Who invented Chess? The name of the person credited with inventing Chess is Han Xin (c. 231 - 196 BC). Han Xin is not only famous as the Chinese inventor of Chess but also as a military leader and great strategist. When was Chess invented? Han Xin invented Chess in 200 B.C., during the Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) period of invention. The game of Chess originated in Ancient China but variations of the game spread across the rest of world.

Definition of Chess: Chess is defined as a strategic board game played on a chessboard for two players with two differently colored sets of pieces, sixteen in each set. Each player has a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, two castles or rooks, and eight pawns. The players move their pieces according to specific rules in order to checkmate the opponent's king.


Facts about who invented Chess


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Fact File about the Invention of Chess: Invention: Chess *** Date of Invention: 200 B.C. *** Name of Inventor: Han Xin *** Lifespan of Inventor: c. 231 - 196 BC *** Nationality of Inventor: Chinese *** Historical Period: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** Country of Origin: Ancient China *** Facts about the Inventor, Han Xin,and the invention of Chess ***

Fact 1: Who invented Chess? Chess was invented by Han Xin in 200 B.C. during the Ancient World era of inventions (3500 BC - 600BC)

Fact 2: Who invented Chess? Prior to the invention of Chess in 200 B.C., there were many other board games. The oldest board game, called Senet, dates back to the Ancient Egyptians and the game was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. The ancient game of 'Snakes and Ladders' originated in India.

Fact 3: Who invented Chess? Strategic Board games, similar to chess, were also played in Ancient Times. A Celtic strategy board game, a wargame, called 'Tafl' was played in the 4th century on a checkered board with two armies of uneven numbers played with black and white pieces. The objective of the king was to escape, or capture, the attackers who try to capture the king.

Fact 4: Who invented Chess? The Vikings played a similar version called Hnefatafl, which spread across all the countries visited by the Vikings. The word 'Tafl' derives from the Latin word 'tabula' meaning "board".

Fact 5: Who invented Chess? In the 6th century an ancient Indian strategy board game, called Chaturanga, was played on an uncheckered board in the Gupta Empire, India. The objective in chaturanga, was the same as in chess, to checkmate the opponent's Raja (king).

Fact 6: Who invented Chess? The game of chess is a variant of the board games 'Tafl' and Chaturanga. The Chinese inventor of Chess, Han Xin, was born on c. 231 in Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China and died on 196 BC.

Fact 5: Who invented Chess? The early years of Han Xin were spent in Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China where he was raised by his poor, impoverished family. Han Xin aspired to leave his world of low status and poverty to become employed in the wealthy surroundings of the Imperial royal court.

Fact 6: Who invented Chess? The only way a man could achieve his ambition to gain employment in the Imperial service was to either become a eunuch or to join the military. Not surprisingly, Han Xin chose the military and spent his spare time practising sword techniques and learning about the tactics and strategies of Chinese generals and commanders.

Fact 7: Who invented Chess? In 209 BC, Han Xin took his chance at achieving his ambition by joining a rebel army led by Xiang Liang, a leader of the common people, who aimed to overthrow the Qin dynasty (221 to 206 BC). The military career of Han Xin started from humble beginnings as he undertook sentry duty and helped with preparing meals.

Fact 8: Who invented Chess? Disillusioned, Han Xin left the camp to join Liu Bang, who also supported the rebellion against the tyranny of the Qin Dynasty. Liu Bang was born of peasant stock, just like Han Xin, but was destined to become the first emperor of the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD). 

Fact 9: Who invented Chess? Han Xin had a rocky start with his new commanders but was eventually raised to the position of a general in the army. His tactics and strategies were recognized as some of the greatest employed in the history of the Chinese military and were described in the influential 'Thirty-Six Stratagems', a series of stratagems used in politics, war, and civil interaction.

Fact 10: Who invented Chess? Han Xin played a significant role in victories at the Battle of Jingsuo, the Battle of Jingxing, the Battle of Wei River and the Battle of Gaixia. It is therefore not surprising that his vast knowledge of strategy and tactics led him to devise the game of chess which is also filled with military symbolism. Han Xin died on 196 BC, but his named is remembered as the inventor of chess.

Fact 11: Who invented Chess? The objective of Chess was to capture the opponent's king, known as "general" on one side and "governor" on the other.

Fact 13: Who invented Chess? This first chess game was called "The game to capture Xiang Qi" in reference to Han Xin's early experiences when Xiang Qi had shunned his ideas on military tactics and strategy. The name given to the game became known as 'xiangqi'.

Fact 12: Who invented Chess? The Chinese chess pieces of 'xiangqi' were different to the modern pieces being flat, resembling those used in checkers, whose pieces were differentiated by writing their names on the flat surface.

Fact 13: Who invented Chess? The original chess game of 'xiangqi' was taken from China to Persia and India and then on to Europe where the Chinese method of using inscribed pieces to play the game were replaced by actual figures to represent the roles of the pieces. The European form of Chess was only introduced in China during the 19th century was never been as popular as 'Xiangqi'.

Fact 14: Who invented Chess? The game of Chess reached Europe via Silk Road traders during the Medieval era in 1300 and evolved into the modern game of chess during the 1500's.

Fact 15: Who invented Chess? The names of the European pieces reflected the history of the times when Kings and Queens warred against different countries, attacking or defending castles that were critical to the outcome of battles.  

Fact 16: Who invented Chess? The word 'pawn' is a derivative of the Old French word 'pan' meaning "pledge" and 'pehon'or 'pedonem' meaning "foot soldier. At the time French was the common language used in many royal courts, including England. The word 'pledge' was highly significant, and a key element of Medieval feudalism, when a promise of faithful service to a lord, called the Oath of Fealty was made by all knights. Medieval knights were expected to provide trained foot soldiers to fight for the King and Queen. So the 'pawns' in chess referred to the common foot soldiers who were often the first to be sacrificed in battles.

Fact 17: Who invented Chess? The roles of the chess pieces reflected the Medieval pyramid of power in the Feudal system consisting of the King, the Queen, the Knights, the Bishops, the Vassals and the Serfs (foot soldiers).

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? The chess checkerboard represented the battlefield upon which the pieces fought on. The defence or attack using a castle was often key to winning a game of chess.

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? The term 'Rook' is the alternative name for the Castle in chess. The word 'rook' derives from the Medieval Latin word 'rocca' meaning "fortress or stronghold".

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? Symbolism: The symbolism of modern chess pieces therefore reflect Medieval feudalism, people, warfare and battles. The King is the most important chess piece and also the most prominent, tallest piece, represented by king's crown with an orb surmounted by a cross, an emblem of the monarchy and a Christian symbol of authority.

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? Symbolism: The Queen as the second most prominent chess piece, represented by a smaller queen's crown or coronet.

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? Symbolism: The bishop represented the church and religion, so often defended in battle. The chess piece is in the shape of a mitre, a traditional, ceremonial head-dress that rises to a peak that is worn by bishops.

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? Symbolism: The well armed Knight supported their liege lord in battle riding a warhorse called a Destrier, hence the symbol of the head of a horse as the chess piece to represent a knight.

Fact 18: Who invented Chess? Symbolism: The lowly rook, or pawn, is the smallest and the most numerous of the chess pieces. It is the foot soldier in the front line on a chessboard, easily sacrificed and represented by a low, plain, rounded top.

Fast Info and Fact File: Country of Origin: Ancient China *** Name of Inventor: Han Xin *** Nationality of Inventor: Chinese *** Date of Invention: 200 B.C. *** Invention: Chess *** Lifespan of Inventor: c. 231 - 196 BC *** Invention Era: Ancient World (3500 BC - 600BC) *** The Inventor and Invention of Chess ***

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