While the true origins of the game are somewhat unclear, the history of chess is believed to go back at least 1500 years. The precursor to modern-day chess likely came from India and dates to the 6th century A.D. or perhaps even earlier. From there, the pastime made its way to Persia, and once that region was conquered by the Arabs, the game became popular across the Islamic world. Eventually reaching Southern Europe, chess took hold and continued its development into what it is today.
Between the late 15th century through to the 1880s, the dominant style of play among chess aficionados was something known as “Romantic chess.” These contests were centered on rapid, tactical play instead of drawn-out strategic battle. This style was eventually subsumed by eras referred to as “Scientific,” “Hypermodern,” and “New Dynamism.”
The second part of the 19th century ushered in the era of modern tournament play, with the initial World Chess Championship taking place in 1886. Massive advancements in chess theory began to take shape in the 20th century, something evidenced by the creation of the World Chess Federation.
The period of computer chess dominance dawned in 1997, when for the first time, a machine triumphed over a world chess champion. This was the notorious Deep Blue battle with Garry Kasparov. Ever since, computer-powered analysis has fostered tremendous leaps in chess theory, and it has played a substantial role in competitive preparations for human chess champions the world over.
The 21st century has already witnessed additional progress in the realm of computer chess analysis, unquestionably surpassing the ability of human players. Furthermore, online chess playing has gained massive popularity, with platforms of this type first emerging in the mid-90s.
There can be no doubt that chess has retained much of its popularity across the centuries, a truly impressive feat for any game. According to statistics compiled back in 2012, over 600 million adults worldwide play chess on a regular basis and comprise one of the most notable gaming communities in existence.