It is interesting to study the origin and evolution of chess, one of the most intellectual games of the world today, and to see its roots in the dice play which can be traced back to the ancient Indian texts like the Ṛgveda. One of the most outstanding events in the history of Indian games is the introduction of the caturaṅga from which developed the modern chess. This book throws more light on the implements associated with board games namely, board, pieces and their movements on the board etc. besides concluding that an ancient Indian dice play (akṣakrīḍā) evolved into a modern game called chess without dice. The book has a discussion on the ancient Indian army which was called caturaṅga and argues that the concept of the divinity of the king which is found in Sanskrit literature has led to the concept of immortality and inviolability of the king both in war and in the game of chess. The concept of righteous war (dharmavijaya) is another unique ancient Indian concept which has exercised considerable influence on the game of chess, in which two opposing parties agree to respect each other’s king. On the basis of sufficient evidences, the book concludes that the two-handed chess precedes the four-handed chess as rightly believed by many chess historians. It also argues that the symmetrical arrangement of the different pieces in the chess and its advantages have been taken from the ancient Indian war.
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