Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 94 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
CHESS, once known as " checker," a game played with certain " pieces " on a special " board " described below. It takes its name from the Persian word shah, a king, the name of one of the pieces or men used in the game. Chess is the most cosmopolitan of all games, invented in the East (see History, below), introduced into the West and now domiciled in every part of the world. As a mere pastime chess is easily learnt, and a very moderate amount of study enables a man to become a fair player, but the higher ranges of chess-skill are only attained by persistent labour. The real proficient or " master " not merely must know the subtle variations in which the game abounds, but must be able to apply his knowledge in the face of the enemy and to call to his aid, as occasion demands, all that he has of foresight, brilliancy and resource, both in attack and in defence. Two chess players fighting over the board may fitly be compared to two famous generals encountering each other on the battlefield, the strategy and the tactics being not dissimilar in spirit. The Board, Pieces and Moves.—The chessboard is divided (see accompanying diagrams) into sixty-four chequered squares. In diagram r, the pieces, or chess-men, are arranged for the beginning of a game, while diagram 2 shows the denomination of the squares according to the English and German systems of notation. Under diagram r are the names of the various " pieces" —each side, White or Black, having a King, a Queen, two Rooks (or Castles), two Knights, and two Bishops. The eight men in front are called Pawns. At the beginning of the game the queen always stands upon a square of her own colour. The board is so set that each player has a white square at the right hand end of the row nearest to him. The rook, knight and bishop on the right of the king are known as King's rook, King's knight, and King's bishop; the other three as Queen's rook, Queen's knight, and Queen's bishop. Briefly described, the powers of the various pieces and of the pawns are as follows. The king may move in any direction, only one square at a time, except in castling. Two kings can never be on adjacent squares. The queen moves in any direc- tion square or diagonal, whether forward or backward. There is no limit to her range over vacant squares; an opponent she may take; a piece of her own colour stops her. She is the most power- ful piece on the board, for her action is a union of those of the rook and bishop. The rooks (from the Indian rukh and Persian rokh, meaning a soldier or warrior) move in straight lines—forward R4. Kt. Rp. Q. K. Bp. Kt. Rk. or backward—but they cannot
End of Article: CHESS
CHEST (Gr. Kiarl, Lat. cista, O. Eng. cist, test, &...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.