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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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
6k views

What's the highest rating any computer has ever attained?

Along with that, I'd like to know what the highest rating of any human has ever been - including historical estimates.
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21 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the origin of this breakthrough combination?

If you've spent enough time in the world of chess, it's not unlikely that you've come across the following position, with white to move and win, or an essentially identical one. You'll see plenty of ...
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18 votes
1 answer
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What are the origins of the words 'zwischenzug' and 'zugzwang'?

I've heard chess analysts use the words Zugzwang (being forced to make a bad move) and Zwischenzug (making an intermediate move which improves the outcome of the next move) in commentary. Does anyone ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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Does Boris Gelfand share his surname with a chess piece?

Boris Gelfand was just narrowly edged out by Anand in their match's rapid tiebreaks, and I thought I'd ask an oddball question related to him. The bishop chess piece is known by several different ...
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25 votes
4 answers
3k views

Deep Blue vs Kasparov - Aftermath

Evaluating 200M positions per second and having a search tree of 20+ moves might not be enough to beat a World Champion if a computer searches in the wrong direction or if it's evaluating positions a ...
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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 ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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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?
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25 votes
8 answers
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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 ...
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  • 539
15 votes
4 answers
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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?
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28 votes
1 answer
2k views

What openings typify 21st century chess?

What openings are particularly typical of 21st century chess so far? To be more clear, which openings are particularly popular in the 21st century relative to the 20th century? For example, certain ...
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21 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why was 50 chosen for the 50-move rule?

The reason for the 50-move rule, along with the triple-repetition rule is to make chess definitely finite. How did one arrive at the number 50? What would change if it was 40 or 60? Is the number 50 ...
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22 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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18 votes
5 answers
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Is Chaturanga/Shatranj an early form of chess or is this altogether different?

I had heard from someone that Chess evolved from Chaturanga then Shatranj. Are there any pointers towards this? I would like to know counter arguments as well, if any.
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