Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a square checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.
Each player begins the game with sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. Pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, with the objective to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by the voluntary resignation of the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame, and endgame.
The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; the current World Champion is Viswanathan Anand. In addition to the World Championship, there are the Women's World Championship, the Junior World Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Correspondence Chess World Championship, the World Computer Chess Championship, and Blitz and Rapid World Championships. The Chess Olympiad is a popular competition among teams from different nations. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players. Chess is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee and international chess competition is sanctioned by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which adopted the now-standard Staunton chess set in 1924 for use in all official games. There are also many chess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.
Since the second half of the 20th century, computers have been programmed to play chess with increasing success, to the point where home computers can play chess at a very high level. In the past two decades computer analysis has contributed significantly to chess theory, particularly in the endgame. The computer Deep Blue was the first machine to overcome a reigning World Chess Champion when it defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997.
Famous quotes containing the word chess:
“I once heard of a murderer who propped his two victims up against a chess board in sporting attitudes and was able to get as far as Seattle before his crime was discovered.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)
“Womens childhood relationships with their fathers are important to them all their lives. Regardless of age or status, women who seem clearest about their goals and most satisfied with their lives and personal and family relationships usually remember that their fathers enjoyed them and were actively interested in their development.”
—Stella Chess (20th century)
“There is a parallel between the twos and the tens. Tens are trying to test their abilities again, sizing up and experimenting to discover how to fit in. They dont mean everything they do and say. They are just testing. . . . Take a good deal of your daughters behavior with a grain of salt. Try to handle the really outrageous as matter-of-factly as you would a mistake in grammar or spelling.”
—Stella Chess (20th century)