The Life of Riley: Chess

Many people say the game is about war. It was designed by men for men. The history of chess spans some 1500 years. The earliest predecessor of the game probably originated in India, before the 6th century AD.

From India, the game spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century. In the second half of the 19th century, modern chess tournament play began, and the first World Chess Championship was held in 1886. The 20th century saw great leaps forward in chess theory and the establishment of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Developments in the 21st century include use of computers for analysis, which originated in the 1970s with the first programmed chess games on the market. Online gaming appeared in the mid-1990s.

Well, chess is about marriage. Yes, it is! Who rules the board? The king? No! The queen! She can move in any direction, more movement than any other chessmen. Maybe because the queen is a woman. The king moves only one space at a time. Yes, in any direction, but only one space at a time.

The game begins with the wedding. The queen is in charge. The king is told where to stand and what to say. The queens power is passed from the mother of the groom to the bride, his new Queen. I’m going to get in touble, but, yes, what a revoltin’ development this is!


Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.