## chesscheckmate (from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat,"
meaning "the king is dead"). There is no element of chance in a game of
chess and skill is the determinant of victory. There are 400 first move combinations – 20 for white × 20 for black (though only 64 of these are regarded as strong), 318,979,564,000 ways of playing the first four moves, and 169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000 ways of playing the first ten moves. The total number of possible board configurations is estimated at 10 ^{120}; for comparison, that of
Go is generally put at about 10^{174}.A standard chessboard is a square plane divided into 64 smaller squares by straight lines at right angles. Originally, it wasn't checkered (that is, made with its rows and columns alternately of dark and light colors), and this feature was introduced merely to help the eye in actual play. In many puzzles based on chess the utility of checkering is questionable, and the board may be generalized to any n × n size. One of the first puzzles to use a chessboard was the wheat and chessboard problem, posed in 1256 by the Arabic mathematician Ibn Kallikan. Among the earliest problems to involve chess pieces,
due to Guarini di Forli in 1512, asks how two white and two black knights
can be interchanged, using normal knight's moves, if they are placed at
the corners of a 3 × 3 board. The unusual L-shaped movement of the
knight is what makes one of the best known chess puzzles, the knight's
tour, such a challenge. Other standard puzzles, often called simply
the kings problem, the queens
problem, the rooks problem, the
bishops problem, and the knights
problem, ask for the greatest number of each of these pieces that can be
placed on an 8 × 8 board or on a generalized n × n
board without attacking each other, and/or the smallest number of each of
these pieces are needed to occupy or attack every square. Fairy chess is
any variant on the standard game, which may involve a change in the form
of the board, the rules of play, or the pieces used. For example, the normal
rules of chess can be used but with a cylindrical or Möbius
band connection of the edges. ## Origins of chessChess has been attributed to some 14 different ethnic groups, although most scholars think India was its birthplace. It probably passed through Persia to Europe. Its name is from Old French, from the Hinduchaturanga,
which refers to the components of an army: horses, elephants, chariots,
and infantry. Its relation to warfare is seen in the Buddhist story that
Buddhism invented it instead of war. ## Related category• GAMES AND PUZZLES | ||||||

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