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Historical Variations Of Chess Setup

January 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 204

According to historical evidence and the US Chess Trust, variations of chess setup and play began around 600 A.D. Alternatively there is unverified evidence of the game existing as far back as 100 A.D., based on archeological game pieces and figures discovered.

Chess is known to have begun following early trade routes out of India. Many derivations of the game have since been esteemed and popularized by world cultures. Originally chess known as Chaturang, was a long involved game wherein the pieces had less range than our modern-day figures. Pieces such as the bishop and queen were considered to be the weakest on the original board set up during medieval times. It wasn't until the 15th century that the queen became the most powerful game piece most likely popularized by European royalty. From there the quicker approach to playing made the game very popular among social intellectuals of the time and moving forward.

Some of the other cultural variations of the chess setup pieces are listed below to give an idea of the scope and evolution of chess.

Xiangai or Chinese Chess

Xiangai is today one of the most popular board games played in china and Vietnam. The object, similar to western chess, is to capture an opponents' general. Pieces included were: General, Advisor, Elephant, Horse, Chariot, Cannon and Soldier.

Indian Chess

Indian chess was played in the 18th and 19th century. From this variation the concepts of castling and pawn promotion became popularized. Pieces included: King, queen, Elephant (bishop), Horse (knight), Boat (rook) and Army (pawn).

Janggi or Korean Chess

Janggi was derived from the Xianggi and involves using a 9x10 playing board for set up. The game had twists which involved jumping canons and long-range elephants. Pieces were similar to the Chinese chess version.

Shogi or Japanese Chess

Shogi was introduced in Japan around the 10th to 12th centuries. Pieces included: 1 King, 1 Rook, 1 Bishop, 2 Silver Generals, 2 Gold Generals, 2 Knights, 2 Lances and 9 pawns.

Shatranj or Persian Chess

Shatranj is derived from the original Chaturanga. Earliest references are between the 3rd and 7th centuries A.D. This version involves an average of 150 moves and is a much longer game than its western counterpart. Pieces included: General, Guards, Elephants, Horses, Chariots, Cannons and Soldiers.

With the many variations of the game chess, it can be surmised it is one of the oldest games ever played. While historically and culturally the chess setup and pieces are altered, the basic principles of intense strategy in battle remain a through line.

Alan Stables enjoys a game of chess, having played it from his teens. He has learnt various opening chess moves from chess masters, and has several chess tricks up his sleeves.

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Chess Setup


Opening Chess Moves


Game Pieces


Historical Variations


Archeological Game


Chess Play

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