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Chess and Chess Legends

Chess is a highly intellectual game with almost two thousand years of history, the relevance of which has not only not faded over the years, but, on the contrary, is gaining more and more momentum. Chess, supposedly invented in the 5th-6th centuries AD, has gained popularity in all corners of the globe, becoming an integral part of world culture.

The ancestor of the modern chess game is the chaturanga, which appeared in India in the sixth century AD. Over time, the game was reborn, its basic principles were developed. However, the detailed rules of the game known to us today were finally formed only in the 19th century, and from that time on, chess from intellectual entertainment turned into a world-class sports game.

However, from the very beginning of chess, many argue about their true nature. Some consider chess a gambling game, others – a useful entertainment, others – equate them with real art.

And although every year archaeologists find evidence that ancient peoples of different countries played chess in the world, no one really knows the exact history of the occurrence of chess. The centuries-old game of chess has generated several ancient legends and myths about them, in particular about their occurrence.

The legend of the brothers Gava and Talkhand from the legend of the Persian poet Firdousi
In the ancient Indian kingdom, the queen lived with her twin sons – Gav and Talhand. When the sons grew up and began to claim the throne of the supreme ruler, a dilemma formed before the queen – it was necessary to choose one more worthy of them. Mother could not call one of them a king, because she loved each son equally, so the princes decided to choose a winner in the battle. The battlefield was equipped on the seashore, on the other hand surrounded by a moat with water, so that there was no way to retreat. By the way, the battle was aimed not at killing each other, but at defeating the enemy’s troops, however, it so happened that during the next offensive, Talhand was killed. The grieving mother reproached her second son for the death of her brother. As it turned out, Gav was not directly related to the death of his brother, Talhand died from exhaustion under the scorching sun. The Queen Mother asked Gava to show in detail how it was. To this end, Gav tried to recreate the battlefield on a wooden board, placing on it figures of enemy troops with the princes at the head – in the center, surrounded by infantry, cavalry and chief assistants. So the game of chess was born.

The most popular legend about chess and grain
In ancient India, the rich king Bagram ruled, who lived by the principle of strength, only knowing how to fight with neighboring countries. He had an invincible army, with fast chariots, vigilant archers and powerful elephants. The king’s army defeated all those who entered into battle with him, and when there was no one to fight, the great king was bored. Bagram called the servants and ordered him to come up with an interesting amusement that distracted him from the tsar’s thoughts, and promised to thank him well for the most original idea. The first servant brought the golden cubes, which only for a few minutes carried the king. The next – diamond balls for skating, the game with which the king also did not amuse. The most intelligent servant brought a wooden box, the appearance and contents of which first angered the king, because everyone was trying to give the king precious gifts. Seeing the king’s genuine anger, the servant said that the interest here was not in gold, but in wisdom, which immediately interested the ruler and he agreed to play. The casket contained small wooden figures in which Bagram recognized his troops, archers, elephants and officers. The servant explained the rules, and they began to play. The king was sure that he would easily beat the servant, since he had already conquered the whole world by force. But, to his surprise, the ruler was defeated. Bagram considered the moves of the next game more carefully and therefore managed to defeat the inventor. The game of chess enthralled the king so much that not a day passed that he did not plunge into the bewitching world of chess pieces.

The governor remembered his promise and wanted to thank the servant, having promised mountains of gold and silver. The sage refused gold, but wanted to take a reward with grain, offering the king to spread the grain into cells of a chessboard: on the first cell – one grain, on the second – two, on the third – four, doubling the number of seeds on each of the next 64- x cells. The king was delighted at such a small price, but he did not even suspect that the required amount of grain was not available all over the world. When the court mathematicians counted the required number of seeds, no one could hide their amazement, because for a reward 18,446,744,073,709,709,551,615 grains of wheat would be required.

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