The Evolution of Chess

Article by: Liz Kang

Photographs collated by: Joshua Sorono

With IASAS Chess soon approaching, it is evident that chess has captured the attention of many ISM students and teachers, mirroring how, on a global scale, chess has transformed from an obscure recreational activity to a popular competitive sport.

Radha-Krishna_chessChess has a rich history, dating back 1500 years to its origins in Eastern India. From its conception, chess was an activity that expected players “to act with decorum,” as according to the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Chess permeated across Persia and Southern Europe, and in Europe, it evolved into one of the most competitive activities of the 15th century. The nineteenth century then signified the beginnings of modern chess competition when in 1886, the first World Chess Championship was held. Afterwards, chess made significant progress towards being recognized as an official competitive sport, as FIDE, which was established in France in 1924, was recognized as an International Sports Federation by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.

Currently FIDE has 170 members and is one of the biggest sports organizations in the world. Once a selective activity mostly played by men, chess is now open to youths, men, women, and seniors, in keeping with FIDE’s goal of increasing the “number of people of all ages participating in chess events at all levels.”

Today’s advancements in technology have only helped increased chess’ popularity, with a larger audience being intellectually stimulated by chess’ competitive nature and strategic elements, since chess can now even be played online. IASAS Chess coach Mr. Robertson stated that IASAS chess players “will be competing and playing chess online, on the website:”

0225Chess is not only for the individual to appreciate, but it can also be enjoyed among groups of players. Thus, we should bear in mind that while chess is a competitive sport, it also requires players to display teamwork. Chess provides a significant opportunity for players to come together, display their talents, and enhance their mind, so it is no wonder why even in a changing global landscape, chess only seems to gain momentum, showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

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