Out of the current chess pieces in modern chess, what was the first one to be created?

  • 1
    I thought that some of this information might be available online even though I couldn't find it. Could point about the onine-chess tag though. I'll remove it.
    Commented Jun 19 at 20:59
  • There was never a point when anything like chess was played with only a single piece.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 20 at 10:45
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    @OrangeDog If I'm not mistaken the question is referring to historical versions of the game in which non-standard (by today's standards, of course) pieces (aka fairy chess pieces) were used. So "What was the first modern piece among the historical pieces?" not "What single piece did chess begin with?" Commented Jun 20 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


The short answer is that there are multiple pieces that were created at the beginning of the game that is now chess. The first game invented that was like modern chess is called chaturanga, and it has three pieces that match up with those in "modern" chess:

  1. The raja (king) moves exactly the same as a king,*
  2. The ashva (horse) moves exactly the same as a knight, and
  3. The ratha (chariot) moves exactly the same as a rook.*

* The only exception being that chess permits castling.

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    Upvoted. But can be improved with source/s. Commented Jun 21 at 6:09

To add to Jonah Hodge's answer, there is an excellent book called "A History of Chess" by H.J.R. Murray (from 1913) that covers this question and more. You can find it here: https://archive.org/details/AHistoryOfChess/mode/2up

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