Sunday, October 09, 2005

Chess Trivia

Here are a couple of tidbits to ponder. Did you know that:
  • Ashtapada is a 64-square uncheckered gaming board used in India as early as the 2nd century B.C. and borrowed for chess.
  • In India, chessplayers in the 10th century wagered their fingers in a game of chess. The loser had to cut off his finger with a dagger and plunge his hand in a boiling ointment that cauterized the wound. The 1982 Ladies Championship of India, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place were all won by three sisters, the Khadilkars from Pune (where I live !).
  • Alladin was the strongest chessplayer at the end of the 14th century. He was also known as Ali Shatrangi (Ali the Chessplayer). He could successfully give odds to all other leading players. He was Chinese and a lawyer.
  • Bobby Fischer, Barbra Streissand, and Grandmaster/murderer Raymond Weinstein all went to Eramus High School together?
  • Humphrey Bogart hustled strangers at 5-minute chess for 50 cents a game at chess parlors in New York Times Square?
You can read this and a lot more, from the free eBook "Off the Wall Chess Trivia" by Bill Wall. This is available from Chess Central.
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