Factfile: Chess for fun
Matthew still has more than a decade in which he can beat Gary Kasparov’s record of being the youngest World Chess Champion, which he set in 1985 at the tender age of 22 years and 210 days old.
The game of chess has its origins in second century China but it took another 800 years for the game to arrive in Europe.
The word checkmate comes from Persian phrase “shah mat,” which means “the king is defeated.”
The longest known game was between Predrag Nikolic and Goran Arsovic. Despite playing for 20 hours the match ended in a 269-move draw.
In 1960, George Koltanowski played 56 chess games blindfolded (with only 10 seconds a move) ... and won 50 and drew six!
After the games were over, he could recite the complete moves from memory.
The quickest possible checkmate is called the Fool’s mate or the two-move checkmate. It never happens in a real chess game, except with a really weak opponent (i.e. when playing a fool).