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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15
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3answers
4k views

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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4answers
3k views

Who are the seconds of famous players?

Can anyone provide lists of seconds of famous players? They can contain the names of people that work/worked with top players for a long period or for a particular match/tournament. Besides the names ...
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0answers
116 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
900 views

How many grandmasters have been stripped of their titles?

How many grandmasters have been stripped of their grandmaster titles? I heard about a GM in the bathroom who had his taken away, and was wondering what other circumstances have resulted in a GM losing ...
9
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
68 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 ...
6
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0answers
195 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.
6
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2answers
231 views

What did Benjamin Franklin mean in this quote?

I was reading thenarticle at http://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/benjamin-franklin-on-the-morals-of-chess, and in the last paragraph, Ben Franklin says "Snatch not eagerly at every advantage ...
6
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1answer
122 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 ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Why are the symbols 0-0 and 0-0-0 used for castling in algebraic notation?

I'm curious about why the symbols O-O and O-O-O are used for castling in algebraic notation. Why not use the consistent and logical Kg1/Kc1 for White and Kg8/Kc8 for Black? Why adopt the less than ...
8
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2answers
307 views

Which was the first televised/video-recorded WCC match?

I was thinking about the way that chess has taken to being streamed recently and it got me wondering how far back one could go if they were to watch WCC matches instead of playing through them. So ...
5
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2answers
277 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) ...
4
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2answers
260 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
90 views

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.
7
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1answer
733 views

Can you identify this game with a mate in 12?

I vaguely remember it being from a game played in the USSR ca. 1960. I'm certain it was from before 1985. [fen "2k1r2r/ppn3pq/b7/5p2/5Qn1/2N1B1P1/1P3PB1/2RR2K1 w - - 0 1"]
3
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
214 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 ...
17
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5answers
878 views

Is the chess problem a dead form?

Or, to ask the question a bit less opinionatedly, "what new ideas have been introduced in chess problems over the last 20 years?" I imagine many problems have been composed in that time, but it seems ...
7
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Has a highly-rated GM ever lost to a low-rated opponent who didn't go on to become a GM?

Has a highly-rated GM ever lost to a low-rated opponent who didn't go on to become a GM? Also, currently has there ever been a GM who lost to low-rated opponents on a consistent basis?
6
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4answers
575 views

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 ...
9
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3answers
5k views

Has any other grandmaster gone as long undefeated like Capablanca?

Between 1916 and 1924, future World Champion J.R. Capablanca, as of 1921, experienced a period of eight years without a single tournament defeat. He was then regarded as one of the world's best ...
4
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1answer
33 views

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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1answer
89 views

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. ...
3
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1answer
84 views

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?
4
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3answers
730 views

Adjusting in one's turn only

There is this touch-move rule which doesn't apply when the player says "Adjust" . Wikipedia says : To adjust the position of a piece on its square without being required to move it. A ...
10
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3answers
395 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....
4
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1answer
82 views

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 ...
29
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
521 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 ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Is there a good book on the 1927 Capablanca-Alekhine world championship match?

To disambiguate what I mean by the shorthand "good" in the question's title: Is there an English-language book that tells the story of the 1927 world championship match between Capablanca and ...
2
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2answers
422 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 ...
10
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
127 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
150 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
418 views

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 ...
11
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3answers
721 views

How did classic masters like Alekhine and Anderssen practice tactics?

How did classic masters like Alekhine and Anderssen practice tactics? Surely there was no chess.com or chesstempo at that time. How did the masters back then manage to increase their tactical ...
55
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2answers
11k 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 ...
20
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3answers
2k views

What is the origin, or a early appearance, of this famous chess tale?

There is a story I have found across the Internet of an endgame between two players, usually named as Capablanca versus an extraterrestrial of some sort. According to the Spanish chess Wikipedia, the ...
9
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2answers
293 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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5answers
6k 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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2answers
292 views

What should be defined as an en passant checkmate?

Is there a general consensus among composers, players, and/or organizations for what exactly defines an en passant checkmate, and is there any history to it? As far as I know, there are two ...
36
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2answers
12k views

Why is there a 50-move rule and a 75-move rule?

By number theory, if the 75-move rule has been reached, the 50-move rule will also be reached. This has no meaning. It is like saying "I would buy this book if it cost under $60 and it costs under $40"...
10
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1answer
394 views

Puzzling phrases

While reading about Paul Morphy's games I have come across several instances of phrases like "playing his fellow townsmen at odds of Knight or Rook" or "he extended his offer of Pawn and move to any ...
2
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2answers
120 views

Bela Berger and Blindfold Chess: What do players “see” on the board?

I was looking at the interesting career of Bela Berger. On this oral history site, Bela Berger talks in an interview. Here is a quote from the site: "Berger, international chess master, speaks ...
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9answers
49k views

Why is the king powerless and the queen powerful?

Historically, real kings were powerful (Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte etc.) and women were powerless. The game of chess began in Asia, some say, and the women were definitely powerless there....
2
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1answer
82 views

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?
4
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2answers
238 views

What are the dates each of the endgame tablebases were completed?

I'm curious to get a rough sense for when chess could be solved if Moore's law, and algorithm improvements continue, and I thought a good way to get a rough idea would be to extrapolate based on when ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Which is the oldest chess game?

Chess has more than 1000 years of existence and the pieces got their modern day movements in 15th century Spain. But which is the oldest chess game of which we know the moves?
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1answer
109 views

Is prophylaxis a feature of the hypermodern school?

Wikipedia mentions prophylaxis in the article of hypermodernism in chess. But is it really a feature of the hypermodern school? I have not seen prophylaxis in any other book or article about ...

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