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History of Indian Chess
History of Indian Chess

Roopanjana Buddhiraja
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It would not be wrong to define chess as an Indian traditional game. Better known as Chaturanga in the Gupta period this game was further modified by the Persians. Want to know more about this

Posted On : 3/27/2009 6:11:37 AM

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Maniam PS
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The earliest precursor of modern chess is a game called Chaturanga, which flourished in India by the 6th century, and is the earliest known game to have two essential features found in all later chess variations different pieces having different powers which was not the case with Checkers and Go , and victory depending on the fate of one piece, the king of modern chess. 11 Other game pieces speculatively called chess pieces uncovered in archaeological findings are considered as coming from other, distantly related, board games, which may have had boards of 100 squares or more. 11 Chess was designed for an asht pada Sanskrit for having eight feet , i.e. an 8x8 squared board , which may have been used earlier for a backgammon-type race game. 18 Asht pada, the uncheckered 8 8 board served as the main board for playing Chaturanga. 19 Other Indian boards included the 10 10 Dasapada and the 9 9 Saturankam. 19 Traditional Indian chessboards often have X markings on some or all of squares a1 a4 a5 a8 d1 d4 d5 d8 e1 e4 e5 e8 h1 h4 h5 h8: these may have been safe squares where capturing was not allowed in a dice-driven backgammon-type race game played on the asht pada before chess was invented. 18 A theory started in the late 19th century, mainly from the works of Captain Hiram Cox and Duncan Forbes, that the four-handed game chaturaji was the original form of chaturanga. 20 . Other scholars dispute this and say that the two-handed form was the first. 21 In Sanskrit, Chaturanga literally means having four limbs or parts and in epic poetry often means army the four parts are elephants, chariots, horsemen, foot soldiers 12 . The name came from a battle formation mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata. 11 The game Chaturanga was a battle simulation game 12 which rendered Indian military strategy of the time. 22 . Some people formerly played chess using a dice to decide which piece to move. There was an unproven theory that chess started as this dice-chess and that the gambling and dice aspects of the game were removed because of Hindu and Muslim religious objections. 23 . Such theories arose later among some Christian religious bodies in Europe, resulting in some priests trying to forbid chess as a game of chance, including forbidding the diceless version by classing it as an evasion . 24 The Arab scholar Abu al-Hasan Al al-Mas d detailed the use of chess as a tool for military strategy, mathematics, gambling and even its vague association with astronomy in India and elsewhere. 7 Mas d notes that ivory in India was chiefly used for the production of chess and backgammon pieces, and asserts that the game was introduced to Persia from India, along with the book Kelileh va Demneh, during the reign of emperor Nushirwan. 7 In some variants, including in its Arabic form shatranj, a win was by checkmate, or by stalemate, or by bare king taking all of an opponent s pieces except the king . In some parts of India the pieces in the places of the Rook and Knight and Bishop were renamed by words meaning in this order Boat, Horse, Elephant, or Elephant, Horse, Camel, but keeping the same moves.

Posted On : 3/27/2009 9:32:49 AM

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Priyadarshini Misra
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Monday, August 25, 2008
The earliest precursor of modern chess is a game called Chaturanga, which flourished in India by the 6th century, and is the earliest known game to have two essential features found in all later chess variations different pieces having different powers which was not the case with Checkers and Go , and victory depending on the fate of one piece, the king of modern chess. Other game pieces speculatively called chess pieces uncovered in archaeological findings are considered as coming from other, distantly related, board games, which may have had boards of 100 squares or more. Chess was designed for an ashtā pada Sanskrit for having eight feet , i.e. an 8x8 squared board , which may have been used earlier for a backgammon-type race game. Ashtā pada, the uncheckered 8 8 board served as the main board for playing Chaturanga. Other Indian boards included the 10 10 Dasapada and the 9 9 Saturankam. Traditional Indian chessboards often have X markings on some or all of squares a1 a4 a5 a8 d1 d4 d5 d8 e1 e4 e5 e8 h1 h4 h5 h8: these may have been safe squares where capturing was not allowed in a dice-driven backgammon-type race game played on the ashtā pada before chess was invented. A theory started in the late 19th century, mainly from the works of Captain Hiram Cox and Duncan Forbes, that the four-handed game chaturaji was the original form of chaturanga. Other scholars dispute this and say that the two-handed form was the first. In Sanskrit, Chaturanga literally means having four limbs or parts and in epic poetry often means army the four parts are elephants, chariots, horsemen, foot soldiers . The name came from a battle formation mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The game Chaturanga was a battle simulation game which rendered Indian military strategy of the time. Some people formerly played chess using a dice to decide which piece to move. There was an unproven theory that chess started as this dice-chess and that the gambling and dice aspects of the game were removed because of Hindu and Muslim religious objections. Such theories arose later among some Christian religious bodies in Europe, resulting in some priests trying to forbid chess as a game of chance, including forbidding the diceless version by classing it as an evasion . The Arab scholar Abu al-Hasan Alī al-Mas ū dī detailed the use of chess as a tool for military strategy, mathematics, gambling and even its vague association with astronomy in India and elsewhere. Mas ū dī notes that ivory in India was chiefly used for the production of chess and backgammon pieces, and asserts that the game was introduced to Persia from India, along with the book Kelileh va Demneh, during the reign of emperor Nushirwan. In some variants, including in its Arabic form shatranj, a win was by checkmate, or by stalemate, or by bare king taking all of an opponent s pieces except the king . In some parts of India the pieces in the places of the Rook and Knight and Bishop were renamed by words meaning in this order Boat, Horse, Elephant, or Elephant, Horse, Camel, but keeping the same moves.

Posted On : 3/27/2009 9:51:43 PM

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Kongkan Nag
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Saturday, March 14, 2009
You are right Roopanjana, Chess can easily be defined as an Indian traditional game as Chaturanga is recognised as the predecessor of Chess. A lot of similarities can be found between Chess and Chaturanga. However, there are some dissimilarities as well. Played widely in Gupta period, Chaturanga comprised four limbs or parts representing the four divisions of Indian Army like Elephants, Chariots, Cavalry and Infantry. Chaturanga was played as a royal time pass and it was continued to be played as Chess during the medieval period. However in the modern times, the popularity of Chess in India has increased significantly due to the efforts made by the All India Chess Federation AICF . Chess is in a good condition in India in the recent years, as India has produced many Grandmasters and International Masters. The current World Champion in Chess, Vishwanathan Anand is also from India. The history of Indian Chess is indeed a rich and glorious one. You can also refer to the following links for more information on this topic: http://www.indianetzone.com/1/chess.htm http://www.indianetzone.com/39/indian_chess.htm

Posted On : 4/8/2009 1:45:54 AM

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