The board game of chess dates to before the 7th century and it is believed to derive from the Indian game chaturanga or catur for short. It was first known from the Gupta Empire around the 6th century and formed the basis for other board games like xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi (Japanese chess), sittuyin (Burmese chess), janggi (Korean chess), and makruk (Thai chess). It was also adopted as shatranj as an old form of chess played by the Empire of Iranians (Sasanian Empire). Chess is two-person strategy game played on a board with 8x8 squares that are checkered. Of the six mind sports officially recognised by the International Mind Sports Association, it is easily the most popular board game played around the world. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century through the influence of Arabia and Persia.    

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) is the highest sanctioning authority and world governing body for the sport of chess. The federation was founded in 1924 in Paris and among its many objectives, regulates all international chess competitions. FIDE is a non-government institution officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Currently there are over 190 member-nation federations with their own national governing bodies. Among the many high-profile competitions, the famous ones include the World Chess Olympiad, the Women’s World Chess Cup, the Chess Olympiad (competition for disabled), and the World Senior Championship. In addition, FIDE has a wide range of world competitions for junior levels starting as young as under eight. There is also a Women’s Grand Prix Series consisting of tournaments played across Europe. FIDE is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.  

Chess is also played against computerised programs. The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) established the first major chess tournament in 1970. Today there is a World Computer Chess Championship held annually since 1974. Tournaments between players and computer programs were first played in 1997, but today this no longer attracts interest from chess players or the media as these are too good against the strongest human players.  

Fédération Internationale des Échecs

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