diamond geezer

 Wednesday, March 26, 2003

map of persiaThe war game

• The two-player game of chess originated around the Persian Gulf in the 6th century AD.
• Chess was invented as a substitute for war, or as a bloodless training ground for war.
• The word chess means "The Game of Kings", from the Persian word shah meaning king.
• The world's earliest written references to chess are to be found in Persian literature.
• The first pieces were pawn, chariot (rook), cavalry (knight), elephant (bishop), and king.
• Persians introduced a new piece, the counsellor, who later changed sex to become a queen.
• The game was originally played using dice, intended to signify communication with the gods.
• The ancient game of chess was complex and often slow, taking a very long time to complete.
• Chess spread westwards in the 7th century AD when the Arab empire overran Persia.

• A chess board is always placed with a white square in the bottom right-hand corner. Remember - "White is Right".
• The aim of the game of chess is to trap and capture the opponent's king.
• An advance guard of pawns advances up the board, with the rest of the army following on behind.
• One piece captures another by moving onto its position following the rules of engagement.
• It is not possible to capture or destroy one's own pieces, even by mistake.
• Any player with an advantage in material is much more likely to win the game, as superior force is usually victorious.
• When the king is threatened by an opponent's piece, this is known as check.
Checkmate occurs when one side forces the king into a situation from which he cannot escape.
Stalemate occurs when the player whose turn it is to move is has no legal moves.
• So long as the king survives, the game will continue.

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