International Chess Day 2021: Motto, History, Significance and Key Facts
International Chess Day 2021: Chess is a game of strategy and wits. It has long been considered to be the thinking game. It is a wonderful game to play anytime, anywhere, and with almost everyone. International Chess Day is celebrated on 20 July annually.
Chess is one of the ancient games with a combination of sport, scientific thinking, and elements of arts. As we know that sports have helped humanity to survive in times of crisis by improving mental health and reducing anxieties.
Last year it was celebrated as a virtual event and was attended by chess players, United Nations and government officials, permanent missions to the UN, representatives of civil society, academia, and other relevant stakeholders. The high-Level virtual event was focused on "Chess for Recovering Better".
Since ancient times Chess is a popular game and played around the world. With time Chess game and their rules are evolving. It became the game of classes. Only the upper class could afford this challenging game in a long way. However, the merchandise class later introduce this game to the rest of the population while travelling around the world.
International Chess Day: History
Chess was invented in Northern Indian Subcontinent during the Gupta period (319 – 543 CE). At that time it was named as "Chaturanga". No doubt this is one of the oldest games of the era. Then this game spread to Persia. When Persia was conquered by the Arabs, Chess became an important part of the life of the Muslim population and from there it spread to Southern Europe. In Europe, Chess evolved in its current form. And later on, it takes the shape of the modern game
Now the game became more popular. Various Chess tournaments are held with exciting new variations. Further, the timing mechanism was also introduced in the game in 1861 with effective rules and charismatic players. In the eighth Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France on 20 July, 1924, FIDE that is World Chess Foundation was established. And from 20 July, 1966, International Chess Day started celebrating to honour the founding of FIDE. To celebrate International Chess Day on 20 July was proposed by UNESCO. All over the World now Chess tournaments are held. In 1851 in London, the first modern chess tournament was held and it was won by German Adolf Anderssen.
The General Assembly proclaimed 20 July as World Chess Day on 12 December 2019, to mark the date of the establishment of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in Paris in 1924. Under the initiative of FIDE, 20 July has been observed as International Chess Day by chess players around the world since 1966.
About Chess game
In a chess game, two opponents go head to head with 16 playing pieces each. These pieces include eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one queen, and one king in each colour. Their main objective is to capture the opponent's king via a series of strategic moves.
FIDE is the first institution that is the United Chess Federations of different countries. Alexander Rueb, a Dutch lawyer, and diplomat became the first president. Around 181 federations of different countries are members of FIDE. It has moved its headquarters to Lausanne (Switzerland), a city that hosts several sports associations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Various achievements are boosted by FIDE like defining international chess play rules, the introduction of international sports, and arbiter titles. Every year, six times the Federation calculates and publishes the Elo ratings. It is the rating of the chess players which is calculated on the basis of games with each other. On International Chess Day, FIDE is responsible for organising various themes, events, and competitions.
This year FIDE's motto is, "Teach someone how to play chess."
Facts related to Chess game
- Chess is a mental game and it can also end as quickly as two moves.
- The longest game of chess is possible and that is 5,949 moves.
- The "checkmate" word is derived from the Arabic word namely "shah mat" which means "The king is dead".
- In 1280 in Spain, the new move was introduced where the pawn could move two steps instead of one.
- Do you know for the most time a German Dr. Emanuel Lasker retained the Champion title that is for 26 years and 337 days?
- In 1090 in Europe, the modern chessboard that we see today was the first time appeared.
- In 1125, the folding chessboard was invented.
- The players in their first year are known as "Rookies".
- In 1951, Alan Turing developed the first computer program for playing chess.
- Chess is also known as the "Game of Kings" as earlier in the past, it was just played by the Nobel and Kings.
- A chess match between Ivan Nikolic and Goran Arsovic in Belgrade in 1989 ended with a draw in the game. It was recorded as the longest official check game and lasted 269 moves.
No doubt, this day celebrates the long history of chess and the role it played in societies. Chess has broken several barriers whether class, language and culture. It is just simply two people sit down to play one of the most mentally challenging games in the world. Today, almost every city has one or more chess clubs, to boost the game, fans, and admirers of this peaceful sport.