International Chess Day 2019: History and Facts

International Chess day is celebrated on 20 July every year to honour the foundation of the Federation Internationale des Eches (FIDES) in 1924. Do you know the history of International Chess day, first time when and how it was celebrated? Let us find out!
Jul 19, 2019 16:10 IST
International Chess Day

Since, ancient time Chess is a popular game and played around the world. With the time Chess game and its rules are evolved. It became the game of classes. Only 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           

In India Chess was invented in fifth century. 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 was become an important part of the life of Muslim population and from there it spread to Southern Europe. In the 15th century, in Europe, Chess evolved in its current form. And by the late 15th century, it takes the shape of modern game.

Now the game became more popular. Various Chess tournaments are held with exciting new variations. Further, 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 Andersen.

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About Chess game

In 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 series of strategic moves.

About FIDE

FIDE is the first institution that is United Chess Federations of different countries. Alexander Rueb, a Dutch lawyer and diplomat, became the first president. 181 federations of different countries are members of FIDE. Its headquarter is in Athens, Greece. Various achievements are boosted by FIDE like defining international chess play rules, 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 theme, events and competitions.

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 of 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 chess board that we see today was first time appeared.

- In 1125, the folding chess board 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 the 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.

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