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The story of the origins of chess

Views: 136     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-05-09      Origin: Site

Pablo Neruda famously said: What is chess? Chess is a testimony to human self-transcendence. For some, chess is music, for others, it's an answer; to me, chess is a poem, a poem of fighting passion, intelligence, and willpower.

Whenever we are deeply moved by the incomparable inner charm of chess and cannot help thinking about the profound philosophy contained in it, we always ask a question - where did chess originate? Since its inception, chess has existed for many centuries, conquering old and new continents, and it has connected the whole world.


According to historical legends, chess originated in ancient India, and the earliest records appearing in documents so far were written in Persian during the Sassanid Dynasty. It is said that a Hindu guru saw the king's conceit and decided to teach him a lesson. He recommended a game to the king that was unknown at the time. At that time, the king was surrounded by a group of ministers all day long. He was bored and needed to play games to relieve his depressed mood.

The king quickly developed a strong interest in this novel game. In addition to being happy, he asked the master what reward he needed as a reward for his loyalty. The master said, "Please put 1 grain of wheat on the first square of the chessboard, 2 grains on the second square, 4 grains on the third square, and 8 grains on the fourth square... The number of grains placed in the next grid must be a multiple of the number of grains in the previous grid, until the 64th grid of the last grid is filled, so I am very satisfied.

"Okay!" The king waved his hand and generously agreed to the master's humble request.

However, when the wheat was ripe, the king discovered that, according to the agreement with the master, the wheat in all India was not even half the number of squares on the chessboard. The number of grains that the master asked for was actually astronomical.


Other legends about the origin of chess, we can still find through some channels today. In the Persian novel Kamanek, which appeared around 600 AD, the ancient Indian poet Bona (600-650 AD) wrote about the reign of King Hassa (606-648 AD) in his poems The Karnani kingdom of , there was a verse of this scene:

There is no turbulence of war, except for bee colonies to gather honey and build nests, no holy spirit stumps and limbs, except for psalms that are edited and trimmed, and no sergeants charge into battle to attack cities and fortresses, need all the suffering of the world to eliminate the rumbling of cannons, the 64-square decisive victory is now.

Rumors and anecdotes about chess are scattered among the Arab historians Masoodi (10th century AD), Biruni (970-1038 AD), Ibn Khaliqan (1211-1282 AD), famous The Persian poet Fudus (10th century AD)'s "The Imperial Family" and the great medieval Italian poet Dante's "Paradise".


There are many historical relics related to chess and worth mentioning, among which the mosaic that is still in the presbytery of the Church of San Sorvina in Padova, Italy, is the most representative work. According to research, this church was built around 1000 AD, and this mosaic is estimated to have been made during the same period. The center of the picture symbolizes the passage of forgetful time independent of human will. The four corners of the picture are painted with four qualities that symbolize human beings: courage, perseverance, justice and prudence. Amazingly, this turned out to be represented by a real chess game. It can be clearly seen from the picture that one of the chess players is touching a chess piece with his hand to remind the other party that he is about to play chess. The appearance of the chessboard painted on it also resembles today's chess set - 8 straight lines and 8 horizontal lines , the white box is placed in the lower right corner of both sides.

Chess experts have been unable to recover this game, but one thing is obvious, that is, the person who designed this mosaic must be a master at chess. This shows that chess was very popular in Italy at that time. Although many centuries have passed, the Church of San Sorvino is still alive and fascinated by its unique charm and originality.

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