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Please purchase a membership to be contacted about real life events.(online events will remain open to anyone who is interested) Remember to bring a friend along!

Online events and Discord facilities are free of charge and open to anyone even if you are not a member.


- Bring together students at the University of Essex who share a passion for the game of chess from all levels of skill

- Build a competitive environment of the finest players who wish to represent the University of Essex

- Expand relations with other student institutions and universities in the name of chess


- Weekly gatherings where students can compete against each other in a friendly manner, hang out or otherwise meet like-minded individuals

- A ranked system for more competitive players comprising of a Winter Semester League and Spring Semester League(tbd)

- Cross-university tournaments and events with a student led chess initiative(tbd)

Discord Server: (this is our permanent invite link please share this link if you wish to invite anyone else)

The History Of Chess:

The game of Chess as we all know it is one that has witnessed numerous evolutions in its long history. Its origins have been hugely debated by historians, however, many believe that its earliest predecessors dates back to the early 6th Century - about 1500 years ago, in the Indian Gupta Empire where it was known as Chaturanga (meaning 'army comprising of four divisions'), which were the infantry, cavalry, elephantry and chariotry all of which have evolved into the modern-day Pawn, Knight,  Bishop and Rook respectively. The Queen was then called the Counsellor. A minority of historians still argue that the game originated in China.

From India, the game spread to Persia. In Persia, the rules were refined, and players started calling Shah! (meaning 'King' in Persian) when threatening the opponent's king (as in modern day 'check'), and Shah mat! (Persian for 'the king is helpless') when the king was trapped (as in modern day 'checkmate'). These phrases persisted in chess as it journeyed to other lands. In fact, the game became associated with the education of Persian nobility! On conquering Persia, the Arabs took over the game and so it became associated with the Islamic world. Most of the pieces kept their Persian names. The ancient words for chess in both Arabic and Old Persian are Shatranj and Chatrang respectively — words derived from Chaturanga. Chess was subsequently spread to Southern Europe through the Moorish conquest of Spain.

From its arrival in Europe, the game has since seen many changes in the design, names and relative values of the pieces, its rules (making it more fast-paced and thrilling such as with the introduction of the initial pawn double-step move in the 15th Century and openings dominated by gambit and the introduction of the chess clock), popularity (with an International Chess body - FIDE, established in Paris in the summer of 1924). The game was developed extensively in Europe and it had survived a number of prohibitions form the Christan church to become the game we know it as today!


  • 600AD: First clear reference to chess, in a Persian manuscript.
  • ~700AD: Date of first undoubted chess pieces.
  • 800AD: Moors of North Africa bring chess to Spain and Sicily
  • 900AD: Early Muslim chess masters, as-Suli and al-Lajlaj write works on the technique of chess.
  • 1000AD: Chess widespread in Europe, including Russia.
  • 1300AD: First European comments on chess in sermons and stories.
  • 1475–1500AD: Birth of the modern game: especially, new moves for queen and bishop.
  • 1495: First printed chess book.
  • 1497: First printed chess book to survive to the present day.
  • 1600: First professional player-writers.
  • 1780s: First master games to be recorded as they were played.
  • 1836: First chess magazine.
  • 1849: First national chess tournament.
  • 1851: First international chess tournament.
  • 1866: First match to be timed by clock.
  • 1883: First tournament to use specially designed chess clocks.
  • 1886: First acknowledged world championship match.







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