Chess Over the Years

by Fran Black

Over the years, chess spread throughout the world and enjoyed massive waves of popularity. Undoubtedly, reality is reflected in the idea that chess originated either as an aid or substitute for warfare. This stemmed from the notion that chess was invented as a war game and so, that is the manner in which it should executed. In fact in order to be knighted, it helped if you played a good game of chess.

And finally, a mention should be made of pawns; those so adequately named pieces which are even denied the status of chess 'men'. Pawns were sacrificial pieces.

While chess might have originated as a war game, it was seen as a game of nobility and education in Europe in the 1500s. It can be seen that from actions in Europe around the year 1500 that chess had become strongly ingrained in western society. Within European Aristocracy, the concept behind chess became a royal court rather than a battlefield. However, the game's popularity was helped by its social cache: a chess set was often associated with wealth, knowledge, and power. As a result it became fashionable for aristocrats to have live-in chess masters. In fact during difficult times in Protestant Europe there were massive attacks on "ungodly pursuits," but chess was often defended while other pastimes were denied.

As a result chess has long been considered the ultimate test of intellectual activity. Some feel that because of its difficulty and boorishness, chess diminished in its traditional appeal. However, most will agree that the chess community has traditionally been more enlightened than the larger society.

Mass production of chess sets helped introduce chess to the lower class. The low cost to produce the Staunton set allowed the masses to purchase sets and helped to again popularize the game of chess. But chess is more than just a game of skill. Chess stood a turn in education as teachers noted that students' behavior improved upon learning chess. How far beyond chess such aptitude can be expanded is the next big question.

One that is still argued today. Playing chess by computer began in the early 1950s, nearly as soon as computers became available. The rules of play early intrigued computer scientists-MIT wrote the first chess program in 1957. Some programmers believe that work on computer chess led to important software techniques still in use today. The worldwide fascination for chess has been astonishing. It has been said that there is more literature devoted to chess than for all other games combined. Today, chess is played world wide with international appeal.

About the Author

Francesca Black works in marketing at the Puzzle Place http://www.puzzle-place.net and Chess Strategies http://www.chess-strategies.net leading puzzle and strategy portals.