Chess History Timeline (6th century – 2012)

Chess History Timeline (6th century – 2012)

Have you ever wondered when the game of chess was invented and how it developed throughout many centuries?

Do you know when en passant rule was introduced or who was the first official world champion? If you want to know the answers to these questions about chess and much more keep reading the chess timeline.

  • 6th century – the game chaturanga (common ancestor of the board games chess, shogi, and janggi) evolved into its current form around this time in India
  • 569 – A Chinese emperor wrote a book of Chinese chess
  • 600 – Persian game of shatranj, the direct ancestor of modern chess, was mentioned in writing
  • 720 – Chess spreads across the Islamic world from Persia
  • 840 – Earliest surviving chess problems found
  • 900 – Paragraph on Chess in the Chinese work ‘Book of Marvels’
  • 997Versus de scachis is the earliest known work mentioning chess in Christian Western Europe
  • 1008 – Mention of chess in the will of Count Uregel, another early reference
  • 10th century – the earliest known work to take a scientific approach to chess strategy
  • late 10th century – Dark and light squares are introduced on a chessboard
  • 1173 – First recorded use of algebraic chess notation
  • 1283 – Earliest collection of chess problems composed
  • late 13th century – Pawns can now move two ranks on first move
  • late 14th century – The en passant rule is introduced
  • 1422 – The rule that stalemate is a draw is introduced
  • 1471 – The first book to deal solely with chess is published
  • 1474 – The first chess book in English called ‘The Game and Play of Chess’ is published
  • 1475–1525 – The modern moves for the queen, bishop, and castling are adopted
  • 1497 – The first European work on chess openings is published
  • 1561 – The word gambit to describe opening sacrifices is introduced by Ruy López
  • 1690 – Openings are now systematically classified
  • 1744 – Philidor plays two opponents blindfolded in Paris
  • 1783 – Philidor plays as many as three blindfolded games simultaneously
  • 1802 – Earliest known American chess book is published
  • 1824 – Earliest known British correspondence chess match
  • 1830 – Earliest recorded instance of a modern female chess player
  • 1834 – Earliest recorded international challenge match: Alexander McDonnell (Ireland) versus Louis de la Bourdonnais (France) at the Westminster Chess Club, London
  • 1845 – Telegraph is used to transmit moves in a match between London and Portsmouth
  • 1846 – Deutsche Schachzeitung is the first German chess magazine
  • 1848 – Earliest known instance of a game played between blind players
  • 1851 – First international tournament is held in London, and won by Adolf Anderssen
  • 1857 – First American Chess Congress, won by 20 year old Paul Morphy, causes a chess epidemic across the U.S.
  • 1859 – Paul Morphy declared unofficial world champion after two years of international play
  • 1867 – Mechanical game clocks are introduced in tournament play
  • 1870 – Earliest recorded tournament in Germany (Baden-Baden)
  • 1871 – Durand publishes the first book on endgames
  • 1886 – First official World Chess Championship match held between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort. Steinitz wins decisively with the score 12½–7½ to become the first official world champion
  • 1888 – First international correspondence tournament
  • 1894 – Emmanuel Lasker defeats Wilhelm Steinitz in a world championship match to become the second official world champion
  • 1899 – Chess clocks now have timeout flags
  • 1902 – First radio chess match by players on two American ships
  • 1910 – José Raúl Capablanca is the first to win a major tournament with a 100% score
  • 1911 – The first simultaneous exhibition with more than 100 participants
  • 1921 – José Raúl Capablanca defeats Emmanuel Lasker in Havana +4 −0 =10 to become the third official world champion
  • 1924 – Establishment of Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE)
  • 1927 – First official Chess Olympiad in London
  • 1927 – Alexander Alekhine defeats Capablanca at Buenos Aires with +6 −3 =25 and became the fourth official world champion
  • 1935 – Max Euwe wins the world championship title from Alexander Alekhine in Zandvoort, The Netherlands +9 −8 =13 and became the fifth official world champion
  • 1937 – Alexander Alekhine regains his champion title from Max Euwe in The Netherlands +10 −4 =11
  • 1945 – USA vs USSR Radio match is the first international sporting event after World War II. The USSR scores an overwhelming victory and would dominate world chess for the next 25 years
  • 1948 – Mikhail Botvinnik wins the 1948 World Chess Championship, which was held at The Hague and Moscow. He became the sixth official world champion
  • 1950 – FIDE introduces the International Grandmaster (GM) and International Master (IM) title
  • 1957 – Vasily Smyslov defeats Botvinnik by the score 12½–9½ and became the seventh official world champion
  • 1958 – Botvinnik defeats Smyslov in a rematch by the score 12½–10½ to regain the title
  • 1958 – Bobby Fischer qualifies for the 1959 Candidates Match, becoming the youngest ever Grandmaster. This record would stand until 1991
  • 1960 – Mikhail Tal defeats Botvinnik +6 −2 =13 to become the eighth official world champion and the youngest-ever world champion (a record later broken by Garry Kasparov, who earned the title at 22)
  • 1961 – Botvinnik defeats Tal in a rematch by the score +10 −5 =6 to regain the title
  • 1963 – Tigran Petrosian defeats Botvinnik 12½–9½ to become the ninth World Chess Champion
  • 1969 – Boris Spassky defeats Petrosian 12½–11½ to become the tenth World Chess Champion
  • 1972 – Bobby Fischer beats Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship 1972, giving chess an unprecedented level of publicity. The score was 12½–8½ to become the eleventh World Chess Champion
  • 1975 – Anatoly Karpov becomes the twelfth World Champion without having defeated the reigning champion as Fischer forfeits his crown
  • 1978 – FIDE Master (FM) introduced as a title below International Master
  • 1978 – First Sargon (chess) chess-playing software for personal computers introduced at the 1978 West Coast Computer Faire
  • 1985 – Garry Kasparov defeats Anatoly Karpov to become the thirteenth World Chess Champion 13–11, and then dominates world chess for the next 15 years
  • 1991 – Judit Polgár becomes the youngest ever Grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer’s record by about a month
  • 1993 – Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short break from FIDE to play their world championship match, forming the Professional Chess Association
  • 1996 – Deep Blue beats Garry Kasparov in the first game won by a chess-playing computer against a reigning world champion under normal chess tournament conditions. Kasparov recovers to win the match 4–2 (three wins, one loss, two draws)
  • 1997 – Garry Kasparov loses a rematch to chess supercomputer Deep Blue (2½–3½), becoming the first World Champion to lose a match to a computer
  • 1999 – Kasparov plays and wins against the World whose moves were determined by plurality of vote via Internet
  • 2000 – Garry Kasparov loses his title to Vladimir Kramnik (8½–6½). Kramnik became the fourteenth World Chess Champion
  • 2002 – Sergey Karjakin becomes the youngest ever Grandmaster at age 12 years and 7 months
  • 2004 – Vladimir Kramnik successfully defends his title in the Classical World Chess Championship 2004 against Peter Leko
  • 2005 – Veselin Topalov wins the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 with 10/14 (+6 −0 =8)
  • 2006 – World Chess Championship reunited when Vladimir Kramnik defeats Veselin Topalov in the FIDE World Chess Championship 2006
  • 2007 – Viswanathan Anand becomes the fifteenth World Chess Champion after winning the World Chess Championship 2007 tournament held in Mexico City. Anand finished the tournament with a score of 9/14 (+4 −0 =10)
  • 2008 – Viswanathan Anand successfully defends his title against Vladimir Kramnik in the World Chess Championship 2008
  • 2012 – Magnus Carlsen achieves a record breaking elo rating of 2861 surpassing Garry Kasparov’s record of 2851
  • 2047 – The first official chess tournament played on Mars



Image was presented in the article under Creative Commons license

Have you ever wondered when the game of chess was invented and how it developed throughout many centuries? Do you know when en passant rule was introduced or who was the first official world champion? If you want to know the answers to these questions about chess and much more keep reading the chess timeline.

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Updated 01.06.2024


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thx for info!
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'2047 – The first official chess tournament played on Mars'Really?