History of Materials used for making Chess Pieces

In the early fifteenth century, boxwood was used as most common substance for making chess pieces. Boxwood is fine close-grained yellow wood obtained from shrub common to Europe and Asia. But in the early eighteenth century, ebony wood was used extensively for making chess sets.

This hard black wood came from trees which grow in areas like Mauritius, Ceylon, America and India.  The hard and black inner part is used which can be turned or carved to any shape and design. Boxwood and ebony were used together as different sides in the same set.

But in the eastern side of the world, soft wood like sandalwood were used which can be turned or carved into complex shapes. It is light brown in color and never been polished. Bamboo was also been made into used but it was hard for craftsmen to carved it into different shapes.

But in Europe, ivory was preferred for making of European chessmen. African ivory taken from the African elephant was used. At that time all the European chess pieces were made of African ivory while Eastern sets are of Indian.

Quartz is a mineral used for making Hard Chess Sets. It is found in many parts of the world. Jade and jadeite are minerals found in China, New Zealand and America and were used for making delightful hard Chess Pieces.  It is hard and durable and not easily scratched.


Chess Theory

Unlike other Games, Chess game doesn’t have a chance. It simply depends on the decision of players, whether it may be right or wrong. One player plays with light colored pieces while his opponent plays with dark pieces. Advantage in Chess simply depends upon the opponents mistakes. The game of Chess is divided in three phases – Opening, Middle game and Endgame. “Opening theory” commonly refers to consensus, broadly represented by current literature on the openings. “Middle game theory” often refers to rules or principles applicable to the middle game. . “Endgame theory” consists of statements regarding specific positions, or positions of a similar type, though there are few universally applicable principles.

Opening Game

The opening of Chess is like battle between two equally matched opponents. This is perfect time to make use of time and gain advantage.  Opening stage is shown in the figure. All the pieces are well set in their initial positions. Game is started with the White’s move. It is better to move middle pawn because the results of millions of chess games in past have given these moves a better reputation than the alternatives. Now it’s the time for black pieces to respond the white’s move with a better one. With every game we may came to know about a new move.






Middle game

This is the stage between the Opening game and end game. There is no proper partitioning between opening game & middle game and middle game & end game. There are differing opinions and criteria for when the middle game ends and the endgame starts. Chances of Development are less in the Middle game. The features that matter in the middle game are- Kings are castled on the opposite faces and queens are on the boards. The static use of the Pawns in the middle game. And, if one player has an overwhelming material advantage and is clearly winning, the stronger player can usually afford to violate several of the normal middle game principles in order to trade down to an endgame.







End Game

This is the stage where few pieces are left on the board which decides the winner. The divider between the middle game and end game is not always transparent. It may either get quick or sometimes become too late. End stage is very different from opening stage and middle stage. As many times weak opponent becomes strong in end stage and player in commanding position becomes weak. There are more chances to advance the pawns to the 8th row to gain advantage. King has lots of importance in the end game as it may come in the centre of the board. End game is also very time consuming since it requires lots of thinking that how to demolish opponents KING and other remaining pieces.


Good at Chess? A hedge fund may want to hire you

Weinstein, now a star hedge fund manager, was trying to get a summer job at Goldman Sachs in 1991, when he was just 18. After being told there was nothing available, he stopped in a bathroom on the way out and ran into David F. Delucia, then the head of corporate bond trading.

Delucia, who is ranked as an expert by the U.S. Chess Federation, had played Weinstein, ranked as a master by the federation, many times. He arranged for a series of interviews until Weinstein got an internship on a Goldman trading desk.

Weinstein is not alone among Wall Streeters who have a chess connection. Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, who now runs the hedge fund Clarium Capital, is also a chess master, and Douglas Hirsch, the founder of Seneca Capital, while not an expert, has become an ardent chess enthusiast.

Chess helps in trading, Weinstein said. To become a good chess player, he learned to focus on how he made decisions because he could not calculate the results of all his possible moves. Learning to deal with that uncertainty or risk has been useful. When you make an investment, “you can have an 80 percent chance of being right. And then the 20 percent comes up,” he said. “But really it is the process that you used to make the decision.”

Other games of strategy are prominent in finance. Warren E. Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, is an accomplished bridge player; and David Einhorn, president of Green light Capital, who bet against Lehman Brothers in 2008, finished 18th in the main event of the 2006 World Series of Poker.

But being skilled at games is no guarantee of success. James E. Cayne, the former chief executive of Bear Stearns, which collapsed in March 2008, is a world-class bridge player, who has won many international bridge tournaments.

Still, the idea that gaming skills may be adaptable to investing spurred a hiring program in the early 1990s at Bankers Trust. At the time, the bank had a successful trader named Norman Weinstein (no relation to Boaz Weinstein), who had earned the title of international master from the World Chess Federation. In an effort to replicate his success, the bank hired a small group of people who had little or no trading experience, but were world-class chess and bridge players.

David Norwood, a World Chess Federation grandmaster (the highest ranking a player can obtain), was one of the recruits. “I was studying history at Oxford,” Norwood said. “Right out of the blue, I got contacted by Bankers Trust who said, ‘You would really make a good trader.’ I had no idea what trading was.”

Norwood took the job and was soon put on a trading desk, but it was too sudden. “It was like being stuffed into a world-class chess match without knowing the moves,” Norwood said. He quit after only a few months.

Despite the setback, Norwood said the experience “kind of planted a seed in me.” After a year, he found a job at Duncan Lawrie, a British private bank, and began learning trading and investing. In 2008, at the age of 40, he retired a multimillionaire.

Norwood said that he definitely believed that his skills in chess helped make him a success in business. “So many people in the investment world have bull-market mentalities. They do well when things are going well,” Norwood said. In chess, he said, you are constantly facing setbacks, and the people who become great players learn to overcome them.

Other companies have followed the Bankers Trust example. The website of the hedge fund manager D.E. Shaw Group lists among its employees a life master at bridge, a past “Jeopardy!” champion and Anna Hahn, the 2003 U.S. women’s chess champion.

How to Set Up a Chess Board

The first and foremost rule in start of game of chess is placement of the chess board. Always remember – light on right. Meaning the light colored square is always on the right hand side of the player.

Now comes the placement of the Rooks/Castles. These are placed on the four squares on the outer squares of the board. For example in the picture above, light rook will be placed in Rank 1 and the dark rook will be placed in Rank 8.

Next to Rooks is the place of Knights.

Next to knights is Bishops.

Next to Bishops comes the Queen, second most important piece in a chess set after the king. But always remember that the queen always sits in the color of its square. So the white/light colored square will have queen.

The king comes next to the queen. The front row of all these pieces is filled by the pawns.

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