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chess

Syllabification: chess
Pronunciation: /CHes
 
/

Definition of chess in English:

noun

A board game of strategic skill for two players, played on a checkered board. Each player begins the game with sixteen pieces that are moved and used to capture opposing pieces according to precise rules. The object is to put the opponent’s king under a direct attack from which escape is impossible (checkmate).
Example sentences
  • This gives it a unique character, more akin to a board game such as chess than to a normal card game.
  • The newspaper is particularly useful for those players who want to make progress in chess.
  • The first rule of chess is that the board is to be positioned so that a white square is in the right-hand corner.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French esches, plural of eschec 'a check' (see check1).

More
  • check from (Middle English):

    Chess has given the word check its oldest meanings. It came into English via Old French eschec from Persian šāh ‘king’ (the origin of shah, as in the Shah of Iran), and was first used by chess players to announce that the opponent's king had been placed under attack. From there the meaning gradually broadened to ‘to stop, restrain, or control’ and ‘to examine the accuracy of’. A squared pattern is described as checked or a check (Late Middle English) because of the appearance of a chessboard. Checkmate derives from Persian šāh māt, ‘the king is dead’. Chess (Middle English) itself came into English during the 12th century from Old French eschec, or rather its plural form, esches, but probably goes back ultimately to the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. The game seems to have begun in India or China around the 6th century ad and to have been adopted in Persia, spreading to the West through the Arabs. The game was popular in medieval England. See also exchequer.

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