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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-05-03
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Ayer wrote on 2011-03-27 UTC
Jason, you say that chariots were not used in Chinese warfare beginning with the Chin Dynasty, about twenty-two centuries ago, and that this suggests that chess in China is older than that. Interestingly, chariots seem to have been disused in Indian warfare since the invasion by Alexander of Macedon and his mixed army twenty-three centuries ago, and some have used that fact to argue that chess in India dates from before Alexander.

'Anyway, Li's book presents all the Western arguments which are always based on the indisputable assumption that India is first or else the white man loses face...' It seems to me that the British might have felt (not that I can discuss this with any nineteenth-century British) that they would lose face if they had chess from their own Indian subjects. I get the impression that they thought China more civilized and respectable than India.

As for Dr. Li's assertion that chess survived underground at the Imperial Court for eight hundred years, this is as completely unsupported as everything else he says about chess before the Tang Dynasty.

The two supposed chess pieces from Russia from the second century are actually from Uzbekistan (Dalverzin Tepe). They are an elephant and a bull, so they are not generally accepted as chess pieces. The earliest generally accepted chess pieces are also from Uzbekistan (Afrasiab, right by Samarkand), from the eighth (Christian) century. There are seven of them, covering all six ranks.

As for the Chinese naval expeditions of exploration some six centuries ago, I accept that they happened; they left archeological evidence here and there. We wicked westerners didn't destroy the records, the Chinese did. I have already stated that the Chinese originated gunpowder, rockets, and printing with movable type, and we have them from China. By the way, I have a Chihuahua. According to sources including the Wikipedia, archeology has found remains of dogs of this type, but larger, in Mexico in the centuries before the Spanish Conquest. Our small Chihuahuas are supposed to be derived from the pre-Conquest dogs crossed with Chinese miniatures brought by the Conquistadors. I asked for any evidence that the Conquistadors, or for that matter the Spanish of that period, had Chinese miniature dogs. Profound silence. I suggested that the Chinese miniature dogs had more likely been brought by the Chinese in the generations before the Spanish Conquest. Continued profound silence.

Jason, the rest of us have disclaimed any investment in whether chess originated in China, India, Iran, Bactria, or Antarctica. You are the only one--the only one!--who has suggested that pinning down the location where chess originated would say anything about the superiority of one nation over another.