There are more possible games of chess than atoms in the observable universe
This is because the number of atoms is estimated to be about 10^79, while the number of unique chess games is 10^120. Here are some interesting facts for our chess fans:
- The word "Checkmate" in Chess comes from the Arabic language. The original form is "Shah Mat," which means "the King is dead."
- From the starting position, there are eight different ways to Mate in two moves and 355 different ways to Mate in three moves.
- The folding Chess board was invented by a priest in 1125. It was intended to make the board look like two books laying together when it was folded, thus concealing the board. This was done because the church forbid priests to play chess.
- Rookies or, players in their first year, are named after the Rook in Chess. Rooks generally are the last pieces to be moved into action, and the same goes for Rookies.
- There is a form of chess that is played while blindfolded. Many good chess players can do this, but it gets tricky after many moves since you need to see the board clearly. The record was set in 1960 in Budapest by Hungarian Janos Flesch, who played 52 opponents simultaneously while blindfolded – he won 31 of those games.