Chess: The Game of Kings is accessible to all | Characteristics


The name evokes a variety of reactions and stereotypes. But despite being hundreds of years old, chess remains remarkable in that it continues to grow, evolve, and change even though the pieces and rules haven’t changed much since medieval times.

Learning chess is a bit more complicated than learning other board games like checkers. Becoming proficient takes a lot of practice; mastering the game and competing at the highest level is a feat only a few can accomplish in the world.

Grandmasters – the best players in the world – are borderline human computers, accessing huge amounts of data and analyzing positions not only to determine what their next best move might be, but also to anticipate what their opponent is likely to be. to play several moves in the future.

While modern computers have computational skills far outclassing the human brain – no human has beaten a high-level chess engine since 2005 – theory and strategy continue to evolve. Modern grandmasters have a deeper understanding of the game than those who began to play competitively on a global level in the 19th century, although some strategies developed over 200 years ago still remain solid ways to play the game today. today.

But even for beginners, chess is an accessible game that exercises your brain as you learn it and develop a deeper understanding of how to play and, over time, how to win. .

Let’s take a walk around the 64-square board and learn more about this proven and dynamic game.

history of chess

The earliest known mentions of chess date back over 1,400 years, to the 7th century. History suggests that chess was originally developed in India, but it spread along the silk route from merchants across the Middle East, the Arab world and Europe to the west. , while also moving east and landing in China and north in Russia (which would have more become one of the best nations in the world to play chess).

Europeans modified chess in the 1200s and it became the modern game we play today. The game was known throughout Europe and by the 15th century scholars had begun to study and write more deeply about chess theory in what became one of the earliest analyzes of this complex game.

The popularity of chess continued to grow in the 18th century when it spread and became a staple in cafes among intellectuals.

It was in the 19th century that formal and competitive chess began to be organised, with national and international tournaments leading to the rise of grandmasters, the world’s best players and the development of strategies and theories on how best to play the game.

The 20th century and the advent of computers and the Internet made chess even more widely available across the world, while improved software engines and processing capabilities took game analysis to new levels. Computer engines, capable of performing deep calculations quickly, first beat a human grandmaster in 1997, but have continued to improve to the point that no human has beaten a high-level computer at gaming since 2005.

Nowadays, more common engines are available for anyone to play in thousands of chess applications, allowing players to not only learn and practice even on their own, but also to analyze the games and learn from their mistakes and grow as players.

Playing chess has never been so easy. Players can jump online and find a player of equal skill literally anywhere in the world at any time and embark on their own chess adventure.

The basics

Chess is played on a square board of 64 squares. Two players, one playing the white pieces and the other the black pieces, compete, each armed with 16 pieces.

These 16 pieces include eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and a queen and the ever-important king. White always gets the first move.

Players take turns moving their pieces on the board. Throughout the game, players will “capture” each other’s pieces, removing them from the board, with the ultimate goal of the game being to checkmate the opponent’s king, meaning the king is attacked and has no no safe space to move to.

This simple premise belies a much deeper and more complicated strategy on how to move pieces, how to level them up, when to trade pieces, when to capture or not, and how to ultimately break through the opponent’s defense and defeat them.

At the highest level, if the game is played correctly and correctly by both sides, games often end in a draw, either by players agreeing that there is no probable winning strategy, or by players withdrawing so many pieces that there is no way to checkmate the king or due to a stalemate, in which a player has no legal moves to make on their next turn.

Most chess moves take a few minutes, but players also frequently play under time control, as the clock forces them to play faster. Time checks can last as little as a minute, with these “bullet” games being a rapid flurry of coins flying across the board. The best players are able to complete an entire game even in 60 short seconds.

Each piece has its own type of movement and its own strengths and weaknesses. Using all the pieces together consistently is a good way to win more games than losing, but separate your pieces and you could soon find yourself in mortal danger.

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