Despite the technological revolution we witness at the current time, Chess remains high on the list of board games.
We’re sure it won’t come as a surprise to you to know that many schools and universities around the world have started to include chess in their syllabus.
Contrary to what some might think, chess has improved throughout history. Actually, many of its rules have changed, and today it became one of the most famous games online.
You will no longer have difficulty learning and playing Chess using your computer or smartphone. Not only that, but you can also compete online with people from all over the world.
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Where did Chess Come From?
Chess is known as the game of smart people. If we hear about someone who likes chess, we usually have the impression that he’s a genius, a thinker and a challenge lover.
Chess is essentially war-inspired, it pushes players to think strategically as if they were in a real war.
This game dates back to 1,500 years in the past. However, historians do not agree on the main origin of the game. So, it is hard to come up with an exact answer about the one who invented chess.
Some people believe that it has originated in China, while others believe that it has been started in India during the 6th or 7th century. Then it was brought to Persia.
Later on, and after the Islamic conquest of Persia, the game came to be known in the Arab countries and then the whole of Europe. Others are of the view that Prophet Sulaiman was the first to play it. It should also be noted that chess was present in different civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.
In the meantime, the latest statistics indicate that Russia, the United States, China, and India have the top chess players in the world, according to the International Chess Federation.
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Overview of Chess Rules
We won’t talk a lot about the rules of chess because it needs a lot of training and practice to be well understood.
The rules of the game might seem hard to learn in the beginning. However, it gets easier with time.
– Overall, the classic chess game, which everyone knows, consists of 32 pieces, usually in white and black. Each player selects 16 pieces of the same colour.
– The main goal is getting your competitor into trouble. In other words, you have to make him incapable of moving his own pieces.
– The pieces are placed before the match starts on the two edge lines of the chess board, leaving the space in the middle empty.
– The player with the light-coloured pieces has to move a piece first. And then they take it in turns to move their pieces.
There are 6 types of pieces:
- Rook (2 for each player)
- Knight (2 for each player)
- Bishop (2 for each player)
- Pawn (8 for each player)
You can’t move the pieces randomly. So, you have to know these simple rules about each one:
Pawn: The least powerful piece. It can initially move one or two squares. But after that, it is allowed to move one square only forward.
Knight: It moves like an “L” shape.
Bishop: Moves in a diagonal line without any restrictions regarding the number.
Rook: Can move in a horizontal or vertical direction, but definitely not diagonal.
Queen: It is the most powerful piece as it can move horizontally, vertically and even diagonally.
King: It can only move one square in any direction.
Of course, there are many additional rules, but don’t worry about that! You will get to know them when you start practising the game.
Common Strategies and Tactics of Chess
If you intend to play chess, you have to be ready for studying the game’s most important strategies and tactics.
Chess is like war and you must follow strategies and previously prepared plans to win the war. It is recommended that you apply these tactics and not play in a random way.
Let’s take this chance to explain the difference between “strategy” and “tactic”. While strategy is a general long-term goal that consists of a wide range of stages, tactics are the short-term series of actions that lead to a certain target. Accordingly, the tactic can be considered part of the strategy. Put another way, strategy is what you plan to do, and tactic is what you’re actually doing.
“Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation,” said Max Euwe, the professional Dutch chess player and one of the world champions.
Even if the strategy doesn’t make you win, it will certainly increase your chances of winning. Here are a few strategies that may help you beat your opponent.
1- Spread Out
It is best to quickly flash your pieces to the board at the beginning of the match. Actually, this will help you attack the opponent easily later on.
2- Control the Center
This is one of the most popular strategies. The four middle squares represent the center.
Why the center? Simply because it is the strongest play area and it makes it easier for the player to move his pieces without any hindrance from his opponent.
3- Pawn Chain
Although pawns are the weakest and least influential pieces, they play a major role in defence. A pawn chain is made up of pawns that are all positioned on the same line so that they can protect each other.
4- Open Lines
They are the places left empty without pawns. They can be rows or columns. This then gives a chance for the most powerful pieces such as queen, bishop and rook to move and attack in these empty lines.
5- 7th and 8th Rows
The Open Lines Strategy can be seen as a prelude to the implementation of this important strategy.
If you manage to break into the opponent’s side of the board and reach the seventh and eighth lines, then you can do a double attack to weaken your opponents’ defence force immediately.
6- Napoleon Attack
It’s almost the most famous strategy of all. The aim is to kill the king in about four steps using only the queen and the bishop.
- Move the pawn in front of the king one or two squares forward.
- After that, move the bishop three squares diagonally.
- Move the queen 2 squares to the right or left.
- Keep moving the king until you are able to attack your opponent’s pawn protecting his own king. Checkmate!! Congratulations you are the WINNER!
7- Fork (Double Attack)
You push your knight to attack not one, but two of the opponent’s pieces. So he is forced to sacrifice one piece in order to save the other and escape the knight’s violent attack.
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Benefits of Playing Chess for Your Brain
We all know that chess is a great board game that helps and improves mental abilities, but it also has other benefits that you might not know.
The following are the top 10 benefits of playing chess on regular basis:
1- Improving problem solving skills
In a study conducted in 1992, on a group of students, it has been shown that problem-solving skills can be acquired through one way and then applied to other areas of life.
While playing chess, people can develop the skill of problem-solving by thinking of ways to win the game. This same skill can help you later in real-life situations that require solving problems.
2- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
Recent studies have proven the strong correlation between chess and the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, and even memory enhancement.
This game is a mental sport that protects the brain against laziness which can usually lead to forgetting things and thus Alzheimer’s.
There’s no doubt that chess keeps the mind constantly active.
3- Better Concentration
In other studies, chess has been a great game to stimulate regions responsible for concentration in the brain. It can also contribute to raising IQ.
So it’s right! those who play chess are actually pretty smart people!
4- Improving children’s reading and arithmetic skills
Many people ask “What are the educational benefits of playing chess?”
Well…here’s the answer…
Children who play chess on a regular basis usually show proficiency in reading and arithmetic skills compared to those of the same age who do not tend to play this game.
5- Stimulating Innovation
Chess helps improve the player’s strategic thinking. This results in making him able to think creatively and bring ideas from outside the box.
6- Enhance Patience, Resilience and the Ability to Act well in Sudden Situations
A chess player has to be patient and think very well before making any move, and this is a skill many people don’t have.
With practice, people can acquire this skill while playing chess along with many others such as intuition, and the ability to expect the opponent’s move, therefore prepare for any sudden situations
7- Relieving the Symptoms of ADHD
In a 2016 study conducted on 100 school-age children with ADHD, researchers have found that including chess as a therapeutic approach, really helped in relieving the symptoms of this disorder.
The severity of the disorder had indeed decreased by 41%.
8- Learning and Acquiring the Planing Skills
After all, it’s a game of planning and strategic thinking. So there’s no wonder that it will help the player to become a better planner in his daily life.
9- Great Exercise for the Brain
Playing chess helps to develop the use of both sides of his brain over time. Thanks to this unusual brain activity, the player gains the ability to respond quickly in all life situations.
10- Boosting Self-confidence
And there’s no doubt about that…I mean, playing a game that depends totally on planning and strategic thinking will for sure develop your IQ score which will make you feel more confident about sharing your ideas and thoughts.
Ideas and thoughts that actually work, which in turn lead to a stronger feeling of self-confidence.
You will certainly like these movies and series with interesting stories based on chess mania:
- The Queen’s Gambit
- Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine
- Searching for Bobby Fischer
- Computer Chess
- Queen of Katwe
- The Dark Horse
- Bobby Fischer Against the World
- Brooklyn Castle
- Pawn Sacrifice
- The Luzhin Defence
- Life Of a King
- Dedication to Bobby Fischer
- The Seventh Seal
- Knights of the South Bronx
- The Coldest Game
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One Last Word!
At the end of the day, chess is like any other game in this world. There will be people who enjoy it and play it with a lot of passion, and others who won’t be that interested in it.
If you’re someone who likes board games and who enjoys training their mind, then chess might be the game for you.
And if you’re not into this kind of games, we recommend that you give it a try, it might become your new hobby!
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