Checkmate to Glory: The Enduring Legacy of Chess in India

Chess is gradually becoming a national passion in India as we continue to witness magnificent performances from our players on the board. From one of the greatest Indian Chess players and former 5-time World Champion, Viswanathan Anand making history beating the Russian grandmasters, to Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, the charm of Indian Chess becoming the youngest player to reach the World Cup final, to Vaishali Rameshbabu becoming India’s third female chess grandmaster after Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli, India has now claimed its glory in sport that originated on its soil.

It is interesting to see how Chess has blossomed over the decades and how the rising young talent shapes the nation’s beautiful and bright future.

Get set as we take you on a thrilling and enticing journey of Chaturanga, as Chess was called in ancient India before the game became a global phenomenon. 

Chaturanga to Chess – The long history of the game

The game of Chess has gathered the attention of strategists over the years. Withstanding its long history over the decades, Chess is known to be the game of intellects, and over the years, it has evolved to become one of the most popular games in the world. From being a strategic pastime for kings and nobles to becoming a competitive sport played by people of all ages and backgrounds, Chess has survived and thrived in Indian culture.

Chess has been a significant part of Indian culture and society for centuries. Chess, known as Chaturanga in ancient India, traces its roots back to the Gupta Empire around the 6th century AD. The game, steeped in strategy and skill, reflected the military tactics prevalent during that era. Chaturanga represented four military divisions—infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots—which later evolved into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook.

The earliest form of Chess was a four-player game representing a battle between two armies. This game was widely popular among Indian nobility and is considered the precursor to modern-day Chess.

Over time, Chaturanga evolved into shatranj – a two-player version of the game that emerged during the Islamic rule in India. Shatranj gained widespread popularity and was played by people from all walks of life, including kings and commoners.

The spread of Islam across Asia led to shatranj being introduced to other countries such as Persia (present-day Iran), where it further evolved into different variations like chatrang and shah mat (checkmate). These variations eventually made their way to Europe through trade routes during the Middle Ages.

In Europe, Chess underwent significant changes and became more complex, with additional pieces like bishops and queens being introduced. The modern rules of Chess were established in Spain during the late 15th century.

Transition from Chaturanga to Chess – The Introduction to Modern Chess Pieces

The journey of chess pieces from their inception in Chaturanga to their modern forms as the pawn, knight, bishop, and rook is a captivating evolution. Initially representing the infantry, the pawn transformed into a symbol of ordinary soldiers, reflecting societal changes and the evolving roles of individuals within communities. Having roots in the cavalry, the knight maintained its strategic mobility, highlighting the enduring importance of swift and versatile military forces throughout history.

The bishop’s metamorphosis from an elephant symbol to emphasizing diagonal movement signifies a shift towards a more nuanced and angled approach. On the other hand, the rook, previously depicted as a chariot, embodies the ability to traverse straight lines, symbolizing power and the capacity to navigate obstacles directly—indicative of societal changes seeking efficient pathways.

The relation between Chess and Indian Philosophy 

Chaturanga was more than a game; it encapsulated profound connections with Indian philosophical concepts. The portrayal of opposing forces engaged in calculated moves echoes the Indian belief in the harmony of opposing forces, akin to the balance within the yin-yang philosophy. 

Moreover, the game structure mirrors the cosmic order (dharma), portraying the interconnectedness and equilibrium within the universe.

The game of Chess moving beyond the borders

The migration of Chaturanga across ancient trade routes transcended geographical boundaries, transforming into Shatranj in Persia and eventually evolving into modern Chess in Europe. This trajectory mirrored the cultural exchanges along trade routes, spotlighting India’s pivotal role as a cultural nexus in the ancient world. The game served as a conduit for exchanging ideas, philosophies, and strategic approaches across civilizations.

From Ancient Roots to Modern Prodigies

Despite Chess’s global dissemination, its origins in ancient India are a testament to the country’s intellectual prowess and strategic insight. India remains a dominant force in contemporary Chess, fostering prodigies and nurturing a culture deeply entwined with the game’s intricacies. The profound heritage of Chaturanga resonates in modern Indian Chess, laying the groundwork for its ongoing success on the global stage.

India’s contributions to Chess surpass historical significance; they are integral to the country’s intellectual landscape. The legacy of Chaturanga serves as a perpetual reminder of India’s enduring influence on the evolution and prominence of Chess globally.

The Undeniable Connection of Chess and Indian History

The evolution of chess pieces from their ancient origins to their current forms encapsulates a narrative of societal shifts, philosophical ideals, and cultural exchanges. India’s role in this journey, from the inception of Chaturanga to its contemporary prominence, underscores the nation’s profound connection with the game. As Chess captivates minds worldwide, its historical ties to India remain a cornerstone of its allure and strategic depth.

But it’s not just the history of Chess in India that speaks about it. The present also holds a lot. 

No, we’re not talking about the consecutive achievements of Indian Chess players across the globe. We’re talking about chess boards, pieces, and related accessories crafted by skilled hands in our country. 

So, the next time you buy a chess set, whether a professional chess board or any other type of chess set, remember to appreciate the genuine craftsmanship showcased in chess boards and pieces.

Wondering where are the best Tournament Chess Sets or Professional Chess Sets made in India?

Your question is subjective, and here we present a detailed answer to you. 

Professional Chess Sets from Amritsar – Crafted with precision

Amritsar, nestled in the heart of Punjab, holds a distinguished reputation for manufacturing tournament chess boards and various types of professional Chess sets that are indeed works of art. These sets, crafted by skilled artisans, come in various materials, from traditional wood to modern plastics and beyond.

There is no doubt that Amritsar has long been known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. Over the years, the city has become a recognized center for chess manufacturing in India. This rise to prominence can be attributed to factors such as the city’s skilled craftsmanship, entrepreneurial spirit, and strategic location.

One of the critical reasons for Amritsar’s emergence as a hub for chess boards and pieces manufacturing is its skilled workforce. Thanks to its centuries-old craft industry, the city has a long-standing tradition of producing high-quality handcrafted goods. The same level of precision and attention to detail required in traditional crafts translates well into manufacturing chess sets – which require intricate designs and precise carving techniques.

Another key factor contributing to Amritsar’s success as a center for chess manufacturing is its strong entrepreneurial culture. Many small-scale businesses have sprung up in recent years, catering to the demand for high-quality chess sets in India and abroad. These local manufacturers have thrived due to their agility and adaptability – constantly innovating and experimenting with new materials and designs.

What else?

In addition to this inherent skill set, Amritsar is home to some of the most renowned artisans in India who have honed their skills over generations. Manufacturers across the country highly seek these craftsmen due to their expertise and ability to produce exquisite and professional Chess sets that are aesthetically pleasing and durable.

What Makes Indian Professional Chess Boards Different?

There is not one reason behind the popularity of Indian professional chess sets. The list is long enough to consume hours, but here are some top differentiating factors.

Handmade Chess Boards: The Essence of Indian Chess Sets

Picture this, the nimble fingers of artisans meticulously carving each piece, infusing a touch of tradition and craftsmanship into every stroke. These handmade chess boards or sets carry the legacy of generations, showcasing not just pieces on a board but a story woven with expertise and dedication.

From Woods to Plastics: A Spectrum of Materials

India, the land of diversity, doesn’t limit its craft of Chess sets to wood. Plastic chess sets, wooden chess sets, and other handmade chess sets made with the same precision have gained immense popularity for their durability and quality. 

But there’s even more that makes the professional chess sets made in Amritsar more special.

Adherence to Official Chess Guidelines 

Did you know India is one of the biggest exporters of FIDE-approved Chess sets to various countries? 

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) approval isn’t just a stamp; it’s a testament to the quality and standards maintained by Indian manufacturers. It’s a mark that signifies these professional tournament chess boards and pieces meet the stringent criteria set for professional and tournament play.

So it’s clear: if you want to enhance your experience playing Chess, buy Chess sets crafted in Amritsar that strictly follow the guidelines of chess authorities like FIDE

Doesn’t it make obvious sense that professional chess sets designed with so much precision are going to make Indian chess boards and pieces a popular choice all over the world? 

And that’s why India has become a global exporter of professional tournament chess sets. Plus, there are more reasons, as mentioned in the following section.  

India’s Export Dominance in Professional Chess Sets

When you consider purchasing a tournament or professional Chess set abroad, India’s name shines bright. The craftsmanship, precision, and variety make chess sets from India a preferred choice across the globe. The intricate detailing, whether in wood or plastic, captivates enthusiasts and professionals alike, plus adherence to the standards laid down by the official chess authorities, which makes Indian tournament chess sets gain better recognition globally. 

Indian chess sets have had a major impact on the global market, playing a significant role in shaping the history and evolution of the game. 

Traditional Indian chess sets are handcrafted by skilled artisans using locally sourced wood, ivory, plastic, or marble materials. These sets feature intricate carvings and details that showcase the true essence of the game.

The popularity of Indian Chess sets in international markets can also be attributed to their affordability compared to other luxury board games. While some high-end tournament chess sets or pieces may use high-quality materials, many affordable options are available for casual players or collectors. This accessibility has made Indian Chess sets a popular choice among enthusiasts from all over the world.

Tournament Chess Sets from India – Information Worth Mentioning 

Whether it’s the classic wooden tournament chess sets or the sleek, modern plastic chess sets, India caters to the discerning tastes of players worldwide. The blend of tradition and innovation has made these sets functional and pieces of beauty admired in tournaments and championships.

So, where can I buy professional chess sets in India?

If you are passionate about playing Chess and looking to buy professional or tournament chess set, there is only one place to buy from –

Chessbazaar: Exquisite Chess Sets at the best prices.

Chessbazaar stands tall as a premier chess store, catering to the needs of chess aficionados globally for over a decade. Since its inception in 2007, this store has been a haven for thousands of enthusiasts, fulfilling their dreams with an extensive range of top-notch chess sets.

The search for a perfectly designed professional chess set ends here. Whether you want modern design plastic chess sets, high-quality wooden chess sets, or tournament chess sets, you’ll find everything at at the best possible prices. 

The top three most selling Chess sets on Chessbazaar – 

Plastic Chess Sets

At Chessbazaar, the plastic chess sets are more than just pieces; they are handcrafted marvels available in various price ranges, styles, sizes, and patterns. Each set boasts meticulous craftsmanship, ensuring durability and aesthetic appeal.

The variety of collections that you can explore is astounding. There’s something for every taste, from classic Staunton designs to themed sets featuring historical figures and cultural motifs. The affordability factor and the quality craftsmanship make these plastic Chess sets a popular choice among enthusiasts.

Who should buy plastic chess sets – 

  • Casual players
  • Outdoor enthusiasts
  • Frequent Travellers

Tournament Chess SetsTournament Chess Set Combo by Chessbazaar

For those deeply engrossed in the competitive chess arena, Chessbazaar offers tournament chess sets that are purpose-built for competitive play. These sets not only adhere to tournament standards but also come at an affordable price point, catering perfectly to the needs of aspiring players.

If you browse the collection, it’s evident that these tournament chess sets prioritize functionality without compromising quality. The tournament chess sets vary in styles and designs, catering to different preferences while ensuring they meet the stringent requirements for competitive play.

Who should buy a tournament chess set – 

  • Advanced players
  • Tournament participants
  • Chess Clubs

Wooden Chess Sets

Wooden Chess Set by Chessbazaar

While plastic chess sets are in high demand, Chessbazaar’s exquisite range of wooden chess sets is worth noting. From intricately carved pieces to luxurious chess boards, these sets exude sophistication and craftsmanship. 

The variety of woods used and the attention to detail make them a collector’s delight.

Who should buy wooden chess sets – 

  • Chess players of skill levels
  • Passionate chess collectors
  • Those looking for home decor
  • Gift seekers

Chessbazaar – A Dedicated Haven for Chess Lovers

Chessbazaar’s dedicated website for Indian chess enthusiasts is a testament to its commitment to accommodating the diverse needs of the Indian market. Whether it’s the affordability and durability of plastic sets, the competitive edge of tournament sets, or the timeless elegance of wooden sets, Chessbazaar caters to the discerning tastes of Indian chess enthusiasts.

With an extensive array of chess pieces, boards, and accessories, including storage boxes and books, Chessbazaar is more than a store; it’s a treasure trove for those passionate about the game.

As you ponder buying that chess set of your choice, consider it fair to consider visiting Chessbazaar. It is full of beautifully designed world-class plastic chess sets, tournament chess sets, and a wide range of other varieties. 

You come with a genuine budget, and you’ll find something that suits your choice and solves your purpose of buying a chess set.

Visit today, where every chess set reflects an ode to history, culture, and the unyielding passion for Chess.