A brief history of chess – Alex Gendler

Trace the storied history of the game of chess, from its origins in 7th century India to the computer software we use today.

The attacking infantry advances, their elephants already having broken the defensive line. The king tries to retreat, but the enemy flanks him from the rear. Escape is impossible. This isn’t a real war— nor is it just a game. Over the 1,500 years of its existence, chess has been known as a military strategy tool, a metaphor for human affairs and a measure of genius. Alex Gendler shares its history.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, directed by Remus & Kiki.

Sign up for our newsletter:
Support us on Patreon:
Follow us on Facebook:
Find us on Twitter:
Peep us on Instagram:
View full lesson:

Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! zjweele13, Anna-Pitschna Kunz, Edla Paniguel, Elena Crescia, Thomas Mungavan, Alejandro Cachoua, Jaron Blackburn, Yoga Trapeze Wanderlust, Sandy Nasser, Venkat Venkatakrishnan, Nicolle Fieldsend-Roxborough, John Saveland, Jason Garcia, Robson Martinho, Martin Lau, Senjo Limbu, Joe Huang, SungGyeong Bae, Christian Kurch, Begum Tutuncu, David Matthew Ezroj, Sweetmilkcoco, Raphaël LAURENT, Joe Meyers, Farah Abdelwahab, Brian Richards, Divina Grace Dar Santos, Jessie McGuire, Abdullah Altuwaijri, Sarah Burns, Clement, Hadi Salahshour, FAWWAZ GHUWAIDI, Dino Biancolini, Reagen O’Connor, Nicu Boanda, Cindy O., Karla Brilman, Jørgen Østerpart, Sergi Páez, rakesh Katragadda, Carolyn Corwin, Charlene You, Boris Langvand, Exal Enrique Cisneros Tuch, Carsten Tobehn, Kin Lon Ma, Katie Dean, Ezgi Yersu and Eunsun Kim.


  1. While all the predecessors are worth mentioning, it sounds like the game we all play today was created in 15th century Europe. These other games with more or less squares and different pieces with different powers are not the same game. I have been trying to get a straight answer on when chess was invented.

  2. good video i teached sinething new

  3. Absolutely gorgeous animation. Reminds me of the Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes, but smoother and more clever with transitions.


  5. the board somalis play is called shah aswell lol

  6. There’s a slight error in this video. The game Go isn’t China’s version of chess. They have a separate game called Chinese chess. The drawing you guys had was of Chinese chess but the narrator said it was Go. Go actually predates chess by thousands of years.

  7. No matter how much people troll India on internet, we gotta admit it contributed so much to the world of intellectual minds.

  8. so chess invented in India. 😯😯

    they are genius 😍😍😍😍

  9. Fun fact: in arabic chess is actually called chatarung

  10. Why does this video imply that Gary Kasparov was with the Soviet Union, cool narrative in all but so wrong and a disservice to the work he did and currently does.

  11. As a Chinese I want to clarify something here: the variant of chess in China is Xiangqi and not Weiqi. Weiqi is a very different kind of game which arouse in the Chou Dynasty (before 220 BCE). Rules for Weiqi is simpler than Chess but the simplicity makes it easy to learn but hard to master. Xiangqi’s rules are much more similar to Chess’, although there are debates whether Xiangqi actually got its inspiration from Chess.

  12. not confused that japanese chess uses the enemies pieces when captured
    they have a nice history of that

  13. श्री गणेशाय नमः
    पौन्स, Queen, Elephant, HoRse, उंट Are For To DyE Onaly……Not a To Abe Surrvive And To BEcOme King…..LEAsOn OF CHEss

  14. We have come to believe that chess is a white man's sport when they didn't make it in the first place… Shucks

  15. serbian langage and sanscrit are basicly almost the same language, me as saerb can read 80% of sanscrit and more then half of the words are the same till this day! we still say Sah and SahMat, so if anyone love history and language look at that 😀

  16. AI: Checkmate!

    Chess player: Hmmm…. How about I unplug you

    AI: OK I changed my mind

  17. The reason why AI can never be beaten at chess is because it's not human. It sees the best possible move, even if it's a move a human would never play unless the human knows what they're doing.

    An example would be a move that loses the queen while down on so much material ends up making a checkmate several moves in the future.

  18. Chess has been known as a Tool of military strategy a metaphor for human affairs and a benchmark for genius
    *Insert Magnus Carlsen edit 💀"

  19. I never realized that chess, for basically its entire existence, was really a political weapon. I thought that was only true during the Cold War. This was really cool!

  20. Do you mean the minister was changed to a queen

  21. The advisor is not near close to the minister the minister is the the original old chess piece that was changed to a queen

  22. And if you Google who is the minister in chess it will tell you it's the queen get your logic together

  23. Anyone gonna talk about how the animation shows Chinese chess while talking about Go (圍棋)? And how the video implies that Go (圍棋_ was invented after Chess?

  24. In Serbia here is how we call chess pieces

    Kralj (king)
    Kraljica (Queen)
    Lovac (Knight)
    Laufer (Bishop)
    Piun (Pawn)
    Top (Rook)

  25. 3:18 even Indian princes were barred from playing too much under tutelage from their Acharyas in training academies/temples.

    One was more to be devoted to warcraft like archery and charioteering

  26. First of all he is not a Mangole leader. He is a Turkic leader and commander of central asian forces who once were called Temuriyds. Uzbeks are the descendants of that great empire. Temurlane conquered lands like Alexandr did.

  27. does the Tamerlane chess really have that many safe squares? all I can find online are just Tamerlane chess with 1 citadel tile for each side, not every first and last row white tiles as depicted in the video

  28. I really love the plot in the beginning

  29. Prince is died and the mother becomes angry more powerful queen😅😂😂😂

  30. Thanks for video but Tamerlane is not Mongolian. He is Turkish emperor just like Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Magnificiant Suleiman.

  31. Sadhurangam ❤சதுரங்கம் from Tamil language India 🇮🇳

  32. actually the word checkmate comes from the russian word shikmat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.