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Many schools host chess clubs, and there are many scholastic tournaments specifically for children. Tournaments are held regularly in many countries, hosted by organizations such as the United States Chess Federation and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.
Chess is also present in contemporary popular culture. For example, the characters in Star Trek play a futuristic version of the game called " Tri-Dimensional Chess ".
The hero of Searching for Bobby Fischer struggles against adopting the aggressive and misanthropic views of a world chess champion.
The thriller film Knight Moves is about a chess grandmaster who is accused of being a serial killer. Stating "chess is a waste of time and an opportunity to squander money.
It causes enmity and hatred between people. Chess games and positions are recorded using a system of notation, most commonly algebraic chess notation.
The pieces are identified by their initials. For example, Qg5 means "queen moves to the g-file, 5th rank" that is, to the square g5.
Chess literature published in other languages may use different initials for pieces, or figurine algebraic notation FAN may be used to avoid language issues.
To resolve ambiguities, an additional letter or number is added to indicate the file or rank from which the piece moved e. Ngf3 means "knight from the g-file moves to the square f3"; R1e2 means "rook on the first rank moves to e2".
The letter P for pawn is not used; so e4 means "pawn moves to the square e4". If the piece makes a capture, "x" is inserted before the destination square.
Thus Bxf3 means "bishop captures on f3". When a pawn makes a capture, the file from which the pawn departed is used in place of a piece initial, and ranks may be omitted if unambiguous.
For example, exd5 pawn on the e-file captures the piece on d5 or exd pawn on the e-file captures a piece somewhere on the d-file.
Particularly in Germany, some publications use ": Some publications omit the capture symbol altogether; so exd5 would be rendered simply as ed.
Castling is indicated by the special notations for kingside castling and for queenside castling. An en passant capture is sometimes marked with the notation "e.
Checkmate can be indicated by " ". Chess moves can be annotated with punctuation marks and other symbols. The text-based Portable Game Notation PGN , which is understood by chess software, is based on short form English language algebraic notation.
Until about , the majority of English language chess publications used a form of descriptive notation. When recording captures, the captured piece is named rather than the square on which it is captured except to resolve ambiguities.
Squares are identified by numeric coordinates, for example a1 is "11" and h8 is "88". Moves are described by the "from" and "to" squares, and captures are not indicated.
For example, the opening move 1. These two parts of the chess-playing process cannot be completely separated, because strategic goals are mostly achieved through tactics, while the tactical opportunities are based on the previous strategy of play.
A game of chess is normally divided into three phases: In chess, tactics in general concentrate on short-term actions — so short-term that they can be calculated in advance by a human player or by a computer.
In quiet positions with many possibilities on both sides, a deep calculation is more difficult and may not be practical, while in "tactical" positions with a limited number of forced variations, strong players can calculate long sequences of moves.
A forced variation that involves a sacrifice and usually results in a tangible gain is called a combination. Chess strategy is concerned with evaluation of chess positions and with setting up goals and long-term plans for the future play.
During the evaluation, players must take into account numerous factors such as the value of the pieces on the board, control of the center and centralization, the pawn structure , king safety, and the control of key squares or groups of squares for example, diagonals, open files, and dark or light squares.
The most basic step in evaluating a position is to count the total value of pieces of both sides. The king is more valuable than all of the other pieces combined, since its checkmate loses the game.
But in practical terms, in the endgame the king as a fighting piece is generally more powerful than a bishop or knight but less powerful than a rook.
Another important factor in the evaluation of chess positions is the pawn structure sometimes known as the pawn skeleton: Weaknesses in the pawn structure, such as isolated , doubled , or backward pawns and holes , once created, are often permanent.
Care must therefore be taken to avoid these weaknesses unless they are compensated by another valuable asset for example, by the possibility of developing an attack.
A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a game the "opening moves". Recognized sequences of opening moves are referred to as openings and have been given names such as the Ruy Lopez or Sicilian Defense.
They are catalogued in reference works such as the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings. In some opening lines, the exact sequence considered best for both sides has been worked out to more than 30 moves.
The fundamental strategic aims of most openings are similar: Most players and theoreticians consider that White, by virtue of the first move, begins the game with a small advantage.
This initially gives White the initiative. The middlegame is the part of the game which starts after the opening. There is no clear line between the opening and the middlegame, but typically the middlegame will start when most pieces have been developed.
Similarly, there is no clear transition from the middlegame to the endgame; see start of the endgame. Because the opening theory has ended, players have to form plans based on the features of the position, and at the same time take into account the tactical possibilities of the position.
Combinations are a series of tactical moves executed to achieve some gain. Specific plans or strategic themes will often arise from particular groups of openings which result in a specific type of pawn structure.
An example is the minority attack , which is the attack of queenside pawns against an opponent who has more pawns on the queenside.
The study of openings is therefore connected to the preparation of plans that are typical of the resulting middlegames. Another important strategic question in the middlegame is whether and how to reduce material and transition into an endgame i.
Minor material advantages can generally be transformed into victory only in an endgame, and therefore the stronger side must choose an appropriate way to achieve an ending.
Not every reduction of material is good for this purpose; for example, if one side keeps a light-squared bishop and the opponent has a dark-squared one, the transformation into a bishops and pawns ending is usually advantageous for the weaker side only, because an endgame with bishops on opposite colors is likely to be a draw, even with an advantage of a pawn, or sometimes even with a two-pawn advantage.
The endgame also end game or ending is the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board. There are three main strategic differences between earlier stages of the game and the endgame: Endgames can be classified according to the type of pieces remaining on the board.
Basic checkmates are positions in which one side has only a king and the other side has one or two pieces and can checkmate the opposing king, with the pieces working together with their king.
For example, king and pawn endgames involve only kings and pawns on one or both sides, and the task of the stronger side is to promote one of the pawns.
Other more complicated endings are classified according to pieces on the board other than kings, such as " rook and pawn versus rook " endgames. Chess composition is the art of creating chess problems also called chess compositions.
The creator is known as a chess composer. Chess composition is a distinct branch of chess sport, and tournaments exist for both the composition and solving of chess problems.
It seems impossible to catch the advanced black pawn, while the black king can easily stop the white pawn. The solution is a diagonal advance, which brings the king to both pawns simultaneously:.
Both sides will queen, resulting in a draw. Contemporary chess is an organized sport with structured international and national leagues, tournaments, and congresses.
FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee ,  but the game of chess has never been part of the Olympic Games ; chess does have its own Olympiad , held every two years as a team event.
Besides these prestigious competitions, there are thousands of other chess tournaments, matches, and festivals held around the world every year catering to players of all levels.
Chess is promoted as a "mind sport" by the Mind Sports Organisation , alongside other mental-skill games such as Contract Bridge , Go , and Scrabble.
The best players can be awarded specific lifetime titles by the world chess organization FIDE: All the titles are open to men and women.
Beginning with Nona Gaprindashvili in , a number of women have earned the GM title, and most of the top ten women in hold the unrestricted GM title.
As of [update] , there are active grandmasters and international masters in the world. The top three countries with the largest numbers of grandmasters are Russia, the United States, and Germany, with , 98, and 96, respectively.
International titles are awarded to composers and solvers of chess problems and to correspondence chess players by the International Correspondence Chess Federation.
National chess organizations may also award titles, usually to the advanced players still under the level needed for international titles; an example is the chess expert title used in the United States.
Elo is a statistical system based on the assumption that the chess performance of each player in his or her games is a random variable.
Chess has a very extensive literature. In , the chess historian H. Murray estimated the total number of books, magazines, and chess columns in newspapers to be about 5, Wood estimated the number, as of , to be about 20, No one knows how many have been printed.
The game structure and nature of chess are related to several branches of mathematics. Many combinatorical and topological problems connected to chess have been known for hundreds of years.
The number of legal positions in chess is estimated to be about 10 43 , and is provably less than 10 47 ,   with a game-tree complexity of approximately 10 The game-tree complexity of chess was first calculated by Claude Shannon as 10 , a number known as the Shannon number.
Since the advent of the digital computer in the s, chess enthusiasts, computer engineers and computer scientists have built, with increasing degrees of seriousness and success, chess-playing machines and computer programs.
The chess machine is an ideal one to start with, since: Nowadays, chess programs compete in the World Computer Chess Championship , held annually since At first considered only a curiosity, the best chess playing programs have become extremely strong.
In , a computer won a chess match using classical time controls against a reigning World Champion for the first time: In , a mobile phone won a category 6 tournament with a performance rating With huge databases of past games and high analytical ability, computers can help players to learn chess and prepare for matches.
Internet Chess Servers allow people to find and play opponents all over the world. The presence of computers and modern communication tools have raised concerns regarding cheating during games, most notably the " bathroom controversy " during the World Championship.
In , Ernst Zermelo used chess as a basis for his theory of game strategies, which is considered as one of the predecessors of game theory.
The category, game theoretical taxonomy of chess includes: Some applications of combinatorial game theory to chess endgames were found by Elkies There is an extensive scientific literature on chess psychology.
De Groot showed that chess masters can memorize positions shown for a few seconds almost perfectly. The ability to memorize does not alone account for chess-playing skill, since masters and novices, when faced with random arrangements of chess pieces, had equivalent recall about half a dozen positions in each case.
Rather, it is the ability to recognize patterns, which are then memorized, which distinguished the skilled players from the novices. When the positions of the pieces were taken from an actual game, the masters had almost total positional recall.
More recent research has focused on chess as mental training ; the respective roles of knowledge and look-ahead search; brain imaging studies of chess masters and novices; blindfold chess ; the role of personality and intelligence in chess skill; gender differences; and computational models of chess expertise.
The role of practice and talent in the development of chess and other domains of expertise has led to much recent research.
Ericsson and colleagues have argued that deliberate practice is sufficient for reaching high levels of expertise in chess. For example, Fernand Gobet and colleagues have shown that stronger players started playing chess at a young age and that experts born in the Northern Hemisphere are more likely to have been born in late winter and early spring.
Compared to general population, chess players are more likely to be non-right-handed, though they found no correlation between handedness and skill.
A relationship between chess skill and intelligence has long been discussed in the literature and popular culture.
Academic studies of the relationship date back at least to There are more than two thousand published chess variants,  most of them of relatively recent origin,  including:.
In the context of chess variants, regular i. FIDE chess is commonly referred to as Western chess , international chess , orthodox chess , orthochess , and classic chess.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Western board game. For other chess games or other uses, see Chess disambiguation.
Part of a Staunton chess set Left to right: Initial position, first row: Moves of the king. Moves of a rook. Moves of a bishop.
Moves of the queen. Moves of a knight. Moves of a pawn. The black king is in check by the rook. White is in checkmate , being unable to escape attack by the black bishops.
Black is not in check and has no legal move. The result is stalemate. The " Immortal Game ", Anderssen vs. Chess in the arts. A chess party with live figures in Bitola , Square names in algebraic chess notation.
Chess libraries , List of chess books , and List of chess periodicals. Chess portal Strategy games portal. The Spanish "x" was pronounced as English "sh", as the Portuguese "x" still is today.
The spelling of ajedrez changed after Spanish lost the "sh" sound. Archived from the original on 22 July Retrieved 20 July Retrieved 29 November Archived from the original on 23 October Retrieved 22 October Consejo Superior de Deportes.
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Archived from the original on 4 June The Chess Variant Pages. Archived from the original on 6 June Retrieved 12 December Archived from the original on 25 December Archived from the original on 1 September Archived from the original on 24 March Archived from the original on 26 October Archived from the original on 28 January Retrieved 4 September Archived from the original on 22 December Archived from the original on 26 December Retrieved 13 December Archived from the original on 4 February Retrieved 13 January Online at University of Oregon.
Retrieved by Internet Archive, The Second Book of the Courtier. Archived from the original on 18 August Retrieved 7 May The Game and Playe of the Chesse.
Retrieved 20 May Archived from the original on 30 December Retrieved 30 December Archived from the original PDF on 26 April Archived from the original on 1 June Retrieved 30 May Archived from the original on 13 February Retrieved 11 February Algebraic notation" in "E.
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Retrieved 6 August Archived from the original on 27 February Retrieved 28 August International Title Regulations Qualification Commission ".
Archived from the original on 20 December Archived from the original on 22 January Retrieved 16 January A History of Chess.
The Oxford Companion to Chess. Retrieved on 11 January Archived from the original on 2 June In , Susan Polgar stated that Schmid "has over 20, chess books".
Archived from the original on 10 February Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam states that Schmid "boasts to have amassed 50, chess books.
Archived from the original on 29 June Archived 6 December at the Wayback Machine Mathworld. Our online chess game also features an opening database created by analysing , games from international tournaments.
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Get SparkChess Premium to ensure your account is protected. Read an excerpt from a book-in-progress and then vote on a name for that book.
The author of the book-in-progress, Lauren Goodkind, will pick one winner from the comments. That winner will receive a copy of her previous book 50 Poison Pieces: In this article, I review two instructional chess books published in Either one would make a great Christmas present!
One is aimed at teachers, the other at kids. But both books would benefit chess players of any age, who know the rules of chess, have played several complete games, but are still learning tactical themes.
Even less is known about women champions. You probably have heard about Susan Polgar, but who is the current woman chess champion? Have you ever wondered just how many chess players are in the world?
How many of them are women? Who is the top chess player ever? Have you ever wondered which countries produced more chess grandmasters?