Christian & Muslim Playing Chess

Christian & Muslim Playing Chess

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History of chess

The history of chess goes back almost 1500 years. The game originated in northern India in the 6th century AD and spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently, through the Moorish conquest of Spain, spread to Southern Europe. [1] [2] But in early Russia, the game came directly from the Khanates (muslim territories) to the south. [3]

In Europe, the moves of the pieces changed in the 15th century. The modern game starts with these changes. In the second half of the 19th century, modern tournament play began. Chess clocks were first used in 1883, and the first world chess championship was held in 1886. The 20th century saw advances in chess theory, and the establishment of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). [4] Chess engines (programs that play chess), and chess data bases became important.

History Of Chess

The history of chess is as interesting as the game itself!

Chess had its roots way back in the 6th century AD (1500 years ago) It was originated in northern India during The Gupta Empire where it was known as 'chaturaṅga'

The name 'chaturaṅga' is inspired by the four branches of the army:

Chatur - four | Anga - divisions

The four divisions being infantry, cavalry, elephantry, and chariotry, represented by the chess pieces - pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively.

After India, chess quickly spread to Persia where it was known as Chatrang.

When Arabs, conquered Persia during the 7th century, the Muslims popularized chess by the name of ‘shatranj’ (which some people still call & remember chess by)

Fun Fact: Chatrang was renamed as Shatranj in Arab Muslims due to their lack of “ch” and ”ng” native voice.

In Persia, the king was called as ‘shāh’ that’s why players started to say ‘shāh’ when they attacked their opponent’s king and ‘Shāh māt’ when the opponent’s king couldn’t escape from the check! Today, these terms are evolved to check & checkmate respectively!

In the 9th century, chess made its way to Europe as a result of the Arab expansion where chess experienced its initial growth!

NOW, it’s time to learn about the evolution of chess -

Evolution to The Romantic Era

During the late 15th century, a new style of playing chess - Romantic Chess became popular, the period is known as “the romantic era of chess” up to the 1880s.

Chess Games played in this era, were focused more on quick, tactical maneuvers & sacrifices rather than long-term strategic planning!

The biggest changes in chess were introduced in the middle of the 14th and 15th century -

Chess Clocks was introduced to the world in 1883.

In 1886, the first official world championship was hosted, where Wilhelm Steinitz became the first official world chess champion by defeating Johannes Zukertort.

Wilhelm Steinitz is also known as “The Father Of Modern Chess”

He introduced a more positional style of chess, focusing on pawn structure, active bishop pair & the knight outposts plus more…

His dedication & valuable contributions inspired the world to come forward and experience the magic of chess!

The Modern Era

The Modern Era revolutionized the world of chess! Many amazing inventions were introduced like - chess engines, databases & more…

First things first, chess was growing exponentially, an international organization was needed to be established. So,

Next, machines are here to win:

On 10 Feb 1996, Deep Blue developed by IBM, shocked the world by defeating the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov under standard chess tournament time controls.

It was a breathtaking moment for all chess fans.

Since then, many powerful chess engines like Stockfish & Fritz are launched publicly for the welfare of chess! Chess Databases also started gaining popularity among players!

The 21st century emerged with new technologies in chess, like - SquareOffNow, online chess websites, app & more.

Today, chess has reached an amazing level, you can play chess online, challenge the computers, analyze your games & positions, and whatnot.

It’s so fascinating, how an ancient game not only survived but has also become the most popular board game in the world!

Though becoming immensely popular, it’s a shame that very few people know how chess was invented? AND, who invented chess?

Chess in the Far East

Around 800 CE, Buddhist missionaries from India spread chess to China. In China, the board was organized in a rectangle, 9-by-10 squares instead of 8-by-8. A river was added to the middle of the board, as well as two counselors on either side of the King, who was called the General. Apparently, the emperor was enraged that a piece in such a lowly game should be named after him, and had several players beheaded before “King” was changed to “General.” The counselors are comparable to European bishops. The Chinese also added two cannons in front of the knights.

From China, chess spread to Korea and from there to Japan, where it was called “Shogi,” the “Generals’ Game.” Shogi was played on a 9-by-9 board and had twenty pieces. This version also allowed captured pieces to change sides and join the game again on any empty place.

5 Answers 5

Do most amateur players play aggressively?

That's a very broad and sweeping generalization because, for a start, the vast majority of chess players are amateurs. Very, very few are professionals. Very, very few can actually make a living from chess by playing, coaching or teaching. Not even all grandmasters can make a living from chess.

Then there is the biblical saying (from Ecclesiastes / Kohelet): "There is a time and place for everything under heaven." as immortalized by Mary Hopkins. On the chessboard too there is a time for aggression, a time for quiet development, a time for prophylaxis, etc., and a good player will be aggressive when the position calls for it.

So, I suspect the answer is "No", although it is probably true that most very weak players are over-aggressive. To understand why, it's worth looking at the major factors which separate very weak players from strong players:

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Imam al-Shafi'i - Allah be well-pleased with him - who said: "It is disliked and not forbidden, for a number of the Companions played it and countless of the Tabi'in and those after them" - such as Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Muhammad ibn Sirin, Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir, 'Urwa ibn al-Zubayr and his son Hisham, Sulayman ibn Yasar, Abu Wa'il, al-Sha`bi, al-Hasan al-Basri, 'Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, Ja'far ibn Muhammad, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, Rabi'a, 'Ata'. [Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhid (13:181)]

Q: Why was chess forbidden? (Muslim vol. IV,no. 5612)

'Ali and Ibn 'Umar - Allah be well-pleased with them - detested it because of those who neglected worship due to it and because of the gambling and betting involved. The Faqih of Madina, al-Qasim ibn Muhammad - Allah be well-pleased with him - said: "All that distracts from remembrance of Allah and Salat is dice (maysar)."

Otherwise, al-Nawawi said "In our school it is makruh, not haram, and this is the position reported from a number of the Tabi'in" while al-Qurtubi said in his Tafsir, it is permitted once in a while without being disliked according to the vast majority of the Fuqaha' and despite the misleading words of Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir, "Malik, Abu Hanifa, and Ahmad stipulated that chess is haram while al-Shafi`i disliked it" and the even more misleading prohibition in the unverified editions of al-Dhahabi's al-Kaba'ir presently in circulation.

It is established that Abu Hurayra (who entered Islam in the year 7 after the Hijra) and others of the pious Salaf played chess - but not as an all-consuming activity. In the final analysis the correct position in the matter seems that of Imam al-Shafi'i - Allah be well-pleased with him - who said: "It is disliked and not forbidden, for a number of the Companions played it and countless of the Tabi'in and those after them" - such as Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Muhammad ibn Sirin, Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir, 'Urwa ibn al-Zubayr and his son Hisham, Sulayman ibn Yasar, Abu Wa'il, al-Sha`bi, al-Hasan al-Basri, 'Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, Ja'far ibn Muhammad, Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, Rabi'a, 'Ata'. [Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, al-Tamhid (13:181)] - while the Hafiz Ibn Hajar said: "There is not one firmly-established narration to prohibit chess, neither sahih nor hasan." [Fayd al-Qadir.]

Note: The hadith "Whoever plays chess and dice is as one who dipped his hand in swine's blood" is inauthentic. The correct wording does not mention chess but only dice, narrated from Burayda by Imam Muslim in his Sahih.

Origins of Chess

"Ashtapada" Sanskrit for spider -"a legendary being with eight legs" was played with dice on an 8x8 checkered board. There were no light and dark squares like we see in today's chess board for 1,000 years

Indian rules varied greatly from place to place, and as is spread Eastward the rules were altered to suit local tastes.

The game was claimed to be used to educate Persian princes. It served as a surrogate for noblity with no actual enemies to fight.

Around 700, Sa'id bin Jubair (665-714), a black African judge who lived in the Middle East, became famous for his ablity to play blindfold chess. He became the first blindfold player to turn his back on the board and play without sight of the board. Earlier blindfold players continued to feel the pieces while playing blindfold. Jubair was later condemned to death for his part in a revolt.

The Persian empire fell to the Moslems in the 7th century. Many worried chess would be banned by the "Qur'an" an Islamic law banning gambling. Chess become very popular after their theologians decided that chess playing wasn't contrary to the teachings of Mohammed. This decision took about 100 years and illustrates the curious power of a simple game. After the official decision that there was no harm in chess, the Moslems created a greatly detailed literature about it.

The design of pieces become more abstract or nonrepresentational because of Muslim pratice banning the worship of images.

Around 800 the first reference to chinese chess (xiangqi) appeared in the HUAN KWAI LU (Book of marvels). Chess was probbably introduced to China by Buddhists who traveled from India to further their religion or escape persecution.

In Chinese chess, the pieces are placed on the intersections of the lines rather than on the squares and a celestial river, akin to no man's land, was added between halves on the 9 x10 board. Their version only has five pawns to a side, but adds two cannons ahead of knights and a counselor on either side of the King.

In China, the King is called the general because once a Chinese emperor was so insulted at seeing a figure of himself in a lowly game that he had the players executed. In order to play the game without undue risk of life, Chinese players demoted the piece on the board.

The Burmese start their game with the Kingside pawns on the third rank and the Queenside pawns on the fourth rank. Before any movement begins, the major pieces are located anywhere behind the pawns according to the tactical discretion of the individual player. The moves today are identical to the original Hindu chess moves.

Through Korea chess reached Japan around 800, taking the name Shogi (the Generals Game). The game is played on a 9x9 uncheckered board with 20 pieces. There are some references that in 800 Byzantium Emperor Nicephorus and the fourth Abbasid caliph, Harun ar-Rashid (763-809) of Baghdad, conducted a chess game by correspondence. ar-Rashid is allegedly the first of his dynasty to play and sponsor chess. He granted pensions to the best chess players of his day. Under his caliphate, the golden age of shatranj began.

Interestingly, the Japanese allow captured pieces to change sides and rejoin the game against their old army at any vacant spot on the board.

The Moslems spread the game to Europe where it persisted until 14th century.

In 712 Seville, Spain was conquered by the Arabs. Moorish invaders brought chess with them and it spread throughout Iberia.

In 720 the first literary reference to chess in Arabic appeared. Charles Martel (688-741) introduced living chess around 735 with humans acting out the chess moves on a large board (10 x11).

Around 780 the Moorish invaders of Spain introduced chess to a large part of Western Europe. The abstract piece designs became more representative.

Around 820 chess was introduced in Russia through the Caspian-Volga trade route.

In 875 the famous knight's tour was reference in the Sanskrit writing, KAVYALANKARA, by Rudrata.

Around 920 the chess pieces were all given Persian names.

In 1005 al-hakim of Egypt banned chess and had all chess sets burned.

Around 1013 chess was brought to England with the Danish invasion. In 1027 Canute (980-1035), King of Denmark and England, learned to play chess while on a pilgrimage to Rome.

Around 1060 William the Conqueror was playing chess. There is a reference that he broke a chess board over the head of the Prince of France during one of their games.

The checkered board with its light and dark squares were a European invention around 1100. In 1090 the revenue department, of Normandy and England, called Eschecker and exchequer, adapted the chess board for accounting purposes, after the chess board. The board was used to calculate money owed. Boards with alternating light and dark squares were later introduced.

In 1061 Cardinal Damiaini (1020-1072) of Ostin forbade the clergy to play chess. Cardinal Damiani was later canonized.

In 1125, the first folding chess board was invented by a priest. Bishop Guy of Paris threatened to excommunicate any priest caught playing chess. One such enthusiast devised a secretive folding board - one that simply looked like two books lying together.

By 1093 chess was condemned by the eastern orthodox church.

The oldest known chess set is called the "Lewis Chessmen" dated 1120. They were an incomplete collection of 12 different sets found on the island of Lewis in the Outer Herbrides. The chessmen are of Viking origin and date from around 1150. At that time the Outer Hebrides were an important part of the Viking world and there was regular sea traffic between Lewis, Iceland and Scandinavia.

Chess may have arrived in Russia as early as the eighth century, about a hundred years before it reached Western Europe. 16th century travelers to Russia reported that people of all classes played chess there. In the rest of Europe, chess playing was the game of nobility until the 18th century. In certain parts of Russia, the modern rules didn't take hold until the 20th century.

By the 12th century, a description of knightly accomplishments lists chess along with riding, hawking, and verse writing. Chess was often played for money or other stakes. The most common form of a win during medieval play was the "bare king", where the winner captured all of his opponent's pieces, leaving the king standing alone. The relatively rare checkmate was commonly worth double stakes.

By the late Middle ages, Europeans and Moslems had started tinkering with the rules:

1) In the 13th century, the first known instance of the chessboard with it's light and

2) Europeans were frustrated with the amount of time it took to complete a game, and typically made some rule changes designed to speed things up. In the original version, the Bishop could only move two squares diagonally, but had the ability to leap over pieces in its way.

3) The Queen, at the time, was easily the weakest piece on the board, moving only one diagonal square per turn.When a pawn reached the 8th rank, it was promoted to a Queen, this was the only way to keep the pawn in the game.

Over a period of time the Bishop and Queen grew in strength to what they are nowadays. Literature of the time refer to the new game as "The Queen's Chess", or less complimentary name: "Mad Queen".

4) Given the offensive power of the Bishop and Queen, the King became too easy to capture. The answer to this problem was castling. The ability to suddenly move the King two squares increased the depth of stratagy to avoid checkmate.

5) At about the same time, the pawns were given the option to move one or two squares as their inital move. So that this move could not be used to avoid capture, the move en passant was devised.

*There have been no other alterations to the game since the 16th century.

1496 Luis de Lucena - wrote "Art of Chess". It described 11 opening stratagies and 150 problems. Bound to it was a discourse on love.

1512 - Was the first best seller. Damino's chess book was published in Italian and Spanish and reprinted with 8 editions.

Benjamin Franklin learned to play chess in Paris. His essay in 1779, "The Morals of Chess", is a source of chess etiquette, such as You must not, when you have gained a victory, use any triumphing of insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure but endeavor to console you adversary, and make him less dessatisfied with himself by every kind and civil expression, that may be used with truth such as, You understand the game better than I, but you are a little inattentive or, You play too fast.

One of the popular myths of chess was that it was invented by one person, the Brahmin, Sissa, who invented the game to teach his king that he could not win without the help of his subjects. When the king asked Sissa what reward he wanted for such a fine game, Sissa replied that he wanted one grain of wheat for the first square of the board, two for the second, four for the third, eight for the fourth, and so on to the 64th square. That number turns out to be 18,445,744,073,709,551,515 grains. The king then kills him when he realizes it is impossible to get so many grains.

Muslim-Christian Relations: Historical and Contemporary Realities

Throughout the nearly fifteen centuries of Muslim-Christian encounter, individual adherents of both traditions often have lived peaceably with each other. At the same time, Muslim expansion into Christian territories and Christian imperialism in Muslims lands have fostered fear and ill-will on both sides. Repercussions from the Crusades continue to resound in the contemporary rhetoric employed by defenders of both faiths. In recent years relations between Muslims and Christians across the globe have become increasingly polarized, fanned by anti-Islamic rhetoric and fearmongering. While a number of verses in the Qur’an call for treating Christians and Jews with respect as recipients of God’s divine message, in reality many Muslims have found it difficult not to see Christians as polytheists because of their doctrine of the Trinity. Christians, for their part, traditionally have viewed the Qur’an as fraudulent and Muhammad as an imposter. Old sectarian rivalries play out with serious consequences for minority groups, both Christian and Muslim. Conflicts in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere for much of the 20th century were often labeled as ethnic, political, or ideological perpetuations of long-standing struggles over land, power, and influence. These conflicts now tend to be labeled in accord with the specifically religious affiliation of their participants. Understanding the history of Muslim-Christian relations, as well as current political realities such as the dismantling of the political order created by European colonialism, helps give context to current “hot spots” of Muslim-Christian conflict in the world.

It is difficult to imagine a time in history at which there is greater need for serious interfaith engagement than now. We need to understand better the history of Muslim-Christian relations so as to give context to current “hot spots” of Muslim-Christian conflict in the world. It is also important to understand the ways in which members of the two communities experience each other in specific areas of the world today, including the United States, taking note of efforts currently underway to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation. The events of September 11, 2001, and the resulting American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, have led to ugly commentary reminiscent of medieval hyperbole. Right-wing evangelical rhetoric in the United States against Islam has been fueled by incidents of international terrorism involving Muslims, while the well-funded Islamophobia industry in the United States has been producing and distributing large amounts of anti-Muslim material. Since the events of September 2011, American Muslims, caught in a painful position, have decried the acts of the 9/11 terrorists and defended Islam as a religion of peace. American Muslims want to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech in expressing their objection to certain American foreign policies, at the same time that they fear the consequences of the Patriot Act and other acts they view as assaults on their civil liberties. Meanwhile other Americans are struggling to understand that the Muslims with whom they interact in businesses, schools, and neighborhoods are different from the Muslim extremists who are calling for ever more dire measures against the United States. This is the general context in which Christian-Muslim dialogue is now taking place and to which it must address itself if it is to be effective.

5 Answers 5

The International Master Gary Lane in his book about the Vienna game wrote in 2000 that this opening "has a long history and a bright future". He added

"in these days of computer databases [already 20 years ago!], opening theory has become so intense that some variations have been analyzed to move 30. It is hardly surprising that some 'forgotten' opening variations have been revived by players to looking into unknown territory, and the Vienna is a perfect arena for this."

So, if Vienna suits you, if you like the obtained positions, if you know the main theme (e.g. which pieces to swap, which promising pawn structure to get, . ) go ahead!

Here are some stats about the Vienna game compared to others openings in a Big and a Masters database. In the Big one, the Vienna game is the second choice and compared to 2.Nf3 it offers a higher risk (more losses) but also a premium (more gains). The Vienna is the 3rd choice in the Masters database with also a higher variance.


Most historians agree that the game of chess was first played in northern India during the Gupta Empire in the 6th century AD. [8] [9] This early type of chess was known as Chaturanga, a Sanskrit word for the military. The Gupta chess pieces were divided like their military into the infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots. In time, these pieces became the pawn, knight, bishop, and rook. The English words chess and check both come from the Persian word shāh meaning king. [8]

The earliest written evidence of chess is found in three romances (epic stories) written in Sassanid Persia around 600AD. The game was known as chatrang or shatranj. When Persia was taken over by Muslims (633–644) the game was spread to all parts of the Muslim world. Muslim traders carried the game to Russia and to Western Europe. By the year 1000 it had spread all over Europe. In the 13th century a Spanish manuscript called Libro de los Juegos describes the games of shatranj (chess), backgammon, and dice. [10]

The game changed greatly between about 1470 to 1495. The rules of the older game were changed in the West so that some of the pieces (queen, bishop) had more scope, development of the pieces was faster, and the game more exciting. The new game formed the basis of modern international chess. Historians of chess consider this as the most important change since the game was invented. [8] [11]

The rules of chess are governed by the World Chess Federation, which is known by the initials FIDE, meaning Fédération Internationale des Échecs. The rules are in the section Laws of Chess of the FIDE Handbook. FIDE also give rules and guidelines for chess tournaments. [4] [12]


Chess is played on a square board divided into eight rows of squares called ranks and eight columns called files, with a dark square in each player's lower left corner. [13] This is altogether 64 squares. The colors of the squares are laid out in a checker (chequer) pattern in light and dark squares. To make speaking and writing about chess easy, each square has a name. Each rank has a number from 1 to 8, and each file a letter from a to h. This means that every square on the board has its own label, such as g1 or f5. The pieces are in white and black sets. The players are called White and Black, and at the start of a game each player has 16 pieces. The 16 pieces are one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns. [4]


Definitions: vertical lines are files horizontal lines are ranks lines at 45° are diagonals. Each piece has its own way of moving around the board. The X marks the squares where the piece can move.

  • The knight is the only piece that can jump over another piece.
  • No piece may move to a square occupied by a piece of the same color.
  • All pieces capture the same way they move, except pawns.
  • The king (K for short) can move one square in any direction. The king may not move to any square where it is threatened by an opposing piece. However, the king can move to a square that is occupied by an opponent's piece and capture the piece, taking it off the board.
  • The queen (Q) can move any distance in any direction on the ranks, files and diagonals.
  • The rooks (R) move any distance on the ranks or files. [4]
  • The bishops (B) move diagonally on the board. Since a bishop can only move diagonally, it will always be on the same color square. [14]
  • The knights (Kt or N) move in an "L" shape. Each move must be either two squares along a rank and one square along a file, or two squares along a file and one square along a rank. It is the only piece that can jump over other pieces. Like the other pieces, it captures an opposing piece by landing on its square.
  • The pawns can only move up the board. On its first move a pawn may move either one or two squares forward. A pawn captures one square diagonally, not as it moves: see white circles on its diagram. In some situations, pawns can capture opponent's pawns in a special way called en passant, which means in passing in French (see below). [4]


Most pieces capture as they move. If a piece lands on an opponent's piece, the opposing piece is taken off the board. There are three special cases:

  1. The king cannot be taken (see check and checkmate).
  2. No piece can be taken while castling (see below).
  3. Pawns take one square diagonally.

If a move is made which attacks the opposing king, that king is said to be 'in check'. The player whose king is checked must make a move to remove the check. The options are: moving the king, capturing the threatening piece, or moving another piece between the threatening piece and the king. [15] If the player whose king is in danger cannot do any of these things, it is checkmate, and the player loses the game. [4]


Once in every game, each king can make a special move, known as castling. When the king castles, it moves two squares to the left or right. When this happens, the rook is moved to stand on the opposite side of the King. [16] Castling is only allowed if all of these rules are kept: [12] p120

  • Neither piece doing the castling may have been moved during the game.
  • There must be no pieces between the king and the rook.
  • The king may not be currently in check, nor may the king pass through any square attacked by the opponent. As with any move, castling is not allowed if it would place the king in check. [4]

En passant

En passant ('in passing' in French) is a special capture. It is only available when a pawn moves forward two squares past an opposing pawn on an adjacent file. The opposing pawn must be on the 5th rank from its own side. Then the opponent's pawn can capture the double-mover as if it had only moved one square forward. This option is open on the next move only. [4]

For example, if the black pawn has just moved up two squares from g7 to g5, then the white pawn on f5 can take it by en passant on g6. The en passant rule was developed when pawns were allowed to make their double move. The rule made it more difficult for players to avoid pawn exchanges and blockade the position. It kept the game more open.


When a pawn moves to its eighth rank, it must be changed for a piece: a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color (player's choice). [17] Normally, the pawn is queened, but in some advantageous cases another piece is chosen, called 'under-promotion'. [4]

Checkmates are rare in competitive chess. The most common ends are decisions made by one or both players.

  • Checkmate. When a king is in check, and cannot get out of it.
  • Resignation. A player may resign at any time, usually because his/her position is hopeless. A losing player is able to resign by placing their king on its side on the chessboard.
  • Out of time. If player's clock time is over (exceeding the time control). Strictly speaking, this is not part of the rules of the game, but part of the rules of tournament and match chess where chess clocks are used. [4][12] Chapter 8


  • Draw agreed. A game may end in a draw at any time if one player offers a draw and the other accepts.
  • Insufficient Material Or Dead Position . A position where no series of legal moves could lead to a mate (example: K+B vs K). The game is drawn. [12] p92
  • Stalemate. If a player cannot make a move, and the player's king is not in check, this is also a draw. This kind of draw is called a stalemate, and is rare. [4]
  • 50-move rule. A game will also end in a draw if no piece is captured and no pawn has moved after fifty moves. This is called the fifty-move rule, and happens late in the game. [18]
  • Threefold repetition. If the exactly same position is repeated three times during a game with the same player to move each time, the player next to move may claim a draw. The game is now drawn. This is called a draw by threefold repetition. [19]

The FIDE rules for competitive chess include all the above rules, plus several others. [4] [12] p92 et seq

Touch and move law

If players wish to adjust a piece on the board, they must first say "J'adoube" (I adjust) or the equivalent. Apart from that, if a piece is touched it must be moved if possible. This is the 'touch and move' law. [9] p425 [4] If no legal move is possible with the touched piece, the player must make a legal move with another piece. Section 4 [12] p90 et seq When a player's hand leaves a piece after moving it then the move is over and may not be changed (if the move was legal).

There are a few famous cases where players appeared to break this rule without being punished. The most famous example was by the then World Champion Garry Kasparov against Judit Polgar in a top-class tournament. [20] [21]

Chess clocks

Competitive games of chess must be played with special chess clocks which time a player only when it is his/her turn to move. The essence is that a player has to make a certain number of moves in a certain total time. After moving, the player presses a button on the clock. This stops the player's clock, and start's the opponent's clock. Usually the clocks are mechanical, but some are electronic. [4] Article 6 [12] p92 et seq Electronic clocks can be set to various programs, and they can count moves made. [12] chapter 8

Notation for recording moves

The moves of a chess game are written down by using a special chess notation. This is compulsory for any competitive game. [4] Article 8 & Appendix E Usually algebraic chess notation is used. [22] In algebraic notation, each square has one and only one name (whether you are looking from White's side of the board or Black's). Here, moves are written in the format of: initial of piece moved – file where it moved – rank where it moved. For example, Qg5 means "queen moves to the g-file and 5th rank" (that is, to the square g5). If there are two pieces of the same type that can move to the same square, one more letter or number is added to show the file or rank from which the piece moved, e.g. Ngf3 means "knight from the g-file moves to the square f3". The letter P showing a pawn is not used, so that e4 means "pawn moves to the square e4".

If the piece makes a capture, "x" is written before the square in which the capturing piece lands on. [23] Example: Bxf3 means "bishop captures on f3". When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn left is used in place of a piece initial. For example: exd5 means "pawn captures on d5."

If a pawn moves to its eighth rank, getting a promotion, the piece chosen is written after the move, for example e1Q or e1=Q. Castling is written by the special notations 0-0 for kingside castling and 0-0-0 for queenside. A move which places the opponent's king in check normally has the notation "+" added. Checkmate can be written as # or ++. At the end of the game, 1-0 means "White won", 0-1 means "Black won" and ½-½ is a draw.

In print, figurines (like those in diagrams, but smaller) are used for the pieces rather than initials. This has the advantage of being language-free, whereas the initials of pieces are different in every language. Typefaces which include figurines can be purchased by chess authors. Also, basic notes can be added by using a system of well-known punctuation marks and other symbols. [23] For example: ! means a good move, !! means a very good move, ? means a bad move, ?? a very bad move (sometimes called a blunder), !? a creative move that may be good, and ?! a doubtful move. The purpose of these methods is to make publications readable in a wider range of countries. For example, one kind of a simple "trap" known as the Scholar's mate, as in the diagram to the right, may be recorded:

1. e4 e5
2. Qh5?! Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6?? (3. Qe7 would prevent the mate, with 4. Nf6 next move)
4. Qxf7# 1-0

With figurines in place of the initials, this would be understood by players everywhere.

Playing arena

Players may not smoke in the playing area, but only in areas designated by the organiser. Mobile phones may not be used or even switched on. Players may not use any sources of advice, and may not analyse on any device. These and other matters are covered by the FIDE Laws on the conduct of the players. [4] Article 12

Chess is an easy game to learn the moves, but a difficult game to master. Strategy is an important part of the game. First of all comes the openings, about which a great deal is now known. The best-known move, the King's Pawn opening, is the white player moving his king's pawn on e2 forward two spaces to e4. Black can reply to that move in various ways. [24]


The first moves of a chess game are called the opening. [25] [26] A chess opening is a name given to a series of opening moves. Recognized patterns of opening moves are openings and have been given names such as the Ruy Lopez or Sicilian defence. They are listed in reference works such as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. There are dozens of different openings. They range from gambits, where a pawn, say, is offered for fast development (e.g. the King's Gambit), to slower openings which lead to a maneuvering type of game (e.g. the Réti opening). In some opening lines, the sequence thought best for both sides has been worked out to 20–30 moves, but most players avoid such lines. [27] Expert players study openings throughout their chess career, as opening theory keeps on developing.

The basic aims of the opening phase are: [24]

  • Development: to place (develop) the pieces (mostly bishops and knights) on useful squares where they will have the most powerful impact on the game. [28]
  • Control of the center: the center is the most important part of the board. The player who controls the center can move his/her pieces around freely. His/her opponent, on the other hand, will find his/her pieces cramped, and difficult to move about.
  • King safety: keeping the king safe from danger. Castling (see section above) can often do this.
  • Pawn structure: pawns can be used to control the center. Players try to avoid making pawn weaknesses such as isolated, doubled or backward pawns, and pawn islands – and to force such weaknesses in the opponent's position.

Players think, and chess databases prove, [5] that White, by virtue of the first move, begins the game with a better chance. Black normally tries to equalise, or to get some counterplay.


The middlegame is the part of the game after most pieces have been developed. It is where most games are won and lost. Many games will end in resignation even before an endgame takes place. [9]

A middlegame position has a structure. That structure is determined by the opening. The simplest way to learn the middlegame is to select an opening and learn it well (see examples in English opening and French defence).

Watch the video: History Of Chess Game! Playing Games In Islam!Shaykh Hamza Yusuf! Short Clip! Uloom E Quran (June 2022).


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