The name "Chess" comes from the Persian words "shah" and "checkmate", which are often translated as "The king is dead", although the more accurate equivalent would be "The king is trapped" or "The king cannot escape." Today no one can say exactly where and when chess appeared. It is known for certain that their history goes back more than one and a half thousand years, and the origins of the game so popular nowadays should be looked for in Asia and the Middle East. India is considered to be the homeland of chess. Already in the 5th-6th centuries, chaturanga was played here. It is likely that this particular game is the predecessor of chess. It was played by 4 people at the same time on the 8x8 field, and to win it was required to announce checkmate to the opponent's king.

Having spread to the countries of East Asia (China, Japan, Thailand), the game has changed so much in each of them that it actually became the "ancestor" of several new board games. At the end of the 6th century, the chaturanga reached Persia and "renamed itself" in the Arabic manner, becoming shatranj. Shatranj was already much closer to the chess as we know it today. It was possible to win by announcing a checkmate, stalemate, or removing all the opponent's pieces from the board, and the pawns, having reached the last opposite rank, could become exclusively a queen. The queen, in turn, could move only diagonally and to one square, and the bishop also, but through one square.

Chess came to the European continent through Sicily and the Iberian Peninsula, which traditionally had close economic and trade ties with the Arab world. In written European sources, the game was first mentioned in the 11th century. Like other things borrowed from the Middle East, chess was initially only available to wealthy people, it took some time for it to gain popularity and accessibility among all walks of life. Before that, exclusive chess, made by hand by skilled craftsmen from expensive materials, was considered almost a luxury item.


In 1574-1575, the first international chess tournament took place at the court of the Spanish king. The two strongest Spanish chess players played a series of games against their Italian opponents. The Italians won the victory, for which they received a generous reward. In those days it was fashionable to patronize famous chess players.

In the English and French courts, the game also became very popular. Chess even made it to the famous Globe Theater, where in 1624, in Thomas Middleton's The Chess Game, the characters were chess figures.

Over the next two centuries, the spread of chess led to the emergence of several schools (in particular, the Italian one), the development of the theory of this game and the creation of textbooks.

Toward the end of the 18th century, a poem was even written, in which the creation of chess is described through ancient mythology and the nymph Kaiss is described. Subsequently, she was considered the patroness of chess.


Over time, "chess by correspondence" appeared, specialized magazines began to be published and tournaments were organized between countries and schools.

In 1924, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was established in Paris. In 1927, she organized the first chess Olympiad in London in the form of a team tournament of countries, which later became regular.

Since 1948, the World Chess Championship has been held under the auspices of FIDE. She also awards lifetime titles to experienced players, the highest of which is the grandmaster.

FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee, which can be seen as the recognition of chess as a sport.

Starting from the second half of the 20th century, computer programs are increasingly beginning to "play". Their triumph came in 1997, when the IBM Deep Blue computer became the first machine to defeat Garry Kasparov, the reigning world chess champion.



That is why exclusive military-themed chess sets are so popular. The Battle of Waterloo, the battles of Napoleon, knights and crusaders, the Greco-Roman war and the Crusades - all these events are displayed in the design and style of figurines, allowing you to imbue the atmosphere of the era and feel almost a participant in those significant historical events.

Today you can buy both classic sets and exclusive chess sets that convey the charm, beauty and atmosphere of almost any historical era, as well as the flavor of the mysterious east, restrained England, luxurious Rome or, for example, the harsh crusades.

In any case, a gift in the form of elite chess is always the right choice and a noble, worthy present that shows respect!


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