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Chess is an ancient game of luck played with small figurines
and dice in dark cellars by people who were rejected by their school's other clubs. It should not be confused with Checkers, a game known for being played by people significantly less intelligent than Chess players. The game was a popular pastime for centuries among prisoners, each of whom sought to topple their king the fastest. However, the game was barely known among the middle and upper classes before Bobby Fischer's singlehanded efforts to popularize the game in the mid-20th century, climaxing in 1972 when he convinced Boris Spassky to make chess the official game of Russia despite fierce opposition from covert and well-funded Jewish lobbyists.
Historians agree that the game's name is widely held to be a derivation of "chest," and that the first games were played on diagrams carved on the chests of dead bodies. These bodies came to be referred to as "boards" for their stiffness. The smell and possible maggots might have made the game unpleasant, and it was considered difficult to play on the corpses of well-endowed females.
Given its smelly origin, the game naturally acquired several French terms over time, the most well known of which is "checkmate", derived from "j'ec matte", meaning "I grope you" or "Surprise! You have been groped". This may refer to an endgame ritual of which French historian Tacitus IV wrote:
- "A victor having been established by fair processes, that person does henceforth receive the liberty of fondling the hidden parts of the vanquished, who may at appropriate times reposition himself, saying 'I adjust', and who, when sufficient time is deemed to have elapsed, may demand that the victor desist forthwith, at which point the vanquished assumes the role of the victor, and vice versa, and so on."
French players have received widespread acclaim for refining the act of mating and for discovering hundreds of previously unknown checkmate positions.
Most recently, silicon-based life forms have begun to dominate the world of chess, including Deep Blue, Deep Fritz, Deep Fry, Deep Throat, and Deep Jew, a program created entirely to annoy Bobby Fischer. Deep Fritz has invented a novel checkmating pattern so effective that it defeated a World Chess Champion, Vladimir Kramnik, who was generous enough to allow the shallow Deep Fritz to execute the checkmate 35.Qh7.
Chess is played by two people. They sit opposite each other with a board between them that has a bunch of pieces on it. These pieces move in confusing ways. Each player takes his or her turn, moving pieces until one of two conditions is satisfied. Either a player clearly humiliates his or her opponent, or both sides decide that they are too bored and confused to continue playing, and so agree to draw.
There are a few other rules, according to the FIDE Official Tournament Rules:
- White first rule: White always goes first. This rule can be traced back to the time of slavery, when whites always got to go first, and blacks pretty much never got to go at all. Note that there were very few good black players to arise out of this period of chess.
- The Touch-Move rule: if a player attempts to molest their opponent before a checkmate is declared, they must immediately move out of the playing area.
- 'J'ajuste': 'I adjust' - an exception to the 'Touch-move' rule. If a player purrs at another player in French, he or she may touch his or her opponent in various ways.
- 'I adjust' - may be said in English to announce the adjustment of a player's own underwear. To adjust the opponent's underwear, this must be said twice, first in French and then in English.
- Before making each move, a player must always have an agonized look on his/her face, as though constipated.
- Players are not allowed to make up their own rules. Fortunately, this rule does not apply to you, but it does apply to that chess club geek who keeps insisting that 'castling' and 'en passant' are actual rules and perfectly legal during games.
- Do-overs: international tournaments vary in their application of this rule, but it is commonly accepted that no less than three do-overs are applicable if the purported loser didn't mean to make a certain set of moves, and actually meant to perform superior ones.
The rules of chess were first codified in England in 1863. Prior to this, games often involved dozens of pieces per side, and white and black were controlled by different villages, each arguing and fighting over the next move. Public schools in England began playing the game before the leading chess players of the time decided to create a set of rules that everyone could follow. Immediately a split occurred over the issue of hacking - kicking the shins of an opponent without any attempt to capture a piece. The majority of those present voted to outlaw hacking, whilst a sizeable minority stormed out of the meeting and founded the game of draughts (known as checkers in the third world) where kicking your opponents shins is still permitted to this day. Contrary to popular myth, chess players, upon having put the enemy king in a position where capture is inevitable, do not say 'checkmate'; the official term is actually 'howzaaaaaat!', which is one of many throwbacks to the days when chess was first evolving from the game of cricket.
- King - The King is the most important piece on the board. It is also the slowest and is commonly believed to be the least useful piece as well. The King can only move one space in any direction except in special circumstances when I am playing. In this case, he may be able to jump over a wall of pawns to conveniently avoid checkmate, or fly around the board and knock down all the opposing pieces just when it appears all hope is lost. If he gets checked, ONLY ONCE per game he may summon an explosion to blow back all opponent's pieces into the capture zone, where they fall in and are never seen again for the rest of the game. Because you know, he's King. And it's good to be the King. Hail to the King, baby.
- Queen - The Queen does as she's bloody well told, if she knows what's good for her. She is also widely regarded as the game's sex symbol, or Billy Idol piece.
- Pawn - Pawns are the "foot soldiers" of chess, in that, like actual foot soldiers, they line up and mindlessly march forward to their slaughter. The name of the piece is derived from the 1337-language "pwn," meaning "to dominate," and suggests the piece was named ironically. All of the pawns seem to share a goal of marching to the end of the board and performing an SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery), after which they become eligible to become the king's wife.
- Bishop - The bishop is the only chess piece that looks like a standing condom. Generally considered the most pious of all the pieces, bishops move diagonally to represent their historical practice of squeezing through small cracks in cathedral walls in order to sneak out during the recessional and get hammered.
- Knight - This piece has a dark and deceptive past. It is in the shape of an ugly brown cow. It is a 'magical' cow that can jump other pieces - even much taller pieces - because that's just what enchanted cattle do. If buried, this cow will grow into a giant bean stock, leading to the English-eating, jolly, green giant.
- Rook - A rook (Corvus frugilegus) is a crow-like bird. In chess, however, they're shaped like castle towers. Although designed to appear as buildings, rooks are inexplicably capable of movement. The inventors of the rook were probably smoking crack.
Although it has recently been proven that chess does not require much strategy or skill, there were a few cultures in history that strongly believed otherwise. Here are some of the strategies that they thought would work:
- Najdorf - Memorize 35 moves of opening theory, and then lose the game in 23 moves after your opponent plays the Sveshnikov, which you forgot to memorize. And yes, it really is pronounced "Nye-dorf".
- King's pawn gambit - Sacrifice your King's pawn in order to gain an advantage somehow. Not to be confused with the even more successful King's bishop pawn gambit.
- King's bishop pawn gambit - Nobody cares. Not to be confused with the somewhat less successful King's gambit.
- King's gambit - Sacrifice your King in order to gain an advantage in development. Often considered an unacceptably risky move.
- British Defense - This play only works when you play white. Declare yourself owner of all the squares and subject the black pieces to slavery, thus making their king your pawn.
- French Defense - Line up five of your pawns in front of your king. Express shock when your opponent simply moves his queen around them. Surrender.
- Cold Shoulder - An extremely effective and annoying maneuver which involves doing absolutely nothing during your turn until your opponent gets fed up and leaves, automatically making you the winner. Not to be played in a timed game.
- The Reverse - Playable in an informal setting or after a formal adjournment when your opponent has obtained the stronger position. Upon returning to the table sit down in your opponent's chair. Appear engrossed in the position and do not respond to your opponent's objections until he resigns or accepts the reversal.
- R2-D2 & C3PO defense - Let the wookie win.
- The "Look Over There" Defense - Exclaim "Look over there!", and move around the pieces so that you have an advantage.
- The Big Fuck You - When your opponent appears to be winning, make a devastating, but illegal, move. When he protests, do nothing. He'll move it back. Make the same move again. Cross your arms. Not advised if your opponent is physically larger or well-armed.
- Knocking All The Pieces Off The Board And Spitting In Your Opponent's Face - This one is usually considered a last resort.
- Castling - taking one's pieces and stating that they are in another castle so that one is completely safe and can chortle at one's opponent as they try to assault one's impenetrable fortress. This tactic was made popular in 1922 by Sir Noel Coward, an English actor and the founder of Cowardism.
- Fork - positioning a piece such that it attacks two of the opponent's pieces at once, then closing one's eyes and reciting, "eenie, meenie, miney, moe...", before attacking one of the pieces with cutlery.
- Skewer - thrusting a lance across the chess board and impaling one's opponent. Note: May result in the filing of criminal charges.
- Pin - employing Greco-Roman techniques by removing your clothes, throwing your opponent to the carpet, and sitting on him or her. Most effective in a timed game, especially when done at the beginning of your opponent's turn.
- Check - telling your opponent that you're going to win on the next move if he or she doesn't prevent it. This is generally considered a stupid thing to do.
- Double Check - pushing an opponent against the boards and body slamming said opponent twice. May result in boarding and/or cross-checking penalties.
- X-Ray Attack - very effective at giving your opponent bone cancer, although the machinery can be expensive.
- Zugzwang - It's a complicated German word which means that your opponent has to make a move no matter what and the move he makes will be a great advantage to you and you can blow him to smithereens if you want.
- Staling - When the only move a player can make will checkmate or check their king. This player may cheat. This player may also throw a tantrum. But, whatever you do, do not attempt to move for him, or all hell will break loose.
Chess is viewed by some as a workout. Moving your fingers to and fro, up and down the chessboard, is believed to build your lats and traps and generally get you massively "pumped". Others view chess as a philosophy. They see chess a a perfect convergence between the realms of psychology, meta-physics, and raw intelligence. These ideologies are incorrect due to the lack of evidence of any knowledge ever gained from playing chess. The real point of chess is to waste your time in a "productive" manner, as apposed to video games, watching TV, or editing Uncyclopedia. There is also believed to be an aspect of mental abuse, as some kings and bishops have claimed that "chess size matters." The moral of chess is that you can learn the rules in an afternoon, and learn to beat the basic computer programs in a few weeks... and then you realize that you could spend a million billion trillion bajillion skatillion zillion fecktillion years hacking away at that stupid board and you still wouldn't get any better at it, no matter how easy the motherfucking chess masters claim it's supposed to be. People don't get any better at shit - they just rack up criminal records, bad credit, red flags on their resumes, wrinkles, dentures, and clever politicians who come up with ways to euthanize them. The so called wisdom of age is realizing that this chess shit has no future for you.
Women's titles are also offered for skilled female chess players; these are WGM, WIM, WFM and WCM. Chess is considered to be a male-dominated sport, which is why FIDE offers female titles to encourage more women to play chess. Also, the pieces in men's games can be pretty heavy and rough, so the women's tournaments use lighter and better lubricated pieces. Women, unlike male chess players, are allowed to dress pretty casually while playing in tournaments. Also, women's tournaments are watched more, because the checkmate procedures are believed to be considerably more interesting when two women are engaging in them.
Various variants of chess have been created, largely because the game can often get really boring and some rules weren't good enough. Examples are as follows: