Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 square grid. Each player begins with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each piece type moves differently. The objective is to checkmate the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture.
Played by millions of people worldwide, chess is believed to have originated in northwest India, where its early form in the 6th century was known as chaturaṅga, literally four divisions (of the military) – infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. Thence it spread eastward and westward along the Silk Road.
Chess reached Europe via Persia and Arabia by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The queen and bishop assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century, and the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.