10 Astounding Facts about Chess in India

Chess originated in India in the 6th century during the Gupta Empire. It was known as Chaturanga, a Sanskrit term that translates to Four Divisions of the military during those ages, namely – Infantry, Cavalry, Chariots, and Elephants. In modern chess, these very forms are represented by the names of pawn, knight, bishop, and rook!
Here are 10 astounding facts about chess in India
1. Legend says that “Mandodari” the queen of Lanka invented this game so that she could win over many kingdoms without any violence.

2. The game originally had the elephant piece instead of the bishop, adviser for queen, infantry for pawn, cavalry for knight, and chariot for rook.

3. Playing chess increases brain growth, exercises both sides of the brain, and increases problem-solving technique.

4. Around 800 CE, Buddhist missionaries from India spread chess to China through the silk route.

5. Chess may be the outcome of the mathematical skill of the ancient people of India.

6. The records from the Indus civilization 2600-1500 BC show the use of a board game much similar to chess.

7. Akbar played live chess in the courtyard of his palace, Fatehpur Sikri, in Agra. Legend has it he would sit in a high place, and watch real animals and soldiers move around a giant board.

8. The earliest of chess can be found in Banabhatta’s text; Harsha Charitra; a biography of king Harshavardhana of Kannauj.

9. Chess pieces are distinguished by appearance and made of rigid material such as wood, ivory, or plastic.

10. Shatranj ke Khiladi was the only Indian film made with chess as at the centre, both literally and metaphorically.

The early form of the game did not resemble chess as we know it today. It was played with dice, and checkered squares were not developed until 1,000 years later. There were also no standard rules, so the game varied between regions. It changed even more as it spread around the world.