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The Sports Term Rookies, Was Derived From The Rook In Chess. Rooks Are The Last To Be Moved Into Action.

The second Saturday in October recognizes National Chess Day. The game challenges players mentally while also breaking down barriers through the centuries.

  • Chess developed in India during the fifth century. As the strategic game spread across continents, the pieces and rules evolved. It also shifted between classes.
  • Once, only the upper class could afford to linger over a long, challenging game. However, the merchant class would later introduce the game to the rest of the population as they traveled around the world trading their wares.
  • It is possible to checkmate an opponent in chess in two moves. – Source
  • The longest possible chess game in terms of the number of moves is 5,949.
  • Checkmate derives from the Persian phrase Shah Mat. The phrase means “the King is dead.”
  • In 1989, a chess match between Ivan Nikolic and Goran Arsovic in Belgrade ended in a draw. It was recorded as the longest official check game and lasted 269 moves.
  • The playing board used today with the alternating light and dark squares first appeared in Europe in 1090.
  • The new move where the pawn could move two steps instead of one was introduced in Spain in 1280.
  • The first mechanical clock to be used instead of sand glass was invented by Thomas Wilson in 1883. The modern push button clock was introduced by Veenhoff in 1900.
  • The second book to be ever printed in English language was about Chess.
  • There’s a company that specializes in making hidden rooms for your home. One requires a chess board played in a certain combination to unlock. – Source
  • The word “gambit” is specifically a chess term, but later generalized to mean “sacrifice for advantage”. – Source
  • Chess in a mandatory subject in Armenian schools. – Source
  • You can lose a Professional game of Chess if your mobile phone rings during play. – Source
  • There are 400 different positions possible after one move by each side. And after three moves from each side, there are over 9 million different positions possible.
  • The 3-D chess seen in TV episodes of Star Trek are one of the most popular variants out there. It was cobbled using boards from 3-D checkers and tic tac toe. Moreover, Spock and Kirk have played three games on the show. Kirk won all three!
  • A British cabinet-maker built Ajeeb, a chess automaton in 1865. During its long career, it was operated by many well-known chess masters and won almost all its games. It was even shot by a sore loser. Ajeeb was destroyed by fire at Coney Island in 1929.
  • The Beatles played a concert at the 1966 American Open tournament. Screaming fans assumed the pop stars were behind the on-stage curtain.  They were somewhat surprised when the curtain finally went up to reveal a chess match! Ringo Starr and John Lennon both played chess, as does Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.
  • The first mention of chess in America occurred in 1641 in Esther Singleton’s history of the Dutch settlers. The first American chess tournament was held in New York in 1843.
  • Legendary computer scientist Alan Turing developed the first computer program for playing chess in 1951. However, no computer was powerful enough to process it, so Turing tested it by doing the calculations himself and playing according to the results, taking several minutes per move.
  • The oldest surviving complete chess sets were found on the Isle of Lewis, in northern Scotland, and date to the twelfth century. They were probably made in Iceland or Norway, and their form was used in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the wizard chess pieces.
  • Dr. Emanuel Lasker from Germany retained the title World Chess Champion longer than any other player in history: twenty-six years and 337 days, from 1894 to 1921.
  • Chess is often cited by psychologists as an effective way to improve memory function. As chess also allows the mind to solve complex problems and work through ideas. It is no wonder it is recommended in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
  • The sports term rookies, which describes players in their first year, was derived from the rook in chess. Rooks generally are the last pieces to be moved into action.
  • The number of possible unique chess games is 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.


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