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This item is one or more fairy chess problems
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, From ancient times, Solitaire game, puzzle or chess problem
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Chess Problems of 1001 years ago. Mansubat: Chess Problems of 1001 years ago.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
M Winther wrote on 2006-04-26 UTC
Shashi, of course, everybody is aware that the first game of chess was played in India. Murray says that Chaturanga is at least older than Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) because, after Alexander's invasion, the Chariot was henceforth removed as a branch of the fighting services, due to its lack of efficiency against Alexander. This would have been reflected in Chaturanga had it been younger. But Chaturanga does not refer to four army corps, but to the four branches of the fighting services (not counting king and fers). So 4-handed Chaturanga is not the original as some would have it, says Murray (I've earlier implemented this curious game with dice, here (zrf).

Can you substantiate the claim that Chaturanga is at least from 3172 BC?


Anonymous wrote on 2006-04-26 UTC
Shashi, translations of Mahabharat are freely available online, e.g. here. Can you please provide locations of the text where it mentions chaturanga?

shashi wrote on 2006-04-25 UTCAverage ★★★
What people miss in history when looking from western perspective is that many things didn't start only in Europe or were invented by the Arabs (not equivalent to Muslims, since Arab civilization is much older than Islam). Many things were passed from India to Arab to Europe. Just like the modern numerals which are called Arabic numerals originated in India, but for Eurpoeans they seem like Arabic numerals.

Similarly the reference to Chaturanga dates back to Mahabharat, which by astronomical references in it and by the discovery of the sunken port of Dwarka in Bay of Cambay (Khambat) in India, is at least 3172 BC. This Chaturanga is the real predecessor to modern day chess, and had pieces like modern chess PLUS a dice to be thrown. The entire plot of Mahabharat was basedon the fact the villian cousins cheated the heroe cousins in a game of Chaturanga and sent them to 13 years of exile in forest.

Also, the inclusion of elephant in it is indicative of its Indian origins since only in India were elephants tamed to such extent as to be used in army or other domestic work.

Ferdyrojo wrote on 2005-10-27 UTCPoor ★
The shatranj was the board game of the antique Persian empire. The Arabs learned it from Persians, changed its name to xatrench and brought it into Europe during the invasion of the Moors via Gibaltar strait to Spain. The game which the Moors practiced in Spain became 'aljatrench' and subsequently was latinized, since it appeared a mention of this game in a book titled 'Iego del Acedrex et otros ...', published during the reign of King Alfonso X El Sabio (the Wise King), circa 1250, in Seville, Spain. This is the origin of the spanish word for chess: 'ajedrez'. Also the spanish words 'alfil', 'jaque', 'jaquemate', roque', come from the Persian origin of the game. 'Alfil' means 'seated on a fil', elephant in Farsi, which was a division of the Hindi Army. 'Jaque' is a reference to the Shah (the Persian king), 'jaquemate' means 'the sha has no way out, i.e., is caught, 'roque' (rook) comes from 'rukh', a mobile wagon with its upper form shaped like a little tower as an element of assault. These words prove that the ancestor of modern game of chess was Shatranj (a game practiced presently by the Iranians).

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