For those few of you who might not own a chess-set just yet, the aim of the chess game is to checkmate the opponent's king, opening him up to direct attack and winning you the game! The game of chess is one of the world's most ancient (2nd century BC) and popular games, known by everyone and played by millions all over the world. Chess games are held in homes, at clubs, online and by mail either for recreation or in a competition or tournament. Because the chess game is being one of the oldest games created there are many interesting facts surrounding this game. Many researchers say that chess originates from India, due to its similarities to a Hindu game called Chaturanga that has been around just as long.
However, there are some that believe it originates from China, 2nd century BC and the word 'checkmate' actually derives from a Persian phrase 'shah mat,' translating into 'the king is defeated.' The game is so lost in its antiquity that no-one really knows where its origins lay. Most chess players, who evolved into the great masters, started at an early age. World chess champion J.
Capablanca began to play chess at the age of four after seeing his father play many games of chess. Anatoly Karpov was trained in the game of chess at four as well and then went on to become a grandmaster and world champion. "International grandmaster" is one of the highest titles you can received and J. Polgar achieved this at the age of 15.
Bobby Fischer was awarded this title at 14 years old. Maybe it's easier to learn how to play chess at an early age but of course chess isn't only for the very young, it's popular with all ages. Gyorgy Negyesy who passed away in 1992, just before his 99th birthday, was the longest living master chess player. Chess games can last hours or minutes depending on the skill of the players or even their fortune.
It is unbelievable but there have been games which involved only 1 move, amazing! A famous game like this was held between Rogoff and Huber in 1972. But the longest game ever recorded was between Nikolic and Arsovic, held in Yugoslavia in 1989. This chess game involved 269 moves and took over 20 hours and no one won.
Not only men but women regularly win championships and claim world titles as well. Nona Gaprindashvili was the first woman to win a men's chess tournament in 1977. Here she tied for first place and after this went on to achieve men's international grandmaster status in 1978.
Maia Chiburdanidze who was 17 years old was the youngest women's world champion of all when she won the women's title in 1978. The first woman in history to qualify for the men's world championship was Susan Polgar in the year 1986. Again is does not matter what age you are because Edith Price was 76 when she won the British ladies championship in 1946. In 1977, Czechoslovakian Vlastimil Hort played 550 opponents, 201 of them simultaneously. Not satisfied with a 'regular' game of chess, some chess players like to set themselves a challenge.
George Koltanowski did exactly that when he played 56 consecutive games in 1960. He won all but 10 games in just over thirty hours. He challenged himself even more by playing blindfolded Austrian master Josef Krejcik played 25 games simultaneously in 1910 and lost every one. Chess sets are not only simple and practical, many of them are beautifully hand crafted.
A unique chess set was discovered in 1170. Carved from walrus tusks, each of the characters is shown in a bad mood, ranging from anger to depression. If you are looking for unique chess pieces, Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali's did an amazing job with a design that exchanged the traditional chessmen with fingers and thumbs made of silver based on his own digits. If you already know how to play chess why not treat yourself and upgrade your chess board and chess pieces with a quality set? If you never played before but you want to start the all you need to do is purchase yourself a basic chess set and you can start learning how to play chess today.
Oh, and you will need a willing partner of course!.
Michiel Van Kets provides articles for John Sokol, who is the owner of Quality Chess, a website selling quality chess boards and chess sets.