Chess Psychology

20+ Amazing Chess Facts You Must Know as a Chess Player

Are you writing a chess post or are you interested in impressing friends with chess facts?

You’ve found the right spot! I’ve compiled the most interesting chess facts below:

Chess Facts

When was the first recorded game played?
The first recorded game between Francesc de Castellví and Narcís Vinyoles, featuring the Scandinavian Defense, was played in 1475 in Valencia, Italy. It’s documented in a love poem called “Scachs d’Amor“.

Who was the youngest chess champion in history?
The youngest world chess champion was Garry Kasparov, who, when he became champion in 1985, was 22 years old.

What’s the fastest way to win a chess game?
For black, the easiest way to checkmate an enemy is in two moves: 1. f4 e6 2. g4 Qh4#.

What’s the number of possible moves in chess?
The number of possible chess motions in the world is greater than the number of atoms (which is 1080).

How many people are familiar with how to play chess?
600,000,000 persons worldwide know how to play chess.

chess statistics players

What’s the longest game of chess possible?
5,949 moves long is the longest chess game that is technically possible.

How many potential ways to launch a chess game are there?
In a game of chess, there are 318,979,564,000 ways to begin the first four movements.

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When was the title for the world chess champion introduced?
There was no official title for world chess champion until 1886.

How long did the longest tournament game in history last?
For 20 hours and 15 minutes, the longest tournament match in chess history lasted a long time given that the game ended in a tie!

When was the special move “en passant” introduced to the game of chess?
The motion “en passant” was added to the chess game in 1280 as a norm.

What was the record for the longest number of moves without capture in a tournament game?
In the game Thorton vs. Walkerer, the record for the number of movements without any capture is 100 moves (1992).

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A chess book was the 2nd book ever in the English language. It was dubbed ‘The Game of Chess.’

An typical chess game has a length of 38 moves.

History’s longest chess game was 269 moves long.

More than 250 grandmasters have Russian citizenship.

The chess game had several variations. In India, the original variant of chess was invented and named “Chaturanga”. The variant we’re playing today was invented around 1090 in Europe.

A lot of German vocabulary like “Zugzwang” or “Zeitnot” are used in Chess jargon, precisely because there is no adequate translation for such phrases in English.

In 1779, a man invented a machine and believed that it could compete against a human, before Turing invented the first chess device. It was famously referred to as “The Turk” and simply played on the strength of a human player. It was discovered in 1857 that the Turk was a scam that succeeded because a human was put inside the mechanism.

There were rules that permitted a player to win without a checkmate, since the chess game went through so many iterations. Before 1600, there was a rule that when all the opponent’s pieces were caught, a player must win, except for the king, of course. It was not considered honorable, however, to win like this. This prompted the rule’s abandonment. This is lucky, because it would have obscured from us the elegance of certain endgames!

The title of world chess champion was worn by Emanuel Lasker for the longest time in history. For 26 years and 337 days, he was the chess king.

Grandmaster Bernstein played a game with the highest stake possible – his life. He was sentenced to death in 1918 in Russia, but before he was wounded, an officer challenged him to a match. The game was won by Bernstein and was released.

Alan Turing invented the first working chess machine in 1951.

Chess facts help me to remember why I am playing and encourage me to understand the tradition left behind by the great players and researchers of this game. It’s relaxing for me to not ever have to worry about my ELO ranking while we’re talking about chess percentages.

You may also like our collection of chess quotes if you’re interested in this chess facts post.