computersfor analysis, which originated in the 1970s with the first programmed chessgames on the market. Online gaming appeared in the mid 1990's.The precursors of chess originated inIndiaduring theGupta Empire,
where itsearly form in the 6th century was known as
,which translates as "four divisions (of the military)":infantry,cavalry,elephantry,andchariotry,represented by
the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook,respectively.
Chess was introduced to Persia from India and became a part of the princely or courtlyeducation of Persiannobility.
, which subsequently evolved to
,and the rules were developed further.
Players started calling "Shāh!" (
Persian for "King!") when attacking the opponent's king,
and "Shāh Māt!" (Persian for "the king is helpless" –
, but in the rest of Europe it was replaced by versions of the Persian
("king"). Thus, the game cameto be called
inRomanian;there are two theories about why this change happened:1. From the exclamation "check" or "checkmate" as it was pronounced in variouslanguages.2. From the first chessmen known of in Western Europe (exceptIberiaand Greece)being ornamental chess kings brought in as curios by Muslim traders.The Mongols call the game
, and in Ethiopia it is called
, both evidentlyderived from
.Chess spread directly from theMiddle Eastto Russia, where chess became known as
, treated as a plural).The game reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliestbeing in the 9th century. By the year 1000 it had spread throughout Europe.