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Today I learned that there are 169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000 (approximately 1.70 x 10^29) ways to play the first ten moves in chess. (I also learned that there are "400 different possible positions after one move each. There are 72,084 different possible positions after two moves each. There are over 9 million different possible positions after three moves each. There are over 318 billion different possible positions after four moves each. The number of distinct 40-move games in chess is far greater than the number of electrons in the observable universe. The number of electrons is approximately 10^79, while the number of unique chess games is 10^120.")


  • The history of chess goes back at least 1,400 years, where the game originated in India and Persia.

  • Chess hasn't changed much over the years. In fact, the last rule change was about 500 years ago.

  • It is believed that chess began as a way to get the royal children to think analytically and strategically.

  • The United States Chess Federation is 63 years old and boasts more than 90,000 members.

  • About 3 million chess sets are sold every year in the United States.

  • Yasser Seirawan, a top-ranked U.S. chess grandmaster is a Garfield High School graduate and co-founder of America's Foundation for Chess. He has also authored 13 books on chess.

  • At 2838 on the world-ranking list, Garry Kasparov is the highest-rated player in the world. The average tournament player is around 1750.

  • There are 169,518,829,100,544,000,000,000,000,000 ways to play the first ten moves in chess.

  • The word 'Checkmate' in comes from the Persian phrase 'Shah mat,' which means 'the king is dead.'

  • The first American chess tournament was held in New York in 1843.

Chess Fun Facts

What did you learn recently?


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jan 18, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=438

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