What is Chess: Definition and 100 Discussions

Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between two players. It is sometimes called Western or international chess to distinguish it from related games such as xiangqi. The current form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from similar, much older games of Indian and Persian origin. Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.
Chess is an abstract strategy game and involves no hidden information. It is played on a square chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player (one controlling the white pieces, the other controlling the black pieces) controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way for it to escape. There are also several ways a game can end in a draw.
Organized chess arose in the 19th century. Chess competition today is governed internationally by FIDE (International Chess Federation). The first universally recognized World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; Magnus Carlsen is the current World Champion. A huge body of chess theory has developed since the game's inception. Aspects of art are found in chess composition; and chess in its turn influenced Western culture and art and has connections with other fields such as mathematics, computer science, and psychology.
One of the goals of early computer scientists was to create a chess-playing machine. In 1997, Deep Blue became the first computer to beat the reigning World Champion in a match when it defeated Garry Kasparov. Today's chess engines are significantly stronger than even the best human players, and have deeply influenced the development of chess theory.

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  1. Infrared

    Challenge Math Challenge Thread (October 2023)

    The Math challenge threads have returned! Rules: 1. You may use google to look for anything except the actual problems themselves (or very close relatives). 2. Do not cite theorems that trivialize the problem you're solving. 3. Do not solve problems that are way below your level. Some problems...
  2. S

    LaTeX Discover the Use of LaTex for Bridge and Chess Online Discussions

    I'm curious whether LaTex is commonly used to display online discussions of bridge and chess? (Yes, if I investigated online Bridge or chess forums, I'd find the answer. However I hope someone who knows will save me the trouble.) Just a casual search for "LaTex for bridge deals" shows that...
  3. P

    Is chess fundamentally harder to "effectively" solve than Go?

    It is universally admitted that error free play in Go requires enormously more information than error free play in chess. To define error free a bit, let us simply posit a complete table base for each game. Though little has been achieved with table bases for Go, in theory the problem is well...
  4. berkeman

    How do you even cheat in chess?

  5. neilparker62

    News Chess and Ukraine: Gary Kasparov, Putin, and Chess.com

    Given the huge popularity of chess in Russia, I thought the following might be significant. Firstly a TED talk given by ex World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov (who wrote the book "Winter is Coming" and remarked dryly that the sequel would have to be "Winter is Here" !) Modesty requires that one...
  6. david2

    Anyone following the chess world championship?

    Worldchamp Carlsen (my hero) will most likely win it again after he already won two games. The remainder games played were mostly fighting draws. Nepomniachtchi now needs to attack even more which cannot be done without also giving chances to Carlsen. My bet is that Carlsen will win a few more...
  7. HrvojeDjurdjevic

    I Is the proof of the KRK endgame theorem rigorous and original?

    The articles: https://lmcs.episciences.org/5328/pdf http://argo.matf.bg.ac.rs/publications/2013/2013-icga-krk-sat.pdf http://archive.ceciis.foi.hr/app/public/conferences/1/papers2012/dkb3.pdf KRK endgame is a win for white regardless of starting position, with the trivial drawing exception in...
  8. Janus

    Animated Chess Inspired by @Vanadium50 & @PeroK

    The reply by @Vanadium 50 to thread by @PeroK about Using Python for Chess inspired me to try my hand at recreating that Star Wars chess scene. This is my somewhat ham-handed attempt. The "Chessmen" are only somewhat similar to the ones in the actual movie, But I wasn't going for a exact copy...
  9. jedishrfu

    WIRED on Intl Master of Chess beat online by an Unknown Player

    https://www.wired.com/story/bird-feed-seller-beat-chess-master-online-harassment/ An interesting article where a player came out of nowhere to beat a popular chess International Master online. The IM felt it was cheating, did some analysis, and reported his opponent to Chess.com. After some...
  10. iVenky

    I What would the pdf look like for 'N' chess computers with the same rating

    If we have 'N' advanced computers (where N-> infinity) each with exactly the same rating to begin with and make them play with each other for an infinite number of games, what would the shape of the probability density function of the ratings eventually look like?
  11. B

    Ever Play Stress (Stratego and Chess)?

    So I mixed Stratego and Chess. How? Step 1. Take a chess board and an amount of opposing stratego pieces equal to the usual chesss setup. Step 2: Make or find stickers to put behind the stratego pieces that ID them as chess pieces, at least to you. The other player will have to make educated...
  12. B

    Chess VS Video Games.... Which Is Easier To Quit?

    Personally I think it is chess. Which also makes it relatively safer to play. Video games are designed to suck up hours of time, while chess, if challenging enough, is such a mental workout that one game is enough. Both chess and video games can be addictive, but video games are often designed...
  13. kyphysics

    Physics Forums Chess Club/Thread

    Are any members interested in a chess club/thread? It could involve both play and intellectual/"nerdy" chat and analysis.
  14. theycallmevirgo

    Tracking pieces for robot chess

    Our school got a robot arm and I was thinking of teaching it to play chess. AI chess is a solved problem, so is moving the arm around. However, I was hoping to at least try to use regular pieces. It would be easy enough to do it with markers, but physical pieces would need to be identified and...
  15. lpetrich

    B The eight-queens chess puzzle and variations of it

    Eight queens puzzle - Wikipedia -- place eight chess queens on a chessboard so that none of them attack each other. It turns out that there are 92 solutions, though when one counts together positions related by chessboard symmetries, there are only 12 solutions. This problem has been modified...
  16. S

    I Who would win a perfect game of chess?

    While chess hasn't been solved yet, other games have. For example, I know that in in some games, like connect four, if both players play perfectly, the player who goes first will always win. On the other hand, some games, like tic tac toe, a perfect game will result in a draw; in fact, I...
  17. Ackbach

    MHB Is AlphaZero a Scientific Breakthrough in AI?

    You chess fans out there might find https://chess24.com/en/read/news/deepmind-s-alphazero-crushes-chess interesting. No domain-specific knowledge required!
  18. P

    Mind boggling machine learning results from AlphaZero

    I have always been on the skeptical, but not dismissive, end of judgments about achievemnts and rate of progress in this field. However, the following (please read through carefully) just completely blows my mind: https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-future-is-here-alphazero-learns-chess A self...
  19. T

    Chess board probability

    Homework Statement 2 squares are chosen at random from a chess board.What is the chance that these 2 squares will share exactly 1 corner? Homework Equations P=favourable possibilities/Total possibilities The Attempt at a Solution So,the total no of possibilities should be 64C2. Now,for...
  20. F

    Understand From Atoms to Chess: Get Resources & Advice Here

    Hi! :smile: There is a wonderful video which very briefly explains the progression from atoms to ending up programming a game of chess. I would like to understand, very schematically but with substance, what is going on when I program something in C/C++ backwards and forwards, from the...
  21. david2

    Chess position computers cannot solve

    there was a post here on PF about a chess position created by mathematics professor Sir Roger Penrose which computers could not solve. unfortunately the thread was locked so I made a new thread. < Mentor Note -- this thread is different, so the re-post is okay > it was the following position...
  22. moriheru

    I Is a game situation in chess topologically invariant?

    The thought just struck my mind, while I was reading "The art and craft of problem solving", whether a game of chess can be topologically defended and is topologically invariant. For example a game play where only the pawn has been moved to E3 is some sort of topological figure and the initial...
  23. Auto-Didact

    B Can you solve Penrose's chess problem and win a bonus prize?

    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/14/can-solve-chess-problem-holds-key-human-consciousness/
  24. Helios

    News Carlsen remains chess champion

    Norwegian Magnus Carlsen just won the match against Russian Sergey Karjakin to remain the world chess champion. The last game ended when Carlsen issued an explosive queen sacrifice that is quite remarkable. KABLAM! Check it out.
  25. L

    I Combinatorics - rooks on a chess board

    Doing my combinatorics homework, I just thought that I've made a mistake. When counting the number of ways to place two black and one white rooks on a chess board, I placed the black rooks on black squares and the white one- on a white square? So I chose C(32,1) for the first took. Is that...
  26. TheSodesa

    Chances of player A winning a chess tournament?

    Homework Statement 4 Players (A, B, C, and D) enter a chess tournament. The probabilities of them winning each other have been calculated based on their previous games. The results are in the below table: \begin{array}{|c|cccc|} \hline\\ \\ & \text{A wins} & \text{B wins} & \text{C wins} &...
  27. Danielm

    Calculating Winning Probability for a Chess Master in a Competition

    Homework Statement A chess master plays n games at a chess competition, each against a different opponent. Based on their past performances, we can estimate the probabilities of each opponent beating the master: p1, . . . , pn ∈ [0, 1]. Describe an algorithm, which given integer k returns the...
  28. P

    I How many possible plays in first 10 moves of a game of Chess?

    How many different sequences of plays (moves of pieces) are possible in the first ten moves of a chess game? I have seen numbers that range up to 30!, but I have no real idea how those numbers are derived or whether trhey are valid. In fact, I doubt if a factorial even has anything to do with...
  29. tommyxu3

    Calculating Horse Moves in Chinese Chess

    I wrote a recursive function to calculate the number of the way for "horse" to move from one point to another in Chinese Chess in the following, but I cannot get the correct answer. My idea is to sum up the other 8(or less than 8) points' way toward the target. Thanks for any opinions in...
  30. G

    Number of ways to move the king across chess board

    Homework Statement On how many ways the king can be moved from the bottom left field to the upper right field on the chess board such that such that for every move it is closer to the upper right field? Homework Equations -Combinatorics The Attempt at a Solution I assume it is diagonal path...
  31. L

    Anybody here wanna play some chess?

    If so, I have an account on lichess.org. My username on that site is mulah_aprilclimate. If you're in the mood to play, please shoot me a PM and let me know you're from physicsforums! My US Chess Federation rating was between 1800 and 1900, but I haven't played in any tournaments in over a...
  32. C

    MHB Calculate Grains of Wheat: A Program for Chess Inventor's Request

    There is a story of the inventor of chess. The king wanted to reward him with riches, but he only asked for the following. One grain of wheat for the first square, two on the second, four on the third, doubling the amount for each square until 64 squares are accounted for. Questions 1) Design...
  33. Sudharaka

    MHB Chess Players: What Software Do You Use to Record Moves?

    Hi everyone, This goes out to all our chess players. I just want to ask you the chess software programs that you use. Does any of you use a software that can record chess moves if you are playing tournaments. I was just wondering whether you can actually use an app or something to record moves...
  34. PsychonautQQ

    Interesting 8x8 chess board counting problem

    A standard 8x8 chess board has but a lone rook in the bottom left corner. A rook a piece than can move any number of spaces either horizontally or vertically. If the rook can only move up and to the right, how many possible paths does it have to the top right corner? I think it's a pretty...
  35. AdityaDev

    What's your favourite chess opening?

    I love playing chess. I like playing blackmar diemer gambit and the ruy Lopez as white. As black,against white's e4 I play the Sicilian defense (dragon variation) and against 1.d4 I use Slav defense. What's your favorite chess opening? (are my openings good?)
  36. Jameson

    MHB Magnus Carlsen defends world chess champion title

    Congrats to Magnus! I can't believe he's only 23. Chess isn't a very popular game to follow but I enjoy watching the analysis of what's going on afterwards. My favorite channel to watch is Chess Network. Here's a video of my favorite commentator, Chess Network: P.S. If chisigma wants to give...
  37. DiracPool

    Where Can Scientists Play Chess Online?

    From time to time I'll see someone on PF trying to set up some sort of system where members can play chess with one another, but the effort always seems to evaporate quickly. Personally, I go in phases, sometimes I'll go months on end without playing a single game, then I'll get the bug and...
  38. D

    Help in trying to build microcontroller powered Chess Board

    Hello all, as the title states I'm trying to build an arduino powered chess board. The chess pieces will have magnets on the bottom and each square of the board will be equipped with a reed switch for detecting the presence of the magnetic field produced by the magnet. I recently tried this out...
  39. Greg Bernhardt

    Best early game strategy for chess

    I've started to get back into chess. I never had any formal training and was never very good. A friend of mine has got me playing against him via a phone app a few times a week. What is a good basic strategy for me to use? Especially interested in early game. Thanks!
  40. J

    Rating systems for chess players

    All chess rating systems including the Elo rating system are based on a procedure called "scoring" which assigns a score of 1 for a win, 0 for a loss, and 1/2 for a draw. This procedure reduces the trinomial nature of chess game outcomes to a binomial variable and thereby greatly simplifies the...
  41. M

    Exact number of possible chess games

    I've googled this and it appears that there doesn't seem to be an exact number of games. Assume that no illegal moves are allowed, peices must start in their correct squares and each game lasts a total of 40 moves. Is there a way to work out exactly how many 40 move games exist? There are a...
  42. Monsterboy

    World chess championship 2013,disaster or miracle?

    Anybody here keeping track of the WCC 2013? 4 draws in the beginning and 2 wins for Carlsen! Anand must have panicked after the first defeat ,i feel he should have settled for a draw after his first defeat ,cool himself down and then may be go for a win. What might have happened ? his...
  43. chisigma

    MHB The 2013 World Chess Championship Anand vs Carlsen....

    I remember that one year ago the World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand attracted the attention of several members of MHB. Today a new Wolrd Chess Championship is started between Viswanathan Anand and the young Nowegian chess master Magnus Carlsen and I'm sure that...
  44. M

    Recently joined a free online chess website

    I recently joined a free online chess website just out of bordem and I can't believe how amazing everyone is... So far I've played 10 games and only won 3. I'm losing against people with ~640 ranking, which must be low compared to a grandmasters 2800+ Every move I make, no matter how smart I...
  45. M

    What is the complexity of possible chess game combinations?

    Homework Statement Given a standard chess board consisting of 64 squares with each game taking a total of 40 moves. Calculate the total number of games which can be played. You are to assume a stalemate situation occurring on the 40th move a completed game.The Attempt at a Solution So there are...
  46. T

    Designing a Lit Chess Challange with Induction Current

    I recently purchased a set of glass chess that are hollow and have sufficient space to fit a LED and some other components. I woul like to power and lit The LEDs (up to 32) with induction current by installing a small coil an a capacitor connected in parallel inside each chess piece. Another...
  47. S

    Solving the 8 Pawns Puzzle on an 8x8 Chess Board

    Imagine a 8x8 chess board, is it possible to place 8 pawns such that they are of different distances from one another?
  48. Monsterboy

    How to get better in chess fast?

    To get better in chess faster? should i play against a computer often or should i play against other people ? how to avoid silly mistakes in chess? ,when i don't make them i can beat some of rated 1200 ,sometimes i lose someone like 800
  49. A

    How are humans able to play better than computers? [chess]

    I don't know about the current situation but earlier humans were able to beat computers at chess. The first major loss was I guess Kasparov against Deep Blue. But still I think humans still beat computers today. How is this possible? Computers can think far further than we humans can. They...
  50. T

    Optimizing Knights on 8x8 Chess Board with Integer Programming

    Homework Statement On a 8x8 chess board format an Integer program to optimize the amount of knights required such that every square is covered by at least one knight. Homework Equations I know of a similar problem where we use duality for the placing 5 queens such that the maximum...