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It is challenging to ascertain ‘how old is chess’. Our best guess is that it developed in the Indian subcontinent early in the first millennium AD. The present version of chess that we are familiar with originates most likely in the 6th century AD. During that phase of the strategy game, it was more commonly known as ‘chaturanga’.

History of Chess

People used to play Chaturanga or ‘catur’ on an 8×8 grid. This archaic form of chess had pieces that resemble the chess pieces of today. From there, the game slowly spread across South Asia and reached Europe via the western trade routes.

The modern version of the game of chess evolved in the European continent over the next few centuries. Sometime around the 16th century, the game took the shape of the version we can identify with. However, who or what caused this game’s evolution remains a mystery.

Who Invented Chess in India?

While dealing with the theme – ‘how old is chess’, it is pertinent to note that almost all chess observers have reached a consensus that chess has its origins in India. Some researchers opined that chess’s birth occurred in the ancient Indian city of Kannauj when it was the capital of the Maukhari kingdom. One of the historical records states that a Maukhari ruler named Sharva Varman had presented a chaturanga/catur set to the Persian king Khushrau II in exchange for saltpetre.

Further Reading

Now that we have discussed in some detail ‘how old is chess’, we would like you to learn more about the game. Visit the Square Off website today to find more interesting blogs on our favourite strategy game. Also, check out the sublime chess boards that Square Off has ingeniously produced.