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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List of records for youngest superGMs since 1950? (or 1970 or whenever FIDE started rating people. or basically after 2700s after Fischer)

On Wiki, we have the List of youngest grandmasters since 1950. What about superGMs (defined anyone who has reached 2700+ peak FIDE standard) instead of GMs: where can I find a list for the youngest to ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Are all female grandmasters alive (as of the date of this post, 2021Sep01)?

Really female GMs and not WGMs. I notice here there's a 'deceased' list for female IMs but none for female GMs. Is it really the case that there are only 38 females awarded GM title in history and ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Has there ever been a consultation chess match?

Inspired by How much stronger is a team of GMs compared to a single GM? All the chess matches I'm aware of have been 1v1. There have been team competitions such as the Olympiads, but I am not sure if ...
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6 votes
1 answer
196 views

Why did the USCF stop using a "grandmaster" title in 1961?

I was somewhat surprised to learn recently that the USCF used to use a ratings-based "Grandmaster" title, which was a title above "Senior Master". It seems that this was not a ...
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10 votes
3 answers
476 views

Who was the quickest from "unrated" to GM?

What player attained the GM title in the shortest amount of time, beginning from their entry into organized (rated) chess, to the award of the title (either via attaining norms, or by direct award)? ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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List of female chess players by their peak FIDE rapid rating

Similar to these questions: 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 ...
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2 votes
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 - ...
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2 votes
1 answer
67 views

Record Swiss top tie

In a current German championship, a whopping 11 players currently have 5/6. The fact that 197 players are listed makes this a bit less remarkable, of course. Obviously, the probability p of such an ...
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
140 views

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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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
281 views

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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0 votes
1 answer
229 views

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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7 votes
2 answers
495 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 ...
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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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4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

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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0 votes
3 answers
678 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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1 vote
2 answers
285 views

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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28 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
225 views

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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13 votes
2 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
258 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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3 votes
0 answers
75 views

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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7 votes
3 answers
558 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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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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
271 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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
394 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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5 votes
1 answer
79 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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5 votes
1 answer
635 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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4 votes
2 answers
847 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 ...
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  • 353
5 votes
2 answers
361 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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3 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
141 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.
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7 votes
4 answers
733 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
53 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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1 vote
1 answer
114 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. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
140 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?
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4 votes
1 answer
119 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
347 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
568 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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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)...
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10 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
693 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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1 vote
2 answers
699 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 ...
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