17 Interesting Facts About Chess

The name “chess” illustrates the “mental stamina, psychology, tactics, methodology etc.” Chess, for many of us has always been an enigma. Just like a popular Japanese author, Kazuo Ishiguro said “It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you’ve made, and there’s this panic because you don’t know yet the scale of disaster you’ve left yourself open to.”
Here are 17 mind boggling facts about the game which will leave you as exhausted as after a Chess match:

chess garden


1. Longest Game Possible


The longest game of chess that is possible is of 5,949 moves.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: pinterest.com

2. The Longest Game


The longest game lasted for 269 moves and ended in a draw.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: pinterest.com

3. The King is Dead


The word “checkmate” comes from the Arabic word “shah mat” which translates to “The king is dead” in English.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: tumblr.com

4. New Pawn Move


The new move where the pawn could move two steps instead of one was introduced in Spain in 1280.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: chessnow.com

5. World Chess Champion


A German named Dr. Emanuel Lasker retained the Champion title for the most time: 26 years and 337 days!
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: chesshistory.com

6. First Chess Board

chess board

The modern chess board as we see it today appeared first in Europe in 1090.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: chesshistory.com

7. Mechanical Clock Over Sand Glass

hour glass

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.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: flickr.com

8. The Lying Priest


The folding Chess board was invented in 1125 by a Chess-playing priest. Since the Church forbids priests to play Chess, he hid his Chess board by making it to look like two books lying together.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: ebay.com

9. Rookies



Players in their first year are called “Rookies”. This name came up from the last pieces of chess to move into action called “Rooks”.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: chessnow.com

10. English Book

chess book

The second book to be ever printed in English language was about Chess.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: youtube

11.  One of the Computer Geniuses: Alan Turing

alan turing

Alan Turing developed the first computer program for playing chess was developed 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.
Source: thechessworld.com, Image: telegraph.co.uk
12. Extraordinary Game

soyuz 9

The first chess game between space and earth was in June, 1970 by the Soyez-9 crew. Though the game ended in draw, it sure did make headlines.
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: cnn.com

13. Genius Computer


A computer called Deep Thought became the first of its kind to beat an international maestro in November 1988, Long Beach, California.
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: youtube

14. Possible Moves


Are you aware of the fact that the number of possible ways of playing the first four moves for both sides in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000?
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: worldofchess.com

15. Game of Thrones


Chess is also called the “Game of Kings” since for a very long time in the past, it was just played by the Nobel and Kings.
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: knightrise.com

16. Check Mate!


The shortest number of moves to achieve checkmate is just two moves! One sequence is called “Fool’s mate runs” Thus, 1. g4 e5 and 2. f4 Qh4 checkmate.
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: knightrise.com

17. Chess Connoisseur


The chess master to have won the World Championship in all three formats (knockout, tournament and match) is Vishwanathan Anand from India.
Source: chess.geniusprophecy.com, Image: cnn.co.uk