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Interesting & Fun Chess Facts for Kids (2024 Updated!)

I am sure that you might have seen the black and white chessboard. The game is rooted in strategy and panning. The game of chess is special, especially because every game is different. The individual moves are repeated, but no two games are ever the same. Interesting huh! Well, there are a ton of interesting facts about this super smart game. 

Fun Chess Facts for Kids

Buckle up, and let’s look at 10 cool chess facts for kids like you!

Fun Chess Facts for Kids

1. The Ancient Roots of Chess

Flashback to India during the Gupta dynasty, the earliest form of chess, called “chathuranga,” originated in the 6th century, around 1500 years ago. Later, in 1090, the game made its way to Europe with a chessboard containing light and dark squares like today. 

Old Chess board

Back in ancient India, Chess was not just a game; it was actually a military training tool used during battles. “Chaturanga” also means “4 divisions of military”. 

2. The origins of “Checkmate”

You might have heard the term “checkmate” used at the end of the game by the winner when the opponent cannot make any more moves. Well, this has origins in Persia. The origin is from the Persian phrase “Shah Mat,” which translates to “the King is dead.” 

3. Chess Moves – Records and Milestones

Do you know why I said that every game is different? Well, In the game of chess, over 319 billion combinations of moves are possible. Crazy, right? 

Man playing chess

You know what’s crazier? In 1989, the longest chess game happened in Belgrade between two players named Nikolić–Arsović. The game had 269 moves and lasted 20 hours and 15 minutes. That is almost a whole day!

One of the most intense chess matches happened in 1992 between Thornton and M. Walker, and it took over 100 moves without a break to end!

A player named Eric Knoppert played 500 games of chess of 10 minutes each in 68 hours in the year 1985. 

Check out our article on Badminton Facts for Kids by Cool Kid Facts.

4. The Global Chess Community

There are around 8 billion people around the world. From that, about 600 million people are part of the global chess community. That is a lot of people! 

Let me tell you another fact proving the popularity of the game. Do you know what the second book ever printed in English is about? Chess! 

5. Smarter than computers?

Humans never lost in championships until 1997 when a supercomputer named Deep Blues defeated the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. 

Man Playing Chess with Robot

The funny thing is that Kasparov defeated the powerful Deep Blue chess computer built by IBM in 1996. But they asked for a rematch in 1997 in which Kasparov resigned in the last game of a 16-game match with the computer after 16 moves. 

Crazy how a champion lost to a computer!

6. Chess in Space

Do you know what is special about the year 1970? That was the year when astronauts played chess in space for the first time ever.  

Gravity can’t stop us, huh!!

7. Youngest Chess Champion ever!

Girl playing chess

At the age of 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest world champion in 1985. He is also one of the greatest chess players in the world. 

8. World’s Smallest Chess Set

The smallest handmade chess set ever made is tiny, as in an 8 mm x 8 mm or 0.32 inches x 0.32 inches was made by Ara Davidi Ghazaryan (USA) and entered the Guinness Book of World Records. 

9. Longest Reigning Chess Champion

Would you believe me if I said that somebody was the world champion for over 27 years? It is true Dr. Emanuel Lasker was a world chess champion from 1894 to 1921 until he was defeated by Jose Raul Capablanca. 

10. The highest rating in history

Designed Chess Board

Magnus Carlsen, the great chess champion, holds the record of the highest rating in history at 2882 since July 2011.  That’s not all; he also has the record of having the longest unbeaten streak in classical chess’s elite level. 

FAQs

Why was chess called “chathuranga” in ancient India?

Chess was like a training game for soldiers, and “chathuranga” means “4 divisions of military.” It helped warriors practice strategies for battles.

What does “checkmate” mean, and where does the word come from?

 “Checkmate” means the king is trapped and the game is over. The word comes from Persia, where it means “the King is dead.”

How did a computer beat a world chess champion?

In 1997, a computer named Deep Blue defeated the world champion Garry Kasparov. It was a big deal because it was the first time a computer won against the best human player.

Why is Magnus Carlsen famous in chess?

Magnus Carlsen is really good at chess! He has the highest chess rating ever, and he went a long time without losing a game. He’s like a superstar in the chess world.

Final Thought

Chess is one of the smartest and hardest games in the world. Some champions spend their entire lives playing chess. Chess is one of the best board games to learn that improves our cognitive skills. There are kids across the globe who play chess and get grandmaster titles(very prestigious). 

Want to be super smart and strategic? Follow the chequerboard!