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30 November 2016

Chess

Knights Templar playing chess,  Libro de los juegos,1283
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess#/media/File:KnightsTemplarPlayingChess1283.jpg
"Chess is an exercise of infinite possibilities for the mind, one which develops mental abilites used throughout life: concentration, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, problem solving, pattern recognition, strategic planning, creativity analysis, synthesis and evaluation, to name a few." - Edutech Chess


A couple of days ago, I read an article on the BBC news website, it was entitled, "Does anybody still care about chess? by David Edmonds" http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30006019.  I wanted to stand up for the game and say that I care about chess seeing as I play on-line chess everyday with different opponents from around the world via a very good website called https://www.chess.com.  Before that,  I had been playing chess for years against my computer but I must say that playing with real people around the world  is so much more satisfying.  I joined chess.com in August 2015 and my favourite is a timed 10 minute Blitz Live Chess game and I also enjoy trying to solve the daily puzzle.  Chess is a strategic and tactical board game and is said to be good for mental training.  No two games are alike and above all it is good fun thinking about possible moves whilst at the same time anticipating the moves of your opponent.  

We have a wonderful Lardy International wooden chess set at home in its original box which is Made in France.  The Staunton chess pieces are made of Boxwood and are very smooth and finely carved with a green piece of felt at the base of each piece.  They are very tactile and well made.  Unfortunately, I rarely get an opportunity to play a game of chess with them as I cannot play on my own. That aside, it interests me that there is a general assumption out there that chess is only played by men.  Not so, I am a woman and I have been playing amateur chess for years.  I am sure there are many other women around the world who also play chess.  As the extract below from Wikipedia states, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) also organises the 
Women's World Championship.
https://www.fide.com

Lardy International wooden chess set, Made in France
Staunton chess pieces made of Boxwood
http://www.chess-museum.com/lardy.html 


Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid.  Chess is played by millions of people worldwide, both amateurs and professionals.  Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. The most powerful piece is the queen and the least powerful piece is the pawn. The objective is to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. To this end, a player's pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, while supporting their own. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary resignation by the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways.
Chess is believed to have originated in India, some time before the 7th century, being derived from the Indian game of chaturanga. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqijanggi and shogi. The pieces took on their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the rules were finally standardized in the 19th century. The first generally recognized World Chess ChampionWilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. Since 1948, the World Championship has been controlled by FIDE, the game's international governing body; the current World Champion is the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. FIDE also organizes theWomen's World Championship, the World Junior Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Blitz and Rapid World Championships and the Chess Olympiad, a popular competition among teams from different nations. There is also a Correspondence Chess World Championship and a World Computer Chess Championship. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players. There are also many chess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.
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