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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36 votes
8 answers
30k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
109 views

Is FIDE still using the same logo for world championship final?

I remember that this logo was used last championship, why are they still using it? Shouldn't every final have its own logo? Am I missing something?
-3 votes
0 answers
108 views

Who is the lowest ranked player to have won the qualifiers and challenge for the world championship?

It would be interesting to know their global rank based on their rating (e.g. according to the official FIDE World Ranking List) at the time of the qualification, the world championship match, and ...
12 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
76 views

USSR Championships vs Candidates strength

The USSR championships and the Candidates tournaments are two of the strongest tournaments in history. The USSR championship was typically a round robin event (sometimes Swiss), where top Soviet ...
4 votes
3 answers
353 views

What is the origin of the chess pieces' movements?

Why do pieces move the way they do? Was there any reason behind the decision in the early history of chess? This Quora post for example mentions (no citations): Queen can give directions. And she can ...
-5 votes
1 answer
85 views

Is Agasthya Smriti containing the Original Chess Strategy available in public Domain?

Saint Agasthya was the most knowledgeable person of the 8000 yrs ago period. He is credited for: The Martial Arts (Kalari Paytu), Chemical based Medicines specially for Venom treatment, Game of Chess ...
3 votes
1 answer
810 views

What type of notation is "B3", as used by Lasker?

In Logical Chess: Move By Move by Irving Chernev (1957), in Game 3, it reads Emanuel Lasker, World Champion for 27 years, says of this move, “In my practice I have usually found it strongest to post ...
4 votes
1 answer
174 views

Which GM said something along the lines of "I can beat any chess engine; just give me time enough (to prevent blunders)"

So I guess I read this long time ago -most probably in the 2000s, when engines started to beat humans. I just have no idea who said it, but I guess it was not a top player at that moment (say Kasparov ...
21 votes
6 answers
10k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
98 views

Countermove without notation

Quoting the FIDE rules (E8.1§3): "A player may reply to his opponent’s move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another." Quoting any arbiter:...
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

What influenced the development of the King's Indian Defense?

The King's Indian Defense is characterized by the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6. (As opposed to 2...e6, with the intention of developing the Bishop to the Queen-side.) Black aims for a strong King-side ...
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

THE longest problem ever (much longer than the mere 549 mover...)

The "Fireside Book of Chess" by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld includes the following diagram [fen "3nk3/3NN3/3PP3/3BB3/3PP3/3PP3/3PP3/2RQKR2 w - - 0 1"] Composed by J.N. Babson for ...
4 votes
1 answer
306 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
136 views

What was the highest rated classical game that was lost on time?

Recently, I came across a game Vishwanathan Anand vs Veselin Topalov from Norway Chess 2022. In the second round, Anand who was playing with the black pieces won on time against Topalov as his clock ...
14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Game in James Bond film "From Russia with love"

The beginning of the James Bond film From Russia with love (1963) portrays the end of a game between the fictional characters Kronsteen (Czechoslovakia) and Macadams (Canada) in the last and decisive ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What was the longest World Championship game?

The recently concluded Game 7 of the 2014 Carlsen-Anand match went to move 122 before a draw was reached due to insufficient material. Is this the longest game played in a World Chess Championship ...
22 votes
4 answers
4k views

When and why was the notation changed from descriptive to algebraic?

When I was young I used to play chess with the the old form of notation KB<number> (King Bishop square number), even books used to have the same notation, then later found that everyone was ...
7 votes
2 answers
493 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
293 views

Who was, or is, the oldest WGM?

It is well known that (concerning GMs only) Lilienthal set a record - he died 3 days after his 99th birthday. Yuri Averbakh has since surpassed him and may well be the first 100 year old GM. What ...
11 votes
4 answers
4k views

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. Beth Harmon is not spending any time ...
14 votes
2 answers
709 views

Is anything known about the chess game at the Vostok station that resulted in murder?

Multiple sources on the Internet describe a murder at the Soviet Vostok station in Antarctica over a game of chess. Supposedly, the losing player was upset enough to attack their opponent with an axe. ...
0 votes
3 answers
224 views

"Highest" level of illegal move

For example, was a GM ever caught on an illegal move? Of course, only standard time control (everybody still remembers Carlsen-Inarkiev, but that was a blitz game) and after FIDE codification of chess ...
18 votes
3 answers
6k views

Was there a chess piece—elephant, knight or rook—rendered as a being looking into two directions?

I have found a chess set of unknown origin with ducks as pieces. Simple ducks for pawns, king and queen crowned and big, okay, but then, for rook, knight and bishop, I don't know. There is a duck ...
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Who is/was the lowest ranked World Chess Champion?

Boris Gelfand has just won the 7th of 12 games (all previous drawn) in the FIDE World Championship match against the current holder of the title Viswanathan Anand. This puts him in a good position to ...
10 votes
3 answers
595 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 ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

History of physical fitness in the world championships

Who can forget this picture from Kortchnoi's preparation for his 1981 match against Karpov? More on Kortchnoi's physical preparation for the match in Merano in this 1986 documentary made by English ...
1 vote
1 answer
158 views

What test is Fischer referring to when describing 1.e4 as "best by test"?

Famously, Bobby Fischer describes the first move 1. e4 as "best by test". However, Bobby Fischer exclusively opened his games with 1.e4... “Best by test: 1.e4” (Bobby Fischer) Actually, ...
3 votes
0 answers
97 views

Russian chess school maxim: draw after loss (?)

I seem to remember a maxim attributed to the Russian chess school, "after two losses, draw the next game (however good the position may seem)". Does somebody know the exact saying and to ...
9 votes
0 answers
353 views

Lowest rated player(s) who earned a GM norm

Who had the lowest rating when they earned at least one GM norm?
3 votes
1 answer
111 views

In the evolution of chess, was there ever a version in which any piece could capture a pawn en passant?

Relevant similar question: Why can't a piece (that isn't a pawn) capture en passant? Question: When the game of chess evolved differently in various regions, was there any case in which the addition ...
-6 votes
3 answers
376 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 ...
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Looking for free versions of older chess engines

In connection with another project, I am looking on the internet for some free versions of older chess engines, such as some of the old Chessmaster engines from the 1990s. I would even take an old ...
1 vote
2 answers
253 views

Chess players with FM, IM or GM, starting career after 40?

I started my chess career very late. I knew precise knowledge about Chess at age 41. The first tournament I shared was when I 42 years old; I got performance rating of 1050. Could you give me hope? I'...
3 votes
1 answer
397 views

Why are some chess championships defended while others have the champion starting from scratch?

For example, the World Chess Championship as of the past few cycles had a candidates to determine who faces the previous champion. Same with world women's chess championship (at least as of recently). ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Elo disadvantage due to one pawn move in Indian Chess

In Indian chess, the pawn doesn't move two squares, however in the western chess, pawn can move two squares. Now, since the pawn can't move 2 in the Indian style, the fianchetto is a natural square to ...
24 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
683 views

What would be the ELO of modern-day centaurs?

The last public ranking of chess centaurs was in 2014, and only compares centaurs to each other. As of 2018, what would be the ELO rating of the best centaurs compared to the best humans and chess ...
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Actual cases of a "frivolous draw offer"

Having been inspired by a recent question here, here is another. FIDE §E11.5 prohibits "unreasonable offers of a draw". Some specific cases which might get frowned upon by your opponent, ...
12 votes
3 answers
5k 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)...
7 votes
1 answer
190 views

Is today's World Championship game the first with a symmetrical position and one file completely occupied?

After 8 moves in the 8th game between Carlsen and Nepomniatchi this position was reached. [FEN "r2qk2r/pppb1ppp/3b4/3p4/3P4/3B4/PPPB1PPP/R2QK2R w - - 0 1"] The position is perfectly ...
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What inspired the touch move rule?

This is the touch move rule: If a player deliberately touches a piece on the board when it is their turn to move, then they must move or capture that piece if it is legal to do so. Where did this ...
-1 votes
1 answer
129 views

Abbreviation: GM or IGM?

Recently I was browsing old issues of my clubzine when I tripped over "IGM". Wait, aren't all Grandmasters international by default? But I'm old enough to remember that the abbreviation &...
4 votes
1 answer
496 views

Where does the name of the Guatemalan Defense come from?

I recall reading a story that the Guatemalan Defense (1. ... b6, 2. ... Ba6) is named after a game of correspondence chess that was played between (presumably some chess team representing) Guatemala ...
3 votes
1 answer
344 views

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

I found a few publicly accessible biographies of Judit Polgár, including details of her early life. According to the biography on her website, she was 9 when she first won an international chess ...
3 votes
1 answer
145 views

Literarily weak knights

When I was young, the knight was sometimes lousy and knights took the cake. It happened more than once that I hammered a knight sacrifice into the rows of my opponent during blitz...the effect being ...
4 votes
1 answer
368 views

History of convention for king & queen placement

As stated in this question, the convention that the player with the lighter-coloured pieces makes the first move was not established until fairly late in the 19th century. Before then, what convention ...
8 votes
0 answers
145 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. ...
8 votes
1 answer
215 views

What did FIDE do/say in response to Magnus Carlsen's non-participation in the candidates match for the 2011 world championship?

In Why did Magnus Carlsen drop out of World Championship in 2011? we see magnus said After careful consideration I’ve reached the conclusion that the ongoing 2008–2012 cycle does not represent a ...
3 votes
3 answers
376 views

Why did Bobby Fischer make his demands in the 1975 World Chess Championship?

Many topics ask about Fischer's demands in the 1975 World Chess Championship between him and Karpov, but I've never found the reason Fischer made these demands. In particular: If the result is 9-9, ...

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