Chess House

Education

Raphael Neff

32 Interesting Chess Facts to Impress Your Friends

Do you enjoy chess? If so, you'll love these 32 interesting chess facts! These facts will impress your friends and make you seem like a chess expert. Did you know that... - chess is the most popular board game in the world? - chess was invented in India? - there are over 700 million chess players in the world? Learn more about this fascinating game with these amazing facts! #1 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. #2 The number of possibilities of a Knight's tour is over 122 million. #3 A computer called DeepThought became the first computer to beat an international grandmaster in November 1988, Long Beach, California. #4 The word "Checkmate" in Chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the King is dead". #5 The longest chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves. #6 If you put one grain of wheat on the first square of the chessboard, two on the second, four on the third, eight on the fourth, and so on, how many grains of wheat do you need to put on the 64th square? The answer is 9,223,372,036,8 54,775,808(approximately 9.22x10^18) grains of wheat. #7 The new pawn move, where pawns were allowed to advance two squares on their first move instead of one, was first introduced in Spain in 1280. #8 The longest chess game ever was I.Nikolic - Arsovic, Belgrade 1989, which ended in 269 moves. The game was a draw. #9 According to America's Foundation for Chess, there are 169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000 (approximately 1.70x10^29) ways to play the first 10 moves of a game of chess. #10 There are 400 different possible positions after one move each, 72,084 different possible positions after two moves each, and over 9 million different possible positions after three moves each... 318 billion different possible positions after four moves each. #11 Chess clocks were first used in 1883, and the first world chess championship was held in 1886 #12 The first printed chess book was completed three years after Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas - in 1495. #13 Chess was invented around 550 AD in Northwestern India. Its early form was called chaturaṅga, literally "four divisions of the military" - infantry, cavalry, elephantry, and chariotry. These forms are represented by pieces that would become the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook. #14 600 AD is the first clear reference to chess, in a Persian manuscript that describes chess coming to Persia (Iran) from India. #15 From the starting position, there are eight different ways to Mate in two moves and 355 different ways to Mate in three moves. #16 Dr. Emanuel Lasker from Germany retained the World Chess Champion title for more time than any other player ever: 26 years and 337 days. #17 In 1985, the Soviet player Garry Kasparov became the youngest World Chess Champion ever at the age of 22 years and 210 days. Magnus Carlsen nearly beat this record at 22 years 11 months 24 days November 23, 2013. #18 The first Chessboard with alternating light and dark squares appears in Europe in 1090. #19 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. #20 Rookies, or players in their first year, are named after the Rook in Chess. Rooks generally are the last pieces to be moved into action and the same goes for Rookies. #21 Blindfold chess is an impressive skill that many stronger chess players develop. It requires a keen ability to visualize the board clearly. National Master Elliott Neff played 12 games blindfolded simultaneously, winning 11 of them. #22 There are well over 1,000 different openings, including variations within larger openings/defenses that one can learn. #23 Chess sets normally have 32 pieces. But it has become popular to include 2 extra queens making it 34. The two spare queens can be used in pawn promotion. #24 Notable American mathematician Claude Shannon calculated the number of sensible chess games to be around 1040 games. For comparison, the number of atoms in the observable universe is roughly estimated to be 1080. That may be the reason it's the most timeless game #25 Though affected by several factors including time allotted, it has been calculated that the average number of moves in a tournament game with professional players is roughly 40. #26 The term "zugzwang," describes a situation in chess where a player would prefer not to move at all when it's his turn because moving any piece would worsen his current position. A player who is forced to make a move in this situation is said to be "in zugzwang". #27 While playing a game of chess in France, Benjamin Franklin reportedly took his opponent's King after she inadvertently put it in check. When she said, "Ah, we don't take kings so" Franklin replied, "We do in America." #28 In 1770, a man invented a machine that could play a strong game of chess against a human opponent. This mysterious player was nicknamed The Turk (as was the machine itself). It wasn't until 1857 that it was revealed to be a hoax (a chess master was hiding in the machine). #29 The word “gambit” is specifically a chess term, now generalized to mean a "sacrifice for advantage". #30 In 1999, chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov played The World in a game of chess that lasted over four months. Over 50,000 people from more than 75 countries participated in the game with moves being decided by majority vote. Garry ended up winning on turn 62 when 51% of The World decided to resign. #31 Before 1600, a game of chess could be won by capturing all of the opponent’s pieces, leaving a bare king; a style of play known as "annihilation". In Medieval times, players considered it nobler to win by checkmate, so annihilation became a half-win for a while until it was abandoned. #32 The longest recorded tournament chess match lasted 20 hours and 15 minutes and resulted in a draw.
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Education

Raphael Neff

Students with varied chess skill levels in the same class

Have you ever found it challenging to lead a chess class because it included both beginners and advanced players? Elliott Neff of Chess4Life easily breaks down this question that has recently surfaced more often. Within a few minutes, Elliott will help you understand a breakthrough concept that's proven in classes at Chess4Life.    How to Reach Varied Chess Skills in the Same Class How do you lead a chess class including beginners through advanced players? First, divide the class into categories as follows: Don't know how the pieces move Know piece movement but need the basics More experienced Ideally you need one or more assistants, even if they have little to no chess experience. With 2 groups, have the advanced group start with a practice game. Have them write down moves with chess notation. Start beginner students with a very short lesson on one of the piece movement rules. Then practice with a fun activity to build the skill. Next, advanced players now have a lesson while beginners play practice games with all the pieces they known how to move. What if you have 3 groups and just 1 assistant? Identify an activity that can work with all skill levels! For example, With pawns setup on the board, advanced players help beginners learn rules. The students become teachers! During practice time, beginners play together while advanced students play each other. Have an activity with a goal. The advanced players win the game by playing a pawn across the board first! Beginners simply work together to help each other get pawns across the board Notice ONE activity with multiple levels of challenge. Remember, strive in class to engage every student!
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Education

Raphael Neff

Keeping students engaged and interested in chess class

With chess in the classroom, a number of questions frequently surface among Chess House followers. In fact there are a few perplexing challenges that teachers and coaches face even with an enthusiastic group of kids who want to learn chess! Having a grasp of how to deal with these unique challenges in the classroom can make all the difference to your sanity and success. That's why I reached out to Elliott Neff for some answers. He's overly qualified to address these topics and on-the-spot graciously offered to help Chess House subscribers and followers with these insights.   Summary Points > You don't need to be a strong chess player to be an effective teacher.> Tip #1 - Introduce just ONE concept at a time, then have students practice it before moving on.> Have students play a FUN activity or game that builds the ONE concept.> Tip #2 - Before moving on to a new concept, start every lesson by using a fun activity that reviews the prior lesson's ONE key concept.> By introducing just ONE concept and then students having fun playing engaging activities, you will avoid overwhelming any students, and indeed build the excitement and interest in coming back to learn more! You can download the free resource, 6 Key Chess Club Guide. If you have questions about this topic or any other Chess in Education questions that perplex you, please discuss below this article. We at Chess House, along with Elliott, are here to help your program have the tools and ideas to succeed! Elliott Neff is a National Master in Chess, author of A Pawn’s Journey, and Founder/CEO of Chess4Life, helping kids develop life skills through the game of chess. He inspires audiences through sharing the life strategies we can learn from the game of chess. His incorporation of chess into these presentations frequently involves playing multiple opponents at once, sometimes while blindfolded! Elliott holds the Professional Chess Coaching Certification Level V, the highest awarded certification by the United States Chess Federation. Elliott’s work is endorsed by > Grandmaster Varuzhan Akobian> Mary Miller, co-creator of The Dream Manager program> Robert Katende, Founder and Director of SOM Chess Academy in Uganda, coach to Phiona Mutesi of the Queen of Katwe.> and many others
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Education