Chess – The Classic Game


The Classic Game

3M Company – 1970 – 2 Players

Chess is believed to have originated in India in around the year 600. From there it spread to Persia and onward to Europe. It is considered by many to be the origin of the modern war game.

Chess is played on an 8 x 8 grid of alternating squares. Each player starts with 16 pieces of differing types. There are eight Pawns, two each of Rooks, Knights and Bishops, and a King and Queen.

Each piece has a particular way in which it may move. For example, Rooks may move any distance but only horizontally or vertically (not diagonally) and Knights move in an “L” shaped pattern (two spaces horizontally or vertically then one space at right angles to the original move. A player “captures” an opponent’s piece by moving one of their own pieces onto the same square. The captured piece is removed from the board.

The object of the game is “Checkmate” which is achieved by being in a position to capture the opponent’s King. (The King, ironically, is the weakest piece in the game; it can move in any direction but only one space.) Whenever a player has moved a piece into a position where the opponent’s King may be captured, they announce this by saying “Check”. Their opponent must attempt to move the King out of check (or block or capture the piece causing check). If the player is unable to make a move which will prevent the King from being in check then the player calls “Checkmate” and the game is over.

Chess is a pure strategy game. There is no luck involved, only the skill of the players. It has always been considered by many as a sign of intelligence and has long been a favorite of people researching Artificial Intelligence. Literally thousands of books have been written about the game and it (along with Go) is most certainly one of the most popular games in the world.

The 3M version is actually quite nice. The board is wooden and the pieces are wooden looking (they say “simulated wood” which I assume means “plastic” but they are well done), look nice (what is known as the “Staunton” design) and are nicely weighted with felt bases. Chess is an obvious member of the 3M Bookshelf Classics line.

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