Of Castles And Kings Chess Essay Research

Of Castles And Kings (Chess) Essay, Research Paper

Of Castles and Kings

Chess, which is believed to have originated in India, has come a long way since it s earliest record and perhaps violent history. Since it s origin, chess has undergone a few changes. One of the biggest changes in chess is the switch from classical openings to a new style referred to as hypermodern openings. Before you can understand this change, you must know about the history, rules, and strategy of chess.

There are many theories about the origination of chess. The most popular idea is that it originated from the game Chaturanga, once thought to be Chinese Checkers, but now is believed to be of Indian Origin (from India, the country). According to Eastern Legend, Chaturanga was invented by a man named Sissa. Sissa was a Brahman at the Court of King Balhait of India. King Balhait was tired of dice games that depended primarily on luck and chance, so he ordered his wise men to come up with a game that depended on a player s judgement and skill. Sissa took an eight by eight grid of sixty-four squares, which back then in India was called an Ashtapada Board, and checkered it with with colors. The pieces he used were based on the four categories of the Indian army: The elephants, the cavalry, the chariots and the infantry. He also used the King and his chief counselor. Sissa made the rules so that you have to use strategy and skill in order to win. The King was very pleased with this new game. It reduced luck and chance to a small role. He ordered that it be played in every temple as training in the art of war.

Chaturanga spread Eastward to China, and on the way over there, it was transformed into Siang K I, which is Chinese Chess. Chinese Chess is played on the points, rather than the squares. Chinese Chess traveled through Korea to Japan, where it transformed into Shogi, also known as The General s Game. Chess also traveled Westward to Persia; there it was known as Shatranj. The Moors brought the game into Spain in the eighth century, from their traders took it to Russia. It wasn t until the 15th century that Chess began to resemble the game we have now, with a Queen instead of the King s counselor and Rooks, Knights, Bishops, and Pawns instead of elephants, cavalry, chariots and infantry.

Is it possible that chess is a violent or evil game? There is a story of a game of chess between Henry I of England and Louis VI of France. Henry was beating Louis badly, and there was money riding on the results. Louis called Henry a bad name and threw the chessboard in his face. Henry grabbed the board and hit Louis on the head, cutting open his scalp. This incident was the beginning of a chain of events that caused a dozen years of war. J.H. Blackburne, a British Chess Champion, called Chess a kind of mental alcohol unless a man has supreme self-control, it is better that he should not learn to play Chess. I have never allowed my children to learn it, for I have seen too much of it s evil results. The Koran specifically puts down Chess and its graven images . In 1912, the Archbishop of Canterbury threatened British clergy with a bread and water diet if they did not give up the game (1). Chess was intended to simulate battle, not to make battle. But yet it seems to have an evil effect on human nature.

Chess isn t just used for mere entertainment purposes. It can be used to help you concentrate better, or to clear your mind. In India they use it as training for military strategists. This makes sense because Chess is like a battle, not of strength, but a battle between minds. In Venezuela they use it to raise the IQ of their youth. Frank J. Marshall, a Chess Master, says, As an aid to ease of mind, Chess is invaluable, since it takes the mind off the many little things in daily life that frequently disturb and irritate. Chess teaches patience, clear thinking and courage in contest. It also promotes good sportsmanship. No one who has learned the game ever regretted it, for its delights and rewards are endless.(1) Chess has many uses that can help you.

The rules of chess are like an outline; they are divided into categories and sub- categories. There are 16 pieces on each team, eight figure pieces and eight pawns. They are divided into two ranks. The figure pieces are arranged on the first row of the board in order: Rook (or castle), Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook. The Queen is always on her own color (White Queen on White Square), and the King is always on his opposite color. In the second rank are the pawns. Pawns are basically foot soldiers to protect the higher ranked pieces. All the pieces are divided into either the King s side or the Queen s side. If you were to draw a line in between your King and Queen you would divide your pieces in half. The pieces from the Queen to the edge of the Board are the Queen s pieces; they are called Queen s Bishop, Queen s Knight, And Queen s Rook. The pawns are labeled the same way: Queen s pawn (in front of her), the Queen s Bishop s pawn, the Queen s Knight s pawn, and the Queen s Rook s pawn. The same goes for the pieces on the King s side.

The movements of the pieces are quite easy to learn. According to Frank J. Marshall You can learn the moves in 15 minutes, in another 15 minutes, you can get the idea of the game, and you can play within the hour. (1) The King can only move one square at a time, but he can move in any direction. The Queen is the most powerful piece; she can move any direction, and any number of squares. The Rook (or castle) is the second most powerful piece. It can move in a straight line, and it can move any number of squares horizontally or vertically but not diagonally. The Bishop can move diagonally in a straight line across any number of squares. There are two Bishops, one on a white square and one on a black. The Knight moves in L-shaped jumps. It can take either two steps horizontally and one vertically, or two vertically and one horizontally. The Knight is the only piece that can jump over another piece. The pawn is the least powerful piece on the board. It can only move forward, never backwards. On the first move a pawn can move two squares, but after that it can only move one. The only time a pawn is allowed to move diagonally is to capture another piece.

Strategy in Chess is where the battle takes place, there are many styles and they fluctuate from person to person. There are some moves, however, that, in general, everyone uses. The Skewer and The Fork are two of the most basic moves. The Skewer is a form of double attack, where a second piece is attacked indirectly through another. For example, on the illustration the White Queen can move out of the way, but when she does the Black Bishop will capture the White Rook.

The Fork is an attack on two pieces at the same time. In the illustration, if the Black Queen moves to where the arrow is, both the White

King and the White Rook are threatened. White

Must move the King out of danger. When that is

Done, then The Black Queen can capture the White


The En Passant (taking in passing) and Castling are two special moves in Chess. En Passant is where a pawn that is moved two squares on its first can be captured by another pawn that would have captured it if it had only moved one square. For example, let s say that the White Queen s pawn is on its 5th square. If the Black King s pawn moves up two squares instead of only one, then it may be captured by the White pawn as if it had only moved one square. Castling is another special move in Chess. Castling is a combined move of the rook and the king. The king is moved, from his original square, two places to either side. Then the castle moves to side of the king farthest from where it came from. Castling is not allowed if: The king or rook has been moved previously, if any squares between the king and rook are occupied, if the king is in check, and if castling would cause the king to pass over a square where he would be in check (2).

Opening moves are possibly the most important part of the whole game. If your pieces do not develop well in the beginning, then it will be hard to put any kind of pressure on your opponent. The classical idea of the opening is to gain control of the center of the board. By controlling the center of the board the activity of your pieces can be increased. Having a pawn in the center of the board is also good because it helps your pieces to develop without harassment from the pawns or other pieces of the opponent, and it also makes it difficult for the opponent to find a reasonable development plan. The most popular classical opening is to move your King s pawn out two square (1.e4). This is considered the most powerful opening move in chess. When you move (1.e4) it forces your opponent to move (1.d4), because it threatens your pawn and it s queen protects it. Another classical opening is to move your Queen s pawn out two square (1.d4). These two moves both have the same effect: exchange of pawns in the center, and opening up the middle of the board (3).

According to the classic chess theory, to possess the center of the board was considered a big advantage. At the beginning of this century hypermodern players showed that this is not necessarily true. Hypermodern play is to concentrate on development and indirect control of the center. One of the better-known hypermodern moves is the English opening, (1.c4), and also the development of the King s knight, (1.Nf3). In hypermodern openings the center pawns are kept back so that you can move them out later on in the game, possibly to attack the opponent s center position (4).

Are hypermodern openings better than classical? The feeling of most chess players is: classical openings give the best opening move for the white player. There are, however, some good things that hypermodern openings do. Because exchanging pawns in hypermodern openings is rare, it takes emphasis off the opening moves and transfers it to the middlegame. The middlegame becomes, strategically, the key aspect of the match. This is good if you understand the concept of positioning.

Chess may be easy to learn, but it is challenging to master. It is a fun game that requires you to think. I think that chess it may be a kind of hop-up part for your mind. It can help you to take your mind off things, and also raise your IQ. I m not sure if chess is evil or not, some people seem to think so. Hopefully you learned something from this report that you didn t already know.


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