Chess is a strategy board game of two players and 16 moveable pieces. These pieces can only move according to set rules, and the primary objective is to checkmate the other player's king.

The game was previously known as Chaturanga, but later the name changed to chess. Furthermore, Wilhelm Steinitz, the first chess world champion, is known as the father of modern chess.

Chess is played worldwide as a hobby and a fun activity, but people still ask themselves, is chess considered a sport?

And the answer is yes. Chess is played as an international sport, and there have been numerous famous chess competitions.

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Name Of Chess Pieces

There are six types of chess pieces:

  • Pawn
  • Knight
  • Rook
  • Bishop
  • King
  • Queen

Moreover, the most important piece is The King, but the most powerful piece is The Queen. And the reason behind this is that the Queen can move with more freedom than any other piece.

However, the game can proceed even after the Queen is eliminated. But once the King is checkmated, the game is over no matter how many other pieces survive.

History Of Chess

Chess originated in Northern India roughly 1500 years ago. But the truth is that it has no confirmed roots because of how much the game has changed.

Chess became a popular game in Persia back in the 7th century AD. But upon the Arab invasion and conquest of Persia, it was adopted by the Muslim world.

Then it eventually extended to southern Europe.

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Importance Of Chess

Unlike many other board games, chess requires skills, intelligence, practice, and an eye for detail. Once you start playing, no other board game will pique your interest in the realm of strategy.

One of the numerous advantages of playing chess is that it improves memory and enhances brain functionality. Furthermore, it bolsters strategic thinking and concentration.

Greatest Players Of The Game

Every game has its legends – those who have won all there is to win. Similarly, chess has Jose Raul, who won the World Chess Championship in 1921 and defended it for six consecutive years.

Magnus Carlsen is also a legend. He won the World Chess Championship in 2013 by beating the defending champion, Vishy Anand.

Moreover, when talking about chess legends, it is criminally unfair to overlook the all-time greatest, Garry Kasparov.

He started dominating the sport from the early age of 22 and stayed in this prime till his retirement.

Famous Chess Tournaments

Some small-scale chess tournaments began taking place in the second part of the nineteenth century. And the first official chess championship was played back in 1886.

One of the benefits of chess tournaments is the sport finally getting the proper attention and popularity. As a result, chess is one of the most played and loved board games nowadays.

So much so that Netflix has even made a couple of originals on it. Hence, as chess gets its long-due recognition, there seems to be a new competition every day.

Based on difficulty, the top 2 tournaments are:

  • The Tata Steel Chess Tournament
  • World Chess Tournament

However, the most prominent chess team tournament is the Chess Olympiad. It is similar to Olympics in which national teams represent their country.

To provide more information about chess tournaments of different times and how far chess has come since its inception, we have prepared a list of the topmost famous chess tournaments:

London Chess Classic

The London Chess Classic tournament brought Sinquefield and the Norway chess cup together to create an outstanding competition in 2015.

Michael Adams was nominated as the competition's wildcard and played with nine other competitors. The winner of the tournament was none other than the chess conqueror Magnus Carlsen.

Chess Tournament Avro

A lady in a yellow shirt playing online chess on a laptop
The benefits of chess online include being able to play anywhere you want. All you need is a laptop, PC, tablet, or smartphone and a working internet connection. Playing chess online allows you to compete with players all over the world and helps you improve your gameplay (Source: Pixabay)

The AVRO chess competition held in 1938 in Holland is known in history as one of the most famous chess tournaments ever.

It was a dual round-robin tournament supported by the Dutch broadcasting corporation, AVRO. Moreover, the players who qualified for the competition were considered the toughest in the world.

The competitors who participated included:

  • Mikhail Botvinnik
  • Alexander Alekhine
  • José Raúl
  • Max Euwe
  • Samuel Reshevsky
  • Paul Keres
  • Reuben Fine
  • Salo Flohr

Reuben and Paul tangled for 1st position, with Keres ending victorious by achieving an advantage post tiebreak.

Vienna Chess Competition

The 2nd iteration of the event in 1882 was amongst the lengthiest and harshest chess competitions ever recorded.

Based on unofficial chess ratings, the competition was, at that time, the most competitive event ever organized.

At the start, 9 of the 10 greatest players worldwide took part, containing 8 of the highest-ranked chess players of that time.

Szymon Winawer and Wilhelm Steinitz tied and shared the first prize as they both had won one play-off each.

There was also a special prize for Zukertort because of his excellent performances against the finest players.

Moreover, Steinitz tied with Mackenzie in one match, ending the lengthiest winning streak in the game's history. Steinitz, at that period, had bagged 25 consecutive victories.

Tata Steel Tournament

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament takes place every January in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands.

Some of the highest-performing (and ranked) chess players are invited to participate in this competition, making it more competitive and prestigious.

However, this isn't just a meet and greet between the best players in the world. It also invites high-potential promising players to possibly cause an upset.

Since 1938, the event has thrown up a varied list of winners that shocked the world with their brilliant performances. Some of these world-class players include Bobby Fischer and Vasily Smyslov.

Dortmund Chess Meeting

It usually happens in the summer in Dortmund, Germany. And is considered one of the more accessible tournaments for aspiring players

The Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting is among the more revered and legendary chess competitions because of its history and longevity.

Round-robin and dual round-robin arrangements are generally seen here. However, policies were changed in 2002 and 2004, and the competition experienced a sequence of heads-up contests.

The most famous match-up of the tournament was in 2002 when Péter Lékó displayed his impeccable class by beating Veselin Topalov in the last round.

Chess Tournament Linares

A chessboard with piece positions showing that a game is underway
We have often seen older people sitting in parks early in the morning, playing chess. This sight often makes passers-by wonder, why play chess? The answer is because it keeps your brain healthy and active. When you play chess, you train your mind to concentrate and think about all the possible outcomes of every move and then chose the best option (Source: Pixabay)

The Linares Worldwide Chess was an annual chess contest, commonly taking place in February. It is occasionally called the Wimbledon of chess.

This is because it usually only qualifies the top-ranked players. Hence, it is among the most challenging yearly competitions.

The Linares competition started in 1978 and was organized from 1988-2010 (excluding 1996). However, despite being one of the most famous chess competitions, unfortunately, it could not continue due to financial restraints.

Nottingham Chess Tournament

Vertical rows of players competing in the TATA Steel Chess tournament's qualifying rounds
Chess is a game for the mind. One of the advantages of playing chess is that it improves your mental capacity and trains your brain to make quick, calculated, and strategic decisions (Source: Visual Hunt)

The Nottingham Chess Tournament in 1936 was a 15-player round-robin competition conducted from 10th-28th August at the University of Nottingham.

It was the toughest competition at that time. And W. H. Watts called it the greatest chess competition the world has seen.

Moreover, Dr. J. Hannak called the same tournament the most tremendous chess tournament ever. Everyone regarded it so highly because it pits the world's finest chess players against each other.

At that time, there was hardly any tournament with this level of world-class competition. It brought together 5 of the most highly ranked chess champions globally:

  • Lasker
  • Alekhine
  • José Raúl Capablanca
  • Mikhail Botvinnik
  • Max Euwe

Chess Olympiad

Due to the involvement of experts, high-ranked players, and over fifteen hundred professional chess players from all over the globe, the Chess Olympiad is the most famous and prestigious tournament in the sport.

It has been rewarded the title of being the most challenging chess tournament of all and for all the right reasons. The sheer number of people taking part in the proceedings is tremendous and unprecedented.

Some of the best chess players compete with each other to prove their expertise and dominance in the game.

Become A Chess Champion With An Expert’s Help

Learning about the history of chess and the amount of insight required to face the best is enough to make a host of new fans.

Additionally, there are many benefits of playing chess as it is one of the most effective board games if you want to improve your mental capacity and exercise your brain.

However, if you are new to it, you may find it challenging to master. Moreover, it may take a lot of time to learn and then become good at it.

However, you can always take help from the experts. Superprof, for instance, is an excellent platform for learning chess.

They will offer you access to the greatest players in your area. All you have to do is sign up, get in touch with a profile that meets your criteria, and start your journey to becoming the best there is!

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