Shatranj Evolution

by Neelakshig

How the Game Evolved

How the Game Evolved

The Sassanid Empire at Persia reached great heights near the end of fifth century AD during the reign of Sassanid King Noshirvan. There were a lot of cultural ties between India and Persia during this period. Under the patronage of King Noshirvan, Persia and India exchanged many scientists and other scholars.

The game of Shatranj (Chaturanga in India) was introduced in Persia from India during this period. The game quickly spread all over the Middle East and then to Europe after Persia was conquered by the Arabs. The original game of Chaturanga was played on 64 squares (astapada) with a king piece and pieces of four other types. Each type represented the corps of the ancient Indian army. There is an elephant, a horse, a chariot or ship and footmen.

There is a story that King Noshirvan of Persia was curious having heard of the Indian game, and had given the task of finding out the rules of the Chaturanga game from the Indians to his most trusted servant Bozorjmehr. Bozorjmehr took the task very seriously, and sent a team of scholars to understand the rules of Chaturanga. However, he understood that the game is required to have a Persian flavor to gain the King’s patronage. So he changed the game, and made few of his own rules as well, and made the Shatranj game.

Backed by the Persian military power, the Shatranj game with the rule changes by Bozorjmehr became widespread. Slowly the game spread to Europe, and another strong power in Europe at that period, Spain, did their bit in changing the game once more as well, to a version pretty close to what we see today.

Modern Chess and Shatranj can be played with exactly the same board and pieces, with some difference in rules. Chaturanga and Shatranj remain as the first and the second ancestors of modern Chess.

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Jun 29, 2012
Good story
by: Anonymous

Good story, keep it up.

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