No one knows for sure where and when chess was invented. As a strategy-based game played with logic in war and monarchy, it is also possible that chess emerged simultaneously and independently in different cultures.
One of the earliest versions of chess is from Persia, 600 AD.In this version, two sets of pieces, representing armies, opposed each other on a board. Each side had 16 pieces each. Around the same time, Indians played the chaturanga, as chess was called, in reference to the four camps of the army: the elephants, chariots, horsemen, and foot soldiers.
Variants of chess can be seen across the globe.
—In Japan, the game is known as shogi, and is played on a 9x9 board where a captured piece is then absorbed as a part of the captor’s forces. —In China, a strategy-based board game called xiangqi, believed to have been derived from chaturanga, is aimed at rendering the opponents ‘king’ helpless. This form of chess is played on the borders of the chess squares as opposed to within the blocks.
—In Persia chess took the form of shatranj. As the Persians travelled down to India, the game came with them. The word ‘shatranj’ replaced ‘chaturang’ and is now used to refer to the game of chess as we know it today.
—Chess is believed to have come to Russia a thousand years backfrom the Volga-Caspia route, a route used by the Russians to trade with Muslim countries. There, chess was played by all classes of society. Ivan the Terrible is said to have died while playing the sport.