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A selection of black and white chess pieces on a checkered surface.

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.

Play does not involve hidden information. Each player begins with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently, with the most powerful being the queen and the least powerful the pawn. The objective is to checkmate the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. To this end, a player's pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces, while supporting each other. During the game, play typically involves making exchanges of one piece for an opponent's similar piece, but also finding and engineering opportunities to trade advantageously, or to get a better position. In addition to checkmate, a player wins the game if the opponent resigns, or (in a timed game) runs out of time. There are also several ways that a game can end in a draw.

The first generally recognized World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. Since 1948, the World Championship has been regulated by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the game's international governing body. FIDE also awards life-time master titles to skilled players, the highest of which is Grandmaster (GM). Many national chess organizations have a title system of their own. FIDE also organizes the Women's World Championship, the World Junior Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Blitz and Rapid World Championships, and the Chess Olympiad, a popular competition among international teams. FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee, which can be considered as a recognition of chess as a sport. Several national sporting bodies (for example the Spanish Consejo Superior de Deportes) also recognize chess as a sport. Chess was included in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games. There is also a Correspondence Chess World Championship and a World Computer Chess Championship. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players.

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Two shatranj players in a detail from a Persian miniature painting of Bayasanghori Shahname made in 1430

Shatranj (Arabic: شطرنج‎, from Middle Persian چترنگ chatrang) is an old form of chess, as played in the Persian Empire. Its origins are in the Indian game of chaturaṅga. Modern chess gradually developed from this game, as it was introduced to the western world via the Greeks. Read more...

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FIDE world ranking

Rank Change* Player Rating
1 Steady Norway Magnus Carlsen 2845
2 Steady United States Fabiano Caruana 2828
3 Increase 1 China Ding Liren 2812
4 Increase 1 Netherlands Anish Giri 2797
5 Decrease 2 Azerbaijan Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2790
6 Steady France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2780
7 Increase 1 India Viswanathan Anand 2779
8 Increase 5 Russia Ian Nepomniachtchi 2771
9 Steady Russia Alexander Grischuk 2771
10 Steady Armenia Levon Aronian 2767
11 Steady United States Wesley So 2765
12 Steady China Yu Yangyi 2764
13 Increase 1 Azerbaijan Teimour Radjabov 2756
14 Decrease 7 Russia Vladimir Kramnik 2753
15 Steady Russia Sergey Karjakin 2753
16 Steady United States Hikaru Nakamura 2749
17 Steady Bulgaria Veselin Topalov 2740
18 Steady Czech Republic David Navara 2738
19 Increase 1 Russia Peter Svidler 2737
20 Increase 3 Hungary Richárd Rapport 2735
*Change from the previous month[1]

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  1. ^ Administrator (1 January 2019). "Top 100 Players January 2019 - Archive". FIDE.