Checkmate: The world is getting ready for International Chess Day | New


Despite the scorching sun, Miranda chose to finish beating her father Jay at chess before settling in the shade of the small playground at Springdale Park in Greensboro. Last Monday, it took the almost 9-year-old less than half an hour to checkmate the 55-year-old. Just eight days before International Chess Day.

Celebrating July 20 as International Chess Day was first proposed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1966. The date was chosen to mark the foundation in 1924 of the International Chess Federation, commonly known by its acronym FIDE (pronounced Fresh day, from its French name, International Federation of Chess). The concept and date turned out to be so popular that by the end of the 20th century, International Chess Day was observed in over a hundred countries.

Despite its worldwide popularity, the holiday was only officially recognized by UNESCO’s parent organization two years ago. In December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to designate July 20 as International Chess Day. Last year, the International Chess Federation called on people all over the world to celebrate the holiday by teaching someone to play chess. A press release issued by this organization in July 2020 suggested teaching a child, as “it would be easier and more rewarding for both of you.”

I have played chess (but never very well) for most of my life, having been taught by my dad after buying him a board for Christmas that I had seen him admire in a gift shop in Fayetteville. But the only children I know belong to my friends.

I first decided to teach Page Hackenberg’s lovely daughter Rosemary how to play the game, but poor Rosie caught a cold the day before our first class (don’t worry, she is recovering well) . With a deadline looming, I asked various other parents, but their kids have either played or weren’t interested, which necessitated a change of plan.

Then Erin Poythress told me about the chess games her husband Jay Parr plays with their daughter Miranda. “Miranda tried to teach me, but so far I’ve managed to dodge it,” said Erin, who works from home as an executive assistant. Her husband is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

And that’s how, two days before my deadline, I ended up watching Miranda and Jay play chess, which they’ve been doing regularly since Miranda was seven and her grandparents gave her a game. Harry Potter chess set for Christmas.

Miranda was thrilled that I watched her beat her father, but was adamant on one rule: no staged photos.

“We’re not going to make one of daddy putting me in a mate because that would be completely unrealistic and he literally never does that,” she told Springdale Park as her dad set up his daddy game. Harry Potter chess on the wooden picnic table. which seemed to have the most direct sunlight.

It turned out to be uncomfortable when the clouds burst, but Miranda insisted on not moving until she finished her father. After she did so, declaring “easy pal” we moved to the shade, where Jay checked her daughter for signs of sunburn. “If that happened and Erin found out that I had forgotten sunscreen, I would be a little bit saddened,” he said with a laugh.

When I suggested that his daughter would never report him, Miranda also laughed. “You just saw me play vicious chess. Do you really trust me not to report it? “


I asked her if she remembered the first time she beat her father. “Not really. It happened so often.

“It’s fair,” Jay said.

I asked Miranda to rate her dad as a player.

“I think dad will agree with me on that,” she said solemnly. ” He is crazy. Sometimes he’s unbelievably good, sometimes he’s unbelievably bad, and sometimes he’s unbelievably crazy. I try to figure out his plot so I can get out of it, and I try to figure out the things he doesn’t notice so that I can use them to my advantage. For me, chess is a strategy, but also luck.

Jay asked me to assure our readers that his daughter was not some sort of an actual version of Beth Harmon, the motivated and troubled chess prodigy heroine of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel. The Queen’s Gambit and its adaptation of the Netflix 2020 miniseries.

“None of us know anything about it,” he said after I asked if Miranda had a preferred gambit. In chess, a gambit (of gambetto, an archaic Italian word meaning ‘to stumble’), is an opening stroke in which a player sacrifices a piece in order to gain a position advantage. “We just wing it.”

I told him that’s why I chose them, because I wanted to watch ordinary people play, not pundits, obsessive fans or prodigies.

“So we’re not the right person to talk to at all,” Miranda said. “We are not ordinary in any sense.”

“Nobody really is,” I told him.

“It’s fair,” she said, echoing her father’s previous remark when she said she still beats him.

Since I couldn’t teach Miranda how to play chess, something Jay had obviously done better than me, I wanted to tell her about the history of the game. But the father and daughter had to meet their mother for lunch, and so, assuming she doesn’t already know everything about it (a very dangerous assumption), she will have to learn more by reading this article (hi, Miranda, and thank you).

The true origin of chess is a story that lacks clarity or consensus. There is little credible evidence that gambling existed in a form resembling its modern form prior to the sixth century. Game pieces older than this have been found in China, India, Iran, Russia, and Pakistan, but are now believed to have been used in board games which, while related to chess, involved also dice and were played on boards with more than one hundred squares.

One of these possible ancestors was a war game called chaturanga, which is mentioned in the Mahābhārata, one of the two great Sanskrit epic poems of ancient India. Chaturanga means in Sanskrit the “four divisions” of the ancient Indian army: infantry, cavalry, elephant riders and charioteers. These were represented by the pieces that became the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and tower.

Chaturanga is considered the first forerunner of modern chess due to two key characteristics found in all later variants: different pieces had different powers (unlike checkers and go), and victory was based on the capture of a piece. . As the game spread from India to Persia, players began to call out “Shāh!” (in Persian for “King!”) by attacking the opponent’s king, and “Shāh Māt! (Persian for “the king is helpless”) when the king could not escape this attack. With the Arab conquest of Persia, chess entered the Muslim world and, through the Moorish conquest of Spain, spread to southern Europe. But at the beginning of Russia, it came directly from the Khanates (Muslim territories) to the south.

The queen, the most powerful piece in modern chess, was originally both much weaker and identified as a man. At first the play was called Mantri (Sanskrit for “minister” or “counselor”), which was translated by the Persians into farzin, which means “counselor” or “wise man”. It was shortened by the Arabs to firz, and it became ferz or irons in medieval Europe.

In his 2004 book Birth of the chess queen, historian Marilyn Yalom maintains that the popularity of powerful medieval queens, including Eleanor of Aquitaine and Isabella of Castile, may have influenced the development of the play, especially since chess has become a game in which women could compete on an equal footing with men. By the 16th century, this game had evolved into its modern form.

In the 20th century, hundreds of variations of the traditional Western game were invented. Some have simply changed the number or distribution of the rooms. For example, Dunsany’s Chess, invented in 1948 by Anglo-Irish baron, playwright and fantasy writer Lord Dunsany is an asymmetrical game in which one side uses the standard pieces, while the other uses 32 pawns. Others have added new pieces, such as Unicorn Chess, which adds a piece that looks like a knight with a horn on his head and can move multiple knights in the same direction.

Some variations use traditional pieces but use radically different planks. A subcategory of these is three-player chess, using a three-sided or hexagonal chess board. And then there are the variants that extend the game into a third dimension. These have been around since at least the end of the 19th century. One of the oldest is Raumschach (German for “space chess”), invented in 1907 by Ferdinand Maack and considered the classic 3D game.

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But the most famous variation originally wasn’t a real game. Three-dimensional chess started out as a “played” prop on the original. Star Trek Series aired on NBC from 1966 to 1966. The initially fictional game debuted in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, the second pilot episode of the series. The first unreleased pilot, “The Cage,” starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike, was rejected by the network. Lucille Ball, co-owner of the studio that produced the series, persuaded NBC to reconsider its decision, and a second pilot was shot down, with the hero renamed James T. Kirk and played by William Shatner.

Although directed first, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was the third episode to air, originally airing September 22, 1966. It includes a scene of Kirk playing three-dimensional chess with Mr. Spock by Leonard Nimoy.

The prop used to represent the game was built with boards from 3D Checkers and 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, real games sold in stores at the time, and used pieces from a futuristic chess designed by Peter Ganine in 1961. The prop retained the 64 squares of a traditional chess board but distributed them over seven separate platforms: three larger with fixed positions and four smaller “attack boards” that could be moved throughout the game.

In 1975, Franz Joseph wrote and designed The Star Trek Star Fleet Tech Manual, a fictional reference book containing details and even diagrams of the imaginary technology used in the original series. It also contained blueprints for building a three-dimensional chess set and some basic rules. The full standard rules of the game were originally developed in 1976 by Andrew Bartmess, with encouragement from Joseph.


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