Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered gameboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide in homes and in tournaments. In recent years, chess has become part of some school curricula.
Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. 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 their own. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary resignation by the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame, and endgame.
The first official World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886; the current World Champion is the NorwegianMagnus Carlsen. In addition to the World Championship, there are the Women's World Championship, the Junior World Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Correspondence Chess World Championship, the World Computer Chess Championship, and Blitz and Rapid World Championships. The Chess Olympiad is a popular competition among teams from different nations. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players. Chess is arecognized sport of the International Olympic Committee and international chess competition is sanctioned by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which adopted the now-standard Staunton chess set in 1924 for use in all official games. There are also manychess variants, with different rules, different pieces, and different boards.
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