Chess is a very fascinating game. Did you know that chess could have started in China or India? Or, did you know instead of bishops there were elephants? There is still a considerable amount archaeologists still don’t know about chess. But, this is what we do know…. Some people believe that it all started with a king in India. The king commanded a mathematician to make him a game that used logic and tactics. So the mathematician created Chaturanga. The king loved his new game! The king decided to give the mathematician something in return. He decided to give the mathematician anything he wanted. The mathematician requested the king to give him grain and for one grain on the first square of the board, double on second square of board, double of that on third square of the board and so on until the 64th square of board.The king asked why he did not request silver or gold. The mathematician replied,”The rice should be sufficient enough for me.”Well, the king soon realized that all the wealth in his kingdom would not be sufficient to buy enough rice for the 64th square. The king believed the man a genius and made him is topmost advisor.In northern India the game of chess started in the 6th century in AD. It first was classified Chaturanga, but it was also known as Chaturaji. Chaturanga is a four player game. Chaturanga had pieces that were named differently than what they are now. They were, Raja (king), Ratha (rook), Gaja (boat), Ashva (knight), and Padà (pawn). You perform Chaturanga just like normal chess. There is only one difference, the boat. The boat moves two spaces diagonally. If three boats are in the middle and the fourth boat gets in the middle it is called the triumph of the boat. It is called that because the fourth boat in the middle gets to take all three of the other boats. Chaturanga means “having four limbs” or in epic poetry “army.” Chaturanga eventually spread to Persia. Soon the Persian elite adopted Islam. In return, they were great contributors to society. Part of that success is the evolution of Chaturanga to Shatranj. In Shatranj each player has sixteen pieces. The names of the pieces are different than Chaturanga. They are Firzan (Minister), Fil (Elephant) Faras (Horse), Rukh (another word for roc which is a bird in “Arabian Night’), and Baidaq (Soldiers). The Fil moves mostly like a knight but, it’s only exception is that instead of moving two spaces to the left or right after moving three spaces, it moves three. Shatranj is similar to modern day chess because, there are two armies trying to take the Firzan/king, they both have the same pieces except for the Fil, and it is the same board. However, some archaeologists believe that chess started in China. They say that chess started with Liubo in China. Liubo was first found in Sima Qiang’s Shiji- Yan Bunji which recorded Emperor Wu Yi as an emperor who wanted his power to exceed a god’s and to prove that it did he made a god, named it god, and had one of his officials to play on behalf of it. Of course his officials let him win. So, Wu Yi proceeded to insult god.Liubo was created about 3,500 years agoBecause of the Zhou Dynasty, the game pieces of Liubo had gotten there three names, Zhuo, Qi and Ju. Zhuo’s are the equivalent of modern dice and were used to destine the move of the Qi. The Qi were made of ivory and among them were five pawns and one general. Ju is the board. The purpose of Liubo is the same as chess, to capture the general/king. Later, Liubo evolved into Xiangqi and Backgammon. Xiangqi is exactly like Liubo except, Xiangqi doesn’t use dice. The dice part eventually evolved into Backgammon. Xiangqi eventually foreshadowed Shogi and modern Chess. In the Tang Dynasty was when we start hearing about Xiangqi. Niu ZhengYu of the Tang Dynasty described a game called Xiang Xi in Xuan Qui Lu. He wrote, ‘according to the legend, in Ba Zhou of the Sichuan province, there lived a family who had two odd looking mandarins growing out of a mandarin-tree garden. Each mandarin was as big as a bowl, and inside were two old men playing ‘Xiang Xi’, a game with many different game pieces.’ Xuan Qui Lu did not explain the rules of the game but, said this happened during the Chen-Zhui period. Henceforth, this game most likely belonged to the Bei Zhou Dynasty. At any ratio, the terminology “Joy inside a mandarin” has been a nickname for Xiangqi for centuries.Cheng Jing of the Bei Song Dynasty (960-1126 A.D.) wrote a poem on Xiangqi named Xiang Xi Shi.The modern board size was determined a little bit before the Bei Song DynastyWe don’t know exactly how Xiangqi turned into modern day Chess but, we do know that they both many similarities. For example, modern Chess and Xiangqi both have identical boards and the both have the same goal, capture the general/king.In conclusion, from researching chess, it seems that modern day Chess may not have originated from one place, but from many cultures or countries. For example, modern day chess boards could have come from Xiangqi, or some of chess pieces could have come from Shatranj because they are not very similar, or the pawns in modern day Chess could have come Luigi, and the diagonal movement from the rooks in modern day chess could have come from Chaturanga. But, there is something all four have in common, the goal to capture the king.