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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The most often played chess game

Offhand, I say the Shepherd's Mate. But let us just consider "serious" tournament play. Still, the game must be rather short to be repeated extremely often. Could be a "Will they ever ...
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Number of games ever played in history?

Obviously, an exact answer can't be given, but we can't count all electrons in the universe either and physicists still gave an answer probably correct by an order of magnitude. Let's specify: Only ...
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Who was, or is, the oldest WGM?

It is well known that (concerning GMs only) Lilienthal set a record - he missed the 100 only by 3 days. Averbach is very close to beating him. What about WGMs? It is trivial to look into the FIDE ...
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What is the history behind the famous author H. G. Wells writing against the game of chess?

Here are some quotes by by famous English author H. G. Wells.: “There is no remorse like the remorse of chess. [..] It is a curse upon man. There is no happiness in chess.” [source] “The passion for ...
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I have discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. How does this move-count stack up against the 'record holder'?

I've discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. What is the highest move-count known for a selfmate? {The starting position is provably legal}.
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What are the origins of Hand & Brain chess?

I was recently leafing through Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants when I noticed that the variant Hand and Brain which has recently become popular, in which one player states the piece to the ...
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Are there Chess variants or problems using this particular piece?

The piece I am asking about is the combined jumper (0,2)(0,3)(2,2)(3,3) or the combination of Dabbaba, Threeleaper, Alfil, and Tripper. It is used under the name Hawk in the recent Chess variant ...
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378 views

List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating

Update/Request: The answer currently doesn't include countries and other trivia like in the original one. Please consider posting an answer like this or editing current answer to include these. ...
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Have there been brilliancy prizes awarded to the losing player?

Have there been brilliancy prizes awarded to the losing player? Preferably, it would be at a grandmaster level.
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Where are all 100 block-board and pieces, excavated from Indus valley kept?

There are 100 square block-based stone boards that were excavated from a 5500 year old site. There were some pieces and broken stone board recovered. This ancient game it for was called Shadyantra. I ...
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480 views

Worst ELO ever in history

I have a lot of questions about ratings, which are sort of connected, but I think I better split them. This is pair 1. I googled a bit: By definition, ELO>100, and someone said (chess.com) he ...
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What is the earliest known appearance “Fool's Mate”?

A quaint question I had lately; what is the earliest known appearance to "Fool's Mate"? I refer to both the name and/or the move sequence. A quick search with Google Books revealed a ...
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Are chess players getting better, given the same rating?

Chess ratings are a relative thing at a particular time, just like boxing. It is not absolute, compared to weightlifting for example, in which the records keep getting broken. How would say a 1700 ...
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Upside down diagrams

In the good old days when I saw a chess diagram I didn't have to guess which way the pawns were going; there was a convention that the white pawns moved up the board. When and why did upside down ...
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Why did Bobby Fischer resign his title?

I was wondering about this question for a while. Why did Bobby Fischer resign his title?
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197 views

Does anybody knows about how the Polgar sisters were trained?

I know they did a lot of hardwork and stuff like that but i just want to know what exactly process did they went through(books,how did they practice,etc),is there any biography on them?cause I just ...
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Seeking a transcript of Hope vs. Fischer, 1972

On one of Bob Hope's television specials in 1972, Bobby Fischer appeared with him in a skit about himself (Fischer). The two also sat down at a board and sort-of played a game. (The moves were not all ...
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497 views

Historical motivation for the 1200-1800ish rating average

Although there is some variation in rating systems (in chess), most systems put the starting value and the mean of all users somewhere around 1500. Some pools are higher, some are lower, but most have ...
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Is Beth Harmon behaviour in her game vs Georgi Girev acceptable (then and now)?

In S01E04 of the TV series The Queen's Gambit, the main protagonist (Beth Harmon) is competing against a young Russian player (Georgi Girev). This happens in 1966. Following an adjournment, Beth ...
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Why Chess960 and not Chess959?

This question asks if Chess960 is really Chess960 and not Chess959, i.e. the dice are really not re-rolled (positive, instead of normative). The answer is yes, it really is. However, why is Chess960 ...
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How was the Candidate chosen for 1927, and why not sooner?

Wikipedia has a tiny article for the 1927 World Chess Championship. For the World Chess Championship article in general, it has very little to say about the 1927 one: Following the controversies ...
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318 views

In which article did Nigel Short retract from having played online vs Fischer?

I read a recent tweet by Nigel Short mentioning his retraction, but I can't find it.
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74 views

What is the origin of chess clubs?

In the first pages of Philidor's 1777 edition of Analyse du jeu des échecs (Analysis of chess games) there is a list of subscribers, some of whom are "Members of the Chess Club". They ...
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355 views

What is the legend of Ossip Bernstein, who supposedly played chess to save his life?

Wikipedia article reads as following: A famous story goes that in 1918, after the October Revolution, Bernstein was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka (Bolshevik secret police). He was ordered to be ...
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Which countries have (or had) chess as a compulsory component of their national curricula?

The only country I know of that definitely has chess as a compulsory subject on its national curriculum is Armenia. Are there any others? I think Paraguay may be one. Please take "national ...
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316 views

What's the oldest age at which a grandmaster played their first rated game?

Of all grandmasters past and present, what is the oldest age at which any of them started playing chess? Define started playing chess: The day that person played their first (FIDE, or equivalent) ...
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Famous grandmaster games of “torturous” winning or flaunting out of arrogance?

I was originally wondering why we don't see more torturous type of games among masters. For example, instead of proceeding to checkmate, the player in control methodically takes all pieces of his ...
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Who is Yuri Dojoian, Kasparov's analyst in the 90s?

Long time ago I read about this strong GM who was one of Kasparov's analysts in the 90s. The thing is that if I search by "Yuri Dojoian" I only get a few results, only in Spanish media, like ...
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Looking for a PDF of the British Chess Magazine, Sep. 1907

I am looking for a PDF copy of British Chess Magazine dated September 1907 which contains an analysis of a game between Neustadtl and Porges.
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Did Maria Teresa Mora Iturralde beat Capablanca 2.5-0.5?

(Possibly better suited on the Skeptics SE, but the claim is completely related to chess) In 1922, she exceeded all expectations. Maria Theresa became the only woman to ever to have competed with men ...
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1answer
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Timeline of key historical changes to FIDE Laws & WFCC Codex?

A well-answered question here: FIDE Laws of Chess pre-2017 asks for locations of historical sets of FIDE Laws. I am asking for something which partially builds on that. Is there a timeline of "...
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Can I play chaturanga on any of the main chess sites?

Inspired by this question What rules are known for Chaturanga? Chaturanga seems quite interesting, and some aspects of it, like no castling are being introduced in other variants: Kramnik's chess. ...
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What rules are known for Chaturanga?

In the ancient Indian game Chaturanga, what rules are known, and how does it vary from modern chess? Also, is it a solved game?
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Where does the expression “checkmate” come from?

While watching The Queen's Gambit my partner asked me: why do they say "checkmate"? But she wanted to know what is the origin of this expression, not its meaning. And I realized I didn't ...
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1answer
266 views

How old was Judit Polgar when she learned to play chess?

I found a few publicly accessible biographies of Judit Polgar, including details of her early life. According to the biography on Judit’s website, she was 9 when she first won an international chess ...
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542 views

Controversy over the Xiangqi cannon piece?

When reviewing the nature of the pieces of various chess variants, namely the xiangqi cannon, I asked about its history. I was surprised that the dates of its mentions did not match 8th century ...
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Does the new Netflix series “The Queen's Gambit” resemble any real life chess master?

Recently, a Netflix series has been launched entitled The Queen's Gambit which surely created a lot of hype in the chess community. Does the protagonist Beth Harmon resemble anyone (fully or partially)...
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What defines the name of a gambit?

What defines the name of a gambit? To be obvious, if someone were to use a gambit often (of their own theory), you would name that gambit after them or so, right (like the Ruy Lopez opening)? How then ...
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555 views

In “The Queen's gambit” were there any famous games played?

Throughout "The Queen's Gambit" (Netflix) we see games at an advanced stage (after the opening). And while the characters are fictitious, the show being set in the 1960s (Beth adult), Benny ...
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Why the initial rating of FIDE is calculated that strangely?

Let suppose an unrated player plays a FIDE rated swiss tournament where its opponent's ratings are e.g. 1300,2000,2100,2200,2300 and wins all of them, then his initial rating will be 2100 according to ...
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356 views

When has the FIDE rule against bringing the game into disrepute been invoked (if ever)?

In the current FIDE Laws of Chess article 11.1 says: 11.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute. I have heard elderly arbiters fulminating about some ...
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What is Indian Castling exactly?

Western castling doesn’t exist in historical Indian Chess (Chaturanga). Instead, in some versions, there is a cool move whereby each king can once in the game make a knight's move. I read that it is ...
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951 views

Double Grob-Coca-cola Gambit?

I was using the opening explorer on Chess.com when I came upon the following line 1.g4 g5 2. f4 (Coca-cola gambit)!? How did this opening get its name? It sounds like Coca-cola walked up to Fide and ...
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When did Bobby Fischer move from New York to California?

As title above, when did Bobby Fischer move from Brooklyn, New York, to California, where did he actually locate, and why did he leave New York?
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Most recent “best in world” player who would be defeated by a CM

Of the chess players who could reasonably be considered the best in the world in at least one year in history, how far back would you have to go before one of them would lose to a 2020 Candidate ...
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138 views

What is the name or origin of this opening for Black?

I was playing online, and I noticed some players go for this opening and I don't know its name or if it's a move order to another opening for Black. [fen ""] 1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c6 4. ...
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211 views

Who was the first modern grandmaster?

According to Wikipedia, the modern system for awarding FIDE titles evolved from the "Dorazil" proposals, presented to the 1970 Siegen Chess Olympiad FIDE Congress. On the same Wikipedia page ...
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East and West German Chess

Interested in chess history, I wonder if there is an accessible data set that lists all players from East and West Germany in the 80's, ideally with information like the FIDE website (name, national ...
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367 views

Games won by the stalemated player?

Here is a quote from Davidson's "A short history of chess" (Link), chapter 8, which I used in an answer to an earlier question. [...] In Italy, however, from the very beginning, players ...
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When was it possible for a player's king to be attacked by 3 of the opponent's pieces?

According to the current FIDE Laws of Chess: 3.9.1 The king is said to be 'in check' if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such pieces are constrained from moving to ...

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