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Chess

The Chess Game, a game of myriad strategies and techniques allows players to pit their skills against each other. History of Chess can be traced to ancient India and Persia, though subsequently the European influence too can be found. Read on to find out more on the various organizations that regulate the world chess championships.

Chess Game

Chess is a classic, abstract strategy board game for two players, which requires 32 chess pieces, or chessmen as they are popularly called and a board. The chessboard consists of 64 squares (8 rows x 8 columns), arranged in alternating colors. The game of chess has been described as both an art and science. Sometimes, a game of chess can be seen as an abstract war game or a mental martial art. Chess is played recreationally and competitively in clubs, tournaments, on-line, and by mail (correspondence chess). The number of legal positions in chess is estimated to be between 1043 and 1050.

A Chess variant is any game derived from or related to chess. The variants may be derived from the infinite possible arrangements involving the board, pieces, rules, etc. Many variants of the game are played all over the world, the most popular of these being Shogi (Japan), Xiangqi (China), Buddhi Chal (Nepal).

Chess playing machines were built since 1769. The motivation to build such machines was two-fold: To play chess for personal entertainment and to investigate chess as a means to offer some insight into human cognition. Many programs can beat grandmasters under tournament conditions, but sadly, chess has not taught anything about building machines with human-like intelligence.

Chess History

Chess is the oldest skill game in the world. Looking at the way the chessboard is set up and the studying the pieces and how they are used gives us an idea of the medieval times. Chess was played centuries ago in India, China and Persia. A thousand years ago, the names of the pieces represented the way in which people lived, including the peasants and people of higher ranks.

The origins of chess are obscure and there is no written account of the game until the seventh century. The first mention of chess is found in a Persian poem according to which the advent of the game took place in India. The game was called ‘Chaturanga’. The laws of chess and the movements of the traditional pieces have been the same since the sixth century. The changes that took place quickened the pace of the game. Chess spread to Europe when the Moors invaded Spain in the eighth century. Chess is mentioned as a popular game in Russian folk poems.

By the end of the 15th century, the modern rules for the basic moves had been adopted from Italy. Chess in Europe since that time has been almost the same as today. The current rules of chess were finalized in the early 19th century, except for the exact conditions for a draw. Europe’s biggest contribution to chess was the checkered board.

The title ‘Grandmaster’ was created by the Russian Tsar Nicholas II who first awarded it in 1914 to five players after a tournament he had funded in Saint Petersburg.

United States Chess Federation

The United States Chess Federation is the official sanctioning body for over the board tournament play in the United States and is a not- for-profit organization. The United States Chess Federation supports and promotes the game throughout the nation. The organization provides the official ratings for Over the Board, correspondence chess, and scholastic tournaments. Every member of the United States Chess Federation has a provisional rating published after the first four games and an established rating after the first twenty-five games. Statistician Arpad Elo developed the rating system in the early 1960s. Most ratings of the United States Chess Federation fall between 400 and 2600, with an average of about 1350. There are a number of experiments that suggest that learning and playing chess does, indeed, aid the mind in certain ways. The U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) chess research bibliography contains a collection of many such experimental results.

FIDE

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs, or the World Chess Federation, was founded in Paris, France on July 24, 1924. FIDE is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as responsible for the organization of chess and its championships at global and continental levels. FIDE was recognized by the IOC in June 1999 as an International Sports Federation. FIDE issues the rules of chess and the provisions pertaining to the organization of the Chess Olympiad, World Championships and all other FIDE competitions. It awards the international chess titles of Grandmaster, International Master, FIDE Master, Woman Grandmaster, Woman International Master, FIDE Woman Master, International Arbiter and other titles. Other than organising the World Chess Championship, FIDE also calculates the Elo rating of players, and periodically publishes albums of the best chess problems.

World Chess Championship

The World Chess Championship is FIDE’ s (Federation Internationale des Echecs or World Chess Federation) most popular event. Before the FIDE, there was no clearly established system of qualification tournaments. Until about 1948, the reigning world champion arranged the World Chess Championship. This continued until the titleholder died, leaving no successor. From 1948 until about 1990, the World Chess Championship was organized to run on a three-year cycle. The cycle started when the world’s best chess players were seeded into one or more inter-zonal tournaments. The players who finished with the highest scores in the inter-zonal tournaments qualified into a series of elimination matches. These matches were known as the candidates’ tournament. The player who emerged successfully from the candidates’ matches met the reigning World Chess Champion in a match for the title of World Chess Champion. In the 1990s, the World Champion title became mired in a confusing jumble of personalities, organizations, claims, and counterclaims.

The ELO rating system is a method to calculate the relative strength of chess players. Arpad Elo, a scientist and teacher developed this rating system. Elo was a seasoned master player. His biggest contribution to the chess game was the development of a statistically sound rating system that now bears his name. The United States Chess Federation adopted Professor Elo’s rating system in 1960 and FIDE adopted it in 1970. This rating system was later adopted in games like Scrabble, bowling, golf and table tennis.

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