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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269 views

Who is the youngest player to defeat a reigning World Chess Champion in a classical chess game?

A simple web search doesn't seem to readily give the answer to this question. Who is the youngest player to defeat a reigning World Chess Champion in a classical chess game?
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Games won by the stalemated player?

Here is a quote from Davidson's "A short history of chess" (Link), chapter 8, which I used in an answer to an earlier question. [...] In Italy, however, from the very beginning, players ...
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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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Unknown old FIDE players

I am interested in the History of chess and looking at old FIDE ranking lists I am a bit puzzled by the lack of information about some very good players. For instance, in the list of July 1972: ...
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Benko's three-mover that stumped Fischer

In Christian Hesse's book The Joy of Chess one reads about a mate-in-3 problem composed by Pál Benkö that stumped Bobby Fischer. Hesse gives the following diagram: [FEN "8/8/8/4k3/8/8/8/2BQKB2 w - - ...
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Is there a good book on the 1927 Capablanca-Alekhine world championship match?

To disambiguate what I mean by the shorthand "good" in the question's title: Is there an English-language book that tells the story of the 1927 world championship match between Capablanca and ...
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1answer
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What's the history behind stalemate not being a win? [duplicate]

If your opponent eliminates all your options to move, you don't lose in chess, but is regarded an equal to your opponent. Isn't this peculiar? In most games and in real life hunt and war it is a ...
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What is the origin of descriptive notation?

Algebraic Notation is the modern standard for recording chess games. It is easily human-readable, yet it can be parsed by computers without difficulty. Descriptive notation predates algebraic ...
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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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852 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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Puzzling phrases

While reading about Paul Morphy's games I have come across several instances of phrases like "playing his fellow townsmen at odds of Knight or Rook" or "he extended his offer of Pawn and move to any ...
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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 ...
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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 Bretano's Chess ...
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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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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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Why do grandmasters wear suits at tournaments?

Whenever I see photos of professional chess games, the players are always dressed impeccably and it's uncommon to see someone even missing a jacket. Maybe this is a dumb question, but I don't ...
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How would Chess have been played in England in 1450-1600?

I'm trying to reconstruct how Chess would have been played at various points in history in England, specifically at three points: around 1450, 1530, and 1610. What rules would have been used at these ...
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1answer
276 views

When did the light-on-the-right convention ascend to dominance?

I came upon the following wonderful painting by Sofonisba Anguissola, ‘The first great woman artist of the renaissance,’ of her sisters playing chess (painted 1555). The painting is truly sublime. ...
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Why is the FIDE name in French?

I noticed that FIDE stands for " Fédération Internationale des Échecs". Shouldn't it be in English as 'World Chess Federation'? I noticed, though unrelated, that it is the same for SI Units (System ...
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Why was the founder of chess killed?

I have heard from many a story in which a man who introduced the game of chess was hanged or killed by his king. What was the actual story and the the reason for killing the founder of chess?
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How close was Seirawan to challenging Kasparov?

Growing up in the '80's in the Pacific Northwest (USA), my chess hero naturally was Yasser Seirawan. He was the first top-class GM to emerge from the USA since Fischer and our country's best hope to ...
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Did predecessors of modern chess use dice to determine which piece to move?

According to the Wikipedia article of Magic: The Gathering, creator Dr. Richard Garfield has compared the evolution of the game from luck to skill as being similar to that of chess. According to Dr....
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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?
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The Historical Comparison of Players

Arpad Elo described (chess life 1962) his ratings as "the measurement of the position of a cork bobbing up and down on the surface of agitated water with a yard stick tied to a rope and which ...
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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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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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What was the first chess-playing automaton?

One well-known automaton is The Turk. What is the first one and when was it constructed, including fake ones? [1]:
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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 ...
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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.
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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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What happened to the WCC?

Just found this rating list below while looking for other items. I vaguely remember hearing about WCC. What happened to them? All I find now for WCC is 'world chess championship'. Apparently they both ...
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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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696 views

Who were the first GMs, and how did they become GMs?

In order to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, a player must achieve three Grandmaster norms. This is not the place to go into detail about what those are; the pertinent point is that norms can ...
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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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Who did Kasparov call a talented amateur?

I heard that Kasparov called some strong player a talented amateur? Who was that? Thanks.
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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?
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How was the FIDE rating system introduced?

I am looking for a historical summary on how the first Elo ratings came about. Apparently in the first official rating list from 1971 there are already ratings in the range of 2200 to 2760. What are ...
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Who was A. Karu? (played Paul Keres)

The first game in Paul Keres' book "The Complete Games of Paul Keres" is a correspondence game against "A. Karu" who is otherwise unidentified. I could find no entry for him in Chess Personalia by ...
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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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442 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 ...
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When was the term 'Super Grandmaster' first used?

According to the following wiki link, The unofficial title, "Super Grandmaster", is often used by players to refer to those with a 2700+ rating to distinguish the most serious world ...
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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 ...
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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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Historical origin of the queen as a chess piece

As far as I know, chess was introduced at Europe from Arabia by a Spanish king: Alfonso X. I recently read an article in Spanish press saying the queen was also introduced as a piece in Spain. The ...
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What is Indian Castling exactly?

Western castling doesn’t exist in historical Indian Chess (Chaturanga). Instead, in some versions, there is a cool move whereby each king can once in the game make a knight's move. I read that it is ...
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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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Has any other Grandmaster gone as long undefeated as 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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1answer
718 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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Women in Chess - First women-only event.

What was the first women-only event held in Chess history?
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How did classic masters like Alekhine and Anderson practice tactics?

How did classic masters like Alekhine an Anderson practice tactics? Surely there was no chess.com or chesstempo at that time. How did the masters back then manage to increase their tactical awareness?