July 20th is recognized as International Chess Day although National Chess Day has been celebrated in October in the United States since 1976.
Chess, a recreational and competitive board game, is played between two players who exchange moves on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in “check”) and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack on the next move.
The tradition of organized competitive chess goes back to 16th century. According to ChessBoss, the first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. Since then the game has become a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee, and is led by the FIDE, The Fédération Internationale des Échecs or World Chess Federation, an international organization connecting various national chess federations around the world and acting as the governing body of international chess competition. It is usually referred to as FIDE (pronounced “fi-de”/ “fee day”), its French acronym.
Chess in Ohio
Chess is popular throughout Ohio, with the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association providing information regarding several state level championships. One of the local chess clubs open to the general public is the Central Chess Club, which offers its North Market Summer Swiss Tournament starting August15.
Columbus, in particular, is home to a number of chess clubs and host to numerous tournaments, including The United States Chess Federation National Tournament which was held here this past spring. The 2010 All-Girls Nationals, sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, was also held in Columbus, from April 16-18, with more than 1300 players competing.
The Ohio State University also has a Chess Club. For meeting times and locations, contact
ChessManiac.com is a free online chess playing community where interested individuals can play chess online; participate in tournaments, teams, chess clubs and more.
In the Chess Learning Center students learn study and practice in a non-threatening yet challenging environment where discipline, fair play, personal integrity and good sportsmanship are taught as essential elements of the game.
General chess information in Ohio can be found at OhioChess.org.
”Life is like a chess game”:
Benjamin Franklin once compared chess to life. Similar statements were also made by renowned champions Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky.
The following websites offer stimulating commentary on the similarities between the game of chess and life:
Today, chess is one of the world’s most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments across the globe, as International Chess Day clearly shows.
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