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Old Apr 7, 2017   #1
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History of Chess
Chess is one of the oldest recorded games in human history. Despite some small rule changes that have taken place, most over hundreds of years ago, the game has remained mostly constant.

Historically, it's been argued who invented Chess, where, and at when. One of the oldest recorded games I could find was Abu-Bakr Muhammed Ben Yahya as-Suli vs Abu’l- Faraj bin al-Muzaffar bin Sa’-id al-Lajlaj which happened around 1100 years ago.

The Game, In Case You're Interested

Chess is a simulated war game. The beauty of Chess is it's about as fair as a game can get, virtually no elements of luck are present, making your skill in this individual 'sport' very consistently produce results. No bad luck, no card draws, no RNG, no bad teammates, no crappy internet connections. So if you're tired of luck, lag, or bad teammates losing you games and what to sink your teeth into something more consistent, chess is for you.

In modern times, Chess has had substantial influence on geopolitical issues. It's been said that the match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1973 truly impacted the negotiations during the cold war.

How to Play:

The object of the game is to place an inescapable attack on the opponents king. Placing a unit in a square that then attacks the king, the king is said to be in "Check".

On the opponent's next ply (half turn), he must use his turn to escape check. He escapes check by either:

1) Moving a piece in between the King and Check
2) Moving the king out of the line of fire of the check
3) Capturing the piece that put the King in Check.

It is illegal to make a move that exposes your king. For instance, if your Knight was in between your king and your opponent's bishop, moving the knight would be illegal as it exposes your king. Either the bishop needs to be moved, the bishop needs to be captured, an additional piece needs to be placed in between the king and the knight, or the king needs to move in order for that knight to legally move.

The game can end in 3 ways:

1) Checkmate, an opponent places the king into an attack that cannot legally be avoided.

2) Draw

a) Insufficient material. If neither player has enough material to legally checkmate, it's a draw. Example, if both players only had a king left, then neither one of you could force a checkmate.

b) Stalemate. If the player who's turn it is to move has no legal moves but IS NOT in check, the game is said to be a stalemate. This is scored as a draw. It does not matter if one player has substantially more material than the other (Say, a Queen, Two Rooks, and a Bishop vs. a King), if the player legally cannot make a move, but isn't in check, this is considered a draw.

c) Time vs. Insufficient Material. In most games of Chess, both players have a specific amount of time that they are allowed to use to play games. For example, a Blitz game may allow for 3 minutes total for each player to use as time to consider and make their moves. If the player who has sufficient material to win runs out of time AND the player with remaining time on the clock cannot win as they have insufficient material, it's scored as a draw.

3) Win on time "Flagging". If a player runs out of time, they lose. Provided they don't meet the exception posted above.

An Example

How Do the Pieces Move?

Here you can find a good resource to learn how pieces move:

How They Move

Special Moves:

There are two special moves in particular added in Chess, that are legal, and are a tad counter-intuitive. Here are the rules.

Special Moves

Basic Strategy

Okay, you know how the pieces move. How do I PLAY though?

The game can be broken down into three phases:
1) Opening Phase
2) Middle Game
3) End Game

Opening Phase: The goal at this time for each player is to rapidly develop their pieces. Each move should either aid to allow for the pieces which are stuck on the back rank to get into the action and fight. The most common moves are e4 and d4, as in, moving the pawn in front of the king or queen respectively. This fights for the center of the board, and allows for the pieces such as the bishop to escape.

Openings are largely a matter of taste. The two types of openings are Attacks and Defenses. Because White moves first, at the highest level of play (Read: after many many years of playing) white has an advantage. Thus, white's moves combine to form an "Attack" and black, going second, forms an appropriate "Defence"

The two most differing in flavors of openings are Traditional and Modern. Both are completely fine, both are played at the highest level of play. Traditional openings look to occupy the center of the board, whereas modern openings look to attack the center of the board.

The Centre of the Board

E4, E5, D4, and D5 make up the center four most squares of the 64 squared board. The reason we talk so much about the center of the board, is because owning the center gives the most mobility to your pieces. Logically, if your piece can move around more, it's a more useful and active piece than if it's stuck behind a bunch of pawns. Take a Knight for example.

A knight on E4 could move to the following squares legally: C3, C5, D6, D2, F6, F2, G5, and G3. So a knight on E4 has 8 legal moves.

Pretend a knight were instead on H1. The knight then could legally move to: G3 and F2. Two legal moves. This knight really is only 25% as useful as it could be.

Phase 2: The Middle Game

The middle game is loosely defined as the time at which both players have adequately moved all their pieces. In Yasser Seirwan's terms, a player has finished developing when:
a) The king is castled
b) All pieces other than the rooks are off the back rank
c) The rooks now can attack themselves (they are connected)

In the middle game, you'll look to fight for some sort of advantage. Maybe you want to secure specific squares (such as all the Dark Squares), perhaps you want to secure a certain side of the board (such as the opponent's King side). This is the meat and potatoes of chess. Once one player has some sort of true tangible advantage, such as having more material (Knights, Bishops, Queens, etc.), they usually push to either:

a) Trade material - If you have one more rook than your opponent does, perhaps you want to trade pieces. You'll look for times when you can trade his bishop for your bishop, his knight for your knight, etc. etc. In doing so successfully, you'll have a very easy to win end game where you have a Rook and some pawns, and he only has pawns.

b) Check mate - Perhaps you have too many attackers in the vicinity of his king than he can stop. In which case, usually sacrificing material to cause an indefensible hole in his King's Defence is the way to go.

Phase 3: End Game

This is defined as the time where the King is most active. Usually, you want to bring your king to the center of the board, as he's very useful in snatching up Pawns. Since pawns can turn into queens if they reach the end of the board, usually the player with a pawn promoting to a queen will easily win the game.


Now you know how to play, where can I play?

I recommend The reason is they have great tools such as tactic trainers to help you get better. is also widely used.

You can also play over the board chess and have an official rating. Who knows? Maybe you'll qualify to one day be a Grandmaster. I'm a USCF (United States Chess Federation) player myself, so I compete over the board at official USCF events to obtain higher rating.

Have fun

If you have questions, post here, if you want to leave your username to a website, post here. If you wanna talk chess, post here.

Link for Chess Tactics Post:

Users that Play

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I sacrificed my firstborn for this great human being to join (M) ~R

Last edited by Bodhisattva; Apr 7, 2017 at 07:04 PM..
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