A brief history of chess – Alex Gendler

Trace the storied history of the game of chess, from its origins in 7th century India to the computer software we use today.

The attacking infantry advances, their elephants already having broken the defensive line. The king tries to retreat, but the enemy flanks him from the rear. Escape is impossible. This isn’t a real war— nor is it just a game. Over the 1,500 years of its existence, chess has been known as a military strategy tool, a metaphor for human affairs and a measure of genius. Alex Gendler shares its history.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, directed by Remus & Kiki.

Sign up for our newsletter:
Support us on Patreon:
Follow us on Facebook:
Find us on Twitter:
Peep us on Instagram:
View full lesson:

Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! zjweele13, Anna-Pitschna Kunz, Edla Paniguel, Elena Crescia, Thomas Mungavan, Alejandro Cachoua, Jaron Blackburn, Yoga Trapeze Wanderlust, Sandy Nasser, Venkat Venkatakrishnan, Nicolle Fieldsend-Roxborough, John Saveland, Jason Garcia, Robson Martinho, Martin Lau, Senjo Limbu, Joe Huang, SungGyeong Bae, Christian Kurch, Begum Tutuncu, David Matthew Ezroj, Sweetmilkcoco, Raphaël LAURENT, Joe Meyers, Farah Abdelwahab, Brian Richards, Divina Grace Dar Santos, Jessie McGuire, Abdullah Altuwaijri, Sarah Burns, Clement, Hadi Salahshour, FAWWAZ GHUWAIDI, Dino Biancolini, Reagen O’Connor, Nicu Boanda, Cindy O., Karla Brilman, Jørgen Østerpart, Sergi Páez, rakesh Katragadda, Carolyn Corwin, Charlene You, Boris Langvand, Exal Enrique Cisneros Tuch, Carsten Tobehn, Kin Lon Ma, Katie Dean, Ezgi Yersu and Eunsun Kim.

800 Comments

  1. in china the game was called xiangqi as it got the name of the elephant pieces and i like xiangqi more the chess btw

  2. 4:39 Shamefull political bias. Bobby Fischer (USA) did defeat Spassky (Soviet Union). Very important historical and political event

  3. Bobby Fischer sulking after not getting any credit.

  4. When the purpose of the animation is to accompany what is supposed to be brief, but accurate, history recap of chess then the animation has no excuse for showing pretty serious historic inaccuracies.

  5. The animation is not even very good: it looks like the annoying stylized Cartoon Network art.

  6. Learned about chess and tread mills in the same video…who knew!?

  7. In Hindi, the Queen does not exist. It is instead called Wajir (minister), a word borrowed from Arabic. Wajir is a male character. The Hindi word for Chess is the Persian loanword Shatranj. It seems that Chess was exported from India and then imported again after modifications by Persians and Arabs.

  8. ĐẠI LÂM - SIÊU TRÍ TUỆ VIỆT NAM says:

    i won by sacraphice my horse and rook

  9. Bobby Fischer ended Russian dominance. Not Deep blue….

  10. 3:40 what a logical endgame, would’ve never moved my castle that way.. i guess i need to train

  11. so basically the gupta empire played the prince gambit and gave humanity a winning invention

  12. In India, where it originated, it was known, and still is, as shataranj.(shuh-tuh-ranj)

  13. I'm watching this for the second time
    Edit:Third now

  14. Thanks so much for making of this video! Love it

  15. The thought the American Bobby Fisher beàt the best Russian player. Maybe TED X can get the super computer to help the do a more accurate review of chess history!

  16. Earliest records of chess are definitely not from the 7th century.There's a pre-Islamic Arabic poem which mentions chess and even describes some of the pieces. The poet is Imru Alqais and he died in 544.

  17. Its interesting how people called the pieces differently. For example, in Romania we have :
    Queen
    King
    Tower
    Horse
    Crazy guy
    Pawn

  18. This is what I want and I really see chess as a war strategic game and that to conquer the enemies land thank you for this video

  19. Chess is good. But the problem is this game is so addictive and as you play more and more games this game makes your mind lazy. People think it increases their brain power when i reckon the brain only works well in this game not in real outside world.

  20. You forgot tomention Zatreikion, the original game from which it evolved into what we today know as chess

  21. beth harmon beats vasily borgov should be part of this history

  22. Aye ‘‘twas not not the machine that humbled the Russians, ‘‘twas Bobby Fisher. Dude single handedly took down the entire Russian chess elite.

  23. imagine some diplomats playing the london system in 1054

  24. 3:11 every time a new game or any new scientific principle or invention appears, the church always had a problem like why? Why it would keep poking its nose everywhere

  25. Imagine if the prince from the Gupta empire never died and chess never became a game

  26. Osh toppida means like on top of the dinner. Osh is Uzbeksitans main dish and toppida means on top of. SO it could mean it had higher priority than food becasue something that fun back then would be, and it could just mean how the chess board is like a table and is set on the table.

  27. Wow. Well that's some new backstory! excellent video!
    Maybe reconstruct to beginning, sizes boards, back to lines or captures ect. To get us out of this Quagmire. Or just not hold the perspective that life and existence should not be reduced down to game theory kings and pawns reality.
    Or go the Monopoly route if patriotic us hero can't beat the computer or Russian Comies! Flip the table and scream I hate this family!
    Thanks!

  28. King alone can't fight. But he can think and lead his army. Yes, army. Don't know about the queen, but I think all the rest of the pieces represent the army of knights, bishops followers, etc. King represents a king, and all the rest follows him.

  29. 5:24 Treadmill originally designed to be a torture device..? I’m sure for some it IS to this very day in fact lol 😆

  30. I think there's an error right here 1:39 checkmate means shiekh mate in arabic wich translate too the "leader is dead"

  31. 4:38 ''The player who would truly upset Russian dominance was not a citizen of another country.''
    4:58 Proceeds to shamelessly mark Deep Blue with an American flag

  32. Did anyone saw that adolf’s knight that checkmated the king was illegal

  33. It… did not felt like 5 minutes…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *