Sample Essay on The History of Chess

The History of Chess


Early history of chess

Chess is a game believed to have originated from India in the 6th century during the reign of Gupta Empire (Yalom, 2004). Chess was formally known as “chaturanga”, a word that was used to identify the Gupta military units (Newborn, & Newborn, 2008). The military units were later identified as pawn, knight, bishop, and queen; the names that have been retained in chess game to date. In 600 AD, Chess game was introduced in Persian education system with the belief that it would help strengthen individual knowledge and skills (Davidson, 2012).

Researchers believe that the invention of chess game took place 800 years ago with the focus to make King Shih ram understand the roles of all members of the kingdom without classifying individuals based on their capacities (Newborn, & Newborn, 2008). The main intention during the invention was to convince the king of Gupta Empire that queen, ministers, and casual workers in the kingdom play important roles and their efforts in running the kingdom can be demonstrated through real life experiences.


Development of Chess

Chess was initially played by the Persians, but later spread to other parts of the world mainly through Egyptian paintings(Yalom, 2004). From the Egyptian paintings and arts, Europeans became interested in the game and through information sharing between Europe and Arab Nations, European travelers found grounds to modernize the game and make it even better.

Reasons for inventing chess

Chess was invented as an alternative game that could be used to entertain the king and rich members of the kingdom. Besides the entertainment, game makers believed that chess could be used to improve king’s creativity, relationship with members of the society, and also predicted the king’s ability to winwars against enemies (Eales, 2005).

The popularity of chess

Chess spread through the interaction of travelers, mainly from Europe, Egypt, India, and Persia. Extensive spread and development took place in the continent of Europe around 15thcentury even though there was rising opposition from the church and other religions (Newborn, & Newborn, 2008).

Currently, AGON is the company charged with promoting chess around the world. The company makes chess famous by organizing world-class cycles of competition that attract people of different social classes from across the world (Davidson, 2012). In addition to the competitions, the company uses social media platforms to create awareness and enhance popularity. 

Thepresentdevelopment of chess

Today, chess is played in most countries with American stores opening their doors for competition (Eales, 2005).For example, Chinese have their chessboards on 9*8 square edges instead of the original 9*9 design(Gobet, 2006); schools engage in playing chess game to promote students’ level of reasoning and quick learning skills. It is true from the investigation that Chess was originally linked to army formations between 800 and 1000AD. However, the specific changes and improvements in the game has improved its value among intellectuals, noble citizens and individuals in higher social classes(Yalom, 2004).

In Europe, the movement of pawns and bishops changed the format of chess game. The pawns and bishop rules changed in the 19th century and were ratified by Federation International des Echecs (FIDE), a governing body that presided over games in 1924. Through the regulation imposed on players by FIDE, chess is currently organized into Olympic sportsjust like other games after every 2 years.

Chess has now been modernized, particularly among the youths in Europe and the US with introduction of several queens following the promotion of pawn (Newborn, & Newborn, 2008). Two male pieces were used for playing, but in the current developed world, a queen is used to give support to the monarch.



Chess is a game played by two individuals on a board comprising of sixteen pieces that have distinct rules to their movement. Its main aim is to conquer the opponent’s king (Davidson, 2012), a demonstration of a fallen kingdom. Even though the origin of the game remains unknown, it is believed to have developed from India, spread to Persia and later became famous in other Muslim countries. The elements of the game comprise the pawn, knight, bishop, and queen that are all essential for skill matching (Eales, 2005).

Scholars like Marilyn Yalom, who work at Stanford University (Yalom, 2004), have provided different theories regarding the spread and development of chess. In their studies, the scholars agree that chess was sourced from the Asian continent and later spread to other parts of the world including Europe and Africa.



With the invention of chess (Gobet, 2006), people have developed interests to master the concepts of the game. The awareness created by the world chess governing body and the promotion efforts of affiliated companies attract large participants during the Olympics. In addition to entertainment, chess game is used to sharpen individual skills, knowledge and capacity to make prompt and accurate decisions (Newborn, M., & Newborn, 2008). Based on the discussions made in this paper, it is necessary that more research be conducted to shed light on the invention of chess as a game in order to improve people’s understanding.


Davidson, H. A. (2012). A short history of chess. Three Rivers Press.

Eales, R. G. (2005) (Eds.). Chess: The history of a game. BT Batsford Limited.

Gobet, F. (2006). Expertise in chess.New York, Inc.

Newborn, M., & Newborn, M. (2008). Kasparov vs. Deep Blue: Computer chess comes of age. Springer-Verlag: New York, Inc.

Yalom, M. (2004). Birth of the chess queen: A history. Pandora.