Chess (Fr. echecs, It. scacco, Ger. Schach, from Persian shah, king, the principal piece in the game), the oldest and most scientific of sedentary amusements, originated in India about 5,000 years ago. Its history may be divided into three periods: 1. The age of the chatu-ranga, or primeval Indian game, extending from its origin down to about the 0th century A. I). In the chaturanga the moves of the men were almost the same as in the present game, but it was played by four persons, and the combatants determined what piece to move by the throw of a die. 2. The age of the shatranj, or mediaeval game, embracing the period between the 6th and 16th centuries. In the shatranj the game was reduced to a contest between two persons, and the element of chance was discarded. Early in this stage of its history the game passed eastward into China and Japan, where in the lapse of time it has been considerably modified, and westward through Persia and Byzantium into Europe, where it became during the middle ages the favorite indoor pastime of the court and the cloister.

3. Modern chess includes the period from the commencement of the 10th century to the present day. It is distinguished by some changes in the fundamental laws of the game, such as an increase in the powers of the queen and bishop, and the introduction of castling. - Chess is now cultivated by all civilized nations, and its theory and practice have been investigated by innumerable writers of ability. The most prominent are, among Asiatics, Ali Shat-ranji, Suli, Damiri, Sokeiker, Rhazes, Ibn Sherf Mohammed, and Ghulam Kassim; and among Europeans, Jacobus de Cessolis, Conrad von Ammenhusen, Alfonso the Wise, Lucena, and Vicent, before the close of the 15th century; Damiano, Ruy Lopez, and Gianuzio, in the 16th century; Salvio, Carrera, Augustus duke of Brunswick, Greco, and Saul, in the 17th century; Bertin, Stamina, Philidor, Del Rio, Lolli, Ponziani, Cozio Stein, Zuylen van Nieveld, and Allgaier, in the 18th century; and Koch, Sarratt, Cochrane, Lewis, Bilguer, Von der Lasa, Bledow, Alexandre, Walker, Janisch, Calvi, and Staunton, in the 19th. The poetry of chess has been illustrated by Vida, Middle-ton, Tuccius, Kochanowski, Sir William Jones, Cerutti, Mery, D'Arblay, Slous, Tomlinson, and others.

Sarrasin, Freret, Hyde, Severino, Leibnitz, Jones, Wahl, Twiss, Madden, Bland, and, most thoroughly of all, Forbes, have explored its history. The most famous players of the last 400 years have been Paoli Boi, Leonardo da Cutri, Salvio, Del Rio, and Dubois, of Italy; Ruy Lopez and Xerone, of Spain; Legal, Philidor, Deschapelles, and La Bourdonnais, of France; Cunningham, Stair, Janssen, Sarratt, McDonnell, and Staunton, of England; Allgaier, Bilguer, Hanstein, Mayet, Von der Lasa, Anderssen, Lange, and Harwitz, of Germany; Petroif and Kieseritzky, of Russia; Szen and Lowenthal, of Hungary; Stein, of Holland; Stamina, of Syria; and Morphy, of the United States. During the present century the popularity of the game has largely increased, owing to the establishment of chess periodicals, to the interest attaching to public contests between great players or between different clubs, and to the influence of assemblies or conventions of amateurs, such as the tournament held at London in 1851, and the congress which met at New York in 1857. - Chess is played by two persons on a board of 64 alternately white and black squares, each player having 10 men, 8 pieces and 8 pawns.

The player, having placed the board so that he has a white corner square at his right hand, may place the white men as follows: the queen's rook in the left hand corner nearest him; the queen's knight in the square next to it; then successively the queen's bishop, the queen, the king, the king's bishop, the king's knight, and the king's rook, until he reaches the right side of the board. The white pawns are then placed on the 8 squares immediately in front of the pieces; and the black pieces and pawns are to be arranged in the same manner on the opposite side of the board.

Chess Board.

Chess Board.

The following rules describe the moves of the men and the laws of the game:

1. The rook moves in straight lines parallel with the sides of the board. 2. The knight moves from the square upon which it stands, to any one of a different color, at a distance of three squares, counting the one from which it starts. 3. The bishop moves diagonally, forward and backward, in a line composed of squares of a like color. 4. The queen moves at pleasure, either like the rook or bishop. 5. The king moves one square in any direction. All the pieces capture in the same direction in which they move. 6. The pawn moves directly forward; its first move may be either one or two squares, but each succeeding move is limited to one square. The pawn captures diagonally, to the right or left, one square forward. All the men capture by removing the captured man and placing the capturing one on the square thus ren-dered vacant. No man can pass over any occupied squares, except the knight, the move of which piece has no such restriction. - Castling is a double move of the king and rook at the same time.

Castling on the king's side is performed by moving the king to king's knight's square (g 1 org 8). and the king's rook to king's bishop's square (f 1 or f 8); on the queen's side, by moving the king to queen's bishop's square (c 1 or c 8), and the queen's rook to queen's square (d 1 or d 8). Castling is permitted to either player once during the game, under the following conditions: 1. Neither of the castling pieces can have been moved; 2, the squares between the king and the rook must be vacant; 3, the king must not be in check; 4, the squares upon which the king and rook, after castling, are to stand, must not be commanded by any of the adverse men. - When a pawn, in moving two steps, passes over a square commanded by an adverse pawn, it may be captured by the adverse pawn in passing in the same manner as if it had moved but one square. When a player has no other move at command, capturing the pawn in passing is compulsory. - Every pawn, upon reaching the eighth or last rank, ceases to be a pawn, and must be immediately exchanged for a queen, a rook, a bishop, or a knight, even though none of these pieces may have been previously lost. - A man touched must be moved, and an adversary's man touched must be captured, unless the player touching the man previously says, J'adoube (or. I replace). - Whenever a player attacks the adverse king, he shall audibly utter the word "Check! " either just before or at the time the attacking move is made. - The king is checkmated when he is attacked by any of the adverse men. and cannot in any way escape from the attack.

Checkmate finishes the game, and should always be audibly announced. But whether it be announced or not. the game is equally won by the mating player. No game can be won except it end with a checkmate. - The game is drawn, or won by neither party, in the following cases: 1. when one player gives perpetual check, or when both players insist upon a continual repetition of the same moves: 2. when either king is stalemated, that is, when the king of one of the players is not in check and cannot move to any square not commanded by an adverse man. and when that player possesses no other man which can be legally moved; 3, when neither party possesses a force sufficient to effect mate.

In recording games it is usual to style the square upon which the king stands the king's square; the one immediately in front, the king's second square, etc. The different methods of commencing a game are styled openings, and have frequently received names from their inventors or chief illustrators. The most common openings are the following:

Philidor's Defence. White

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

Black

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. to Q. 3d.

Giuoco Piano

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

3. B. to Q. B. 4th.

4. P. to Q. 3d or Q. B. 3d.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to Q. B. 3d.

3. B. to Q. B. 4th.

Evans Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

3. B. to Q. B: 4th.

4. P. to Q. Kt. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to Q. B. 3d.

3. B. to Q. B. 4th.

Ruy Lopez Knight's Game

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

3. B. to Q. Kt. 5th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to Q. B. 3d

Scotch Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d

3. P. to Q. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to Q. B. 3d

Petroff's Defence

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

King's Bishop's Opening

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. B. to Q. B. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. B. to Q. B. 4th.

King's Knight's Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. to K. B. 4th.

3. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

4. B. to Q. B. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. takes P.

3. P. to K. Kt. 4th.

4. B. to K. Kt. 2d.

Muzio Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. to K. B. 4th.

3. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

4. B. to K. B. 4th.

5. Castles

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. takes P.

3 P. to K. Kt. 4th.

4. P. to K. Kt. 5th.

5. P. takes Kt.

Allgaier Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. to K. B. 4th.

3. Kt. to K. B. 3d.

4. P. to K. R. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. takes P.

3. P. to K. Kt. 4t

Bishop's Gambit

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. to K. B. 4th.

3. B. to Q. B. 4th.

1. P. to K. 4th.

2. P. takes P.

Queen's Gambit

1. P. to Q. 4th.

2. P. to Q. B. 4th

1. P. to Q. 4th.

French Game

1. P. to K. 4th.

1. P. to K. 3d.

Sicilian Game

1. P. to K. 4th.

1. P. to Q. B. 4th.

Chess problems are positions supposed to have occurred at the ends of games, in which one party agrees to checkmate or draw the game in a certain number of moves. The following are specimens:

I. - By Cook

White. - K. at K. Kt. 5th. Q. at K. B. 8th, Bs. at K. 5th and Q. R. 6th, B. at Q. Kt. 7th, Kt. at Q. 4th. P. at Q. B. 3d.

Black. - K. at Q. 3d, B, at Q. 4th, Kt. K. 2d. Ps. at Q. Kt. 3d, Q. B. 5th, and Q. 2d. White to play and mate in two moves.

II. - By Loyd

White. - K. at Q. B. 7th, Q. at Q. Kt. 2d, R. at K. Kt. 8th, Kt. at K. B. 2d. Black. - K. at K. Kt. 7th, Ps. at K. Kt. 6th and K. B. 5th.

White to play and mate in three moves.

- In the numerous legends and curious anecdotes which adorn its annals, in its venerahle nomenclature, which has been transmitted through all the changes of language, from the earliest tongues of the Indo-European stock to the latest, in its singular combination of idle amusement and mental toil, and in the fascination which it has ever exercised over its votaries, chess forms a remarkable chapter in the history of the world. Monarchs like Haroun al-Rashid, Charlemagne, Tamerlane, Charles XII., Frederick the Great, and Napoleon I., and philosophers like Leibnitz, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Franklin, have found delight in its study and pleasure in its practice. Alone among games its use has been sanctioned by the priesthood of all beliefs, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, and Moslem. Erudite writers have illustrated its history, and acute intellects have elaborated its theory, until it has at length become the subject of a large and pleasant literature.