Early History of Chess in India
Chess, which was named as Chaturanga became popular in Gupta era. There, its early form in the 6th century was four divisions of the military: infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariot. These forms are represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. Chess was not only popular in early India. But it was also popular in early Persia, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Medieval History of Chess in India
Chess was introduced to Persia from India and became a part of the princely or courtly education of Persian nobility. The game was taken up by the Muslim world after the Islamic conquest of Persia, with the pieces largely keeping their Persian names. In Sassanid Persia around 600 the name became chatrang, which subsequently evolved to shatranj, due to Arab Muslims' lack of "ch" and "ng" native sounds, and the rules were developed further. The model chess was redefined during Rajputana era. Later during the rule of Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals, it was named as "Satranj".
Modern History of Chess of India
The colonial rule in India introduced the modern day Chess. Chess received the patronage to the native princes and the Governor-Generals of British East India Company. While some of the rulers of Princely States of India excelled in Chess at international level. Mir Sultan Khan of Punjab excelled at the international level. Sultan Khan not only won the British chess championship in 1929, 1932 and 1933 but also represented Britain in three Chess Olympiads.
Chess in India after 1947
After the Independence of India in 1947, All India Chess Federation was founded in 1951 and the first official National Chess Championship was held at Eluru in the West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. Initially, the National Chess Championship used to be held every alternate year but since 1971, it is being held every year.
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