chess moves

Chess Moves

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gestalt 80 ( +1 | -1 )
the chess metaphor I have often read that a chess game is supposed to be a metaphor for a battlefield. The knights are supposed to represent the cavalry, the bishops - the archers and the rooks the cannon with the noble pawns as foot soldiers . Can this be right? It seems slightly anachronistic to me. The only time I can think of where archers ever fought on the same battlefield as the the canon was when the American Indians fought against the colonialism of the US cavalry. And chess long preceded that unfortunate bit of history. What were the original representations of the pieces?

By the way I prefer to see chess as a timeless metaphor for life. With my pieces representing all my resources - intellectual, financial, social alliances etc. and my opponents pieces representing lifes challenges that need to be overcome in order to realise personal goals.
vietnamese_girl_18 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Originally, from the Indian roots of the game, rooks were elephants, a common animal in Indian warfare...

Sarah Tran
vietnamese_girl_18 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, I wrote that without thinking: the rook was not an elephant -- it was a chariot (the elephant was a different piece). Also, the familiar movements of the bishop are relatively modern, developed in Italy in the 15th century, so I don't believe it was meant to represent an archer.

Sarah Tran
zdrak 25 ( +1 | -1 )
In the early Arab game of chess:

Pawn = Footman = "Baydak"
Knight = Horseman
Bishop = Elephant = "Alfil"
Rook = Chariot
Queen = Advisor = "Firzan"
King = Emperor = "Shah"

(I forgot the exact names of the Horseman and the Chariot)
tulkos 6 ( +1 | -1 )
the advisor, or queen in arab chess was only able to move for on space diagonally, I think.
nwadvana 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes i think so, and pawns could not promote, i dont now what happend when they reached the end of the board.. Does any one know?
tulkos 12 ( +1 | -1 )
they stopped there. so nobody usually advanced them that far, no point to it. draws must have been very frequent.
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zdrak 87 ( +1 | -1 )
nope, in Arab chess the pawns did promote, but only to the Firzan (advisor). And since Firzan was the weakest piece, there wasn't much sence in going all out for a pawn promotion ...

Here are the full rules of piece movement for Arab Chess:

King - as usual
Rook - as usual
Knight - as usual
Queen/Firzan - one square diagonally ONLY
Bishop/Alfil - two squares diagonally ONLY (could leap over pieces)
Pawn - moves one square forward only, captures as usual. No double move, no en-passant, promotes to Queen/Firzan only.

Other rules differences between western and arab chess:
- In Arab chess, stalemate was a WIN for the side inflicting it
- Also, King + any other piece vs. a bare king is an automatic win

(this means that draws actually were very infrequent)

zdrak 24 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, I forgot also to mention - no castling in arab chess.

And to see wether you got the hang of it, here are two positions:

White: Kd5, Na5, pawn b6
Black: Ka8, Nd8.
White to move and win

And here white's to move and mate in 5:
White: Ka4, Rh1, Rh4, Ng4, Ah3, pawns g6,f6 (A=Alfil)
Black: Rb2, Rb8, Nc4
vietnamese_girl_18 38 ( +1 | -1 )
castling Castling as we know it wasn't even originally in European chess but was developed over time after the queen and bishop were given greater, long-range power. It was discovered that with these long range pieces, having a slow moving king in the center was unsound and thus came the development of castling.

Sarah Tran
a_professional_idiot 16 ( +1 | -1 )
believe it or not The first known variant of chess was actually a 4-player game!!! It featured two teams that consisted of 4 pawns, 1boat, 1 elephant, 1 chariot, and 1 king.
atrifix 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Castling was not actually refined until nearly the days of Morphy and Blackburne, 'free castling' was often employed in parts of Europe in the 1700s.
tulkos 3 ( +1 | -1 )
I stand corrected, zdrak. what is free castling?
mikhail_tal 20 ( +1 | -1 )
free castling free castling is where the rook and/or king can go farther. For example, instead of the king on g1 and rook on f1, if the first rank was empty the rook could go to a1 and the king h1 or where ever you want them.