Chess Game in India



Chess is a board game played by two players, with one player having 16 black or dark color chess pieces and the other player having 16 white or light color chess pieces. The chess pieces have individual identities and can move only in a specified way. The ultimate objective of the game is to capture the opponent's king and with this the game ends. The game of chess has its origins in India. By and large it is believed chess appeared in India around 600 A.D., and it was adopted in Persia around 700 A.D., and by Arab culture around 800 A.D. The Arab influence was responsible for its later introduction into other cultures. Several interesting legends abound this fascinating game. One of the legend states that the wife of King Ravana invented the game 4000-5000 years ago. There is also a reference in the Bhavishya Purana about the game. Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, mentions the game of Chaturanga played between the two opposite sides of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The age when epic Mahabharata was written is dated around 800 BC to 1000 BC.

Thus this game was known in India nearly 3000 years ago. H. J. R. Murry, in his work titled A History of Chess, has concluded that chess is a descendant of an Indian game played in the 7th century AD. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that we find the best authorities agreeing that chess existed in India before it was known to have been played anywhere else. Around 8th century the game was carried to Spain and from there it spread to the rest of the world.

The countries enthusiastically lapped up the game, however, variations occurred in the names of the chess pieces. The elephants became archers in Spain, Standard-Bearers in Italy, couriers in Germany, court jesters in France, and BSs in Portugal, England, Ireland and Iceland.

Presently the game of chess is played by enthusiasts of all ages – all around the globe. It is not only the game that fascinates people, but also the chessboards and chess pieces of various materials and designs that charm people. Marble chess sets, themed chess sets, wooden chess sets, antique chess sets and many more are cherished by players and collectors alike. India being the home of chess is especially adept in the art of making special chess boards and chess pieces.

In the ancient times, the royal game was played by the Kings and Emperors using exquisite and precious chessboards and chess pieces. The craftsmen of today have inherited the skills from the yester years and even today they are crafting chessboards that are unparallel in beauty and perfection.

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