# Chess fact you may not know

## Only Chess

106d

Waiting for an opponent to move I wondered where the term 'checkmate' came from;

The term checkmate is, according to the Barnhart Etymological Dictionary, an alteration of the Persian phrase "shāh māt" (شاه مات) which means "the King is helpless".

106d

@MartinS

What is the longest chess game ever?
The longest chess game is 269 moves between Ivan Nikolic vs. Goran Arsovic, Belgrade, 1989. The game ended in a draw. The game lasted over 20 hours.

106d

@MartinS

The longest chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.

106d

@MartinS

Blindfold chess is an impressive skill that many stronger chess players develop. It requires a keen ability to visualize the board clearly. National Master Elliott Neff played 12 games blindfolded simultaneously, winning 11 of them.

106d

@MartinS

Initially, the Queen could only move one square at a time, diagonally. Later, she could move two squares at a time, diagonally. It wasn't until Reconquista Spain, with its powerful queen Isabella, that the Queen became the strongest piece on the board.

###### Dave
106d

@MartinS said
@MartinS

Initially, the Queen could only move one square at a time, diagonally. Later, she could move two squares at a time, diagonally. It wasn't until Reconquista Spain, with its powerful queen Isabella, that the Queen became the strongest piece on the board.
Interesting.
5949 moves -is that each player?
Surely not

106d

@venda said
Interesting.
5949 moves -is that each player?
Surely not
It is for each player. Personally I thought it would be bigger - but it works outs - you need to do the 49.5 moves between each pawn move or taking a piece - so take 30 pieces and the maximum number of pawn moves (that I can see) is 88. That seems to work.

###### chemist
104d

@MartinS said
Waiting for an opponent to move I wondered where the term 'checkmate' came from;

The term checkmate is, according to the Barnhart Etymological Dictionary, an alteration of the Persian phrase "shāh māt" (شاه مات) which means "the King is helpless".
Learned this in one of my first chess lessons...

###### chemist
104d

@MartinS said
@MartinS

Initially, the Queen could only move one square at a time, diagonally. Later, she could move two squares at a time, diagonally. It wasn't until Reconquista Spain, with its powerful queen Isabella, that the Queen became the strongest piece on the board.
In fact you can play the original variant on other sites.

###### chemist
104d

@MartinS said
@MartinS

The longest chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.
Draw by repetition and draw by to few pawn moves are both not automatically enforced...

###### Erro Ergo Sum
104d
1 edit

A draw must be claimed. If no one claims a draw, then there is no draw. and the game continues. Theoretically, you can have just the 2 kings on the board moving back & forth endlessly because the draw is not automatic. So the game can continue forever with an unlimited number of moves

103d

@AttilaTheHorn said
A draw must be claimed. If no one claims a draw, then there is no draw. and the game continues. Theoretically, you can have just the 2 kings on the board moving back & forth endlessly because the draw is not automatic. So the game can continue forever with an unlimited number of moves
Under Article 9.6.2 of the FIDE rules of chess, a game is automatically drawn if…
“any series of at least 75 moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.”

102d

In a nutshell.

The 50 move rule was introduced to prevent there being an endless game
and one player could claim a draw. This rule or suggestion was actually first
put forward by Ruy Lopez in 1561!
Before the rules became set in stone some countries had it at 25 moves
or 60 moves but most had the 50 move rule.

Then it was realised that a player or players might not know the 50 move rule or
were ignoring it so at move 75 an arbiter could step in and declare the game drawn.

Personally I've never seen the 75 move rule enforced but in the game;

Ehsan Ghaem Maghami vs Mustafokhuja Khusenkhojaev, World Rapid 2022 the player
of the black pieces did not know how many moves had been made and could have claimed
a 50 move draw on move 127. They kept on playing..and playing...by now a cluster of arbiters
had surrounded the board waiting for the 50 move rule claim or to step in to stop the game.

Suddenly on move 146 one move short of the arbiters jumping in Black stopped the game
and claimed a draw by three fold rep. (you could not make this up.)
This claim was proved to be invalid, the game continued and Black lost on time.
White was credited with a win but then it was realised in the kerfuffle the 75 move rule
had past. (Black's flag fell on move 153 which was 76 moves into the 75 move rule) so the
game was declared a draw.

The whole episode is captured here;

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