Friday, September 1, 2023

Today is American Chess Day!

Today is American Chess Day! My grandsons all play Chess, and my middle grandson (12 years old) just came in second in his first Chess Tournament! (The cat in the photo is my grandson's cat.) Chess is a great game for all ages to play, just look at this fact . . . "A Venezuelan study found an increase in IQ scores of its participants after four months of learning and playing chess. Another study found games which require participants to use their brains, especially players older in age, help those participants to be less likely to develop dementia. It also enhances problem-solving skills, as players have to maneuver and manage the game and their opponent." I found this quote on the NationalToday site - you will find out more about Chess at this link.

Did you know . . .

  • The word “Checkmate” in Chess comes from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the King is dead.”
  • From the starting position, there are eight different ways to Mate in two moves and 355 different ways to Mate in three moves.
  • The folding Chess board was originally invented in 1125 by a Chess-playing priest. Since the Church forbids priests to play Chess, he hid his Chess board by making one that looked simply like two books lying together.
  • In 1985, Eric Knoppert played 500 games of 10-minute Chess in 68 hours.
  • Albert Einstein was a good friend of World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker. In an interview with the New York Times in 1936 Albert said, “I do not play any games. There is no time for it. When I get through work I don’t want anything which requires the working of the mind.” He did take up Chess in his later life.
  • Chess is often cited by psychologists as an effective way to improve memory function. Also allowing the mind to solve complex problems and work through ideas, it is no wonder that chess is recommended in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Some contend that it can increase one’s intelligence, though that is a more complex topic. The effects of chess on young individuals had led to chess being introduced in school districts and various countries. It has been shown to improve children’s grades and other positive effects as well.
  • The second book ever printed in the English language was about chess!
  • The oldest surviving complete chess sets were found on the Isle of Lewis, in northern Scotland, and dates to the 12th century. They were probably made in Iceland or Norway, and their appearance was used in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the wizard chess pieces.
  • Chess began in India during the Gupta Empire, spreading to the Persian Sassanid Empire, and then to the Middle East after Muslims conquered Persia. From there, it spread to Europe and Russia.
  • Initially, the Queen could only move one square at a time, diagonally. Later, she could move two squares at a time, diagonally. It wasn’t until Reconquista Spain, with its powerful queen Isabella, that the Queen became the strongest piece on the board.
You will find more Chess fun facts at this link.

So clearly Chess is a great game which has actual benefits for those who play - plus it is fun! Gather the ones you love and enjoy your own Chess Tournament!

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