Nostalgia: How the game of chess and the clubs evolved in Huddersfield

IT’S thought that chess was invented in India in about 500AD, though the presents game’s pieces and rules would be barely recognisable to its first players.

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IT’S thought that chess was invented in India in about 500AD, though the presents game’s pieces and rules would be barely recognisable to its first players.

When early Muslims invaded India in the seventh century they were so taken by chess that they carried it across the expanding Muslim world.

Those who developed the game to a semblance of its present form were the Persians (Iranians), but by 1000AD it had spread across Europe, probably carried by Islamic traders.

At some stage the ‘Vizier’ piece was exchanged for a queen. Pawns were introduced and the rules were changed to allow such a thing as a stalemate.

In mediaeval times chess was often used as the basis of sermons on morality, which unfortunately to modern eyes contained a strong element of ‘knowing one’s place’ on the board of life.

Chess has been derided as diverting intelligent people from ‘real’ work; but it is far more often described as a superb tool for honing mental skills, and Huddersfield schools were swift to develop clubs to promote those skills.

Huddersfield Chess Club was founded in 1856 and flourishes today. By way of an advert, we can say it meets every Thursday and Lindley Liberal Club, with junior players meeting on Tuesdays at the Ukrainian Club, Halifax Road, Edgerton.

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