If anyone is asked about the history of Chess, India automatically comes to mind. And it is true in a big way. What started as a small board game played by the Kings has grown to be a very popular game that everyone knows about.
The journey and history of Chess have been a colourful one, despite being played on black and white squares. From Murphy to Magnus, Tal to Teimur, or Alekhine to Anand, let’s look at the robust history of Chess. And the training has evolved from learning from books, from mentors, to online Chess Coaching.
The history of Chess, as believed, goes more than 500 years back by an Indian board game, Chaturanga. It is believed to be the predecessor of the modern game and has been developed ever since. From India, the game moved to Persia and slowly throughout the world.
Modern Chess as we know it can be traced back to the 1800s. Unlike the modern players, Chess in those times focussed on quick and tactical moves and not long, planned, well-thought moves. This is what was called the Romantic era of Chess. This was the era where we saw the development of many major openings, and players like Paul Murphy, Howard Staunton, and Adolf Anderssen dominated the game.
Slowly, the game started taking shape, as we know. The official terms of Grandmasters and World Champions started having a bigger impact and got official status. The first known World Champion title went to Wilhelm Steinitz in 1886. From then on, there were quite a few champions, and the last one in this particular line was Alexander Alekhine.
From then, the official list of FIDE World Champions began, with Mikhail Botvinnik from Russia becoming the first one, thus starting Soviet domination.
The late 1900s
The late 1900s of Chess saw the USSR players take over the world of Chess, with the likes of Botvinnik, Spassky, Tal, Petrosian, Smyslov, and many more, winning all the major tournaments. Success in Chess became synonymous with USSR.
This streak of Soviet players was broken by the American, Bobby Fischer, in probably the greatest and the most well-known Chess championship ever. The Fischer-Spassky 1972, Championship match at Reykjavik, Iceland. This concluded with Fischer as the winner and a hope that the Soviets could be beaten.
Fischer vs Spassky in 1972 World Chess Championship
Some of the last legends of the 1900s era were the legendary Russian Grandmasters, Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, till the new age players arrived. They reigned the Chess world for decades and were a household name across the world.
Apart from them, when Fischer came to the limelight, he was regarded as the greatest player of all time. But Fischer stopped playing competitive Chess after the match with Spassky and then forfeited his title later on.
Fischer also contributed 2 huge things to the game that will be a pivotal part of Chess long after his death. He devised the Fischer clock, based on which all the modern Chess clocks are made. These clocks add increment time after every move. He also started a new variant of Chess, called the Fischerandom, which later came to known as Chess 960.
Instating an Official Body
There were many disputes when it came to instating a body of Chess. After all that, FIDE(Fédération Internationale des Échecs or the International Chess Federation) turned out to be the current governing body. There were many attempts right from the year 1914 to form an official body, and they failed many times. And FIDE was finally formed in 1924.
In 1986, Grandmaster Gary Kasparov created the Grandmaster Association, which lasted till 1993. He then started the Professional Chess Association, which reigned from 1993 to 1996 as a competitor to FIDE.
Since then, FIDE has been the sole governing body, conducting Olympiads, World Championships, and thousands of other Tournaments, and is also in charge of the rules and handing out titles.
Modern Chess has come a long way from the time it started. After Kasparov, Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik and India’s Viswanathan Anand became the legend of the game. Viswanathan Anand became a veteran of the sport by winning a streak of World Championship matches and defending the title for more than 7 years.
His streak was then broken by the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, who by many, is considered the Greatest Player of all time. Magnus Carlsen from Norway has successfully retained his title from the year 2013 and has achieved a rating of 2822, which is the highest of all time.
Modern Chess has grown to have many interesting and nail-biting formats to invite a larger crowd. There is not just Classical Chess, but also Rapid Chess (10-60 mins), Blitz Chess (less than 10 mins), and Bullet Chess (Less than 3 minutes).
Players like Anish Giri, Vidit Gujarathi, Hikaru Nakamura, Praggnanandha, Nihal Sarin, Ian Nepomniatchi, etc., are now well-known faces in the games and are keeping the spark of the game alive with their firing gameplay.
Chess prodigies are slowly increasing, ensuring the future of the game is bright.
Women in Chess:
In the beginning, Women playing the sport wasn’t a usual phenomenon. From that day and age to today, the development has only been upwards. It was only in 1927 that the first Women’s World Championship was conducted, which was won by Vera Menchik.
Now, most of the Chess tournaments are open tournaments, and both men and women can participate. Some of the biggest names and strongest women players of all time include Maia Chiburdanidze from Georgia, Judit and Susan Polgar, Hou Yifan, and Koneru Humpy.
To encourage more women in Chess, there are separate women titles in addition to the usual IM and GM titles like WGM and WIM.
With so many tournaments played worldwide, so many mediums to watch the game, and so many platforms to learn and play the game, it is without a doubt that the Chess fever is just starting and is here to be.
The best way to master the game is to make sure you start early. And if you are looking for the perfect Chess platform for your child to learn the game, then Kaabil Kids is the place to be. With a curriculum curated by Grandmaster Tejas Bakre and his team of FIDE-certified trainers, be ensured with quality Chess training for your kid. The curriculum ensures holistic development with an in-house psychologist that will help your kid grow mentally.Book Demo Class