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By Wasapol Arunoros

Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, bycorrespondence, and in tournaments.
Each player begins the game with sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. Pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, with the object of the game being to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by the voluntary resignation of one's opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame and endgame.
The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; the current World Champion is Viswanathan Anand. In addition to the World Championship, there are the Women's World Championship, theJunior World Championship, theWorld Senior Championship, the Correspondence Chess World Championship, the World Computer Chess Championship, and Blitz and Rapid World Championships. The Chess Olympiad is a popular competition among teams from different nations. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players. Chess is a recognized sport of theInternational Olympic Committee, and international chess competition is sanctioned by the World Chess Federation. There are also many chess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.
Since the second half of the 20th century, computers have been programmed to play chess with increasing success, to the point where home computers can play chess at a very high level. In the past two decades computer analysis has contributed significantly to chess theory as understood by human players, particularly in the endgame. The computer Deep Blue was the first machine player to overcome a reigning World Chess Champion when it defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia