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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Was Paul Morphy a slow player?

In Milan Vidmar's book Goldene Schachzeiten he writes that the brilliant Paul Morphy was known to be an extraordinarily slow player, who would probably have had a hard life if time control were part ...
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5 votes
1 answer
271 views

What happened to Alexander Alekhine's family?

Alexander Alekhine, the former World Chess Champion, came from a notable family in Russia. His father, Alexander Ivanovich, was apparently Privy Councilor to the Duma and a Marshal of the Nobility. ...
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5 votes
6 answers
361 views

Amazing chess feats while in altered states of consciousness

This might seem an odd question, however out of personal curiousity, are there any documented accounts of amazing feats by players while in an altered state of consciousness? What I'm looking for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
246 views

Bobby Fischer and the U.S

Why did Bobby Fischer despise the U.S and why did he get exiled? Wasn't he America's hero at one point? I'm a big fan of his games.
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29 votes
2 answers
5k views

Was there ever a time when the goal in chess was to capture the king?

The modern rules of chess, except for the stalemating being a draw, are basically equivalent to a game in which the goal is just to capture the king, not checkmate him. It's plausible that in the ...
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  • 641
7 votes
3 answers
587 views

Kasparov quote reference

Kasparov apparently said: By strictly observing Botvinnik's rule regarding the thorough analysis of one's own games, with the years I have come to realize that this provides the foundation for ...
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12 votes
2 answers
401 views

Source of this chess problem?

[FEN "8/8/8/6pp/6pk/R7/6KP/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Rh3+ gxh3+ 2. Kf3 g4+ 3. Kf4 g3 4. hxg3# 1-0 What is the source of this simple chess problem (White to mate in four) which somebody showed me at a chess ...
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1 vote
1 answer
115 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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5 votes
2 answers
113 views

What is the history of the FICS mutual game history command>

On FICS, I remember there was a command to see your mutual game history with a given user. But I can't find it now. Can you name it?
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31 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
504 views

Where does the word 'gambit' come from?

According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, a gambit is a chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position. But I was wondering, why do we ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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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6 votes
2 answers
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Examples of hidden gems

For the moment, I have a hard time finding time for chess due to studies, so for the time being, chess has to be a purely recreational activity for me. What I'm looking for are examples of beutiful ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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How does the "French Defense, Winawer Variation, Fingerslip Variation" get its name?

Why is this particular iteration of the "French Defense, Winawer Variation" called the "Fingerslip Variation"? [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. ...
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1 vote
4 answers
186 views

The exsistence of IBM’s Deep Blue

How would IBM’s Deep Blue fair against modern day champions like Carlsen? Was it decommissioned after Kasparov's game?
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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could you estimate Napoleon's (or other historic persons) Elo on the base of his known games?

I wonder if there is a possibility to calculate/estimate the Elo rating Napoleon would have today by analysing his known games? Is it possible at all to calculate an Elo rating only with some ...
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4 votes
2 answers
261 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 ...
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8 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why are there 64 squares on a chessboard?

My question is, why not 36, 49, 81 or some other square number? Do any historical sources point to how and why chess came to be played on 64 squares in particular? Has it always been so?
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5 votes
2 answers
265 views

Professional match where neither player castles?

Are there any professional matches from serious players where neither player castles during the course of the game?
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9 votes
5 answers
4k 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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9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
253 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
355 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
573 views

Elo rating of the best player from the 19th century, if he played today?

Take the best player from the 19th century, at his prime, and imagine he started playing tournaments today. He can't learn new stuff. What Elo would he achieve?
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4 votes
1 answer
245 views

Complete game Szabo-Groszpeter, Kecskemet 1984

I'm looking for the complete game Szabo-Groszpeter, Kecskemet 1984. The following knight endgame was reached and White won eventually with the paradoxal move Kb8!! blocking his b-pawn on b7. [fen "8/...
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  • 3,236
4 votes
3 answers
821 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
753 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"]
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  • 265
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

About Alan Turing and chess

I read Turing had some algorithm or method he could use to play chess 'against' this pen and paper algorithm assigning certain numerical values to each piece. Is this true? Is there a pen and paper ...
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7 votes
2 answers
223 views

Women in Chess - First women-only event.

What was the first women-only event held in Chess history?
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  • 1,755
1 vote
2 answers
270 views

"Chess is art" who was the first one to use this quote?

Who was the very first one to ever use the quote "Chess is art"? Like who was the first one?
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Queen with Knight capabilities

I find it interesting that the Queen can move with the same capabilities as the Rook and the Bishop, but cannot 'jump' or move like the Knight, I understand that this would overpower the queen but ...
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3 votes
1 answer
138 views

What was Verdoni's first name?

Did you know that Verdoni was known to be a chess champion in the 19th century, but what was his first name?
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  • 423
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 ...
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  • 3,186
3 votes
1 answer
495 views

Which international tournament game has the record for the longest sequence of forced moves until checkmate?

I want to know which international game has the longest sequence of forced moves until checkmate, even if the opponent resigned the game. The result should not be drawn, i.e. we should consider 50 ...
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why did Spassky play the King's Gambit?

If the King's Gambit is unsound, how could a world champion play it often?
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9 votes
1 answer
392 views

Has the Soviet movie "Grandmaster" ever been translated into English?

I am looking for audio or subtitle English translation of this 1973 movie by director Sergey Mikaelyan. Does anyone know if that is available anywhere?
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30 votes
6 answers
11k 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?
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  • 409
10 votes
3 answers
534 views

Where can I find Pauls' 1874 article on the n-queens problem?

Where can I find the following article, which concerns the n-queens problem? E. Pauls, Das Maximalproblem der Damen auf dem Schachbrete, II, Deutsche Schachzeitung. Organ f¨ur das Gesammte ...
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  • 203
7 votes
2 answers
633 views

How to interpret lifetime score

I can not understand what the following numbers mean: Gligorić had the following record against the world champions he played against: Max Euwe +2 -0 =5, Mikhail Botvinnik +2 −2 =6, Vasily ...
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1 vote
2 answers
258 views

Is there any better play than the 3-move mate?

I know how to cause a checkmate in three moves. Are there any better ones? I've been told that there is a two move one but, I have never found someone who can do it. Is it just a legend that has ...
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8 votes
2 answers
371 views

Where did this Emanuel Lasker quote come from?

In the book by the late master Irving Chernev "The Chess Companion" he gives a list of chess quotes. My favourite one was: "The student can learn more in ten hours of properly tutored instruction ...
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4 votes
10 answers
2k views

What are some chess songs? [closed]

What are some songs about chess? Historical songs; pop songs; singalong songs, hymns, anthems; whatever you can find.
5 votes
2 answers
566 views

Which rule was recently introduced/modified in chess officially?

Chess has lot of interesting rules such as castling, en passant, 50 move rule, stalemate, etc. I am interested in knowing the history behind the introduction of chess rules. Can anybody explain ...
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11 votes
7 answers
1k views

What chess *scoring* alternatives exist?

Chess (often being classified as a sport) stands almost alone among sports in that its results are of a strictly ternary nature that is not quantified any further: The only possible outcomes are a win,...
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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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
843 views

Earliest text which mentions the pawn promotion rule

My question is about the history of the pawn promotion rule (promotion to a queen). What is the earliest existing text (authentic written document in any language) which mentions the pawn ...
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5 votes
1 answer
734 views

How did the Grand Prix Attack get its name?

The moves 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 characterize the Grand Prix Attack in the Sicilian defense. [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 ...
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  • 9,225
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 -...
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  • 9,225
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Which 20th century grandmster had the highest draw percentage in their career?

The title says it all. I am looking to learn and adopt a play style which does not necessarily win, but is typified as being incredibly difficult to actually win against, hence why I wish to know who ...
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  • 645
4 votes
2 answers
431 views

Has the success of computers reduced the stature of chess as an 'intellectual' sport/game? [closed]

As human beings, we know that there are different aspects of intelligence. Often, innovation and creativity are considered to be higher levels of intelligence, whereas the ability to calculate is ...
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