International Chess Day - July 20
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


International Chess Day on July 20th honors the founding of the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDES)in 1924. The FIDES became the governing body of the game of chess, an ancient game played around the world.

Chess developed in India during the fifth century. As the strategic game spread across continents, the pieces and rules evolved. It also shifted between classes. Once, only the upper class could afford to linger over a long, challenging game. However, the merchant class would later introduce the game to the rest of the population as they traveled around the world trading their wares.

In the game of chess, two opponents go head to head with 16 playing pieces each. These pieces include eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one queen and one king in each color. Their objective is to capture the opponent’s king through a series of strategic moves.

The day celebrates the long history of chess and recognizes the role chess plays in connecting people across societies. The game has broken many barriers – class, language, and cultural – simply by two people sitting down to play one of the most mentally challenging games in the world.

Chess Facts
  • It’s a mental game. However, the game can end as quickly as two moves.
  • The longest possible chess game in terms of the number of moves is 5,949.
  • Checkmate derives from the Persian phrase Shah Mat. The phrase means “the King is dead.”
  • In 1989, a chess match between Ivan Nikolic and Goran Arsovic in Belgrade ended in a draw. It was recorded as the longest official check game and lasted 269 moves.
  • The playing board used today with the alternating light and dark squares first appeared in Europe in 1090.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalChessDay

Invite someone to a game of chess. Offer to teach someone how to play chess or ask someone to show you. Brush up on your skills and join a competition.  Visit the World Chess Federation website. Use #InternationalChessDay to share on social media.


UNESCO first proposed the observance in 1966 for chess lovers of all kinds, and the world has celebrated the day since then.


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