Do you like to play chess? There is no game so fascinating and intriguing as chess. In chess, the ultimate goal is to capture your opponent’s king while keeping your own safely guarded. So, what happens when you do that? You win and you shout out checkmate!
Checkmate is one of the final moves in chess. In this, a player’s king is directly attacked by the opponent and the king has no legal moves to avoid the threat. The attacking player thus wins the game.
Let’s find out the history of the word ‘checkmate‘.
- Chess is believed to have originated in India about 1500 years ago. However, at that time, the rules indicated that the king could be captured
- The idea of ‘checking’ or restricting the king came after the game had spread to Persia (ancient Iran). Since then, this has become the accepted rule
- The word ‘checkmate’ is believed to have come from the Persian phrase shāh māt which means ‘the King is helpless’
- The phrase reflects the original intention of the game, which is not to kill a king but to leave him with no choice but to surrender
Today, the term ‘checkmate’ is also used when someone has scored a strong and strategic victory (in anything).