The modern chess has evolved from the elite hobby of the kings in India to a game of all. Most importantly, it has attained the recognition of a brainy game as on date. By name ‘Chaturanga’ it was famous in India as back as 600 AD. Various references indicate that it spread to Persia from India.
Chaturanga reached to Muslim world through Arab invasion and conquest of Persia and subsequently it reached to southern Europe. The current form of the Chess has impressions of what it was around 1500AD. In the years to follow it evolved from Romantic (quick & tactical) to Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras. As the game evolved it went on becoming a game of long-term strategic planning.
The Modern chess tournaments started by the end of 19th century. Founding World Chess Federation / International Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1924 is major land mark in the evolution of the game. Participation of computing machine in 1997 is another landmark to evolving chess wherein, an IBM computer beat Garry Kasparov. Down the line famous match of Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov marks era of techy chess.
When the International Chess Day, 12 July, is only round the corner, it is all the more relevant to know the chronological evolution of the Chess. Read on to know more on its historical refinement:
Early History of the Chess
6th century – By name Chaturanga, Chess evolved in India
569 AD – Xiangqi, Xiang Jing by a Chinese King is first book on Chess
600 Circa – An ancient book has references to the Persian game of shatranj
720 Circa – Chess spreads across the Islamic world from Persia.
1008 –Will of Count Uregel mentions chess, another early reference.
10th century – Kitab Ash-Shatranj, book on scientific approach to chess
Late 10th century – Dark & Light squares introduced on a chessboard.
1173 – Use of algebraic chess notation in Chess
Late 13th century – Pawns can now move two ranks on first move.
Late 14th century – The en passant rule is introduced.
1422 – A manuscript from Kraków sets the rule that stalemate is a draw.
1474 – The Game and Playe of Chesse, the first chess book in English.
1475–1525 – Adoption of Castling & modern moves for the queen and bishop
16th Century Chess
1510 – Marco Girolamo Vida wrote The Game of Chess with the first reference to a goddess of chess
1512 – Pedro Damiano publishes “Questo libro e da imparare giocare a scachi et de li partiti” One of the oldest surviving manuscripts to detail chess strategy
1561 –Spaniard chess player Ruy López a book in which he coins the word gambit to describe opening sacrifices.
1575 – The first championship in Madrid between talian masters Giovanni Leonardo & Paolo Boi along with Spanish masters. Leonardo wins.
17th Century Chess
1620-24 – Strategies like Fool’s Mate and Smothered Mate and other opening traps in Gioachino Greco Manuscript. Beginning of aggressive chess play
1690 – Traite de Lausanne book provides systematic opening (author not in public domain)\
18th Century Chess
1737 – The book by Phillip Stamma (Syria) lays opening theory, various opening gambits and exploration of endgame theory.
1744 – François-André Danican Philidor (France) plays two opponents blindfolded in Paris.
1745 – Phillip Stamma’s get an English version titled ‘The Noble Game of Chess’.
1747 – Phillidor decisively defeats Stamma in 8/9 games while visiting London, instantly gaining international fame.
1763 – Sir William Jones invents Caïssa, the chess muse.
1769 – Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen builds the Mechanical Turk, a fake chess-playing humanoid “machine” in fact operated secretly by a human.
1783 – Philidor plays as many as three games simultaneously without seeing the board.
19th Century Chess
1802 –Chess Made Easy by J. Humphreys, American, is published.
1813 – The Liverpool Mercury prints the world’s earliest chess column.
1830 – Instance of first modern female chess player.
1845 – Telegraph is used to transmit moves in a match between London and Portsmouth.
1846 – First German chess magazine, Deutsche Schachzeitung
1848 – Earliest instance of Chess played between blind players.
1851 – First international tournament in London, Adolf Anderssen (Prussia) wins.
1852 – Sandglasses first in use, to time a game.
1857 – First American Chess Congress, won by 20-year-old Paul Morphy (USA), causes a chess epidemic across the U.S.
1857 – The United Kingdom Chess Association is formed.
1859 – Paul Morphy is acclaimed as the world’s strongest player after two years of international play against the world’s leading players in the US and Europe. However, he was unable to secure even a single game against Staunton.
1867 – Mechanical game clocks are introduced in tournament play.
1870 – Earliest recorded tournament in Germany
1871 – Durand publishes the first book on endgames.
1873 – The Neustadt score system is first used in a tournament.
1879 – First New Zealand Chess Championship, the longest running national chess championship in the world.
1883 – Invention of Forsyth-Edwards Notation, a notation used to describe any possible chess position.
1886 – First official World Chess Championship match is held between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort. Steinitz wins decisively to become the first official World Chess Champion.
1894 – Emanuel Lasker defeats Steinitz in a world championship match to become the second official world champion.
1899 – Chess clocks now have timeout flags to indicate that a player’s time has run out.
Chess in 20th Century
1904 – British Chess Federation (BCF) is established.
1905 – British national championship for women starts.
1907 – Lasker – Marshall World Championship match in several US cities.
1910 – José Raúl Capablanca (Cuba) is the first to win a major with a 100% score.
1911 – The first simultaneous exhibition with more than 100 participants is held.
1913 – Publication of H. J. R. Murray’s book A History of Chess.
1921 – Capablanca defeats Lasker in Havana +4 −0 =10 to become the third official world champion.
1924 – Establishment of Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the international chess federation.
1924 – Staunton set officially adopted by FIDE.
1927 – The first official Chess Olympiad is held in London.
1927 – Alexander Alekhine (Soviet Union) defeats Capablanca at Buenos Aires to become the fourth official world champion.
1935 – Max Euwe (Netherlands) wins the world championship title from Alekhine in Zandvoort, the Netherlands to become the fifth official world champion.
1941 – Basic Chess Endings by Reuben Fine published.
1945 – USA vs USSR radio match is the first international sporting event after World War II. The USSR scores an overwhelming victory.
1946 –FIDE moves to gain control of the world championship.
1948 – Mikhail Botvinnik (Soviet Union) wins the 1948 World Chess Championship tournament, becomes the sixth official world champion.
1949 – Claude Shannon speculates on how computers might play chess.
1950 – FIDE introduces the International Grandmaster (GM) and International Master (IM) lifetime titles to indicate chess achievement.
1951 – The first World Junior Chess Championship held.
1958 – Bobby Fischer (USA) qualifies for the 1959 Candidates Match, becoming the youngest ever Grandmaster. This record stood until 1991.
1960 – Tal defeats Botvinnik becomes the eighth official world champion and the then youngest-ever world champion.
1963 – Petrosian defeats becomes the ninth World Chess Champion.
1967 – Bent Larsen (Denmark) wins the Sousse Interzonal, also wins the first Chess Oscar.
1969 – Spassky defeats Petrosian to become the tenth World Chess Champion.
1975 – Anatoly Karpov (Soviet Union) becomes the twelfth World Champion without having defeated the reigning champion as Fischer forfeits his crown.
1977 – Female player Nona Gaprindashvili (Soviet Union) wins the men’s tournament at Lone Pine.
1978 – Gaprindashvili becomes the first woman to receive the FIDE Grandmaster title.
1978 – FIDE Master (FM) introduced as a title below International Master.
1978 – First Sargon (chess) chess-playing software for personal computers
1984 – In a controversial decision, the FIDE president abandons the World Championship match
1985 – Kasparov defeats Karpov to become the thirteenth World Chess Champion 13–11.
1991 – Judit Polgár (Hungary) becomes the youngest ever Grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer’s record by about a month.
1993 – Searching for Bobby Fischer motion picture released (in the United Kingdom as “Innocent Moves”).
1996 – Deep Blue beats Kasparov in the first game won by a chess-playing computer against a reigning world champion under normal chess tournament conditions. Kasparov recovers to win the match 4–2 (three wins, one loss, two draws).
1997 – Kasparov loses a rematch to chess supercomputer Deep Blue (2½–3½), becoming the first World Champion to lose a match to a computer.
1999 – Kasparov plays and wins against “the World” whose moves were determined by plurality of votes via the Internet.
2000 – Kasparov loses his title to Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) (8½–6½). Kramnik becomes the PCA World Chess Champion.
Chess through 21st Century
2002 – Sergey Karjakin (Russia) becomes the youngest ever Grandmaster at age 12 years and 7 months.
2003 – In two separate matches, Kasparov battles Deep Junior and X3D Fritz to draws. These would be the last notable human–computer chess matches that did not result in victory for the computer.
2004 – Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan) wins the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004 by beating Michael Adams (England) in the final.
2004 – Kramnik successfully defends his title in the Classical World Chess Championship 2004 against Peter Leko (Hungary).
2005 – Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) wins the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 10/14 (+6 −0 =8).
2006 – World Chess Championship reunited when “Classical” (technically, first PCA then Braingames) World Champion Kramnik defeats FIDE World Champion Topalov in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2006 match.
2007 – Viswanathan Anand (India) becomes the fifteenth World Chess Champion after winning the World Chess Championship 2007 tournament held in Mexico City. Anand finished the tournament with a score of 9/14 (+4 −0 =10).
2008 – Anand successfully defends his title against Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008.
2009 – Eighteen-year-old Magnus Carlsen (Norway) wins the super-grandmaster (Category 21)
2009 – Kasparov and Karpov play each other once more, as a commemoration of their first World Championship Match 25 years earlier.
2010 – Anand defends his world title against Topalov in the World Chess Championship 2010.
2011 – Boris Gelfand (Israel) wins the 2011 Candidates tournament and qualifies to challenge Anand in the World Chess Championship 2012.
2012 – Carlsen achieves an Elo rating of 2861, surpassing Kasparov’s record of 2851. Anand successfully defends his world title against Gelfand.
2013 – Carlsen defeats Anand to become the new world champion.
2014 – Carlsen reaches his top Elo rating of 2882, the highest in history, in May.
2014 – Carlsen successfully defends his title of World Champion in a match against Anand, who had won the Candidates Tournament.
2016 – Carlsen successfully defends his World Champion title against Karjakin (who had won the Candidates Tournament in Moscow in March) by winning rapid tiebreak games after drawing a 12-game classical-game match.
2018 – Carlsen successfully defends his World Champion title against Caruana by winning rapid tiebreak games after drawing a 12-game classical-game match.
2020 – Chess experiences a spike in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit.
2021 – Abhimanyu Mishra (United States) becomes the youngest ever Grandmaster at the age of 12 years 4 months and 25 days.
2021 – Carlsen successfully defends his World Champion title against Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) after 11 rounds of the 14-round match.