/ches/, n.
a game played by two persons, each with 16 pieces, on a chessboard.
[1150-1200; ME < OF esches, pl. of eschec CHECK1]
/ches/, n., pl. chess, chesses.
one of the planks forming the roadway of a floating bridge.
[1425-75; late ME ches tier, layer < ?]

* * *

Checkerboard game for two players, each of whom moves 16 pieces according to fixed rules across the board and tries to capture or immobilize (checkmate) the opponent's king.

The game may have originated in Asia about the 6th century, though it continued to evolve as it spread into Europe in Byzantine times; its now-standard rules first became generally accepted in Europe in the 16th century. The players, designated white or black, start with their pieces arranged on opposite ends of the board. Kings move one square in any direction
but not into attack (check). Bishops move diagonally, and rooks horizontally or vertically, any number of unobstructed squares. Queens move like either bishops or rooks. Knights move to the nearest nonadjacent square of the opposite colour (an "L" shape) and ignore intervening chessmen. Pieces capture by moving to an enemy-occupied square. Pawns move forward one square (except one or two on their first move) and are promoted to any non-king piece if they eventually reach the last row. Pawns capture only one diagonal square forward of them. For one turn only, a pawn has the option, known as en passant, of capturing an enemy pawn that has just made a first move of two squares to avoid being captured by moving only one; the capture occurs as though the pawn had moved only one square. When the first row between a king and either rook is clear, and as long as the king and that rook have not moved, a maneuver known as castling can be done in which the king is shifted two squares toward that rook and the rook is placed directly on the other side of the king. Kings cannot castle when in check or through any square in which they would be in check. A draw, known as a stalemate, occurs if a player is not in check but any move he could make would place him in check. A draw also occurs if the same position occurs three times (such as through "perpetual check").

* * *

▪ 2006

      The year 2005 in chess was filled with surprises. Vladimir Kramnik, the official world champion, continued to play in uncertain form and dropped as low as sixth in the international ratings in July. Garry Kasparov, the strongest player of the past two decades, announced early retirement, while chess legend Bobby Fischer succeeded in regaining his freedom after eight months of detention in Japan. Finally, the elite Dortmund (Ger.) Sparkassen Tournament was won by 19-year-old Arkady Naiditsch, the lowest-rated player in the event.

      Kasparov and Fischer were the two strongest players of the second half of the 20th century, and their actions in 2005 ensured headline coverage in the media, yet reverses suffered by leading human players against the latest enhanced supercomputers, such as the 5.5–0.5 victory by Hydra against English grandmaster Michael Adams in London on June 21–27, resulted in diminished sponsorship and sparser media coverage than a decade earlier.

      The retirement of Kasparov at the age of 41 while still at the top of the ratings was a bombshell. Most grandmasters continued to play until the age of 50 or beyond, and exceptional figures such as Viktor Korchnoi were enjoying success even in their 70s. Kasparov, in top form, won the Linares, Spain, tournament in February–March, but he was disillusioned by the continuing failure of chess officials to implement the Prague agreement of May 2002 that was intended to mend the rift in the chess world. He had been unable to secure a rematch with Kramnik, who had taken the world title from him in 2001, and his planned match with Rustam Kasimjanov, scheduled for Dubai in January–February and part of the Prague unification process, was canceled by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world ruling body, after sponsorship fell through. Because Kasparov had held this slot open in his schedule, he was denied the chance to play in the tournament at Wijk aan Zee, Neth., in January, where his archrivals Peter Leko of Hungary, Viswanathan Anand of India, and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria took the top three spots.

      Kasparov stated at the end of the Linares meet, where he was declared winner on tiebreak ahead of Topalov, that he was seeking a new challenge and intended to go into Russian politics on a platform opposing Pres. Vladimir Putin.

      Fischer benefited from strong support from sympathizers in Iceland in the face of pressure by the U.S. authorities, who still wished to punish the former child prodigy for having broken sanctions against Yugoslavia by playing a match there against Boris Spassky in 1992. Legal wrangles and appeals in Japan throughout 2004 delayed the implementation of the U.S. request for Fischer's extradition; further, the charges against him, based on a presidential executive order, might not stand up in court. The matter was additionally complicated by Fischer's application for political asylum in several countries. On March 22 the Icelandic parliament passed a special bill to grant the American maverick Icelandic citizenship, whereupon he was released from Japan and given the chance to return to Reykjavík, the scene of his epic defeat of the world champion Spassky in 1972.

      Fischer did not envisage returning to orthodox chess, however, which he regarded as compromised by results fixed in advance, especially in matches involving former Soviet players. He continued to promote “random chess,” an unorthodox form of the game in which the players draw lots not only for colour but also for a randomly determined positioning of the pieces on the back row, which nullifies any advantages of having mastered stock chess openings.

      A move to reduce the large number of lacklustre draws reached by agreement early in games was conducted in the one new top tournament of the year, that in Sofia, Bulg., sponsored by M-Tel, the Bulgarian telecommunications company, on May 12–22. The players were forbidden to speak to each other during the game or otherwise signal that they were agreeable to a draw, so halving the point for the game could come about only by natural attrition of material, stalemate, threefold repetition of a position, or authorization of the tournament arbiter. Topalov, on home ground, scored 6.5/10, a full point ahead of Anand, and advanced his claim as a world championship contender. Former child prodigy Judit Polgar of Hungary, returning after a long maternity leave, showed that she had retained her playing strength by coming equal third in the double-round contest, while Kramnik scored a disappointing four points to finish equal at fifth–sixth with Adams.

      The Dortmund tournament on July 8–17 also saw a welcome reduction of draws. Naiditsch, the local man, scored the biggest surprise of recent years, emerging on top at 5.5/9; second through fifth places were claimed by Topalov, Étienne Bacrot of France, Loek van Wely of The Netherlands, and Peter Svidler of Russia. Kramnik and Adams were tied for fifth–sixth, and Leko was seventh. The performances of the last three men were surprising, especially as Kramnik and Leko had drawn a world championship match only 10 months earlier.

      A step toward the long-awaited world title unification process took place in San Luis province, Arg., September 27–October 16, when Topalov took the FIDE world championship in a double-round event over Anand and Svidler (tied for second) and Aleksandr Morozevich of Russia (third). In another development a new Association of Chess Professionals was formed to protect the interests of second-echelon players on the chess circuit in the harsher economic climate that had prevailed since the turn of the century.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2005

      In 2004 reunification of the individual chess world title system, as envisaged in the Prague Agreement of May 2002 between the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world ruling body, and many, but not all, of the world's top players, continued—but in a halting fashion. A lack of sponsorship for the FIDE version of the world title was overcome when Libya, as a sign of opening itself up to the world and as a move away from its alleged association with terrorism, put up a prize fund of $1.5 million for the knockout event, which took place in Tripoli on June 18–July 13 with a field of 124 players.

      Because American and Israeli players expressed doubts about their security in Libya, FIDE initially envisaged a part of the event being split off and conducted in Malta. Tripoli promised to grant visas to all participants, but the undertaking was undermined by a fiery comment, describing Israelis as “the Zionist enemy,” by the son of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The field was finally not a representative one, lacking all but 2 of the top 10 players on the FIDE rating list.

      The top seed, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, fell at the semifinal stage in the quickplay tiebreaker to Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan. The quick time limit favoured younger players, and the 24-year-old Uzbek was judged by purists to have ridden his luck in a number of clearly lost positions. The pattern continued in the final, where Kasimdzhanov pulled off a great surprise by beating second-seeded Michael Adams of England, also in the tiebreaker, after a level 3–3 score in the initial encounters. Kasimdzhanov, a resident of Germany, was only 54th on the rating list, so this was the greatest surprise result of recent chess history and in some eyes an indictment of the knockout system.

      Former world champion Bobby Fischer, who had single-handedly put an end to Soviet domination of chess with his famous defeat of Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972, was arrested at Tokyo's Narita Airport on July 13 for holding an invalid passport. Fischer's U.S. passport had been renewed as late as 1997, in Switzerland, despite a U.S. indictment against him dating from his replay match with Spassky in 1992 in Yugoslavia, which was then under international sanctions. Fischer alleged manhandling by those who arrested him and stated from his detention cell in Tokyo, where he was awaiting extradition, that he was seeking political asylum. His checkered history—ranging from a reclusive lifestyle and the sanctions-breaking contest in 1992 to his later anti-Semitic statements in the media—had kept little sympathy for him. The judicial process, which the U.S. authorities hoped would lead to swift deportation, dragged on for months as Fischer's supporters assembled a team of lawyers whose appeal for lengthier consideration was met.

      Russian Garry Kasparov had a quiet year as he concentrated on the completion of his series of books My Great Predecessors. Planned as a trilogy, the series had expanded to five volumes in the course of writing and was appearing in a number of languages. Kasparov played only at the tournament in Linares, Spain, held on February 19–March 9; in a friendly exhibition match, Armenia Versus the Rest of the World, held in Moscow in June in memory of former world chess champion Tigran Petrosyan of Armenia; and at the Russian Superfinal Championship in Moscow in November. At Linares Kasparov had one win and 11 draws in a double-round contest for seven players. His score of 6.5 points gained him joint second place with Peter Leko of Hungary, half a point behind Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. This result, along with the similar narrow 18.5–17.5 defeat of Armenia in June, gave further substance to commentators' belief that Kasparov's powers had weakened since he turned 40.

      Kasparov was scheduled to meet Kasimdzhanov in a match in January 2005, with the victor meeting the winner of the Kramnik-Leko 14-game match in Brissago, Switz., on September 25–October 18, in an effort to complete the unification by summer 2005. Kramnik retained his world title in the 14-game match against Leko (played at the classical chess time limit). The Russian needed to win the last game to reach a 7–7 tie (2 wins each and 10 draws) and did so, repeating a feat achieved only twice in nearly a century of chess history. Shortly after the match Kramnik antagonized many by stating that he did not envisage meeting the winner of the Kasparov-Kasimdzhanov match, so undermining the Prague Agreement. Kramnik also withdrew, pleading health problems, from the Russian Superfinal, where Kasparov showed a return to form by winning with an undefeated score of 7.5 points from 10 games, a point and a half ahead of the field.

      At the World Chess Olympiad, in Majorca, Spain, in October, 129 men's teams competed. This event was played at the faster FIDE time rate. Ukraine won the title for the first time, ahead of Russia, Armenia, and the U.S. In the accompanying women's event, there were 87 entries. China took the gold medal, ahead of the U.S. and Russia.

       Viswanathan Anand of India won the other top tournaments of the year at Wijk aan Zee, Neth., on January 10–25 and Dortmund, Ger., on July 22–August 1. At Wijk he scored 8.5 points out of 13, half a point ahead of Leko and Adams, with Kramnik only sixth equal with 6.5 points. At Dortmund, where the high percentage (78%) of drawn games was a talking point, Anand defeated Kramnik in the final. Once again, the decision came only in a quickplay finish after games at the slower classical time limit had proved indecisive—a continuing trend in recent years. Anand was not a signatory of the Prague Agreement, and he remained outside the unification process, despite his claims to be currently the strongest player in the world.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2004

      Gloom spread in the chess world in 2003 as hopes for a timely reunification of the world-title system, as envisaged in the Prague Agreement of May 2002, were not realized. This deferred further the prospect of having a clear answer to the question Who is world chess champion?

      The agreement that had apparently healed the schism dating from Russian Garry Kasparov's 1993 breakaway from the world ruling body, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), envisaged a match in the spring of 2003 between Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Hungarian Peter Leko, with the winner meeting the victor of a match between Kasparov and the holder of the FIDE world title, Ukrainian teenager Ruslan Ponomaryov.

      Chronic underfunding of chess proved to be a stumbling block. FIDE announced that the Kasparov-Ponomaryov match would be in Buenos Aires, Arg., but this proved a chimera. Meanwhile, the Kramnik-Leko match was scheduled to be held in Hungary, but the Hungarian government could not raise the prize money of $1 million. The situation was further bedeviled by financial difficulties for the Einstein Group, which had purchased contractual rights for Kramnik's world-title engagements from the Brain Games organization. The latter had run the 2001 Kasparov-Kramnik match in London. The Einstein Group went into liquidation, and Kramnik officially severed all ties with that organization in September.

      Ukraine agreed to host the Kasparov match in the autumn, some six months later than envisaged. This was to be opened by symbolic first moves made on the board by Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and Pres. Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine. Protocol difficulties arose from the legitimate question of which player was to be regarded as the challenger (traditionally the titleholder needed only a drawn match to be declared winner). At one stage Ponomaryov threatened legal action against FIDE over these difficulties. He finally agreed to waive his rights to ensure that the match took place, but when he failed to sign the required contract in time, FIDE reluctantly canceled the match.

      The three traditionally strongest tournaments of the year produced contradictory results that did not cast much light on current form and title-match prospects. At the Wijk aan Zee, Neth., tournament, held January 10–26, Viswanathan Anand of India scored 8.5 points (from 13 games), relegating Kramnik (with 7 points) to a shared fourth place. Former child prodigy Judit Polgar (8) of Hungary took second place; Kasparov did not participate.

      In the double-round event in Linares, Spain, on February 22–March 9, Leko and Kramnik (both with 7 points out of 12) tied for first place, half a point ahead of Anand and Kasparov. The feature of the event was the sacrificial win by new star Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan over Kasparov, who claimed that he had played the worst tournament of his life, blundering in every game. At the closing ceremony Kasparov strongly objected to the awarding of a “beauty prize” to Radjabov for his win against his senior colleague.

      As usual, Kasparov, who had got into a dispute with the organizers 10 years earlier, was absent from the third prestigious tournament of the year, in Dortmund, Ger., on July 31–August 10. Kramnik, Anand, and Leko did take part in the double rounder for six players. Moldova's Viorel Bologan, who was rated 42nd in the world, scored a big upset (6.5 out of 10) to head off Kramnik and Anand (both 5.5).

      The British championship, held in Edinburgh in July and August, produced another win for a nonresident of the British Isles, Abhijit Kunte of India. A de facto boycott of the event by most of England's leading players (only 5 of the country's 30 grandmasters entered in 2003) led to a constitutional change: in the future, residence in the British Isles or British dependent territories was to be the sole qualification for the tournament.

      Kasparov gained a munificent prize when he drew 3–3 with the Deep Junior program in the “FIDE Man–Machine” $1 million match held January 26–February 7 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. Kasparov took an early lead and seemed to be well on top when he slipped back. A short draw in the sixth game brought a disappointing end to a big media event. The live audience even greeted the result with a few boos, probably a first in chess history.

      Chess at a lower level continued to flourish on the Internet, though this produced its own casualties as traditional clubs found it harder to attract players from their homes to a central venue. The German-language Swiss weekly Die Schachwoche, which for more than 20 years had covered international play and advertised forthcoming tournaments, abruptly closed in May. Many people had looked upon Die Schachwoche as a kind of trade paper for the chess professional. The management attributed catastrophic first-quarter losses to the free replication on the Internet of the publication's paid services.

      The book of the year was the first volume of a planned trilogy by Kasparov entitled Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, which combined shrewd historical narrative with a fresh look at famous games, revealing new facets of their complexities.

      Ludek Pachman, the Czech chess grandmaster, prolific author, and famous dissident who had been jailed for his support of the liberalizing Prague Spring of 1968, died in Passau, Ger., on March 6 at the age of 78. Chess historian Ken Whyld of England, joint author of the standard work The Oxford Companion to Chess, died on July 11 at age 77.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2003

      The first concerted effort to heal the schism in world chess took place in early 2002 and culminated in a historic agreement signed on May 6 in Prague. The schism dated from 1993, when Russian Garry Kasparov, then the world chess champion, and his official challenger, Nigel Short of England, set up the short-lived Professional Chess Association to facilitate their title match in London outside the aegis of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE). Kasparov maintained his distance from FIDE from that time.

      Kasparov was also hostile to the FIDE innovation of arranging annual knockout tournaments and giving the winner the title of world champion, which broke with hallowed tradition; since the initial match between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johann Zukertort in 1886, the title had changed hands only as a result of single combat over a large number of games at a slow time limit (except in 1946 after the death of Alexander Alekhine had removed the titleholder from consideration).

      The third FIDE knockout title event began in November 2001 in Moscow. Zhu Chen of China defeated Aleksandra Kostenyuk of Russia for the women's title in December, and the men's final between two Ukrainians, Vasyl Ivanchuk and 18-year-old Ruslan Ponomaryov, followed in January 2002. The younger man won the first and fifth games, securing the scheduled eight-game match at a quick time limit by the overwhelming score of 4.5 to 2.5, with no need to play the scheduled final game. The quality of the seven games played left much to be desired. British Chess Magazine did not publish all of them, an eloquent gesture in view of the tradition of publishing all the previous championship games back to 1886.

 Ponomaryov crossed swords with Kasparov at the Linares, Spain, tournament, held February 22 to March 10, and performed creditably, drawing the first game and losing the second. (See game diagram—>.) In the double-round event, Kasparov was undefeated (8 points out of 12 games). Ponomaryov (6.5) finished in second place, followed by Ivanchuk, Viswanathan Anand of India, and Michael Adams of England (all 6). The final scores left no doubt about the quality of the young Ukrainian's game, but he could hardly be considered Kasparov's superior.

      This result, combined with the refusal of Russian Vladimir Kramnik to grant Kasparov a return match for the world title in 2001 or 2002 and the realization that the claims of rival world champions were a cause of skepticism and even ridicule (as well as being counterproductive in the search for sponsors), led the rival parties to Prague in May and thus ended the boycott by Kasparov and Kramnik.

      Credit for breaking the deadlock went to American grandmaster Yasser Seirawan, who lobbied untiringly for his project of a “new start.” FIDE Pres. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had already announced that the knockout championships would be held only every two years in the future owing to financial strains, so the scene was set for compromise. The Prague Unity Plan was signed by six interested parties—Ilyumzhinov; the head of Czech Telecom, Bessel Kok; Kasparov; Kramnik; Seirawan; and Aleksey Orlov, president of the World Chess Foundation.

      The unification plan accepted the main principle that FIDE would be the custodian and owner of the world championship title, something that FIDE's founders had been unable to stipulate at the time of its formation in 1924 or at its reconstitution in 1946–47. Kok was to draw up a business plan that envisaged issuing a license to the World Chess Foundation to run a single unified title contest in the future. The existing contractual rights between Kramnik and the Einstein Group would be taken care of by arranging a match in spring 2003 between Kramnik and the winner of the 2002 Dortmund, Ger., tournament. The winner of that contest would play a unification match in late 2003 with the winner of a Kasparov-Ponomaryov match. A “normal” cycle of events would start in 2004 to provide a challenger to a universally recognized world titleholder in 2005.

      Certain logical challengers for the title, however, such as Anand and Ivanchuk, did not wish to participate at Dortmund. The winner was 22-year-old Hungarian Peter Leko, who played in more dynamic style than had been his practice in earlier years. Leko already had a near-level record against Kramnik in previous contests and was widely judged to be a worthy challenger.

      The traditionally strong Wijk aan Zee, Neth., tournament, held Jan. 12–27, 2002, lacked Kasparov because of illness and was won by the Russian Yevgeny Bareyev (9 points out of 13), ahead of teenage star Aleksandr Grishchuk of Russia (8.5). The strongest and most interesting team match of the year was the China-U.S. contest in Shanghai on July 10–15. China repeated its victory of the previous year in Seattle, Wash., this time by 20.5–19.5.

      In October the long-awaited eight-game match between Kramnik and the Deep Fritz computer program was held in Bahrain. After drawing game one, Kramnik decisively won games two and three. Fritz came back to win game five, after a Kramnik blunder, and game six, which Kramnik resigned in a position many observers believed was still tenable. Two more drawn games left the duel in a final 4–4 draw, for which Kramnik earned $800,000.

      The FIDE world chess Olympiad was held in Bled, Slovenia, from October 25 to November 11, with teams from 140 countries taking part. In the men's (open) event, the mainly young Russian team, reinforced by the return of Kasparov, took the gold medal (38.5 game points out of 54), followed by Hungary (37.5), which fielded the world's best woman player, Judit Polgar, Armenia (35), and Georgia (34). In the women's section, Georgia collapsed in the last 4 rounds of the 14-round event, leaving China (29.5 points out of 42) to edge Russia (29) for the title, with Poland (28) third and Georgia (27.5) fourth.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2002

      The chess world settled down to a threefold division of influence in 2001—Vladimir Kramnik was considered world champion by many after his match victory over fellow Russian Garry Kasparov, while Viswanathan Anand was the official world champion, authorized by the world ruling body Fédération Internationale des Échecs after the Indian was successful in the knockout contest organized by FIDE in New Delhi and Tehran in late 2000. Meanwhile, there was Kasparov himself, still recognized by many as the strongest player in the world and certainly the undisputed leader of the international rating list.

      Kasparov's aspirations for a return match against Kramnik foundered early in the year when the contractual obligations of the two players to the Brain Games Network private company came to an end. BGN planned instead an eight-game match between Kramnik and the Fritz computer program to be held in Bahrain in October. After the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the match was postponed until 2002.

      Tension between the players on the international circuit and FIDE intensified after the introduction of a new faster time limit for the top tournaments. “Classical chess” had traditionally been played at the rate of 40 moves in two and a half hours, a rate introduced by José Raúl Capablanca in the 1920s. This had given way in the 1990s to the slightly quicker rate of 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in an hour plus half an hour to finish the game. Such standard rates naturally involved playing only one game a day, so that top tournaments and matches lasted several weeks or even longer.

      The initial proposal by FIDE was for the 2001 world championship cycle to be run at the rate of 40 moves in 40 minutes plus 20 minutes to finish or, with the new digital clocks, at 40/40 and a 30-second bonus for every move made. This was eased somewhat in the face of protests, but those events that had been run on this modified basis had been replete with complaints by the players that the standard of the games was very disappointing. Too many games had had farcical finishes for true lovers of chess to be satisfied with the innovation.

      It was assumed that the long-term plan was to have two games a day and generally reduce the costs of contests. FIDE argued that shorter games would stand a better chance of gaining television coverage. Attempts continued to have chess admitted to the Olympic Games, with the first step being the admission of chess as an exhibition sport in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

      Another bone of contention arose between FIDE and traditional organizers in Western Europe when the former tried to incorporate their events in a new World Chess Grand Prix. The “Big Three” of the tournament circuit—Wijk aan Zee, Neth.; Linares, Spain; and Dortmund, Ger.—rejected the overtures and in a joint statement indicated their intention to remain independent and preserve the character of their events. This rebuff was met by threats of FIDE's running parallel spoiler contests at the usual times in the calendar for the traditional events.

      At the Wijk aan Zee event, held January 13–28, the top scores were Kasparov (9 points out of 13), Anand (8.5), Kramnik and Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine (both 8), and Michael Adams of England, Russian Aleksandr Morozevich, and Aleksey Shirov representing Spain (all 7.5). At the Linares tournament, which took place from February 23 to March 6, Kasparov (7.5 out of 10) scored an overwhelming victory in a double-round contest, followed by a unique tie for second-to-last place between Judit Polgar of Hungary, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, Shirov, Peter Leko of Hungary, and the new teenage Russian star Aleksandr Grischuk (all 4.5). The Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, on July 12–22, was also a double rounder and ended with Kramnik and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria tied at 6.5 out of 10, followed by Leko (5.5), Morozevich (5), Adams (3.5), and Anand (3).

      Anand's failure to win a single game and his lowly placing somewhat undermined the credibility of his FIDE title. The other significant tournament result of the year was Kasparov's first place at the six-man event in Astana, Kazakhstan, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the independence of that Central Asian country. This was played as yet another double rounder and was won by Kasparov (7 points out of 10), followed by Kramnik (6.5), Boris Gelfand of Israel (5.5), Shirov and Morozevich (both 4.5), and Darmen Sadvakasov of Kazakhstan (2).

      Kasparov also played a short match at odds in London, conceding two pawns to the English businessman Terry Chapman in a reversion to 19th-century practice. The Russian won 2.5–1.5. A sign of the times came in mid-March in Seattle, Wash., when China beat the U.S. 21–19 in a four-round, 10-board match, with the Chinese junior players clinching the victory.

      The Najdorf Memorial was held in Buenos Aires, Arg., on September 4–13. For the first time in a top tournament, two female players were invited: the women's world champion, Xie Jun of China, and Polgar, a former child prodigy long considered the strongest woman player in the world. Both finished mid-table with 4.5 points out of 9 in the 10-player contest, which was won by Karpov (6.5). He had recently celebrated his 50th birthday, and the event marked his comeback to the world elite. Even more remarkable was the age range in the joint second-place finishers with 6 points—70-year-old Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland and 14-year-old Teimur Radjabov of Azerbaijan, who thereby gave notice that he could be the world's best player within the next few years.

      The chess world lost two significant figures late in the year. On November 12 Anthony John ("Tony") Miles died in his native Birmingham, Eng., at age 46, two years after being diagnosed with diabetes. Miles became the first English grandmaster at over the board play in 1976, after winning the junior world championship in 1974. His 10-year run of success against top players such as Karpov helped England to rise from a mediocre position in the international chess rankings to challenge the mighty Soviet Union. John W. ("Jack") Collins, a respected American chess teacher whose students had included former world champion Bobby Fischer, died on December 2 at age 89.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2001

      The parallel but entirely separate realms of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world ruling body founded in 1924, and former FIDE champion Garry Kasparov of Russia continued in 2000. FIDE made further attempts to come closer to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in what looked like an attempt to reinforce its legitimacy and its right to organize the world individual championship. Kasparov, who split with FIDE in 1993, spent many months anticipating a title match with the Indian star Viswanathan Anand, then agreed to entrust the arrangement of such a contest to yet another new organization, the Brain Games Network (BGN). Anand, however, would not agree to such a match.

      So there was no repeat of the Kasparov-Anand match held in New York City in 1995. In its place London-based backers of BGN arranged a 16-game match between Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik for October and November 2000. Kramnik's midyear displacement of Anand in second place on the ratings list made this a logical step, but the gap of five years between Kasparov's matches was reminiscent of pre-1945 when Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, and Alexander Alekhine were reluctant to play matches against logical contenders.

      Kramnik pulled off a great surprise by beating Kasparov, who had dominated world chess for 15 years. Kramnik, a 25-year-old from the Russian town of Tuapse, wedged between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, came out the winner on November 2 by scoring 2 wins, no losses, and 13 draws. Kasparov, at age 37, seemed almost unrecognizable. After the match he pointed to Kramnik's adoption of a new opening repertoire as the reason for his failure. Kasparov had felt obliged to work 10 hours a day on rest days in an attempt to counter such innovations as the Berlin Defense to the dreaded Ruy Lopez opening and suffered from a sort of burnout after the first few games. It certainly was unprecedented for Kasparov to offer to call it a draw after only 11 and 14 moves as he did in the 7th and 13th games, respectively. It was the first time since the Lasker-Capablanca match of 1921 that a defending champion had failed to win a single game.

      These developments took place against the background of fewer international tournaments and the financial strains that induced FIDE to set up a commercial arm, the initial business plan of which seemed rather optimistic. The IOC connection brought in the spectre of drug tests, which many leading players resented. Jan Timman, the leading Dutch player of the past 25 years, stated his intention not to cooperate. Grandmasters were generally skeptical about the availability of performance-enhancing drugs for chess, but the drinking of a cup of coffee during play, a traditional feature of the game at all levels, seemed threatened should the proposed testing program go ahead.

      Meanwhile, many local clubs and short tournaments played at a rate of more than one game a day found their popularity diminished by the spread of Internet play. The controversial aspect of computer development was crystallized at the Dutch Championship on May 7–19 when Paul van der Sterren announced in advance that he would lose by default rather than meet the computer, and some other competitors played far below their best against it. Loek van Wely defeated it, however, using the slow buildup of a close game, which exploited one of the few remaining advantages human players had over computers, and took the Dutch title with 8.5 points from 11 games. The computer program Fritz SSS scored seven points to share third–fifth place, though van der Sterren came in third on a tiebreaker.

      Meanwhile, FIDE announced that it would not in the future rate events in which computers took part, placing a barrier in the path of such mixed contests. The controversy over inflated ratings achieved in Myanmar (Burma) by results attained within too small a pool of players to be valid was mitigated. Every player from that country had 100 rating points deducted in the July 1 list—rough justice but long overdue.

      Kasparov repeated his feat of 1999 by winning the three strongest tournaments of the year at Wijk aan Zee, Neth.; Linares, Spain (jointly with Kramnik); and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, before coming in second to Anand at the Frankfurt (Ger.) Chess Classic on June 22–25. This was a double-round contest played at the quick time limit of 25 minutes per player per game. Anand took the official FIDE world title in December, beating Aleksey Shirov of Spain 31/21/2 in the six-game final. Xie Jun of China retained her FIDE title with a win over compatriot Qin Kanying.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 2000

      Garry Kasparov of Russia, the undefeated former world champion under the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world ruling body, proved that he was by far the strongest player in the world with three excellent tournament victories in the first half of 1999, but he refused to take part in the official knockout title contest arranged by FIDE in the U.S. in the summer. This reinforced the ongoing difficulty of answering the question: “Who is the world chess champion?”

      Another former world titleholder under FIDE, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, had delayed the arrangements for the knockout contest in Las Vegas, Nev., by claiming that he had a contract with FIDE that guaranteed him a clear two-year reign on the chess throne dating from his victory over Viswanathan Anand of India in January 1998. This provision ruled out any contest in late 1998. Karpov objected to the July–August 1999 arrangement in Las Vegas on the grounds that FIDE had not consulted with him as per his contract; he claimed damages for this and the possible effects of lost income due to the cancellation of his tournament appearances during those months. The release by FIDE on the Internet of a draft letter of reconciliation, purportedly signed by him but which Karpov claimed he had not even seen, led to frosty relations. Karpov's claims were being studied by a Swiss court in late 1999.

      Kasparov had undermined his own position in the ongoing world title dispute by replicating his 1998 failure to play a scheduled World Chess Council (WCC) match against a logical challenger. Just as his match with Spanish challenger Aleksey Shirov fell through in 1998 due to lack of financial support in Spain, so, too, did an arrangement to play Anand in Prague, New York City, or London in October–November 1999. This arrangement induced Anand not to compete at Las Vegas, but unlike Shirov, who had received no money, Anand was reported to have received compensation for his signature on a contract to meet Kasparov in a 16-game contest for a $3 million purse. Continuing claims in the summer that the contest was a “done deal” dealt a blow to WCC prestige, though prospects were still held out that the match might take place in 2000.

      Kasparov's win of the Wijk aan Zee, Neth., tournament in January was very impressive. He scored 10 points out of 13, half a point ahead of Anand. At one stage Kasparov's margin of victory looked likely to be greater, but a ninth-round loss to Ivan Sokolov of Bosnia and Herzegovina held him back. Then at Linares, Spain, in February–March, he scored 10.5 points out of 14 in a double-round contest to finish two and a half points ahead of Russia's Vladimir Kramnik and Anand. He was less impressive at the Sarajevo, Bosnia, tournament, in May, which ended with Kasparov taking 7 points out of 10, ahead of Yevgeny Bareyev of Russia and Shirov (both 6) and Alex Morozevich of Russia (5.5).

      After all the controversy, the 100 qualifiers at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, where the first round began on July 31, lacked Kasparov, Karpov, Anand, and Morozevich among the world's elite players. All the seeded players were eliminated earlier than expected, leaving the last four to be called “chess tourists” by Kasparov on his World Wide Web site in view of their low standings on the international rating list. The ultimate winner was 33-year-old Aleksandr Khalifman from St. Petersburg, Russia, who defeated the Armenian Vladimir Akopyan 3.5–2.5 in the final. Khalifman described himself as a semi-amateur, who was more interested in the chess school he ran in his native city than in being active on the international circuit.

      In any event, the planned FIDE annual contest along knockout lines could throw up other unconvincing winners, but it might help to break the closed shop that had developed in recent years, as no one outside the top 20 in world rankings stood a chance of being invited to elite tournaments.

      The pattern of the future was probably shown by the Microsoft Corp.-sponsored game “Kasparov versus the Rest of the World,” played on the Internet at a rate of one move per day. The competition began in June and lasted longer than expected, until October 23. The response exceeded expectations, but the game was not free from controversy at the end, as a move suggested by Irina Krush, the most impressive of the four moderators advising the Rest, was not posted in time. Two of the moderators withdrew before the majority vote of the World to resign after 62 moves.

      Meanwhile, Xie Jun of China regained the FIDE women's title, defeating Alisa Galyamova of Russia 8.5–6.5. Defending champion Zsuzsa Polgar of Hungary refused to acknowledge the match and threatened to schedule a competing championship. Polgar, who had taken the championship from Xie Jun in 1996 and had made herself available for a defense in 1998, was stripped of the title by FIDE after she requested a six-month delay in her defense following the birth of her son in February 1999.

      Chess publishing continued to flourish during the year, and reprints of classic pre-1914 magazines delighted collectors. The British Chess Federation “book of the year” award went to American author John Watson for his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy—Advances since Nimzowitsch. Nunn's Chess Openings, a 544-page work with analysis checked by computer programs, was also a tour de force.

Bernard Cafferty

▪ 1999

      In 1998 the chess world continued to be confused by the various rival claimants for the title of world champion. Viswanathan Anand of India, who won acclaim as the best player of the year after a series of convincing tournament victories, also won the British Chess Federation prize for Book of the Year when he produced an annotated collection of his best games. Paradoxically, Anand had lost in the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) world championship in January to the defending FIDE champion, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, in the new knockout system, in which a loss eliminates the losing player from the competition.

      Anand emerged as the challenger to Karpov after an exhausting series of short, knockout matches played at Gröningen, Neth., in December 1997. In the final of this series he defeated the best English player, Michael Adams, in an event in which the Russians did not show their usual superiority. The knockout system was a break with over a century of tradition, and its perceived unfairness was underlined for Anand when he had to travel to Lausanne, Switz., to meet Karpov with little time for recuperation. The challenger held the basic six-game contest to a 3-3 draw but lost the two-game tiebreaker 0.5-1.5.

      Meanwhile, Garry Kasparov, the undefeated former FIDE champion and the world's strongest player according to the international rating system, played very little. Kasparov had forfeited his title in 1993 over a dispute with FIDE concerning the location of the championship series with then-challenger Nigel Short of England. Kasparov and Short went on to found the rival Professional Chess Association, which Kasparov later left to form the "World Chess Council." In 1998 Kasparov suffered another reverse when his planned title match with Aleksey Shirov of Spain failed to take place in October after the financing plans collapsed.

      In the summer the controversial president of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of the Russian republic of Kalmykia, announced his candidacy for the Russian presidency. At the same time he was embroiled in turmoil over his plan to introduce an annual knockout FIDE world title system. The plan was resisted by Karpov on the grounds that his contract with FIDE stipulated that the winner of the 1998 Karpov-Anand match would hold the title for two years. Karpov's successful advocacy of his rights led to the cancellation of a planned world title knockout series in Las Vegas, Nev., late in the year. Since Karpov had an unsuccessful year apart from the Anand match, he was unable to resist the plan that he would have to enter this knockout, whenever it came to be organized, at a far earlier stage.

      Ilyumzhinov was involved in further controversy when human rights groups made attempts to persuade the 140 member countries of FIDE to boycott the main team event of the year, the World Chess Olympiad, scheduled to start in late September in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. The event started late due to the failure to complete the new venue in time, but it attracted 110 teams to the main event, a Swiss-system contest shortened to 13 rounds to allow for the delay.

      The U.S. men led throughout but eventually lost to the Russian I team. The leading men's scores were Russia I (with 35.5 game points from a possible 52); the U.S. (34.5); Ukraine (32.5); Israel (32.5); China, Germany, and Georgia (tied with 31.5); Russia II and Hungary (tied with 31). A notable failure was that of England, often in the top six in recent years, but this time 11th (30.5). China scored a notable success in taking the gold medal in the women's section, followed by Russia and Georgia.

      The two main individual tournaments of the year were the traditional events at Linares, Spain, in February and at Tilburg, Neth., beginning in late October, shortly after the end of the Olympiad. The former, a double-round contest for seven players, was won by Anand (7.5 points out of 12), followed by Shirov (7), Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia (both 6.5), Peter Svidler of Russia (5.5), Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine (5), and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria (4). The latter event, for 12 players, was also captured by Anand (7.5 points), with such favoured players as Kramnik and Adams finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. Nick de Firmian took the U.S. title at Denver, Colo., in November, while Short made a triumphant return to the U.K. championship in August to win the title after a tiebreaker with Matthew Sadler.

      Notable deaths during the year included Laszlo Szabo, the leading Hungarian player of the two decades after World War II, and Yefim Geller of Ukraine, who was one of the most dynamic Soviet players of the same period. Young talents who drew attention were Peter Leko of Hungary, aged 19, who finished second to Anand at Tilburg, and 15-year-old Ruslan Ponomaryov, who won the Ukrainian zonal in November.


▪ 1998

      The year 1997 was dominated by the blow to Garry Kasparov's prestige when he lost a six-game challenge rematch in New York City to the Deep Blue computer program developed by IBM. The match, played May 3-11, was a follow-up to the dramatic contest won by the Russian champion in 1996. The prize money was much greater in 1997, with $700,000 to the winner and $400,000 to the loser. Yet much more than this was at stake, for the immense interest generated by the contest and the machine's success led to a rise in IBM stock prices and to the assumption by the general public that a computer program had finally proved superior to the best of humankind.

      Interestingly, this latter conclusion was not the view of chess experts, who would have required a more rigorous proof under tournament conditions against a variety of human opponents over at least 11 rounds. Kasparov, too, assumed that he would get the chance of a replay, so IBM's low-key announcement in September that the program was being devoted to things other than chess was a grave disappointment to him. He even drew a comparison between IBM and the old Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with which he had had difficult dealings.

      The course of the match proved dramatic. Kasparov won the first game in 45 moves but then made the error of resigning in the second game after 45 moves, in a position that was shown subsequently to be a forced draw had Black played for perpetual check. This proved a grave psychological blow to Kasparov, who reacted badly by giving vent to the suspicion that some outside human intervention had helped the program in making certain positional decisions earlier in the game.

      Having thus lost his equanimity and, some would say, objectivity, the champion drew the next three games and then went down ignominiously in only 19 moves in the final game. This was his worst defeat ever and showed a lack of his usual preparation, for the gambit variation essayed by Deep Blue had already been tried in a game the previous October between a Fritz program (of Dutch origin) and Gennady Timoshchenko (a former second to Kasparov). It was assumed that Kasparov must not have known of this game; otherwise, he would surely not have played the loosening pawn move at his 11th turn.

      Kasparov was scheduled to defend his world title against Russian archrival Anatoly Karpov in October. Lawyers for both sides had reached agreement on the terms, but the principals were unable to bring the match to fruition, largely owing to lack of sponsorship. This in turn was the result of several recent inferior performances by Karpov, notably his joint third place at Dos Hermanas, Spain, in April, behind Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Viswanathan Anand of India, and his shared sixth place at Dortmund, Ger., in July, when Kramnik led Anand by a point to finish first. In fact, the results in 1997 indicated that Kramnik, still only 22 years old, was the logical successor to Kasparov, once financing could be raised for such a match.

      The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the world ruling body, endeavoured to regularize the anomaly of two world champions, Kasparov and Karpov, when it arranged a knockout contest for the 100 likeliest contenders, which would start in early December and conclude in January 1998. This event was marked by meticulous planning, including the issuing of exacting contracts to the players in which the old question of the copyright of games was raised. Kasparov, however, refused to take part, indicating that the short matches of the envisaged knockout format was a break with 111 years of chess history. Precedent demanded that the title change hands only after a long match of, say, a minimum of 18 games.

      Kasparov failed to prove his superiority when he could only tie for first place at the Tilburg, Neth., tournament in early October. After a start of 5.5/6, he lost in the seventh round to 21-year-old Peter Svidler of St. Petersburg, who for four years had shown excellent form in the Russian championships. The outcome was a tie on 8 points out of 11 for Kasparov, Svidler, and Kramnik. In the other strong tournament of the year, at Linares, Spain, in February, the top scores were Kasparov 8.5/11, Kramnik 7.5, Michael Adams of England and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria both 6.5, Judit Polgar of Hungary 6, and Anand 5.5.

      In team contests England won the European championship at Pula, Croatia, in mid-May after a tie on points with Russia, 22.5 points out of 36; Armenia finished third with 22 points. Russia recovered at the world team championship in October by beating the Georgian women 4-0 in the last round. This single whitewash of the whole event led to some dark mutterings among the American team, which had led throughout the tournament until then. The final scores at the top were Russia 23.5 out of 36, the U.S. 23, Armenia 21, and England 20.5.

      In individual contests the West had a rare success in the world junior (under-20) championships at Zagan, Pol., in July. In the boys section Tal Shaked of the U.S. made 9.5/13 to head the massed ranks of former Soviet and other Eastern European players who normally dominated such events. An even greater break with tradition came when Harriet Hunt of Oxford, Eng., took the girls title with a late burst of six wins and a draw in her last seven games.

      This article updates chess.

▪ 1997

      The world ruling body of chess, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), finally managed in 1996 to arrange the overdue world title match between the defending champion, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, and his challenger, Gata Kamsky of the United States. Earlier FIDE had accepted an offer from Saddam Hussein in Iraq to be organizer of the match. Angry reaction from much of the world forced cancellation of that bid. Before the cancellation the U.S. Treasury Department advised Kamsky of the huge fine and possible imprisonment that he would face if he took part in a chess match in Baghdad.

      The match was finally played at Elista, Kalmykia, Russia, from June 6 to July 11. It ended in a convincing 10.5-7.5 victory for Karpov in the 18th game of the scheduled 20. Karpov won six games, drew nine, and lost three. A new feature for FIDE title matches was the absence of the right to take any rest or illness days.

      The women's world championship was played in January and February at Jaén, Spain, and was enlivened by a threat from the organizer, Luis Rentero, to impose a $25,000 fine for any perceived lack of competitive spirit in the early games. Zsuzsa Polgar of Hungary, oldest of the three famous chess-playing sisters, defeated defending champion Xie Jun of China 8.5-4.5.

      The World Chess Olympiad, contested from September 16 to October 2 at Yerevan, Armenia, again confirmed the strength of the former Soviet republics. Russia won the 14-round contest in a convincing manner. Top scores in the competition for 114 countries were: (1) Russia 38.5 game points; (2) Ukraine 35; (3) the U.S. on tiebreaker with (4) the U.K., each scoring 34; (5-7) Armenia, Spain, and Bosnia and Herzegovina 33.5; (8-12) Georgia, Bulgaria, Germany, Sweden, and Iceland 33; and (13-15) China, The Netherlands, and Argentina 32.5. Georgia won the women's competition, followed in order by China, Russia, Ukraine, and Hungary.

      Among the strongest tournaments of the year, the 10th VSB event at Amsterdam ended in a tie for first between Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Gary Kasparov of Russia, with 6.5 points out of 9. At Dos Hermanas, Spain, Vladimir Kramnik and Topalov scored 6 out of 9 to lead Viswanathan Anand of India and Kasparov by a half point.

      Aleksey Suetin of Moscow won the world senior championship in November on a tie-break from Anatoly Lein of the U.S., a former Soviet grandmaster, and Janis Klovans, a Latvian international master. The world junior championship, played at the same time in Medellín, Colom., was won by Emil Sutovskij of Israel.

      The year ended with the Las Palmas tournament in Spain's Canary Islands, a double rounder for six players, which gained the participation of both Kasparov and Karpov for the first time in nearly three years. It ended with a victory for Kasparov, who scored 6.5 points out of a possible 10. Anand finished second with 5.5, followed by Kramnik and Topalov with 5 each. Tied for last with 4 points were Karpov and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. Las Palmas hoped to be the host for the projected world "reunification" match in 1997.

      In other developments FIDE and its president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, encountered opposition from the European chess federations, the U.S., and Canada. They were so incensed by what they considered irregularities by FIDE that they held a special meeting in Utrecht, Neth., on April 27-28. The meeting called for equal treatment for Kamsky and Karpov, the restoration of the traditional FIDE cycle of qualifying contests leading to the world title match, and a shake-up in FIDE.

      To reinforce this reformation the Utrecht partners supported a candidate to challenge Ilyumzhinov at the FIDE Congress that took place alongside the World Chess Olympiad. The candidate was Jaime Sunye Neto, a grandmaster from Brazil. Ilyumzhinov was successful in mustering support from the Third World and from Russia, which won him the election 87-46.

      The financial position of FIDE was not good. There was no restoration of the traditional qualifying cycle, and Ilyumzhinov's own preference for a $5 million knockout contest for the world's top 100 players was deferred from December 1996 until December 1997 with no definite sponsor announced. The Professional Chess Association, Kasparov's organization, was also restricting its activities after it lost its sponsorship from Intel Corp. when Kasparov decided to play an exhibition match in February of six games against Intel's rival IBM, using IBM's new program Deep Blue. After his loss in the first round provoked great interest, especially on the Internet, Kasparov won the match. The final score was 4-2, with a replay scheduled against a new program in 1997. (See COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION SCIENCES: Sidebar (Deep Blue ).)


▪ 1996

      The continuing power struggle between the world ruling body of chess, the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), and the Professional Chess Association (PCA), founded in 1993, seemed no nearer resolution at the end of 1995, a year in which Gary Kasparov of Russia successfully defended his PCA title in New York City but also in which the FIDE world title match between Anatoly Karpov of Russia and Gata Kamsky of the U.S. did not come to fruition. As a result, the PCA-FIDE agreement made in Moscow in December 1994 was not endorsed, and the General Assembly of FIDE at Paris in November 1995 replaced FIDE Pres. Florencio Campomanes.

      Campomanes had been a controversial figure since his election to the post in 1982. He had been successful in finding tournament sponsors over the years but was thought autocratic. During a meeting of FIDE in the autumn, widespread support for censuring recent FIDE policy forced Campomanes to resign. In a surprising move, his successor was 33-year-old Kirsan Ilyumdzhinov, a chess enthusiast who was president of the republic of Kalmykia in the south of the Russian Federation. The new appointee was endorsed by Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin, which overcame objections from Kasparov and the president of the Russian Chess Federation, the two figures instrumental in cobbling together the Moscow agreement of 1994.

      Ilyumdzhinov had been instrumental in having the last two Russian championships played at Elista, the capital of Kalmykia, and arranged for the 1998 World Chess Olympiad to be held at the same place. His election may have healed the split that threatened to cause Western countries such as the U.S. to leave the world ruling body and set up one of their own.

      Meanwhile, Kasparov was in uncertain form throughout the year, fueling rumours that he might soon leave international chess to pursue a career in Russian business and politics. In the springtime Max Euwe Memorial International tournament in Amsterdam, he was beaten twice, by Joel Lautier of France and Jeroen Piket of The Netherlands. Final standings in the tournament were: (1) Lautier, 4 points of a possible 6; (2) Kasparov, 3.5; (3) Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, 2.5; and (4) Piket, 2. Kasparov also failed badly in the Credit Suisse Masters tournament, held in Horgen, Switz., in October and November, placing fifth in an 11-player contest won by Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

      However, Kasparov was successful in the Mikhail Tal Memorial Tournament in Riga, Latvia, in April; the top three finishers were: (1) Kasparov, 7.5 points of a possible 10; (2) Viswanathan Anand of India, 7; and (3) Ivanchuk, 6.5. He also won at Novgorod, Russia (May 27-June 5), with 6.5 points of a possible 9 and in the PCA Grand Prix series of Quickplay knockouts.

      The Intel World Chess Championship, a PCA match between Kasparov and Anand, was originally scheduled to be played at Cologne, Germany, but was transferred on short notice to New York City at the invitation of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The 20-game match, with prize money of $1,350,000, was played from September 11 to October 10. It began with eight fairly tame ties, which did not support Kasparov's aspiration to bring the game to the television screens of the U.S. Anand won the ninth game but then fell badly behind, and the match came to an end after 18 games with a score of 4 wins, 1 loss, and 13 draws in Kasparov's favour. The innovative time limit of seven hours for each game, with no adjournments, was designed to be media-friendly. It was regrettable that the microphone commentary for the audience in the World Trade Center in New York was often audible to the players in their supposedly soundproof booth.

      Kramnik won the Dortmund (Germany) tournament (July 14-23), scoring 7 points of a possible 9. Karpov finished second with 6.5, and Peter Leko of Hungary and Ivanchuk tied for third with 5. Kramnik's victory added support to those who believed he would be Kasparov's main challenger in the next few years. In December Patrick Wolff won the U.S. championship in a speed chess tiebreaker over Nick DeFirmian and Alexander Ivanov. The three grandmasters had finished regular play with identical scores of 8 1/2-4 1/2.

      Mikhail Botvinnik, longtime Soviet "patriarch of chess," died in May. (See OBITUARIES (Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich ).) Other noteworthy deaths included British player Harry Golombek, a prolific journalist and book author (see OBITUARIES (Golombek, Harry )), and Lev Polugayevsky, a former Soviet grandmaster.

      One of the year's curiosities was the ultrashort game played in the Western European zone of the 1995-97 world championship qualifying series. The series was won by Miguel Illescas despite this defeat at the hands of British champion Matthew Sadler, who failed to qualify for the next stage. (BERNARD CAFFERTY)

▪ 1995

      Rivalry between the world ruling body FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs, founded 1924) and the Professional Chess Association (PCA, founded 1993) dominated competition in chess in 1994. The PCA ran a well-funded Grand Prix of quick-play events in Moscow, Munich, New York City, London, and Paris in which Gary Kasparov, PCA world champion, and his young Russian colleague, Vladimir Kramnik, tied for first. Kramnik had earlier won spectacular games against Kasparov, both at quick play and at the normal international tournament speed of 40 moves in two hours.

      Both organizations issued rival rating lists. FIDE's list omitted Kasparov and Nigel Short of England, but these ratings were restored late in the year as part of the rapprochement between the two groups. Nevertheless, the lists did not coincide, as the ratings were computed on the basis of different tournaments.

      Rival tournaments for qualifying for the world title were held throughout the year. In the PCA semifinals at Linares, Spain, in September, Short was eliminated by Gata Kamsky of New York City, and Michael Adams of England lost to Viswanathan Anand of India. Kamsky and Anand were scheduled to play one another in early 1995 for the right to challenge Kasparov later in the year.

      Valery Salov, a Russian living in Spain, enhanced his reputation by winning the six-round knockout contest at Tilburg, Neth., for 112 leading players in September-October and the Sicilian Defense tournament in Buenos Aires, Arg., in October. In both contests he finished ahead of the FIDE world champion, Anatoly Karpov of Russia.

      To many the event of the year was Kasparov's loss to a computer at the comparatively slow time limit of 25 minutes each for the game. Computers had beaten grandmasters quite often at quick time limits such as five minutes each for a game or 10 seconds for a move but were thought to be inferior at slower time limits. The epoch-making games took place at the end of August in London. In the first contest a program called Genius 2 won in 60 moves after Kasparov had held an early advantage. In the second game Kasparov was forced to agree to a draw in 56 moves. The computer then defeated Predrag Nikolic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 before being beaten by the same score by Anand.

      Age records continued to be broken. Peter Leko of Hungary gained the grandmaster rank at the age of 14, emulating his compatriot Judit Polgar, who had achieved this high status at 15. Polgar was involved in one the year's most controversial incidents when she lost to Kasparov at Linares after the Russian took back a move; video evidence revealed that Kasparov let go of a knight for a split second before moving it to another square, an infraction of the rules.

      Kasparov was impressive in two of the three strongest international tournaments of the year. At Novgorod, Russia, in mid-August, he scored 7 points out of a possible 10; Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine also had 7, while Kramnik scored 5, Short and Aleksey Shirov of Latvia 4, and Yevgeny Bareyev of Russia 3. At Horgen, Switz., just after his loss to Genius 2, Kasparov was the leading scorer, with 8.5 out of 11; Artur Yusupov, a Russian now representing Germany, and Shirov scored 7, while Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland and Joel Lautier of France had 6.5. The Novgorod contest was noteworthy for its adoption of a first playing session of seven hours as opposed to the normal five or six.

      Kasparov failed to win his expected first place in the prestigious Linares tournament for 14 players. There his archrival Karpov made the remarkable score of 11 points in 13 games, one of the greatest performances of the past few decades. Kasparov and Shirov trailed by 2.5 points in a tie for second place. Otherwise, Karpov was in indifferent form in 1994.

      The last four months of the year brought dramatic developments for FIDE/PCA relationships. Long-serving FIDE Pres. Florencio Campomanes of the Philippines had given notice that he would not seek office again after his three four-year terms. An election to replace him was scheduled for mid-December in Greece, alongside the biennial World Chess Olympiad. On September 18 Campomanes announced that bidding was open again for the right to host the Olympiad, as the Greek authorities had neither confirmed their ability to host the event nor paid the subsidy due to FIDE. Amid hints that Campomanes might have to stay in office, Russia announced that it would arrange the Olympiad and the FIDE election on the dates previously agreed upon, November 30-December 15. This result turned out to be the decision taken after a bitter internal struggle in Moscow between two rival chess federations, each claiming that it exercised the legitimate authority to control the game in Russia.

      The resolution of this impasse had serious implications and recalled for some observers the predominant position occupied in world chess and its decision-making body by the former Soviet Chess Federation. Kasparov was probably correct in claiming that the tensions were a mirror image of the complicated politics of Russia, with nationalists and conservatives battling against reformers and radicals. In the end, Campomanes did indeed reverse his decision to step down and, campaigning on a platform of FIDE-PCA reunification, was reelected.

      Led by Kasparov, Russia won the Olympiad, which was held in Moscow and was attended by 120 nations. Russia's winning score was 37.5 points out of a possible 56. Bosnia and Herzegovina placed second with 35, and the Russian junior team and England tied for third with 34.5. The Russian juniors were awarded the bronze medal when they defeated England in a tiebreaker. The women's Olympiad, held at the same time in Moscow, was won by Georgia with 32 points. Hungary finished second with 31, and China and Romania tied for third with 27. (BERNARD CAFFERTY)

▪ 1994

      Politics and money dominated chess in 1993 after Nigel Short, the English challenger for the world title, suggested to Gary Kasparov in February that the Kasparov-Short world-title match be conducted outside the control of the official world chess organization, Fédération Internationale des Échecs. Long-standing tensions between top players and FIDE Pres. Florencio Campomanes bubbled to the surface when Short won his final elimination round against Jan Timman of The Netherlands by a score of 7.5-5.5 in their scheduled match of 14 games at Linares, Spain, in late January.

      Los Angeles had long been designated as the site of Kasparov's match with his new challenger, but the area's economic downturn and riots had led to the withdrawal of the city in late 1992. New bids for the match were submitted by several cities, and Manchester, England, was declared successful. Within three days of the announcement, Short, unhappy at the prize fund of just over £1 million, conferred with Kasparov. The two then agreed to break away from FIDE, setting up a Professional Chess Association to receive new bids in London.

      The breakaway, after further bidding and controversy, was confirmed, despite little support from other leading grand masters. Those with a sense of history realized that there was a risk that world chess could reach a position similar to that before 1946, when the world title was viewed as a personal possession and the holder of the title could accept or reject challenges as he or she saw fit.

      After the intentions of Kasparov and Short were determined to be firm, FIDE stripped Kasparov of his world title (in late March) and withdrew its services to both players. This was expressed by the organization's refusal to publish their rating numbers in its half-yearly rating list. As a result, Anatoly Karpov, world champion from 1975 to 1985, headed the ratings with 2760, well ahead of the rest. In accordance with FIDE regulations, he was then invited to play a FIDE world championship match against Timman, who ranked only 34th on the list.

      Thus, the dispute resulted in rival world title matches, with Kasparov-Short being played in London, financed by The Times newspaper, ultimate winner of the bidding process, and Karpov-Timman to be contested in two parts, starting in The Netherlands. Both matches began in the first week of September. The London contest was run at the quicker time limit of 40 moves in two hours, as opposed to the Karpov-Timman match, which used the traditional 40 moves in 2 1/2 hours.

      In London, Kasparov took an early 3.5-0.5 lead over Short when the latter played too ambitiously at the start. Internal tensions in Short's camp led to the loss of his long-time supporter Lubosh Kavalek (U.S.), and the outcome of the match was practically settled when Kasparov took an 8.5-3.5 lead after 12 games. Despite gaining a number of promising positions, Short did not win a game until the 16th encounter. After 20 games the score was 12.5-7.5, and the remaining four games of the scheduled 24 were not played, although Kasparov and Short met in four quick-play games (score 4-0 in favour of Kasparov) and three games with nominated 19th-century openings (1.5 each) to meet contractual commitments to the media.

      The Karpov-Timman contest was closer, as Timman was down only 5-4 near the end of the Dutch half of the event, but he seemed to have been more badly affected than Karpov by the realization that there had been no prize fund raised in The Netherlands and that the second half of the match was without a venue after Oman withdrew its bid. This situation was finally rectified when Indonesia agreed to serve as host for the second half of the match, which started two weeks later than the scheduled start in Oman. Timman's defenses collapsed during this half of the competition, and he lost games 14, 15, and 16 to concede the match by 12.5-8.5. Thus, chess was left in the same position as professional boxing, with rival world champions.

      FIDE staged its Interzonal competition for the 1993-95 world title qualifiers in Biel, Switz. A huge contest for 73 players over 13 rounds in the second half of July produced 10 qualifiers, who, with seeded players, were to play elimination matches at Wijk aan Zee, Neth., in January 1994. The pairings were: Timman-Joel Lautier, France; Boris Gelfand, Belarus-Michael Adams, England; Gata Kamsky, U.S.-Paul van der Sterren, The Netherlands; Valery Salov, a Russian living in Spain-A. Khalifman, a fellow Russian; Viswanathan Anand, India-Artur Yusupov, a Russian living in Germany; Vladimir Kramnik, Russia-Leonid Yudasin, a Russian living in Israel. One of the surprising losers at Biel was Judit Polgar, the 17-year-old Hungarian prodigy who won the Hastings tournament in January jointly with Yevgeny Bareyev of Russia and later that month beat veteran Boris Spassky in a match in Budapest.

      The eclipse of the former Soviet school of chess, owing to the discontinuance of government subsidies and to the number of former Soviet citizens living abroad and in the process of qualifying for other countries, was demonstrated when the world team championship at Lucerne, Switz., on October 23-November 3 produced a decisive U.S. win, ahead of Ukraine, with Russia in third place of the 10 countries in contention. Four of the U.S. team of six had learned their chess in the former Soviet Union.

      The strongest tournament of the year was at Linares, where Kasparov scored 10 points out of 13 to defeat Anand and Karpov by a point and a half.

      A great loss in 1993 was the death in New York City of Reuben Fine, a leading grand master of the period 1935-50 and author of such useful books as Modern Chess Openings (1939) and Basic Chess Endings (1941). The British Chess Federation award for Book of the Year went to The Oxford Companion to Chess (new edition of 1992).


* * *


      one of the oldest and most popular board games, played by two opponents on a checkered board with specially designed pieces of contrasting colours, commonly white and black. White moves first, after which the players alternate turns in accordance with fixed rules, each player attempting to force the opponent's principal piece, the King, into checkmate—a position where it is unable to avoid capture.

      Chess first appeared in India about the 6th century AD and by the 10th century had spread from Asia to the Middle East and Europe. Since at least the 15th century, chess has been known as the “royal game” because of its popularity among the nobility. Rules and set design slowly evolved until both reached today's standard in the early 19th century. Once an intellectual diversion favoured by the upper classes, chess went through an explosive growth in interest during the 20th century as professional and state-sponsored players competed for an officially recognized world championship title and increasingly lucrative tournament prizes. Organized chess tournaments, postal correspondence games, and Internet chess now attract men, women, and children around the world.

      This article provides an in-depth review of the history and the theory of the game by noted author and international grandmaster Andrew Soltis. To accompany his article, Grandmaster Soltis has selected and annotated 25 historic games () that influenced the development of chess theory. These games and their annotations can be viewed at select points in the article.

       World chess championsFor a chronological list of world champions since the mid-19th century, featuring direct links to biographical articles, see the table (World chess champions) of world chess champions.

Characteristics of the game
      Chess is played on a board of 64 squares arranged in eight vertical rows called files and eight horizontal rows called ranks. These squares alternate between two colours: one light, such as white, beige, or yellow; and the other dark, such as black or green. The board is set between the two opponents so that each player has a light-coloured square at the right-hand corner.

Algebraic notation
 Individual moves and entire games can be recorded using one of several forms of notation. By far the most widely used form, algebraic (or coordinate) notation, identifies each square from the point of view of the player with the light-coloured pieces, called White. The eight ranks are numbered 1 through 8 beginning with the rank closest to White. The files are labeled a through h beginning with the file at White's left hand. Each square has a name consisting of its letter and number, such as b3 or g8. Additionally, files a through d are referred to as the queenside, and files e through h as the kingside. See Figure 1—>.

      The board represents a battlefield in which two armies fight to capture each other's king. A player's army consists of 16 pieces that begin play on the two ranks closest to that player. There are six different types of pieces: king, rook, bishop, queen, knight, and pawn; the pieces are distinguished by appearance and by how they move. The players alternate moves, White going first.

      White's king begins the game on e1. Black's king is opposite at e8. Each king can move one square in any direction; e.g., White's king can move from e1 to d1, d2, e2, f2, or f1.

      Each player has two rooks (formerly also known as castles), which begin the game on the corner squares a1 and h1 for White, a8 and h8 for Black. A rook can move vertically or horizontally to any unobstructed square along the file or rank on which it is placed.

      Each player has two bishops, and they begin the game at c1 and f1 for White, c8 and f8 for Black. A bishop can move to any unobstructed square on the diagonal on which it is placed. Therefore, each player has one bishop that travels only on light-coloured squares and one bishop that travels only on dark-coloured squares.

      Each player has one queen, which combines the powers of the rook and bishop and is thus the most mobile and powerful piece. The White queen begins at d1, the Black queen at d8.

      Each player has two knights, and they begin the game on the squares between their rooks and bishops—i.e., at b1 and g1 for White and b8 and g8 for Black. The knight has the trickiest move, an L-shape of two steps: first one square like a rook, then one square like a bishop, but always in a direction away from the starting square. A knight at e4 could move to f2, g3, g5, f6, d6, c5, c3, or d2. The knight has the unique ability to jump over any other piece to reach its destination. It always moves to a square of a different colour.

      The king, rook, bishop, queen, and knight capture enemy pieces in the same manner that they move. For example, a White queen on d3 can capture a Black rook at h7 by moving to h7 and removing the enemy piece from the board. Pieces can capture only enemy pieces.

      Each player has eight pawns, which begin the game on the second rank closest to each player; i.e., White's pawns start at a2, b2, c2, and so on, while Black's pawns start at a7, b7, c7, and so on. The pawns are unique in several ways. A pawn can move only forward; it can never retreat. It moves differently than it captures. A pawn moves to the square directly ahead of it but captures on the squares diagonally in front of it; e.g., a White pawn at f5 can move to f6 but can capture only on g6 or e6. An unmoved pawn has the option of moving one or two squares forward. This is the reason for another peculiar option, called en passant—that is, in passing—available to a pawn when an enemy pawn on an adjoining file advances two squares on its initial move and could have been captured had it moved only one square. The first pawn can take the advancing pawn en passant, as if it had advanced only one square. An en passant capture must be made then or not at all. Only pawns can be captured en passant. The last unique feature of the pawn occurs if it reaches the end of a file; it must then be promoted to—that is, exchanged for—a queen, rook, bishop, or knight.

      The one exception to the rule that a player may move only one piece at a time is a compound move of king and rook called castling. A player castles by shifting the king two squares in the direction of a rook, which is then placed on the square the king has crossed. For example, White can castle kingside by moving the king from e1 to g1 and the rook from h1 to f1. Castling is permitted only once in a game and is prohibited if the king or rook has previously moved or if any of the squares between them is occupied. Also, castling is not legal if the square the king starts on, crosses, or finishes on is attacked by an enemy piece.

Relative piece values
      Assigning the pawn a value of 1, the values of the other pieces are approximately as follows: knight 3, bishop 3, rook 5, and queen 9. The relative values of knights and bishops vary with different pawn structures. Additionally, tactical considerations may temporarily override the pieces' usual relative values. Material concerns are secondary to winning.

Object of the game
      When a player moves a piece to a square on which it attacks the enemy king—that is, a square from which it could capture the king if the king is not shielded or moved—the king is said to be in check. The game is won when one king is in check and cannot avoid capture on the next move; this is called checkmate. A game also can end when a player, believing the situation to be hopeless, acknowledges defeat by resigning.

      There are three possible results in chess: win, lose, or draw. There are six ways a draw can come about: (1) by mutual consent, (2) when neither player has enough pieces to deliver checkmate, (3) when one player can check the enemy king endlessly (perpetual check), (4) when a player who is not in check has no legal move (stalemate), (5) when an identical position occurs three times with the same player having the right to move, and (6) when no piece has been captured and no pawn has been moved within a period of 50 moves.

      In competitive events, a victory is scored as one point, a draw as half a point, and a loss as no points.

Game notation
      A move can be recorded by designating the initial of the piece moved and the square to which it moves. For example, Be5 means a bishop has moved to e5. There are two exceptions: a knight is identified by N, and no initials are used for pawn moves. For example, 1 e4 means White's first move is a two-square advance of a pawn on the e-file, and 1 . . . Nf6 means Black's response is to bring a knight from g8 to f6. For both White and Black, castling kingside is indicated by 0-0, while castling queenside is notated by 0-0-0. Captures are indicated by inserting an x or : between the piece moving and the square it moves to. For pawn moves, this means dxe5 indicates a White pawn on d4 captures a piece on e5. En passant captures are designated by e.p. Checks are indicated by adding ch or + at the end of the move, and checkmate is often indicated by adding # or ++ at the end of the move. Notation is used to record games as they are played and to analyze them in print afterward. In annotating (commenting) on a game, an appended exclamation mark means a very good move, two exclamation marks are occasionally used to indicate an extremely good move, a question mark indicates a bad move, two question marks indicate a blunder, and the combination of an exclamation mark and a question mark on the same move indicates a double-edged or somewhat dubious move.

Conduct of the game
      Competitive chess is played according to a set of rules that supplement the basic laws governing how the pieces move. Among the more important rules are those governing completion of a move, recording of games, time controls (see The time element and competition (chess)), and penalties for illegal moves and other infractions.

      Tournament and match chess is distinguished from casual games by the strict provisions for completing a move. Unless preceded by the warning “I adjust” (French: “j'adoube”), a piece touched must be moved or captured (if legally possible), and a completed move may not be retracted. The players also are obligated to record their moves. Only after making a move can they stop their allotted time from elapsing, usually by depressing a device on the chess clock used in competitive play.

      A player can be penalized in a variety of ways, including forfeiture of the game, for consulting another player or any recorded material during the game, for analyzing the game on another board, or for distracting the opponent. Any player who realizes during a game that an illegal move has been made may demand that the position before the infraction be reinstated and that play proceed from there. If the illegality is discovered after the game is completed, the result stands without penalty.


Ancient precursors and related games
      The origin of chess remains a matter of controversy. There is no credible evidence that chess existed in a form approaching the modern game before the 6th century AD. Game pieces found in Russia, China, India, Central Asia, Pakistan, and elsewhere that have been determined to be older than that are now regarded as coming from earlier, distantly related board games, often involving dice and sometimes using playing boards of 100 or more squares.

      One of those earlier games developed into a four-player war game called chaturanga, a Sanskrit name for a battle formation mentioned in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. Chaturanga was flourishing in northwestern India by the 7th century and is regarded as the earliest precursor of modern chess because it had two key features found in all later chess variants—different pieces had different powers (unlike checkers and go), and victory was based on one piece, the king of modern chess.

      How chaturanga evolved is unclear. Some historians say chaturanga, perhaps played with dice on a 64-square board, gradually transformed into shatranj (or chatrang), a two-player game popular in northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and southern parts of Central Asia after AD 600. Shatranj resembled chaturanga but added a new piece, a firzān (counselor), which had nothing to do with any troop formation. A game of shatranj could be won either by eliminating all an opponent's pieces (baring the king) or by ensuring the capture of the king. The initial positions of the pawns and knights have not changed, but there were considerable regional and temporal variations for the other pieces.

      The game spread to the east, north, and west, taking on sharply different characteristics. In the East, carried by Buddhist pilgrims, Silk Road traders, and others, it was transformed into a game with inscribed disks that were often placed on the intersection of the lines of the board rather than within the squares. About AD 750 chess reached China, and by the 11th century Japan and Korea. Chinese chess, the most popular version of the Eastern game, has 9 files and 10 ranks as well as a boundary—the river, between the 5th and 6th ranks—that limits access to the enemy camp and makes the game slower than its Western cousin.

Introduction to Europe
      A form of chaturanga or shatranj made its way to Europe by way of Persia, the Byzantine Empire, and, perhaps most important of all, the expanding Arabian empire. The oldest recorded game, found in a 10th-century manuscript, was played between a Baghdad historian, believed to be a favourite of three successive caliphs, and a pupil.

      Muslims brought chess to North Africa, Sicily, and Spain by the 10th century. Eastern Slavs spread it to Kievan Rus about the same time. The Vikings (Viking) carried the game as far as Iceland and England and are believed responsible for the most famous collection of chessmen, 78 walrus-ivory pieces of various sets that were found on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in 1831 and date from the 11th or 12th century.

      Chess and dice games were periodically banned by kings and religious leaders. For example, King Louis IX forbade the game in France in 1254. However, the game's popularity was helped by its social cachet: a chess set was often associated with wealth, knowledge, and power. It was a favourite of Kings Henry I, Henry II, John, and Richard I of England, of Philip II and Alfonso X the Wise of Spain, and of Ivan IV the Terrible of Russia. It was known as the royal game as early as the 15th century.

Standardization of rules
      The modern rules and appearance of pieces evolved slowly, with widespread regional variation. By 1300, for example, the pawn had acquired the ability to move two squares on its first turn, rather than only one at a time as it did in shatranj. But this rule did not win general acceptance throughout Europe for more than 300 years.

      Chess made its greatest progress after two crucial rule changes that became popular after 1475. Until then the counselor was limited to moving one square diagonally at a time. And, because a pawn that reached the eighth rank could become only a counselor, pawn promotion was a relatively minor factor in the course of a game. But under the new rules the counselor underwent a sex change and gained vastly increased mobility to become the most powerful piece on the board—the modern queen. This and the increased value of pawn promotion added a dynamic new element to chess. Also, the chaturanga piece called the elephant, which had been limited to a two-square diagonal jump in shatranj, became the bishop, more than doubling its range.

      Until these changes occurred, checkmate was relatively rare, and more often a game was decided by baring the king. With the new queen and bishop powers, the trench warfare of medieval chess was replaced by a game in which checkmate could be delivered in as few as two moves.

      The last two major changes in the rules—castling and the en passant capture—took longer to win acceptance. Both rules were known in the 15th century but had limited usage until the 18th century. Minor variations in other rules continued until the late 19th century; for example, it was not acceptable in many parts of Europe as late as the mid-19th century to promote a pawn to a queen if a player still had the original queen.

Set design
      The appearance of the pieces has alternated between simple and ornate since chaturanga times. The simple design of pieces before AD 600 gradually led to figurative sets depicting animals, warriors, and noblemen. But Muslim sets of the 9th–12th centuries were often nonrepresentational and made of simple clay or carved stone following the Islāmic prohibition of images of living creatures. The return to simpler, symbolic shatranj pieces is believed to have spurred the game's popularity by making sets easier to make and by redirecting the players' attention from the intricate pieces to the game itself.

      Stylized sets, often adorned with precious and semi-precious stones, returned to fashion as the game spread to Europe and Russia. Playing boards, which had monochromatic squares in the Muslim world, began to have alternating black and white, or red and white, squares by AD1000 and were often made of fine wood or marble. Peter I the Great of Russia had special campaign boards made of soft leather that he carried during military efforts.

      The king became the largest piece and acquired a crown and sometimes an elaborate throne and mace. The knight's close identification with the horse dates back to chaturanga. The pawn, as the lowest in power and social standing, has traditionally been the smallest and least representational of the pieces. The queen grew in size after 1475, when its powers expanded, and changed from a male counselor to the king's female consort. The bishop was known by different names—“fool” in French, “elephant” in Russian, for example—and was not universally recognized by a distinctive mitre until the 19th century. Depiction of the rook also varied considerably. In Russia it was usually represented as a sailing ship until the 20th century. Elsewhere it was a warrior in a chariot or a castle turret.

      The standard for modern sets was established about 1835 with a simple design by an Englishman, Nathaniel Cook. After it was patented in 1849, the design was endorsed by Howard Staunton (Staunton, Howard), then the world's best player; owing to Staunton's extensive promotion, it subsequently became known as the Staunton pattern. Only sets based on the Staunton design are allowed in international competition today.

The world championship and FIDE
      The popularity of chess has been closely tied for the past two centuries to competition, usually in the form of two-player matches, for the title of world champion. The title was an unofficial one until 1886, but widespread spectator interest in the game began more than 50 years earlier. The first major international event was a series of six matches held in 1834 between the leading French and British players, Louis-Charles de la Bourdonnais of Paris and Alexander McDonnell of London, which ended with Bourdonnais's victory. (See Game 3 ().) For the first time, a major chess event was reported extensively in newspapers and analyzed in books. Following Bourdonnais's death in 1840, he was succeeded by Staunton (Staunton, Howard) after another match that gained international attention, Staunton's defeat of Pierre-Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant of France in 1843. This match also helped to introduce the idea of stakes competition, since Staunton won the £100 put up by supporters of the two players.

      Staunton used his position as unofficial world champion to popularize the Staunton-pattern set, to promote a uniform set of rules, and to organize the first international tournament, held in London in 1851. Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (Anderssen, Adolf), a German schoolteacher, was inspired by the Bourdonnais-McDonnell match to turn from problem composing to tournament competition, and he won the London tournament and with it recognition as unofficial champion. (See Game 4 ().) The London tournament, in turn, inspired American players to organize the first national championship, the First American Chess Congress, in New York City in 1857, which set off the first chess craze in the Western Hemisphere. The winner, Paul Morphy (Morphy, Paul Charles) of New Orleans, La., U.S., was recognized as unofficial world champion after defeating Anderssen in 1858.

      The controversy over the championship was eased when José Raúl Capablanca (Capablanca, José Raúl) of Cuba defeated Lasker in 1921 and won the agreement, at a tournament in London in 1922, of the world's other leading players to a written set of rules for championship challenges. Under those rules, any player who met certain financial conditions (in particular, guaranteeing a $10,000 stake) could challenge the World Champion. While the top players were trying to adhere to the London Rules, representatives of 15 countries met in Paris in 1924 to organize the first permanent international chess federation, known as FIDE, its French acronym for Fédération Internationale des Échecs.

      From 1948, when FIDE organized a match tournament to fill the vacancy created by Alekhine's death, until 1975 the FIDE format worked without major problems. The international federation organized three-year cycles of regional and international competitions to determine the challengers for the World Champion and solicited bids for match sites. The champion no longer had a veto power over opponents and was required to defend the title every three years.

      FIDE also took over the Women's World Championship (see the table (Women's world chess champions)) and biennial Olympiad team championships, which originated in the 1920s. In addition, the federation developed new championship titles, particularly for junior players in various age groups. It also created a system for recognizing top players by arithmetic rating and by titles based on tournament performance. The highest title, after World Champion, is International Grandmaster, of whom there are now more than 500 in the world.

      The easing and eventual end of the Cold War spurred international chess by reducing barriers. By the mid-1990s close to 2,000 tournaments registered with FIDE were held each year—more than 50 times the number during the 1950s. Amateur chess expanded sharply. Membership in the U.S. Chess Federation jumped from 2,100 in 1957 to more than 70,000 in 1973.

      All World Champions and challengers from 1951 to 1969 were Soviet (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) citizens, and all the championship matches were held in Moscow with small prizes and limited international publicity. The victory of Robert J. (Bobby) Fischer (Fischer, Bobby) of the United States in 1972 was an abrupt change. (See Game 20 ().) Fischer's demands spurred an increase in the prize fund to $250,000—a sum greater than all previous title matches combined. After winning the highly publicized match, Fischer insisted on a greater say in match rules than had any previous champion in the FIDE era. In particular, he objected to a rule, used by FIDE since 1951, that limited championship matches to 24 games. FIDE dropped the rule, but Fischer demanded further concessions. In the end he refused to defend his title; in 1975 he became the first champion to lose it by default.

      Fischer's successor, Anatoly Karpov (Karpov, Anatoly Yevgenyevich) of the Soviet Union, reigned for 10 years but was dethroned in 1985 by a countryman and bitter rival, Garry Kasparov (Kasparov, Garry). (See Game 22 ().) Kasparov then clashed repeatedly with FIDE over the rules governing the championship. He reluctantly agreed to defend his title under the federation's rules three times during 1986–90, winning each time. However, when Nigel Short of England won the right to challenge Kasparov for the championship in 1993, he and Kasparov decided instead to play the match under the auspices of a new organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA). (See Game 23 ().) Before Kasparov defeated Short in London in late 1993 in the first PCA championship, FIDE disqualified Kasparov and organized its own world championship match, won by Karpov.

      A rift developed between FIDE and its constituent national chess federations during 2001 over the world championship and plans for a FIDE-sponsored “Grand Prix” series of tournaments. Various federations objected to FIDE's plans to subsume their tournaments under the Grand Prix structure, as well as FIDE's new faster time controls.

Women in chess
       Women's world chess champions Women's world chess championsSeparation of the sexes in chess is a relatively recent phenomenon. Literature abounds with examples of men and women playing one another before 1800. (For example, Shakespeare's only chess scene depicts Miranda playing Ferdinand in the last act of The Tempest.) But women were often barred from the coffeehouses and taverns where chess clubs developed in the 19th century. Women players achieved distinction separately from men by the middle of the century. The first chess clubs specifically for women were organized in The Netherlands in 1847. The first chess book written by a woman, The ABC of Chess, by “A Lady” (H.I. Cooke), appeared in England in 1860 and went into 10 editions. The first women's tournament was sponsored in 1884 by the Sussex Chess Association.

      Women also gained distinction in postal and problem chess during this period. An American woman, Ellen Gilbert, defeated a strong English amateur, George Gossip, twice in an international correspondence match in 1879—announcing checkmate in 21 moves in one game and in 35 moves in the other. Edith Winter-Wood composed more than 2,000 problems, 700 of which appeared in a book published in 1902.

      The first woman player to gain attention in over-the-board competition with men was Vera Menchik (Menchik-Stevenson, Vera Francevna) (1906–44) of Great Britain. She won the first Women's World Championship, a tournament organized by FIDE in 1927, and the next six women's championship tournaments, in 1930–39. Her good results against men in British events led to invitations to some of the strongest pre-World War II tournaments, including Carlsbad 1929 (tournaments are identified by venue and year) and Moscow 1935. Among the strong male masters who lost to her were the world champion Max Euwe (Euwe, Max), Samuel Reshevsky, Sultan Khan, Jacques Mieses, Edgar Colle, and Frederick Yates. She was also one of the first women chess professionals. (See Game 15 ().)

      Women's chess received a major boost when the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) endorsed separate women's tournaments as part of a general encouragement of the game. The 1924 women's championship of Leningrad was the first women's tournament sponsored by any government. Massive events, larger than anything open to either sex in the West, followed; nearly 5,000 women took part in the preliminary sections of the 1936 Soviet women's championship, for example.

      Improvements in playing strength ensued and led to Soviet domination of women's chess for more than 30 years. After Menchik's death, FIDE held a 16-player tournament in Moscow during the winter of 1949–50 to fill the vacancy. Soviet women took the top four places.

      The Women's World Championship has been decided by matches or elimination match tournaments organized by FIDE since 1953. After Menchik's death the next three champions—Ludmilla Rudenko, Elizaveta Bykova, and Olga Rubtsova—were Russians. But, with the victory of Nona Gaprindashvili (Gaprindashvili, Nona) in 1962, an era of supremacy by Georgian players began. Gaprindashvili held the title for 16 years and became the first woman to earn the title of International Grandmaster. (FIDE established separate titles of International Woman Master in 1950 and International Woman Grandmaster in 1977.) Gaprindashvili was succeeded by another Georgian, Maya Chiburdanidze (Chiburdanidze, Maya), in 1978. Georgians also won the right to challenge the champions in 1975, 1981, and 1988.

 Soviet domination of women's chess ended with the defeat of Chiburdanidze by Xie Jun, of China, in 1991 and the rise of the three Polgar (Polgar, Zsuzsa) sisters, Zsuzsa (Polgar, Zsuzsa), Zsofia, and Judit (Polgar, Judit). The Polgars of Budapest were the most impressive women prodigies ever: each had achieved grandmaster-level performances by age 15. They also distinguished themselves by generally avoiding women-only competitions, until Zsuzsa Polgar defeated Xie for the women's championship in 1996.

      In the 1990s a series of men-versus-women events were organized as the difference in playing strength narrowed. In 1995 a team of five senior male grandmasters, including the former world champions Boris Spassky (Spassky, Boris Vasilyevich) and Vasily Smyslov (Smyslov, Vasily Vasilyevich), was beaten 26 1/2–23 1/2 in a match against five leading women. Among the women was Judit Polgar, ranked 10th in the world on the international rating list issued in January 1996 by FIDE, the highest level any woman had ever achieved.

Development of Theory
      There are three recognized phases in a chess game: the opening, where piece development and control of the centre predominate; the middlegame, where maneuvering in defense and attack against the opponent's king or weaknesses occurs; and the endgame, where, generally after several piece exchanges, pawn promotion becomes the dominant theme. Chess theory consists of opening knowledge, tactics (or combinations), positional analysis (particularly pawn structures), strategy (the making of long-range plans and goals), and endgame technique (including basic mates against the lone king).

Philidor and the birth of chess theory
      Early chess players recognized that a typical game could be divided into three parts, each with its own character and priorities: the opening stage, when a player develops the pieces from their starting squares; a middlegame stage, in which plans are conceived and carried out; and an endgame stage, following several exchanges and captures, in which the player with the superior chances tries to convert an advantage into victory.

      Books analyzing a few basic opening moves, elementary middlegame combinations, and simple elements of endgame technique appeared as early as the 15th century. About 1620 an Italian master, Gioacchino Greco, wrote an analysis of a series of composed games that illustrated two contrasting approaches to chess. Those games pit a material-minded player, who attempts to win as many of the opponent's pieces as possible, against an opponent who sacrifices material in pursuit of checkmate—and usually wins. Greco, regarded as the first chess professional, emphasized tactics. His games were filled with pretty combinations made possible by poor defensive play. They had considerable influence in popularizing chess and in showing that there were different theories about how it should be played.

      The first coordinated explanation of how chess games are won came in the 18th century from François-André Philidor (Philidor, François-André) of France. Philidor, a composer of music, was regarded as the world's best chess player for nearly 50 years. In 1749 Philidor wrote and published L'Analyze des échecs (Chess Analyzed), an enormously influential book that appeared in more than 100 editions.

      In Analyze Philidor used apparently fictitious games to illustrate his principles for conducting a strategic, rather than tactical, battle. His comments on certain 1 e4 e5 openings were copied for decades by other masters, and his analysis of king, rook, and bishop against king and rook was the first extensive examination of a particular endgame. But it was Philidor's middlegame advice that was his greatest legacy. He emphasized the role of planning: Once all a player's pieces are developed, that player should try to form an overall goal, such as kingside attack, that coordinates the forces. Philidor also placed a premium on anticipating enemy threats rather than merely concentrating on one's own attack.

      Greco and previous writers had explored the tactical interplay of two or three pieces. But Philidor believed that the significance of the pawns had been overlooked and drew particular attention to their weaknesses and strengths. His most famous comment—that “pawns are the very life of the game”—is often cited without his explanation of why they are important: because, he said, pawns alone form the basis for attack.

      Philidor believed that a mobile mass of pawns is the most important positional factor in the middlegame and that an attack will fail unless the pawns to sustain it are properly supported. (See Game 1 ().) He warned against allowing pawns to be isolated from one another, doubled on the same file, or made backward—that is, unguarded by another pawn and incapable of being safely advanced. He linked the qualities of pawns to other pieces and was the first to emphasize how a bishop could be bad or good depending on how restricted it was by a fixed pawn structure. He also advocated the exchange of an f-pawn for an enemy e-pawn because it would partially open the file for a castled rook at f1. While previous authors had shown how pawns or other pieces could be temporarily sacrificed in checkmating or material-gaining combinations, Philidor illustrated the purely positional sacrifice in which a player obtains compensation such as superior piece mobility or pawn structure.

Morphy (Morphy, Paul Charles) and the theory of attack
      From 1750 to 1769 a group of masters from Modena, Italy—Ercole del Rio, Giambattista Lolli, and Domenico Ponziani—criticized Philidor's ideas. They believed that he had exaggerated the importance of the pawns at the expense of the other pieces and had minimized the power of a direct attack on the enemy king. By analyzing the play of 16th-century Italian masters, the Modena school showed that games could be won in fewer than 20 moves through speedy piece mobilization, compared with Philidor's slow-developing pawn marches.

      There followed a proliferation of speculative pawn sacrifices in the opening, called gambits, in order to achieve rapid mobilization and open lines for an attack. Checkmating attacks, often with startling sacrifices in concluding combinations, became the hallmark of many players of the 19th century. These leading masters were described as members of the Romantic school of chess. See Game 4 () for one of the most celebrated examples of Romanticism.

      The ideas of the Modena school were not fully appreciated until they appeared, in slightly different form, in the games of Paul Morphy, the first American recognized as the world's best player. Morphy's chess career lasted less than three years and consisted of fewer than 75 serious games. In 1858–59 he defeated all the leading European players, with the disappointing exception of Howard Staunton, who evaded all attempts to arrange a match. At the age of 22 Morphy retired from serious chess. Morphy remains the only great chess thinker who left no written legacy.

      Morphy's contemporaries knew as much about the openings as he did, and some of them could calculate combinations as well as he. But Morphy understood how and when to attack better than anyone else. This enabled him not only to win favourable positions but also to avoid loss in inferior positions. After he defeated Adolf Anderssen (Anderssen, Adolf), the greatest of the Romantics, by a lopsided score of 7–2, a supporter asked Anderssen why he had not sacrificed his pieces brilliantly against the American, as he had against other masters. “Morphy won't let me,” Anderssen is reputed to have replied.

      Morphy appreciated that superior development—getting pieces onto good squares in the first 10 to 15 moves—was relatively unimportant in the semiclosed, blocked pawn structures that Philidor had embraced. But, as the centre or kingside became more open, an advantage in development increased in value. In Morphy's best-known games, pawns and knights played minor roles. Pawns were often sacrificed so that the queen, rooks, and bishops could join the attack as soon as possible. The first priority for Morphy was the initiative, the ability to force matters. Superior development in a position with few centre pawns conferred the initiative on one player. In the games of lesser players the initiative might pass back and forth as players err. But Morphy rarely failed to bring an initiative to fruition. (See Game 5 ().)

Steinitz and the theory of equilibrium
      Morphy's eventual successor, Wilhelm Steinitz (Steinitz, Wilhelm), reigned as world champion until 1894, when he was 58. The Prague-born Steinitz managed to retain his superiority for so long because he developed new principles of the middlegame, particularly in closed or semiclosed positions, that only his successor, Emanuel Lasker, and Lasker's contemporaries fully appreciated. Steinitz said his “modern school” was guided by two premises: first, that the natural outcome of a game is a draw because of the inherent balance between the forces of White and Black and, second, that checkmate is the ultimate but not the first objective of the game.

      Steinitz began his career as a tactical, combinational player in the Morphy style. But in his late thirties he developed insight into subtle positional characteristics that take precedence in positions in which the centre is fully or partially blocked by immobile pawns. Steinitz tried to answer the mystery of why some attacks succeed, regardless of how skillful the defender, while others fail, regardless of how talented the attacker. A failed attack, he added, often results in defeat for the attacker, whose forces suddenly become poorly coordinated in the face of a counterattack.

      Steinitz concluded that in a typical position each side has certain small advantages which tend to balance one another. For example, a player may have weakened the opponent's pawns but at the expense of trading a bishop for a slightly less valuable knight. An attack is justified only when the balance has been upset, either by the player's mistakes or the opponent's good moves. Morphy's advantage in development was one way of upsetting the balance. But by the 1870s, after Morphy's games became familiar to all masters, it became harder and harder to obtain a lead in development against an unwilling opponent.

      Steinitz realized that the way to justify a decisive attack in the post-Morphy era was to accumulate small, often subtle, advantages—for example, having two bishops when one's opponent has two knights, having an entrenched knight at a fortified outpost, or having greater maneuvering space. In his games Steinitz showed how slow-evolving maneuvers in the opening, particularly with knights, paid dividends in the middlegame if the centre was closed. (See Game 6 ().) He originated the term “hole” to mean a vulnerable square that has lost its pawn protection and can be occupied favourably by an enemy piece.

      While a lead in development may be transient, other advantages, such as a superior pawn structure, could be nurtured into the endgame, Steinitz said. Structural weaknesses generally involve pawns that are difficult to defend or squares (especially in the centre or around the king) that enemy pieces can occupy without being dislodged by pawn attacks. The following common pawn weaknesses are disadvantageous in direct proportion to their exploitability, which tends to increase as pieces are exchanged. A pawn with no friendly pawns on adjoining files is called an isolated pawn; isolated pawns may confer middlegame compensation through control of important squares (if located in the centre) or by giving rooks adjoining open files along which to attack. A pawn on an open file whose advance is restrained by an enemy pawn on an adjoining file and that is unguardable by any other pawn is termed a backward pawn. Two pawns that occupy the same file (through captures) are called doubled pawns.

      The small advantages could be converted at an appropriate moment to material by means of attack. He added that a player who does not attack when in a position advantageous enough to justify it will lose the advantage. Unlike the Romantics, who relentlessly aimed for the enemy king, Steinitz argued that the nature of the position dictated whether to target the kingside or queenside. The win of a mere pawn was in the large majority of cases fatal among first-class masters.

      Some subtle advantages do not become significant until the endgame, Steinitz found. For example, after routine pawn captures and recaptures, a player is often left with three pawns each on the kingside and queenside, while the opponent has four on the kingside and two on the queenside. The kingside pawns are often held back near or on their original squares for king protection. But, advancing on the queenside where the player has a majority of the pawns, referred to as a queenside majority, can create a powerful passed pawn that may prove decisive in the late middlegame or endgame. On the other hand, one of Steinitz' students, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, popularized the “minority attack,” in which the player with fewer queenside pawns advances them in certain positions in order to weaken his opponent's pawns.

      Steinitz was also the first master of defensive play. Even when playing the White pieces, he often invited his opponent to open the centre by exchanging pawns or to be the first to cross the fourth rank. He reasoned that such attacks must be premature if the equilibrium was in balance and so could be punished after patient defensive play.

      While Philidor was known for his writings and Morphy for his games, Steinitz left a legacy of both. In match play he consistently defeated the leading Romantics—Adolf Anderssen, Joseph Blackburne, Johann Zukertort, and Mikhail Chigorin. He is regarded as the first player to take a scientific approach to chess.

The classical era
      Among Steinitz' greatest followers were two Germans, Emanuel Lasker (Lasker, Emanuel) and Siegbert Tarrasch. Lasker dethroned Steinitz as world champion in 1894 and refined his theory of defensive play. He showed that even cramped positions yielded strong counterattacking chances. Also, he was the first player to appreciate the psychological nature of chess and found that, by accepting allegedly bad positions or ones with merely inferior pawn structures, he placed a psychological burden on many of his opponents by encouraging their optimism. (See Games 7 (), 8 (), 9 (), and 10 ().) His practical approach to the game enabled Lasker to hold the world championship title until 1921. But, as a later world champion, Max Euwe, said of him, “It is not possible to learn much from him; one can only stand and wonder.”

      Tarrasch (Tarrasch, Siegbert) took Steinitz' principles in a different direction. He regarded the control of space and mobility of pieces as much more important than Steinitz believed and felt that these qualities would compensate for structural pawn weaknesses. He was the champion of a particular pawn structure featuring an isolated d-pawn. Steinitz saw such a pawn as a liability that could be advantageously blockaded by an enemy knight and eventually captured. But Tarrasch noted that the same pawn could support one or two of his own knights on more advanced squares, and this often outweighed the apparent weakness. His games show a relentless effort to get all his pieces on their best squares and to gain control of more space. This led Tarrasch to original attitudes toward material, such as stating that two bishops and a rook were roughly equivalent to two rooks and a knight. He hated the cramped positions that Lasker mastered and relished. Tarrasch preferred to use a superior centre to attack on both wings of the board at the same time. As the world's foremost chess author for more than three decades, Tarrasch popularized Steinitz' findings, often by reducing them to simple rules such as “develop knights before bishops” or “don't move your queen early in the game.”

      Lasker was finally dethroned by Capablanca (Capablanca, José Raúl), who added little that was new to the theory of the game but showed how the teachings of Steinitz and Tarrasch could be molded into a nearly unbeatable formula. Capablanca perfected the skill that players call technique, the nurturing of tiny advantages until they become decisive. Capablanca paid little attention to the opening and played both 1 e4, the favourite of masters until about 1910, and 1 d4, a move more likely to keep the centre closed. He preferred middlegames with clear-cut plans. But he argued that each move, even in the opening, should further that goal—a contrast with Morphy, who appeared to develop pieces for the sake of development.


      The most important exceptions concerned the centre squares, chiefly e4, e5, d4, and d5. The Hypermoderns believed that the central pawn structure that had been a goal since Philidor could be a liability because it provides the opponent with a target. It was not the occupation of the centre that was desirable but rather its control, they argued. Gyula Breyer, one of the Hypermoderns, summed up their approach when he joked, “After the first move 1 e4 White's game is in the last throes.”

      At the heart of Hypermodernism was a new approach to the opening. The two leading members of the new school, Réti and Nimzowitsch, attacked Tarrasch's emphasis on building a solid centre in the first dozen moves, starting with 1 e4 or 1 d4. Réti often began a game with 1 Nf3 and did not advance more than one pawn past the third before the middlegame had begun. Instead, he and the other Hypermoderns rediscovered the fianchetto, or development of a bishop on its longest diagonal—i.e., b2 and g2 for White, b7 and g7 for Black. Fianchettoed bishops had been a favourite of Howard Staunton in the 1830s but fell out of favour after Morphy popularized open centres. Réti's idea was to attack the centre with pieces posted on the wings. (See Game 12 ().) In one of his most controversial maneuvers, he shifted his queen to a1 to emphasize the power of his bishop at b2.

      The Hypermoderns invited their opponents to advance pawns in the centre and in some cases tried to provoke them. For example, Alexander Alekhine (Alekhine, Alexander), a future world champion who explored Hypermodern ideas in the 1920s, developed an opening that consisted of meeting 1 e4 with 1 . . . Nf6 in order to tempt White to advance to e5, where the pawn might later come under fire.

      Nimzowitsch also played originally in the opening. Previously, masters almost automatically answered 1 d4 with 1 . . . d5 so as not to allow White to dominate the centre with 2 e4. Nimzowitsch, however, played 1 . . . Nf6 with the idea of controlling the crucial e4 square with minor pieces, a bishop pin of a White knight at c3 and/or a fianchettoed bishop at b7. (See Game 13 ().) His systems, known as the Queen's Indian Defense and Nimzo-Indian Defense, remain among the most popular in competitive play.

      Nimzowitsch's exploration of openings that had been previously explored and found wanting led him to another Hypermodern tenet: the voluntary surrender of the centre. Steinitz had claimed to have originated this idea (see Game 6 ()), but Nimzowitsch elaborated on it in several games and in his writings. For example, a common pawn chain occurs in the centre, when White pawns occupy d4 and e5 and Black pawns occupy d5 and e6. Tarrasch had shown how Black obtains counterchances by attacking the enemy centre by advancing the c-pawn to c5 and f-pawn to f6. Tarrasch's opponents tried to maintain the chain of White pawns on their squares. But Nimzowitsch tried to find the right time to exchange White's pawns (dxc5 and, after . . . f6, then exf6). His goal was to occupy the deserted squares at d4 and e5 with his minor pieces—i.e., bishops and knights.

      Nimzowitsch was also influential in the development of defensive ideas of prophylaxis—the anticipation, prevention, and restraint of the opponent's play.

      By the late 1920s the new approach to the centre had been quickly assimilated. Most of the world's leading masters, even Capablanca and Tarrasch, had tried Hypermodern openings. The next generation, which emerged in the 1930s and, after the interval of World War II, the late 1940s, sought to find exceptions to other rules. The leaders of the next generation came from the Soviet Union, whose players dominated the world championship from 1948 to 1972.

      The Soviets were distinguished by the high priority they placed on gaining the initiative, a willingness to accept pawn structures even Lasker had considered bad, a new appreciation of differences in material, and a concentrated approach to pregame preparation.

      The Soviets valued the initiative—the ability to force matters—more than most positional considerations. While the Hypermoderns and Lasker often challenged their opponents to make the first aggressive moves, the Soviets regarded the initiative as vitally important. When defending, they rejected the solid if passive approach of Steinitz and Tarrasch and tried to generate a counterattack. (See Game 16 ().)

      Since the Hypermoderns had demonstrated that Black did not have to meet 1 e4 with 1 . . . e5, the Soviets devoted enormous attention to the most aggressive alternative, the Sicilian Defense (1 . . . c5), which also involves a surrender of the centre. Although White gains more space and mobility, Boleslavsky showed how Black could find equalizing counterchances by advancing the d-pawn one square and the e-pawn two squares. This creates a hole at d5 and makes the d-pawn backward but enables Black to maximize use of the c-file and attack the White e-pawn.

      The Soviets sought unstable positions, in which each player had several pluses and minuses. Mikhail Botvinnik (Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich), the first Soviet master to win the world championship, popularized a variation of the French Defense in which Black exchanges a good bishop in order to ruin White's pawn structure. Botvinnik accepted several weak squares because of the absence of the bishop and was often forced to castle queenside, rather than kingside. But his games revealed rich resources for counterplay on kingside or queenside.

      Another means of obtaining the instability cherished by the Soviets was by material sacrifices. Russian masters from the 1930s to the '50s were especially fond of trading a rook for a bishop or knight. Such sacrifices had been used since the Romantic era as part of a kingside attack. But the Soviets used it instead to obtain positional compensation, such as to ruin an opponent's pawn structure or improve their own or to eliminate a powerful enemy bishop or knight.

      Botvinnik's major contributions included finding an optimal way of preparing for a game. He studied the strengths and weaknesses of opponents he was likely to meet in the near future. He analyzed the amount of time he had spent on particular moves in order to think more efficiently. He played training games to test his nerves and concentration skills under conditions simulating tournament play—even encouraging an opponent to smoke cigarettes.

      But most of all Botvinnik developed highly complex opening systems, in openings such as the Queen's Gambit Declined, English Opening, French Defense, and Nimzo-Indian Defense. (See Games 16 (), 17 (), and 19 ().) Instead of discovering a new opening move that might win a single game and then become useless, Botvinnik tried to work out complicated systems that would last for years. For example, his analysis of the Queen's Gambit Declined in the late 1930s won games for him nearly 10 years later. Typically, the Botvinnik Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined leads to a highly unbalanced middlegame in which Black sacrifices a pawn and ruins his kingside pawn structure but obtains excellent chances on the queenside, where Black has four pawns to White's two. (See Game 16 ().) His approach to the opening had a great influence during the 1950s and '60s as leading masters tried to analyze openings as far as the 20th or 25th move.

The pragmatists
      The most important changes in chess thinking after 1970 concerned a more practical approach to competition. The Soviets maintained that by unbalancing a position they placed an onus on each player to find the best moves. In quieter positions, second-best moves could be permitted. But in sharp positions, the Soviets said, failing to find the correct move would often mean losing the initiative or turning an advantage into a disadvantage.

      There were also some subtle changes in thinking from the 1970s through the '90s about conducting the late opening and early middlegame stages of a game. Among them was a depreciation of the bishop: The Hypermoderns had attacked Tarrasch's high opinion of an unobstructed bishop and said a bishop could profitably be traded for a knight. The post-Soviet players often traded bishop for knight for minimal compensation. They also often exchanged their good bishop, the one less encumbered by pawns, and retained their bad one for slight positional compensation.

The time element and competition

Origin of time controls
      The rise of competitive chess with the Bourdonnais-McDonnell match of 1834 and the London tournament of 1851 posed a question of fairness: should a player be allowed to take enormous amounts of time? Previously, chess was governed by an unwritten amateur privilege that allowed players unlimited time for each move. When the practice of recording the amount of time taken on each move in major events began, it was found that the Staunton–Saint-Amant match games of 1843 averaged nine hours and that as much as two hours and 20 minutes was spent by one player over a single move at the London tournament.

      Staunton (Staunton, Howard), the most influential player of the first half of the 19th century, was severely critical of players who took “hours over moves where minutes might suffice.” He suggested limiting the amount of time allotted for each move to a specified number of minutes. But it was agreed by most authorities that some moves deserve lengthy consideration and others very little. Since a player could not preserve unused time, he would be encouraged to take as much as possible. But allowing a player to spend as much as 10 minutes per move would mean that it could take the two players two hours to play just six moves. The principle of single-move time limits was abandoned in all but postal games (in which players had a preset number of days to respond to a move) and some forms of quick or speed chess—e.g., games in which players must move every 5 or 10 seconds.

      A second principle, sometimes called sudden death, was also considered—and abandoned—in the early days of competitive chess. With a sudden-death format a set amount of time is allowed for all a player's moves in a game. Sudden-death time controls were regarded in the 19th century and most of the 20th as too restrictive because they could leave a player with an enormous advantage but so little time left that loss was inevitable. Sudden death survived only in certain forms of speed chess, such as five-minute chess, in which each player has five minutes for all moves.

      The third, and most popular, principle for time controls was a flexible system proposed by Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa, a 19th-century German player and author. Lasa proposed that each player be allowed a bank of time in which to play a predetermined number of moves, such as two hours for 30 moves. This principle, adopted for the vast majority of competitions from 1861 on, permits each player to budget time, playing some moves quickly and taking as much as an hour or more on others. In addition, a player who made the prescribed number of moves, such as 30 in the example above, would get an additional time budget, such as one hour for the next 15 moves.

      Staunton had proposed that the penalty for exceeding a time limit be a fine, and this was tried in some international tournaments as late as Nürnberg 1906. But this proved insufficient as a deterrent, and forfeiture eventually became the sole penalty. The penalty was regarded as mandatory after Vienna 1882 when a contender for first prize, James Mason, exceeded the time limit in one game but eventually won the game after his opponent declined to claim the forfeit. Another contender for first prize, Wilhelm Steinitz, appealed Mason's victory, and a forfeiture was imposed instead.

Technological improvements
      In 1861 the first time limits, using sandglasses, were employed in a match, Anderssen versus Ignác Kolisch, and in a tournament, at Bristol, Eng. Each player had a timer to set in motion when considering a move and to stop after the move. But sandglasses proved clumsy and inexact and were replaced by a pair of mechanical clocks after a simple pendulum device was introduced at London 1883. The pendulum acted like a seesaw so that, when a player depressed his clock, it stopped and the opponent's clock began ticking.

      Modern clocks consist of two parallel timers, each with a small button above it for a player to press after completing a move. This stops the player's time and starts the opponent's. This simplified device made it possible for a player to survive severe time trouble, situations in which it was necessary to make 20 or 30 moves with less than a minute of allotted time remaining.

      The next significant change, the addition of a tiny latch called a flag, appeared at the turn of the 19th century and helped end the chronic arguments over when a player had exceeded a time limit. The flag, lying straight down near the 12 at the top of a clock face, is lifted at the end of an hour by the minute hand until it is perpendicular and then falls straight down again. Until the introduction of the flag, an arbiter or judge had to determine whether the minute hand had passed 12. No further changes in chess timing were made until digital clocks appeared in the 1980s. Digital clocks tell a player to the second precisely how much time is left, but they have not proved popular with players.

Standard controls
      The first time controls, introduced in 1861, were 24 moves in two hours, and most games were completed in five hours. But, as defensive skills improved, the average length of a game in moves increased, and 24 moves in two hours proved excessively generous. At the London tournament of 1862 more than a quarter of the decisive games ended by move 30. This figure fell to 21 percent at Vienna 1873, 18 percent at Leipzig 1894, and less than 10 percent at Carlsbad 1923.

      As players developed more extensive opening preparation—and could play the first 20 moves of a game by memory—the pressure for faster limits accelerated. By the 1880s a format of 30 moves in two hours became popular, succeeded by 36 moves in two hours in the 1920s and then 40 moves in two and a half hours after World War II.

      In major events a game was usually adjourned after the first five-hour session of play and resumed at a later time. Critics said this gave a player an unfair chance to consult colleagues, seconds, or, after 1980, even computers.

      In the mid-1980s a new format, 40 moves in two hours followed by a second time control of 20 moves in one hour, proved popular because few games lasted more than 60 moves and few therefore required adjournment. To further discourage adjournments, many amateur events added a modified form of sudden-death provision: After the second or third time control was reached, the players were given an additional lump of time, typically an hour, for the completion of all their remaining moves. This was used mainly in nonmaster events but was also adopted in the 1995 Professional Chess Association championship.

Quick chess
      Early chess clocks often broke down after repeated use. Sturdier clocks, appearing after World War I, made possible a new form of casual chess, played at extremely fast speeds, such as five-minute sudden-death games, which proved extremely popular among younger players.

      But until the 1980s there was a clear distinction in the minds of most players between serious chess, played at slower controls with a time budget of two or more hours and additional time once each control was reached, and quick chess, based on a small amount of allotted time and no additional time possible.

      The popular acceptance in the 1980s of sudden-death controls after the first four or five hours of play proved to be a bridge between serious and quick chess. The most popular new format, which appeared in the mid-1980s, limited an entire game to 25 minutes for each player. This control, variously called action chess, active chess, quickplay, and game/25, became popular because it provided a livelier tempo in which an entire tournament could be completed in an evening.

      An indication of how well-accepted the faster time limit had become was its adoption by FIDE to break ties in some important events. In 1988, for example, a first-round match between Kevin Spraggett of Canada and Andrei Sokolov of the Soviet Union in the candidates' elimination matches leading to the world championship was tied after eight games and was decided when Spraggett won a game/15 tiebreaker.

The Fischer clock
      Quick chess took a new turn in the 1990s with a variation on Staunton's single-move principle and Lasa's time-budget idea. Fischer, who had not played a public game since winning the world championship in 1972, patented a chess clock in 1988 that added an increment of time after a player completed a move and hit the button on top. For example, in a speed game, a player could begin with five minutes and receive an additional 10 or 15 seconds after making each move.

      The Fischer clock gained international attention after the expatriate American briefly came out of retirement in 1992 to play a nonsanctioned world championship match with Boris Spassky in the cities of Belgrade and Sveti Stefan in Yugoslavia. The rules of the match stipulated that each player begin with 111 minutes on his clock and receive one minute for each move played. This meant that after 40 moves each player had been allotted 151 minutes, or one minute more than the 40-in-2 1/2-hours format used when Fischer won the championship title from Spassky in 1972. For the second control, the match rules gave each player an additional 40 minutes to play 20 moves but also added an extra minute for each move played.

      As chess promoters moved toward organizing tournaments with spectators—in particular, television audiences—in mind, the shorter time limits became a way of life for professional players. One of the most interesting annual tournaments, the Melody Amber held in Monaco since 1992, features top grandmasters playing a pair of games using the Fischer clock. In one of the games the players begin with four minutes and receive 10 seconds for each move played. In the second they play without sight of the board—so-called blindfold chess—beginning with four minutes and receiving 20 seconds for each move.

Correspondence chess
      Chess games have been conducted by move-carrying messengers since at least the 17th century, but the introduction of low-cost mail service created a small boom for postal chess in the early 19th century.

      Other forms of communication eventually shortened the delivery time of moves. A celebrated annual match by transatlantic cable between teams representing Great Britain and the United States was conducted from 1896 to 1911. The first games by radio were played in 1902 between players aboard two steamships. Telephone chess has never caught on, because of the lack of proof of what moves are made and the inconvenience of receiving several calls when playing more than one game at a time. However, telex matches and fax tournaments have been tried successfully.

      A new arena of competition developed in the early 1990s with the introduction of commercial games clubs on the Internet. The Internet Chess Club, founded in 1992 and incorporated in 1995, allows computer-literate chess fans worldwide to play one another at various time limits. More than 15,000 players from 55 countries had played at least one game in the first four years. On a typical day 10,000 games are played. Club members can also take the role of spectator and watch the 20 to 50 games typically being played. Time limits of a few minutes per game and use of the Fischer clock are common. One attraction of E-mail chess is the availability of opponents of all playing strengths at all hours of the day and night.

      Machines capable of playing chess have fascinated people since the latter half of the 18th century, when the Turk, the first of the pseudo-automatons, began a triumphal exhibition tour of Europe. Like its 19th-century successor Ajeeb, the Turk was a cleverly constructed cabinet that concealed a human master. The mystery of the Turk was the subject of more than a dozen books and a widely discussed article written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1836. Several world-class players were employed to operate the pseudo-automatons, including Harry Nelson Pillsbury, who was Ajeeb during part of the 1890s, and Isidor Gunsberg and Jean Taubenhaus, who operated, by remote control, Mephisto, the last of the pseudo-automatons, before it was dismantled following World War I.

Master search heuristics
      The ability of a machine to play chess well has taken on symbolic meaning since the first precomputer devices more than a century ago. In 1890 a Spanish scientist, Leonardo Torres y Quevado, introduced an electromagnetic device—composed of wire, switch, and circuit—that was capable of checkmating a human opponent in a simple endgame, king and rook versus king. The machine did not always play the best moves and sometimes took 50 moves to perform a task that an average human player could complete in fewer than 20. But it could recognize illegal moves and always delivered eventual checkmate. Torres y Quevado acknowledged that the apparatus had no practical purpose. As a scientific toy, however, it gained attention for his belief in the capability of machines to be programmed to follow certain rules.

      No significant progress in this area was made until the development of the electronic digital machine after World War II. About 1947 Alan Turing (Turing, Alan M.) of the University of Manchester, Eng., developed the first simple program capable of analyzing one ply (one side's move) ahead. Four years later a Manchester colleague, D.G. Prinz, wrote a program capable of solving mate-in-two-move problems but not actually playing chess.

      A breakthrough came in 1948, when the research scientist Claude Shannon (Shannon, Claude) of Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., U.S., presented a paper that influenced all future programmers. Shannon, like Torres y Quevada and Turing, stressed that progress in developing a chess-playing program (computer program) would have a wider application and could lead, he said, to machines that could translate from language to language or make strategic military decisions.

      Shannon appreciated that a computer conducting an entire game would have to make decisions using incomplete information because it could not examine all the positions leading to checkmate, which might lie 40 or 50 moves ahead. Therefore, it would have to select moves that were good, not merely legal, by evaluating future positions that were not checkmates. Shannon's paper set down criteria for evaluating each position a program would consider.

      This evaluation function is crucial because even a rudimentary program would have to determine the relative differences between thousands of different positions. In a typical position White may have 30 legal moves, and to each of those moves Black may have 30 possible replies. This means that a machine considering White's best move may have to examine 30 × 30, or 900, positions resulting from Black's reply, a two-ply search. A three-ply search—an initial move by White, a Black reply, and a White response to that—would mean 30 × 30 × 30, or 27,000, different final positions to be considered. (It has been estimated that humans examine only about 50 positions before choosing a move.)

      Turing's evaluation function was dominated by determining which side had more pieces in various future positions. But Shannon suggested that each position could be weighed using positional criteria, including the condition of pawns and their control of the centre squares, the mobility of the other pieces, and specific cases of well-placed pieces, such as a rook on an open (pawnless) file or on the seventh rank. Other criteria were used by later programmers to refine and improve the evaluation function. All criteria had to be quantified. For example, a human master can quickly evaluate the mobility of bishops or the relative safety of the king. Early programs performed the same evaluation by counting the number of legal bishop moves or the squares under control around a player's king.

Computer chess
      Computers began to compete against humans in the late 1960s. In February 1967 MacHack VI, a program written by Richard Greenblatt, an MIT undergraduate, drew one game and lost four in a U.S. Chess Federation tournament. Its results improved markedly, from a performance equivalent to a USCF rating of 1243 to reach 1640 by April 1967, about the average for a USCF member. The first American computer championship was held in New York City in 1970 and was won by Chess 3.0, a program devised by a team of Northwestern University researchers that dominated computer chess in the 1970s.

      Technical advances accelerated progress in computer chess during the 1970s and '80s. Sharp increases in computing power enabled computers to “see” much further. Computers of the 1960s could evaluate positions no more than two moves ahead, but authorities estimated that each additional half-move of search would increase a program's performance level by 250 rating points. This was borne out by a steady improvement by the best programs until Deep Thought played above the 2700 level in 1988. When Deep Blue, its successor, was introduced in 1996, it saw as far as six moves ahead. (Gary Kasparov (Kasparov, Garry) said he normally looks only three to five moves ahead, adding that for humans more are not needed.)

      Also helping computer progress was the availability of microprocessors (microprocessor) in the late 1970s. This allowed programmers unattached to universities to develop commercial microcomputers that by the 1990s were nearly as strong as programs running on mainframes. By the late 1980s the strongest machines were capable of beating more than 90 percent of the world's serious players. In 1988 a computer, HiTech, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, defeated a grandmaster, Arnold Denker, in a short match. In the same year another Carnegie Mellon program, Deep Thought, defeated a top-notch grandmaster, Bent Larsen, in a tournament game.

      HiTech used 64 computer chips, one for each square on the board, and was capable of considering up to 175,000 positions per second. Feng-Hsiung Hsu, a Carnegie Mellon student, improved on HiTech with a custom-designed chip. The result, Chiptest, won the North American Computer Championship in 1987 and evolved into Deep Thought, a program powerful enough to consider 700,000 positions a second. Although its evaluation skills were not as well developed as HiTech's—and far below that of a human grandmaster—Deep Thought was sponsored by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in an effort to defeat the world's best player by the mid-1990s in a traditional time limit.

      At faster speeds even personal computers were able to defeat the world's best humans by 1994. In that year a Fritz 3 program, examining 100,000 positions per second, tied for first place with Kasparov, ahead of 16 other grandmasters, at a five-minute tournament in Munich, Ger. Later in the year Kasparov was eliminated from a game/25 tournament in London after losing a two-game match against Genius running on a Pentium personal computer.

      In 1991 Deep Thought's team said the program, renamed Deep Blue, would soon be playing at the equivalent of a 3000 rating (compared with Kasparov's 2800), but this proved excessively optimistic. The main improvement was in the computer running the chess program. IBM developed, and used chess to test, a sophisticated new multiprocessing system (later used at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., U.S., to predict the weather) that employed 32 microprocessors, each with six programmable chips designed specifically for chess. Deep Thought, by comparison, had one microprocessor and no extra chips. The new hardware enabled Deep Blue to consider as many as 50 billion positions in three minutes, a rate that was about a thousand times faster than Deep Thought's.

      Deep Blue made its debut in a six-game match with PCA champion Kasparov in February 1996. The $500,000 prize fund and IBM's live game coverage at their World Wide Web site attracted worldwide media attention. The Kasparov–Deep Blue match in Philadelphia was the first time a world champion had played a program at a slow (40 moves in two hours) time format. Deep Blue won the first game, but Kasparov modified his style and turned the later games into strategic, rather than tactical, battles in which evaluation was more important than calculation. He won three and drew two of the remaining games to win the match 4–2. (See Game 25 ().)

      In a six-game rematch held May 3–11, 1997, in New York City, an upgraded Deep Blue was able to consider an average of 200 million positions per second, twice its previous speed. Its algorithm for considering positions was also improved with advice from human grandmasters.

      By adopting a new set of conservative openings, Kasparov forced Deep Blue out of much of its prematch preparation. After resigning the second game, in a position later found to be drawable, Kasparov said he “never recovered” psychologically. With the match tied at one win, one loss, and three draws, Deep Blue won the decisive final game in 19 moves.

Computer extension of chess theory
      Computers have played a role in extending the knowledge of chess. In 1986 Kenneth Thompson of AT&T Bell Laboratories reported a series of discoveries in basic endgames. By working backward from positions of checkmate, Thompson was able to build up an enormous number of variations showing every possible way of reaching the final ones. This has been possible with only the most elementary endgames, with no more than five pieces on the board. Thompson's research proved that certain conclusions that had remained unchallenged in endgame books for decades were untrue. For example, with best play on both sides, a king and queen can defeat a king and two bishops in 92.1 percent of the initial starting positions; this endgame had been regarded as a hopeless drawn situation. Also, a king and two bishops can defeat a king and lone knight in 91.8 percent of situations—despite human analysis that concluded the position was drawn. Thompson's research of some five-piece endgames required considering more than 121 million positions.

      Because of their ability to store information, computers had become invaluable to professional players by the 1990s, particularly in the analysis of adjourned games. However, computers have severe limits. In the 1995 PCA championship, Kasparov won the 10th game with a heavily analyzed opening based on the sacrifice of a rook. According to his aides, the prepared idea was tested on a computer beforehand, and the program evaluated the variation as being in the opponent's favour until it had reached the end of Kasparov's lengthy analysis.

      The availability of top-notch microcomputers (microcomputer) poses a major problem for postal chess. A principal difference between over-the-board chess and all forms of correspondence chess is that in the latter players are permitted to analyze a position by moving the pieces and by consulting reference books. By the 1990s most serious postal players used a computer database containing thousands of games categorized by opening moves. However, if the use of computers is extended to finding the best moves in the middlegame or endgame, postal chess becomes computer chess. The International Correspondence Chess Federation said in 1993 that “the existence of chess computers is a reality and for correspondence chess the use of chess computers cannot be controlled.”

Chess composition
      Chess compositions are created positions in which one side, usually White, moves first and is required to perform a task. The reader is called upon to find the task's solution. There are three basic forms of composition depending on the type of task.

      In studies, White is asked to reach a desired result, either a clear winning or drawn position, in an indeterminate number of moves. In problems, White is asked to force checkmate in a specific number of moves. Black is required to put up the best defense in the solutions of both studies and problems. In the third category, heterodox problems and related retrograde analysis, the reader is asked to perform unusual tasks.

      In each case, criteria such as originality, difficulty, beauty, and the absence of extraneous pieces distinguish good compositions from great and poor ones. Also, the existence of a second solution, or cook, sharply reduces the quality of a composition. Under these and other criteria, composers of studies and problems have competed in organized tournaments since the middle of the 19th century. The world chess federation, FIDE, awards the titles of International Master and International Grandmaster of Chess Composition based on having studies and problems published in the FIDE albums.

      Composed studies are usually positions with a small number of pieces and may resemble an endgame from actual play. A position always is accompanied by a stipulation, either “White to play and win” or “White to play and draw.” There is no time limit on achieving a position that is objectively won or drawn.

      Such a won position is not necessarily one leading to immediate checkmate but one with a prohibitively large advantage of material for White. A drawn position may be one in which Black lacks enough material to win or in which White has created an impenetrable fortress for his pieces or has obtained some kind of positional advantage, such as the ability to give perpetual check, that prevents Black from winning. Solutions are often elaborate. Some compositions beginning with a bare minimum of pieces involve a solution of more than 20 moves.

 The first studies, called manṣūbāt and dating from Arabic and Persian manuscripts, were intended to instruct players on how to win endgames. Themes of instructional studies, such as the pursuit of more than one aim at a time, are often used in practical play to turn what otherwise would be a draw or loss into a win. Highly praised studies have been composed with a minimum of material, such as two kings and only two or three pawns. (See the composition—>.)

      Studies have also been based on arresting or unusual ideas, including underpromotion, stalemate, or sacrifices. Vladimir Korolkov, a celebrated Russian composer, published a study entitled “Excelsior” in 1958 in which White wins only by making six consecutive captures by a pawn. The solution was illustrated by verses from Longfellow's poem “Excelsior.”

      Positions with practical application were known as early as the 9th century and were particularly popular in the 19th century. Many leading players were also accomplished study composers, including the world champions Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, and Vasily Smyslov, as well as Paul Keres and Jan Timman.

Standard problems
 The number of pieces in a problem is small but, with the exception of miniatures, there are generally more pieces than in studies. In studies the solver usually tries to overcome the limits of material, but in problems what must be overcome is a limit of time, expressed in moves. The stipulation for these positions calls on White to mate in a set number of moves, usually two, three, or four, against the best possible Black play. (See the composition—>.)

 Problems are also distinguished from studies by their general lack of resemblance to positions that typically arise in games. Strategy and general principles play no role in problems. The first move, called the key, is rarely a check or other obvious move in modern problems, as it might be in a study. (See the composition—>.) In many cases the key is a waiting move—i.e., a nonchecking, noncapturing, and nonattacking move. Problem fans are often players with little or no contact with competitive chess. Only one player recognized as world champion, Adolf Anderssen, was also an accomplished problem composer.

  The criteria for problems include the originality and subtlety of an underlying idea. For example, in one of the American composer Sam Loyd's (Loyd, Sam) most famous problems (see the composition—>), the surprise is that White's b-pawn, which appears to be an innocuous bystander on the second rank, advances five times and delivers mate. Also, a fine problem not only avoids superfluous pieces but also tries to get the maximum play out of the ones used. (See the composition—>.)

 By the middle of the 19th century, the modern style of problem emerged. Solutions beginning with lengthy stipulations, such as mate in seven moves, fell out of fashion. Instead, classic unifying ideas called themes—such as the Nowotny, Grimshaw, and Indian themes—were first used. (See the composition—>.) Composers tried to avoid duals, alternative moves by White after the first move, that fulfill the stipulation.

      In the second half of the 19th century, English, German, and Bohemian schools of composing emerged.

Heterodox problems
      The 20th century was marked by investigation of heterodox problems and greater elaboration of direct-mate problem themes. These problems, also called fairy chess, are distinguished from the orthodox problems considered so far by their unusual stipulations or by the use of nonstandard rules and pieces. Although most of the exploration of heterodox chess occurred in the 20th century, some forms are much older. The selfmate, for example, is believed to be at least 400 years old.

 One such unusual stipulation is a helpmate: Black moves first and cooperates with White to get checkmated in a specified number of moves. Another is the selfmate, in which White moves first and forces Black—who is not cooperating—to deliver mate in the specified number of moves. (See the composition—>.) In a retractor problem the player given the task begins by taking back a move and replacing it with another move, with the aim of achieving the stipulation, such as mating in three moves. In a maximummer Black must always make the geometrically longest move available.

 In retrograde analysis problems the objective is to determine how the given position was reached. (See the composition—>.)

      Other forms of heterodox problems use nonstandard pieces with nonstandard powers, such as the grasshopper, camel, zebra, and nightrider. Boards other than 8 × 8 are sometimes used.

Additional Reading
David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess, 2nd ed. (1992), is an alphabetical dictionary of chess terms and biographical sketches of players and composers, with many illustrative games and compositions. Journals include Chess Informant (3/yr.), a compendium of the best recent games with annotations, considered indispensable by serious players; Chess Life (monthly), published by the U.S. Chess Federation; The British Chess Magazine (monthly); and New in Chess Magazine (8/yr.).Harry Golombek, Chess: A History (also published as A History of Chess, 1976), provides a well-illustrated survey of the game's progress from the war game chaturanga to medieval Europe to modern grandmaster tournaments. José R. Capablanca, A Primer of Chess (1935, reissued 1983), by a world champion, offers beginners an elegantly simple introduction to the game's rules and general principles, covering all the basics from standard opening moves to endgames. Emanuel Lasker, Lasker's Manual of Chess (1927, reissued 1991; originally published in German, 1925), by another world champion, covers the same material but with a philosophical approach and an explanation of the classical approach to theory as set down by a third world champion, Wilhelm Steinitz.Richard Réti, Modern Ideas in Chess, trans. by John Hart (1923, reissued 1960; originally published in German, 1922), definitively describes the development of chess theory from the Romantics to the Hypermoderns, with many illustrated games. M. Euwe, The Development of Chess Style, trans. from Dutch (1968, reissued 1978), reviews middlegame thinking beginning with Greco and ending with the Soviet school. A candid autobiography by the first Soviet world champion, M.M. Botvinnik, Achieving the Aim (1981; originally published in Russian, 1978), helps explain the development of Soviet hegemony in chess and the author's much-copied method of pregame preparation. Aron Nimzowitsch, My System: 21st Century Edition, ed. by Lou Hays (1991; originally published in German, 1925), is an often witty explanation of positional chess and the Hypermodern approach to the middlegame. A.J. Roycroft, The Chess Endgame Study: A Comprehensive Introduction, 2nd rev. ed. (1981), approaches studies from different points of view—from casual solver and enthusiast to composer and competition judge—and includes 433 studies and their solutions. Bobby Fischer, My Sixty Memorable Games (1969, reissued 1995), is considered by many the finest autobiographical game collection ever written. Garry Kasparov, Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, 5 vol., trans. by Ken Neat (2003–06; also published in Russian, 2003–06), collects games and anecdotes about previous champions and some of their competitors. David Levy and Monty Newborn, How Computers Play Chess (1991), a nontechnical explanation of how computers evaluate and select moves, includes a historical review of computer chess and profiles of leading programmers. An appreciation of the founder of American problem composing is found in Alain C. White, Sam Loyd and His Chess Problems (1913, reissued 1969), with more than 700 examples and explanations of their themes and creation.Andrew E. Soltis

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chess — Música Compositor Benny Andersson Björn Ulvaeus Letra Tim Rice Producción …   Wikipedia Español

  • Chess — (engl. für Schach) ist der Name von Chess (Musical), einem Musical aus dem Jahr 1984 Leonard Chess, Musikproduzent Phil Chess, Musikproduzent Chess Records, der von Leonard und Phil Chess gegründeten Schallplattenfirma Chess (Band), Disco Trio …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chess — может означать: GNU Chess  шахматная программа CHESS ежемесячный шахматный журнал, выпускаемый в Великобритании Шахматы (мюзикл) CHESS  инструмент для тестирования многопоточных .Net (управляемых) и Win32, 64 программ Chess… …   Википедия

  • chess — 13c., from O.Fr. esches chessmen, plural of eschec game of chess, chessboard; checkmate (see CHECK (Cf. check) (n.)), from the key move of the game. Modern French still distinguishes échec check, blow, rebuff, defeat, from pl. échecs chess. The… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Chess — Chess, n. (Bot.) A species of brome grass ({Bromus secalinus}) which is a troublesome weed in wheat fields, and is often erroneously regarded as degenerate or changed wheat; it bears a very slight resemblance to oats, and if reaped and ground up… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chess — [ tʃes ] noun uncount * a game for two people, played on a board with black and white squares, using different shaped pieces, including two KINGS. The aim is to get the other player s KING into a position where it cannot move: Do you play chess?… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • chess — chess·man; chess; chess·tree; …   English syllables

  • Chess — (ch[e^]s), n. [OE. ches, F. [ e]checs, prop. pl. of [ e]chec check. See 1st {Check}.] A game played on a chessboard, by two persons, with two differently colored sets of men, sixteen in each set. Each player has a king, a queen, two bishops, two… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chess — [tʃes] n [U] [Date: 1100 1200; : Old French; Origin: esches, plural of escec; CHECK2] a game for two players, who move their playing pieces according to particular rules across a special board to try to trap their opponent s ↑king (=most… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chess — ► NOUN ▪ a board game for two players, the object of which is to put the opponent s king under a direct attack, leading to checkmate. ORIGIN from Old French esches plural of eschec a check , from a Persian word meaning king …   English terms dictionary

  • chess — chess1 [ches] n. [ME ches, chesse < OFr esches, pl. of eschec: see CHECK] a game of skill played on a chessboard by two players, each with 16 chessmen limited in movement according to kind, the object being to checkmate the opponent s king… …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”