Chess and its origin


There are several legends about who invented chess. One of them is the one that contains the Book of Kings. From the famous Persian poet and Tadzbiko Firdusi (Abul Kássim Mansur or Hansan: 939-1020). This poem tells that during the war for the throne between the princes brothers Gav and Talhand, the latter's army was defeated and Talhand himself died suddenly on the back of the elephant from where he was leading the battle. The queen mother, desperate for the death of the youngest son, accused Gav of having premeditated killing her brother. Wishing to calm his mother down and show him that Talhand, Gav brought together the wise men from all over the country and asked them for advice. And one of them proposed that he develop the combat on a board divided into squaques with figures representing soldiers on foot, on horseback, roques and elephants:

From this your box the shah goes back. Until they have no roads left to flee. They narrow it and surround them everywhere by the minister and the roque, the horse, the pawns and the elephant. And look around the young monarch:

Dispersed is the army in great panic. Water and obstacles where you run. Left and right, everywhere enemies. Shah-mat: from deprivation the hero died. Fate dictated so. Wanting about Talhand to tell, birth to chess gave Gav..

There are many versions that agree in naming India as the homeland of chess and relate the emergence of this game to the aspiration of symbolically representing the course of battle on a board. In favor of the Indian origin of the escaques speaks the bishop, a word that came to us from Arabic and which means elephant, an animal that was used for many purposes in ancient Indian troops; and also the same name of the game, Chaturanga, Sanskrit voice meaning army of four bodies: elephants, horses, roques or chariots and pawns.

From India, chess passes in the 5th 6th centuries to Central Asian countries that occupied the territory of what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Central Asia and eastern Iran. And it is precisely here that, under the ideas of Buddhism with its priority of the intellect and its rejection of coincidences, chess develops until it takes more or less its current form. If before the game lasted until the destruction of all the opponents figures, now it was enough to put the enemy king in a dead-end situation or, in other words, to kill him. The most important thing is that each player became free to choose the figure they would move, while earlier this was determined by the dice. In addition, on the board a new piece appeared: the farzín (today the lady or queen), powerful advisor to the king. Naturally, the other figures also obtained Iranian names: shah (king), piyadah (pawn) pil (bishop), rukh (tower).

The sensational discovery made in 1977 by an expedition of the Institute of Archaeology attached to the Uzbekistan Academy of Science on the territory of ancient Afrasiab (in Samarkand Central Asia) helps us to feel the atmosphere of that distant era. Seven ivory figures, of a height ranging from three to four centimeters, allow us to get an idea of the chess army of the 8th-8th centuries. The pawns have one knee on the floor, on the left hand they hold a shield and on the right, a short sword.

The king, wielding a scepter, is sitting on the backs of three steeds. The elephant (bishop), protected with armor like the horse, carries a combatant. The counselor (the lady of today) is the highest piece after the king and represents a rider mounted on a large animal with a horse body and lion's head. The current tower is a whole sculptural composition: a coachman holds the reins of two steeds attached to a cart in which a leaderman goes to..