Chess – The Oldest War Game


Chess is the oldest and most popular war game of all time, requiring a great use of strategy to win. For hundreds of years, people have tested their military strategy against each other by playing Chess (literally, player versus player).

As technology progressed many people started playing on electronic chess boards (player versus computer). Now, the best of both worlds is available thanks to the internet with multi-player online chess.

The modern game has its origins around 1200 AD although, these days, it is a very different game. In modern times, there is a strong theme of pitching the world’s best players against computer opponents, with chess being used as a complex way to determine a battle of intelligence and strategy. In 1997, Deep Blue became the first machine to win such a way, when it defeated the reigning world chess champion at the time, Garry Kasparov.

One of the oldest games in existence, chess is still very much a complicated turn-based strategy game. Players can only move one piece a turn, so piece selection and understanding is crucial. This is something that can be related to unit variation and selection in modern strategy games.

Being such an old game, many chess variants also exist, such as speed chess, which simply limits the time players have to think about potential moves (similar to modern real-time-strategy). However, the traditional game, played on an 8×8 board with 32 pieces, is the most well known and preferred.

In chess, the position of a piece can sometimes make it more important. For instance, modern war games tactics such as brinkmanship can be very much found in a game of chess, with pieces often used to represent brinkmanship or threaten checkmate, the end-game for the opposing player. Doing so limits the opponent’s options, giving the other player more control on the board.

Today, chess is seen as a competitive, complex game and often viewed as a sport in its own right. The World Chess Federation was founded in 1924, for instance. In 1999 it was acknowledged and recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an International Sports Federation, an honour very few board games get to hold.