four divisions of the Indian army, including elephants, chariots, cavalry, and infantry. These pieces became the basis for the four types of pieces in the game. Two of the key similarities between chess and Chaturanga is that different pieces have different powers and victory is based on what happens to the king.
In Persia, the game was called shtranj and it was in this form that it was introduced to Western Europe when the Moors invaded Spain. Shtranj caught the interest of philosophers, kings, poets, and other nobility, and eventually became known as the “royal game”. During the fifteenth century, some significant rule changes were made. One of the most important changes was the transformation of the counselor piece into the queen, the strongest chess piece– the game has become very popular throughout Europe because of this development.