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Chess
Written by Catherine Davis   

Chess is one of the world's most popular games and can be enjoyed at both a recreational and competitive level.

Chess is believed to have originated about 2000 years ago in India, spreading through the Arab world to reach Spain in the 15th century from where it evolved into the modern game. The most famous chess playing computer is probably Deep Thought, which could process 2 million moves a second, was the first machine to beat a grandmaster in 1988 and became world computer champion in 1989.

Each chess player begins with sixteen pieces which are moved into positions where they can take or defend other pieces or control important squares on the chess board. The object is to checkmate the opponent's king, which occurs when the king is under immediate attack (in 'check'), and can't escape capture on the next move.

Knowing the rules of chess is just the beginning, however; the player needs to evaluate the game as it progresses, using various tactical manoeuvres to achieve strategic goals. As such, chess presents ongoing mental challenges and is an absorbing and stimulating pastime.

The key to improving is to play as much as possible, and to learn from losing as well as winning. It may help to read a recommended chess book. You can also play, watch, analyse and discuss chess games on line.

Famous chess players include actors Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne and political leaders Che Guevara, Vladimir Lenin and Arnold Schwarzenegger.


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