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History of Chess
B. Shaturanga
• Invented around A.D. 600 in
northern India
• Infantry - 4 pawns
• Boatmen - a ship which could
move 2 squares diagonally but
could jump over intervening pieces
• Cavalry - like a knight
• Elephant - rook
• Rajah - king
• 4 players - 2 allied loosely against
the other 2
• use of dice decided who went when
B. Shatranj
• Gambling was forbidden in India
,so they got rid of the dice and did
other changes
• by 650 AD the game had reached
the Arab kingdoms
– became a 2 player game
– 2 Rajahs were demoted to Prime
– moves of the elephant and the
ships were swapped
– resulting game was called Shatranj
B. Shatranj (continued)
• Theories on how Shatranj was
brought to Europe
– 1. Charlemagne & the
Empress Irene of the Byzantine
court were contemplating
marriage and Charlemagne
was given a Shatranj set for a
present (but queen had too
much power) so he called the
wedding off!
– 2. Knights of the Cross
obtained the game from Arab
lands during the Crusades (the
court of Saladdin held Shatranj
in high esteem)
C. Other forms of Chess

Chinese Chess or Japanese Chess or Shogi

Sittuyin or Burmese Chess

Cambodian Chess
Korean Chess
D. European Chess
D. European Chess (continued)
• Chess was believed to
reach Spain by the
11th century
• Chess in the form it is
today appeared in
Southern Europe at the
end of the 15th
D. European Chess (continued)
• Change in rules
– 2 square pawn advance
– capturing en passant
– castling
– king remained
– pawns remained foot
– elephant became the bishop
– chariot became the rook
Henry VIII Chess Set – queen became the most
powerful piece
E. Other Chess Sets


(1) American Civil War

3 (2) Gothic
(3) Sherlock Holmes
(4) Viking Raiders
(5) Roman