Chess for Recovering Better

Throughout history, games and sports have helped humanity to survive times of crisis by reducing anxieties and improving mental health.

While the pandemic has forced most gaming and sports activities to scale down, chess has demonstrated remarkable resilience, adaptability, and very strong convening power in times of a global crisis.

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20 July: World Chess Day

un.org

Chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games, with a combination of sport, scientific thinking and elements of art. As an affordable and inclusive activity, it can be exercised anywhere and played by all, across the barriers of language, age, gender, physical ability or social status.

Chess is a global game, which promotes fairness, inclusion and mutual respect, and noting in this regard that it can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations.

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Chess: Background

Chess is a two player strategy board game where the aim is to move different types of playing piece, each with a prescribed set of possible moves, around a chequered square board trying to capture the opponents ‘king’ piece.

Today there are over 2,000 identifiable variants of the game.

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  • One theory is that an early game similar to chess called Chaturanga originated in Northern Indian Subcontinent during the Gupta period (~ 319 – 543 CE) and spread along the Silk Roads west to Persia.
  • In 900 CE, Abbasid chess masters al-Suli and al-Lajlaj composed works on the techniques and strategy of the game, and by 1000 CE Chess was popular across Europe, and in Russia where it was introduced from the Eurasian Steppe.
  • The Alfonso manuscripts, also known as the Libro de los Juegos (Book of Games), a medieval collection of texts on three different types of popular game from the 13th century CE describe the game of Chess as very similar to Persian Shatranj in rules and gameplay.

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  • On 12 December 2019, the General Assembly of UN proclaimed 20 July as World Chess Day to mark the date of the establishment of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in Paris in 1924.
  • Under initiative of FIDE, July 20 has been observed as International Chess Day by chess players around the world since 1966.
  • The designation of World Chess Day of the UN will not only recognize the important role of the FIDE in supporting international cooperation for chess activity and aiming to improve friendly harmony among all peoples of the world, but also to provide an important platform to foster, dialogue, solidarity and culture of peace.

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