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Questions tagged [history]

Use this tag for questions relating to the history of chess and chess organizations, whose origins trace to the ancient Indian game of Chaturanga.

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80 views

Are today's top correspondence chess players stronger than those from 5 years ago?

On the one hand today's chess engines will stomp those from five years ago no problem, not to mention hardware improves; on the other hand, correspondence chess players emphasize that one can't just ...
-3
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1answer
109 views

How come Paul Morphy has lots of weird and wonderful games? [closed]

Paul Morphy, from what I’ve seem, seems to have been a master of making weird and wonderful games, such as his famous kingside castling checkmate game. Are there any particular reasons for this?
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2answers
134 views

What should be defined as an en passant checkmate?

Is there a general consensus amongst top chess players, composers, analyzists, and organizations, such as FIDE, for what exactly defines an en passant checkmate? Is there any history for it? As far ...
4
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1answer
120 views

Professional Databases and Historical Games

I have tried to look for historical chess games (i.e. 19th century to early 20th century). I usually use Chessbase online database and chessgames.com. I have never paid for a database or database ...
2
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1answer
165 views

Is there any documented game by Benjamin Blumenfeld where he played Blumenfeld Gambit?

Is there any documented game by Benjamin Blumenfeld where he played Blumenfeld Gambit?
7
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1answer
174 views

Who was the last Indian player to beat Vishy, and when?

The question came to mind following today's game between Vishy (Viswanathan Anand) and the young Raunak Sadhwani at the Isle of Man 2018 Tournament. Has Vishy been beaten by an Indian player since, ...
10
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2answers
439 views

Benko's three-mover that stumped Fischer

In Christian Hesse's book The Joy of Chess one reads about a mate-in-3 problem composed by Pál Benkö that stumped Bobby Fischer. Hesse gives the following diagram: [FEN "8/8/8/4k3/8/8/8/2BQKB2 w - - ...
9
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3answers
335 views

Why is the FIDE name in French?

I noticed that FIDE stands for " Fédération Internationale des Échecs". Shouldn't it be in English as 'World Chess Federation'? I noticed, though unrelated, that it is the same for SI Units (System ...
6
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1answer
450 views

How did Taimanov lose this game to Karpov?

I can't understand how Taimanov (playing White) resigned in the following position against Karpov from the Moscow team leagues in 1973: After 40.Rc2 or 40.d5 the position seems to be equal. I know ...
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0answers
26 views

Did anyone ever get all the soldiers turned into queens? [duplicate]

I mean something like this but all the soldiers. ]1
7
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2answers
972 views

Unknown old FIDE players

I am interested in the History of chess and looking at old FIDE ranking lists I am a bit puzzled by the lack of information about some very good players. For instance, in the list of July 1972: ...
7
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2answers
422 views

Why the Founder of Chess been killed?

I heard from many where that a man who introduced the game Chess was hanged or killed by the King of that time, What was the actual story? What was the reason?
8
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1answer
474 views

Why do grandmasters wear suits at tournaments?

Whenever I see photos of professional chess games, the players are always dressed impeccably and it's uncommon to see someone even missing a jacket. Maybe this is a dumb question, but I don't ...
1
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2answers
93 views

Way to Logically Predict Approximate Chess Rating in Pop-Culture Games [closed]

After seeing a video of an analysis on the chess game in A Game of Shadows between Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, it made me wonder what their fictional ratings would be around. Other games like the ...
45
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2answers
8k views

When (if ever) was it a rule that pawn promotion was optional?

I'm reading a very old chess book ("The Chess Pocket Manual" by G.H.D. Gossip, copyright 1894), and I find this passage in it's section on "The Laws of Chess": When a Pawn has reached the eighth ...
3
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2answers
192 views

Online or Print Sources for Historical Games

What are the best online or print sources for historical games? I am generally looking for pre-1930s games NOT by world champions, and, in particular, looking for games by some of the prominent women ...
1
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1answer
214 views

Why is en passant possibility recorded in FEN regardless of whether there is a pawn ready to make the capture?

If a pawn has just moved two squares ahead, one records the square right behind it in the part of FEN for recording en passant possibility, regardless of whether there is a pawn of the opposite color ...
6
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1answer
135 views

Did predecessors of modern chess use dice to determine which piece to move?

According to the Wikipedia article of Magic: The Gathering, creator Dr. Richard Garfield has compared the evolution of the game from luck to skill as being similar to that of chess. According to Dr....
2
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3answers
129 views

Specific for Lasker during 1904 Cambridge Springs tournament

I have heard that Emanuel Lasker, during the great historical tournament in 1904 (in Cambridge Springs), had to face some specific which was imposed on him. I am wondering what could be meant by that? ...
0
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1answer
92 views

Origin of Blitz

For some time now, blitz (in any of various formats) has been a very popular format of chess. It is obvious that in order to play blitz you need to have a chess clock and these have been around for ...
6
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1answer
437 views

What kind of gun is Alekhine's gun?

This question is about chess linguistics. Alekhine's gun is the pattern where the queen is placed behind two rooks. Who came up with the phrase? Is it clear which kind of gun they had in mind? In ...
9
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4answers
427 views

How would Chess have been played in England in 1450-1600?

I'm trying to reconstruct how Chess would have been played at various points in history in England, specifically at three points: around 1450, 1530, and 1610. What rules would have been used at these ...
5
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1answer
266 views

How was the FIDE rating system introduced?

I am looking for a historical summary on how the first Elo ratings came about. Apparently in the first official rating list from 1971 there are already ratings in the range of 2200 to 2760. What are ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Fischer vs Sherwin Game - 1957

In this game Move # 32 Sherwin play Rxh7 and this move makes him loose the game, so why he didn't play Rxf6 ? is this mistake from him? or something i didn't get. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/...
11
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1answer
3k views

What's the history behind stalemate not being a win? [duplicate]

If your opponent eliminates all your options to move, you don't lose in chess, but is regarded an equal to your opponent. Isn't this peculiar? In most games and in real life hunt and war it is a ...
4
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1answer
170 views

Did the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard play chess?

The danish existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard lived from 1813 to 1855. He writes in one of his journals (21st of May 1839): Original Danish Jeg lever i denne Tid omtrent som en Brik ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Where can I find lists of best games per tournament?

I would like to obtain a list of best games per tournament (World Chess Championships, Chess World Cup, ...). By "best" I mean games that either have won a brilliancy prize, or games that are ...
4
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1answer
215 views

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era, what was the rule for stalemate in France?

Wikipedia has a stalemate history section, but for France it only says: The forfeiture of Black's turn to move (medieval France) (Murray 1913:464–66) (Davidson 1981:64–65), although other medieval ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Why is En Passant only possible on the first opportunity?

Quoting FIDE rulebook: This capture is only legal on the move following this advance and is called an ‘en passant’ capture. Quoting Wikipedia: The en passant capture must be made at the very ...
10
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2answers
199 views

Who is the youngest player to defeat a reigning World Chess Champion in a classical chess game?

A simple web search doesn't seem to readily give the answer to this question. Who is the youngest player to defeat a reigning World Chess Champion in a classical chess game?
9
votes
1answer
227 views

When did the light-on-the-right convention ascend to dominance?

I came upon the following wonderful painting by Sofonisba Anguissola, ‘The first great woman artist of the renaissance,’ of her sisters playing chess (painted 1555). The painting is truly sublime. ...
7
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2answers
329 views

Who was A. Karu? (played Paul Keres)

The first game in Paul Keres' book "The Complete Games of Paul Keres" is a correspondence game against "A. Karu" who is otherwise unidentified. I could find no entry for him in Chess Personalia by ...
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4answers
184 views

Meaning and origin of 'theory' in 'opening theory'

What precisely does 'opening theory' mean? Generally when I see the word 'theory', I'd expect a conceptual move away from the particular towards the universal. That is, I would expect 'opening theory' ...
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2answers
180 views

What's the origin of chess?

I have heard numerous times that stated that India was the inventors of the original chess. I have also heard that the origin was in the Middle East. Sometimes I heard that the origin was in Arabia. ...
4
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1answer
475 views

Improvement of chess engines over time

Chess engine strength has increased considerably over time due to increase of computer strength, but also improvement in algorithms/parameters. Is there any statistics or graph out there which shows ...
7
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1answer
960 views

How close was Seirawan to challenging Kasparov?

Growing up in the '80's in the Pacific Northwest (USA), my chess hero naturally was Yasser Seirawan. He was the first top-class GM to emerge from the USA since Fischer and our country's best hope to ...
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5answers
2k views

Why do some openings have Indian in their name?

Why are a few chess openings named King's Indian Defense, Queen's Indian Defense, Nimzo-Indian defense, and so on? What is the significance of Indian in all these opening names? What's India's ...
4
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1answer
297 views

Did Karpov really only wash his hair when he lost?

At the recent Isle of Mann coverage, the topic of conversation was grandmaster superstitions, during which GM Simon Williams conveyed that Karpov would only wash his hair when he lost a game. ...
1
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1answer
95 views

1998 USCF Chess Rankings

Is there a place to look up rankings of USCF players for a previous year? Specifically, I would like to know who was #3 in the USCF in 1998 (for reasons not relevant to the question) - but figured a ...
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2answers
145 views

What is the consequence of removing the two-square first move rule?

In this related question I see that en passant and two-square first move for pawns were introduced together between 1200 and 1600. What was the reason for adding these rules? Put another way, has the ...
4
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2answers
918 views

Chess study methods / memorisation techniques from before the computer-based SRS era

Some of the other questions on SE discuss the use of spaced repetition systems such as Anki and Mnemosyne to learn tactics, openings and other aspects of chess (see especially Effectiveness of a ...
2
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1answer
355 views

Full Footage From 1972 Championship

Since the 1972 chess championship was televised I imagine there must be full footage of all the matches somewhere. I have spent time looking around, but found nothing but short clips of the games. ...
6
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1answer
339 views

Did it make sense for Lasker to play the Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez in 1914?

In 1914, world champion Emanuel Lasker was trailing future world champion J.R. Capablanca in a tournament, meaning that he needed to win, not just draw, against Capablanca. He played the exchange ...
2
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3answers
394 views

Has there been a game which was drawn with three queens?

One of my friends who follows chess told me that there was a player in the past whose defensive game was so good that he drew a game where the opponent had three queens ? I couldn't find a game like ...
6
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3answers
423 views

Was Paul Morphy a slow player?

In Milan Vidmar's book Goldene Schachzeiten he writes that the brilliant Paul Morphy was known to be an extraordinarily slow player, who would probably have had a hard life if time control were part ...
4
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1answer
180 views

What happened to Alexander Alekhine's family?

Alexander Alekhine, the former World Chess Champion, came from a notable family in Russia. His father, Alexander Ivanovich, was apparently Privy Councilor to the Duma and a Marshal of the Nobility. ...
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6answers
290 views

Amazing chess feats while in altered states of consciousness

This might seem an odd question, however out of personal curiousity, are there any documented accounts of amazing feats by players while in an altered state of consciousness? What I'm looking for ...
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1answer
163 views

Bobby Fischer and the U.S

Why did Bobby Fischer despise the U.S and why did he get exiled? Wasn't he America's hero at one point? I'm a big fan of his games.
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2answers
4k views

Was there ever a time when the goal in chess was to capture the king?

The modern rules of chess, except for the stalemating being a draw, are basically equivalent to a game in which the goal is just to capture the king, not checkmate him. It's plausible that in the ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Is there a chess move history app (Mac)?

I would like to check various positions to see if I have reached them in the past. I play on lichess.org which lets you download your complete game history as a pgn. I was wondering if anyone knew of ...