The King Of Chess Retains His Title!
It is another feather in the cap for Viswanathan Anand. Anand retains the title of World Chess Champion for the fifth consecutive time making him truly a King of 64 squares. He has been undefeated since he took the title in 2007. This year, in a tie-breaker, he beat world number 20 Boris Gelfand of Israel, in the championships played in Moscow.
A child prodigy at age six, Anand was solving chess puzzles in newspapers. By age 30, he had won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000. A soft-spoken ambassador of the sport, Anand commands the respect of his fans not just for his chess skills, but also for his versatility in all forms of the sport from rapid fire, tournament, match and knockout chess.
The Game of Chess
The game of chess means different things to different people. For some it is a board game that requires strategy; for others a sport; and for yet others a science. Whatever the perspective, chess is a game that requires use of all faculties of the mind - from strategy, pattern recognition, stamina and determination.
At its core, the game is very simple. On a 8 by 8 board comprised of alternate colors, each team has 16 pieces that they take turns to move. The intent is to knock out or capture the opponent’s pieces from the board until the principal piece – the King, is captured. Games may be a draw or have a conclusive winner. What makes the game particularly intriguing is that each piece on the board has a different rule for movement.
The challenge for the chess player is to develop a strategy for the whole game, keeping various patterns and movements in mind, while predicting the opponent’s move. Usually the first few movements also known as ‘opening’, decides the outcome of the game.
It was only in the 20th century that chess began to be played as a professional game. Seeing how popular these were, newspapers began to publish each game -- move by move. In 1924, the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) was set up to formulate rules to supervise the game. Players also began to be rated for their performance. They were called International Masters. The best of the best were known as Grandmasters.
Origin of Chess
Chess originated in ancient India in the 6th century AD. It was known as chaturanga; 'chatur' meaning four and 'anga' meaning parts. It denoted the four parts of the army -- elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers, besides the King and his ministers. The game is in fact a battle-plan on a smaller scale to find ways and means of outsmarting the enemy.
As the game spread to other parts of the world, Persians gave it the name Shatranj, the Chinese called it Xianqui and the Japanese named it Shogi. The word “chess” however evolved from the Old French word “echec” meaning to “check”.
Do you enjoy the challenges of chess? Have you participated in any tournaments?
Courtesy: Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica