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Chess

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  1. Chess is believed to have originated in northwest India during the Gupta empire, where its early form in the 6th century was known as chaturaṅga (Sanskrit: 4 divisions [of the military] – 1. infantry, 2. cavalry, 3. elephants, and 4. chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively).
  2. Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play. During the evaluation, players must take into account numerous factors such as the value of the pieces on the board, control of the center and centralization, the pawn structure, king safety, and the control of key squares or groups of squares (for example, diagonals, open files, and dark or light squares).
  3. The number of possible unique chess games is much greater than the number of electrons in the universe. The number of electrons is estimated to be about 10^79, while the number of unique chess games is 10^120. The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves for both sides in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.
  4. The longest game of chess that is theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.
  5. The word “Checkmate” in Chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means”the King is dead.”
  6. The first chessboard withalternating light and dark squares (as it appears today) was made in Europein 1090.
  7. The folding chessboard was invented by a priest who was forbidden to play chess. The priest found a way around it by making a folding chessboard. When folded together and put ona bookshelf, it simply lookslike two books.
  8. According to the America’s Foundation for Chess, there are 169,518,829,100 ,544,000,000,00 0,000,000 (approximately 1.70×10 29) ways to play the first 10 moves of a game of chess. And they thought a computer would solve chess!
  9. The longest chess game ever was I.Nikolic – Arsovic, Belgrade 1989, which ended in 269 moves. The game was a draw.
  10. The new pawn move, where pawns were allowed to advance two squares on its first move instead of one, was first introduced in Spain in 1280.
  11. The first chess game played between space and earth was on June 9, 1970 by the Soyez-9 crew. The game ended in a draw.
  12. A computer called DeepThought became the first computer to beat an international grandmaster in November 1988, Long Beach, California.
  13. The longest chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.
  14. The longest time for a Castling move to take placewas the match game between Bobotsor vs. Irkovin 1966: 46. 0-0.
  15. As late as 1561, Castling was two moves. You had to play R-KB1 on one moveand K-KN1 on the next move.
  16. Blathy, Otto (1860-1939), credited for creating the longest Chess Problem, mate in 290 moves.
  17. The number of possibilities of a Knight’s tour is over 122 million.
  18. Dr. Emanuel Lasker from Germany retained the World Chess Champion title for more time than any other player ever: 26 years and 337 days.
  19. In 1985, the Soviet player Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion ever at the age of 22 years and 210 days.
  20. The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; the current (2013) World Champion is Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

An old puzzle:  If you put one grain of wheat on the first square of the chessboard, two on the second, four on the third, eight on the fourth, and so on, how many grains of wheat do you need to put on the 64th square? The answer is 9,223,372,036,8 54,775,808(appr oximately 9.22×10 18 ) grains of wheat.

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