I love playing chess. It is one of my favorite games and my grandfather taught me how to play when I was seven years old. Chess originated 1,500 years ago in India before the 6th century AD. The game quickly spread to Persia and when the Arabs conquered Persia, chess spread to the Muslim world and then on to Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved to the game we have now during the 15th century. Modern chess tournaments began in the second half of the 19th century, and the first world Chess Championship was held in 1886.
The Persian story of how the game came to be is very interesting. Two half-brothers, Talhand and Gav, met in battle. Talhand was, unfortunately, killed and Gav's mother is extremely upset, believing that Gav or one of his men killed Talhand. Gav attempts to tell her that this is not the case but she does not see how this is possible so the sages of the court invent the game of chess to explain to the mother how Talhand died of fatigue when he was surrounded by his enemies. The poem entitled "Shah mat" (check mate) describes the fate of Talhand.