Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The 64-Squared Battlefield


So yes, we will be talking about chess for a while. Care to join??

It is a miniaturized version of a battlefield. It does sound a bit creepy to some, but it originated in India, what can you do?? The very impression a person gets from chess is that it is an awfully boring game. Well, that it is if your idea of fun is a Salman Khan movie. The game challenges your mental strength, forces you to analyze and you have to take into account all the possible outcomes of your moves – some traits difficult to contain in the same brain. Ironically, chess originated in the land of Bollywood whose very reason of existence is idiocy.

Chess’s very basic requirements are a chess board, 32 pieces (16 of each colour), and two persons ready to stretch their mental agility to its limits. The various pieces are King, Queen, Rooks, Bishops, Knights and pawns. And in desi terminology, they become raja, rani, haathi, oont, ghoda and pyaade. The rules of the game aren’t very difficult to understand – the king moves only one square, the queen can move any number of squares in any directions, so on and so forth. The real deal, however, is to outperform your opponent by skillful applications of those rules.

The game may end by voluntary resignations of an opponent, or it may end on reaching a ‘checkmate’ – well that simply is the most musical word of the game. A draw is also a possible result. There are also some technicalities like the Catalan, Slav defense, Sicilian defense but let me not bore you with them. Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain. They are the baap of chess players, truly.

It is commonly presumed that fun and chess are as far apart as the sun is from earth. But in reality, fun and chess are occupants of two adjacent rooms who rarely happen to run into each other. If you ask me if chess can be enjoyable, then meri taraf se bahut bada haan. Yes would be my answer. But my idea of fun may be very different from yours. I like challenging my brain. Movies like Jai Ho, Krissh3 make me question the process of evolution. But I admit, chess can be pretty boring for the majority. It tends to be a long game and all you have to do is stare at some funny figures and visualize the next moves. But once you get the hang of it, you start appreciating the beauty of it.

There is an awesome website sparkchess.com that lets you play chess online with another human in a 3D visual. Or as an alternative, you can try the real life chess. Go buy a chess board and see for yourself. It’s already an honor if you have come this far in the article.

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