Chess - History Print
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Tuesday, 02 January 2007 06:07

Chess - History

Hand on chess board  Chess - History The earliest chess pieces excavated by archaeologists date back to 3000BC

Chess is believed to have originated in ancient India, with the earliest pieces excavated by archaeologists dating back to 3000BC, although a competing theory traces the game back to China.

The game gradually spread west through the Muslim world, reaching Europe by the 10th century. There were many different variations, so players had to make a gentleman's agreement on the rules before a match could start.

By the end of the 15th century, the modern rules were almost all in place after the Europeans extended the power of the queen and the bishop. The list of unofficial world champions goes back to this time, as there was usually one player regarded as the best (or at least the most famous) in the world, with the title passing from champion to challenger.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE - after the French language Federation Internationale des Echecs) was founded in Paris in 1924 and formalised the world championship in 1946 where Mikhail Botvinnik was the first official world champion. In 1993, FIDE organised the first knockout world championship, replacing the old challenge system.

FIDE was recognised by the International Olympic Committee in June 1999. Chess is making its Asian Games debut at Doha 2006.