Sejarah Catur : Bagian 1

History of Chess: Part 1

The history of chess dates back to as earlier as 1500 years. Forerunners of the chess were first developed and played in India. However in course of time the game shifted forms and countries from India to Persia and south European countries. From earlier 19th century Europe started hosting international chess tournaments. Prior to that i.e. in 15th - 19th centuries the game was evolving from its previous forms to the current form. Since 19th century there weren't much difference to the chess game.

The precursor of the game evolved in the Gupta Empire of India and was known as chaturanga. Chaturanga means "four divisions" viz. infantry, cavalry, elephantry, chariotry. They are similar to the modern day pawn, knight, bishop and rook respectively. In Persia, chess was taught alongside education and the name was transformed from chaturanga to chatrang and finally known as shatranj. The contemporary check and checkmate were known as Shah and Shah Mat respectively. The names were then changed according to the country namely ludus scacchorum or in other words scacc(h)i in Latin, escacs in Catalan, scacchi in Italian, chechecs in French, Schach in German, schaken in Dutch, szachy in Polish, skak in Danish, shahs in Latvian, sjakk in Norwegian, shakki in Finnish, schack in Swedish, shah in South Slavic languages, shah in Romanian and sakk in Hungarian.

Chess was designed for an ashtapada (8*8 boards). Ashtapada literally means having 8 feet. Some people formerly played chess using dice to decide moves; later on it was altered by specifying rules for moving. The earlier chess rules were similar to the current rules except for the following:

Queen : One Square diagonally.

Bishop : Two squares diagonally/ 2 squares sideways/ two squares front and back/ one square diagonally.

Pawn : One square forward without cutting opponent diagonally i.e. pawns were not allowed taking away the opponent.

The queen and bishop who are currently the strong and important coins of the contemporary chess world were relatively weakest coins in the history. They had limited powers and where not more useful than the pawns. However in early 19th century the queen and bishops gained much popularity and importance due to the increased moves and freedom. The writings about chess began as early as 15th century. The first ever known book on chess was "Repetition of Love and the Art of Playing Chess". This book was published in1497. In 18th century the chess game moved to France where it gained wide popularity and it was accepted to great heights. In late 18th and early 19th century that chess clubs and chess organizations were formed vigorously.

The chess games were mentioned in many poems, novels and other literary works. The chess games were treated to be noble and played as a noble game in many kingdoms across many countries. Chess is the most time consuming game. It can be as long as 2 hours for a single move. Therefore timing concept was introduced in the contemporary style chess games. Even 5 minute chess is available and played these days but they don't give the pleasure of playing the conventional one. Although considered as an indoor game, chess gained wide popularity and specialty as the most sought over games in the history.


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