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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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69 votes
12 answers
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Why is stalemate a draw?

It is so difficult to force stalemate and sometimes unintentional too, so why is stalemate a draw? As the opponent doesn't have a further move, why is it not considered a win?
iMeMyself's user avatar
  • 801
22 votes
1 answer
20k views

Why is it illegal to move into check?

In chess, it is against the rules to move into check, or to not move out of check. But why? Obviously, if you went against this rule, you'd immediately lose. But it seems strange to make it illegal to ...
Winston Ewert's user avatar
36 votes
3 answers
31k views

When and why was en passant invented?

Other than castling, the only "strange" move that chess pieces can ever make is en passant. It seems a little odd to me that someone thought that such a "different" move was so important to include ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 6,172
-2 votes
1 answer
235 views

List of records for youngest female international masters since 1950? [duplicate]

Note: I really mean female IMs and not WIMs All IM version: List of records for youngest international masters since 1950? WIM version: List of records for youngest WIMs (woman international masters) ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating

Update: The answer currently doesn't include countries and other trivia like in the original one. Please consider posting an answer with at least the countries or editing current answer to include ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
1 vote
2 answers
663 views

List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating with countries?

same question as here but with countries please. hopefully we can have a list as close to the original wiki page as possible. I'll start: 1 - Hungary - Judit Polgar - 2735 - 2005-07 - 1976 - N/A - ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
-5 votes
3 answers
477 views

How do I find data to determine records like the youngest person to obtain a certain title?

A. Background: Under Mobeus Zoom's suggestion here: List of records for youngest superGMs since 1950? (or 1970 or whenever FIDE started rating people. or basically after 2700s after Fischer) (this is ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
69 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
patbarron's user avatar
  • 3,664
2 votes
1 answer
228 views

What has Bobby Fischer said about increment (similar to chess960)?

Bobby Fischer talked a lot about chess960 aka Fischer random and more generally how chess is dead, etc. Were there any similar interviews or discussions for increment? I guess not much because the ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
-2 votes
1 answer
257 views

List of records for youngest female grandmasters since 1950?

On Wiki, we have a list for List of youngest grandmasters since 1950. What about female GMs (really female GMs and not WGMs) instead of GMs? I guess the list ends with Judit Polgar, Koneru Humpy and ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
33 votes
6 answers
12k views

Why are there separate tournaments for men and women?

Why are there separate tournaments for men and women? It is obvious that in physical sports men have a huge advantage, but what is the reason why in chess we differentiate by gender?
Ant's user avatar
  • 439
32 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a grandmaster?

He won the Russian championship 5 times, so why wasn’t he a grandmaster?
user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
8k views

Is there an origin or story of where the pieces that make a chess game got their name from?

I understand why there would be a king and queen but I would love to know where the idea to call pieces what they are - such as the Rook, Knight, Bishop and Pawn - came from. Is there any background ...
ThunderToes's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
275 views

List of female chess players by their peak FIDE blitz rating

Similar to these: List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating with countries? List of chess players by their peak FIDE blitz rating List of ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
2 votes
1 answer
473 views

Why Chess960/9LX 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 ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

List of chess players by their peak FIDE rapid rating

Similar to these: List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating List of female chess players by peak FIDE rating with countries? List of chess players by their peak FIDE blitz rating List of ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
-1 votes
1 answer
317 views

List of records for youngest WFMs (woman FIDE masters) since 1950 (or whenever)? [duplicate]

On Wiki, we have the List of youngest grandmasters since 1950. What about WFMs (woman FIDE masters) instead of GMs? Note 1: I really mean to ask about WFMs (females who obtain the female exclusive ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
-2 votes
2 answers
232 views

What are examples of tournaments/games 60 minutes to below 120 minutes, and how does FIDE classify them?

What are some examples of tournaments or games where their time controls convert to at least 60 minutes but below 120 minutes, and then how does FIDE classify them (eg rapid or classical)? Supposedly ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
-2 votes
1 answer
50 views

What happens if drawn matches are decided by black wins (if any)?

In some round robins or swiss, there are score tiebreakers based on black wins, like the 2022 Accentus Chess960 tournament and the 2023 USCC. Never mind those. My question is for knockouts. Obviously ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
42 votes
1 answer
11k 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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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27 votes
3 answers
12k views

How did castling originate?

Castling to me has always seemed like such a huge leap in terms of game play that I've always wondered how it came to be. Does anyone know the history behind how and why castling came to be?
blunders's user avatar
  • 4,147
26 votes
7 answers
4k views

Which notable players in chess history successfully used dubious openings?

I am reminded of a famous game between Karpov and Tony Miles where Miles played 1...a6 against Karpov's 1. e4 and still won the game. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq -...
NM Wesley Falcao's user avatar
24 votes
8 answers
19k views

Is there a "perfect" game?

Is there a historic example of a chess game that has, to date, resisted all computerized attempts to find a better sequence of moves? In other words, a "perfect" game? CLARIFICATION I should have ...
lindelof's user avatar
  • 549
20 votes
2 answers
48k views

How to Verbally Describe Chess Moves?

This may sound incredibly naive, but all the time on T.V, movies, books, etc. People can be heard saying things like "Queen to Rook 5" or like "Knight to King 3" and things like ...
Arammil's user avatar
  • 302
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

How come chess prodigies seem to start at a young age?

I started looking into the history of a few grandmasters such as Fischer and Carlsen, so I wondered: why does it seem that chess "kings" and queens" start playing the game from a young age? Can anyone ...
Flair's user avatar
  • 435
8 votes
1 answer
668 views

Did Indian systems really have fianchettos?

Wikipedia quotes: The Indian Defences by g6 coupled with d6, or b6 coupled with e6, were largely taught to European players by the example of Moheschunder and other Indians, to whom the ...
Rahul Gopinath's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
565 views

List of records for youngest WCMs (woman candidate masters) since 1950? [duplicate]

Re the close: If it was really a duplicate then why didn't Brian Towers♦ answer on the other post? Checkmate! On Wiki, we have the List of youngest grandmasters since 1950. What about WCMs (woman ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 2,170
38 votes
2 answers
15k views

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

Logically, if 75 moves have been played, 50 moves would've also been played. This sounds ridiculous. It is like saying "I would buy this book if it cost under $60 and it costs under $40". So,...
Wais Kamal's user avatar
  • 3,060
37 votes
4 answers
32k views

Who did Nigel Short really play on the ICC in 2001 when he thought he was playing Fischer?

In 2001, Nigel Short went public with the opinion that he had in fact played Bobby Fischer on the Internet Chess Club. This was denied by Fischer himself, and the consensus seems to be that it was not ...
user1539's user avatar
  • 581
34 votes
7 answers
7k views

Has there been much research on rating inflation?

Magnus Carlsen's draw in yesterday's round of the 2012 London Chess Classic assured that his rating in the next published FIDE rating list will surpass Kasparov's previous record of 2851. I've seen/...
ETD's user avatar
  • 23.5k
30 votes
7 answers
7k views

Are contemporary chess players now stronger than players in the 90's or 80's?

For example, take a Class A (a player with a USCF rating of between 1800 and 1999 inclusive) today and Class A from the 90's. Would the contemporary Class A be stronger because of the updates of ...
user122965's user avatar
  • 1,895
27 votes
5 answers
8k views

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 ...
Autistic's user avatar
  • 399
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Have there been any blunders in resignation?

We know that despite what is shown in the movies and such, most chess games don't end by a "checkmate" move and oftentimes one side realizes that they are losing and resigns before the end. ...
polfosol's user avatar
  • 543
23 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
Rook16's user avatar
  • 731
15 votes
4 answers
908 views

What are openings which were once thought good, but are now shown to be inferior?

Are there any openings that were once often played, but are now known to be very bad moves?
Hugo Sereno Ferreira's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are the different rules for claiming a draw?

According to the current FIDE rules of chess: The game is drawn upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by a ...
Halvard's user avatar
  • 986
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did Magnus Carlsen drop out of World Championship in 2011?

I heard from a friend of mine that Magnus Carlsen did not play the Candidate Matches in 2011. Why did he do that?
Rachid O's user avatar
  • 285
14 votes
12 answers
21k views

Is chess a sport? If yes, then why?

Sometimes (e.g. at some schools) chess is considered to be a sport. Is chess a sport? I view sport as a physical activity. For instance, if a doctor asks you "Are you doing any sports?" would your ...
otisonoza's user avatar
  • 251
13 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why did Bobby Fischer resign his title?

I was wondering about this question for a while. Why did Bobby Fischer resign his title?
Awesomemortality's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k 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?
xaisoft's user avatar
  • 16.8k
11 votes
2 answers
264 views

Black beginning (specifically, the Immortal)

By CPT (or better: the Chess version thereof) if a game is opened by Black, you can transpose it to the standard version (by swapping board, colors and move rights) and there is no visible difference. ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 749
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why are there no more adjournments?

I keep reading about adjournments in books, but why don't we use them anymore? They seem like cool analysis sessions.
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

What were Fischer's 179 demands for a World Championship rematch?

According to this video (at 4:25), Bobby Fischer made 179 demands for a rematch for a World Championship, after he won the title. What were those 179 demands?
wwl's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
9 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 12.4k
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why does the game end at checkmate and not upon taking the king? [duplicate]

Ever since I was a kid this has felt kind of odd to me. Victory in chess is achieved by "cornering" the king, and not by taking him outright, like what you do to all the other pieces. I always ...
bpromas's user avatar
  • 799
8 votes
2 answers
420 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 ...
DTR's user avatar
  • 3,139
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
iammilind's user avatar
  • 726
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can I buy IBM DeepBlue?

The IBM DeepBlue which is a chess computer that won against the one of the world's top chess players Kasparov was an IBM research project. Would it be possible for me to buy it?
user12458's user avatar
  • 187