Why is Chess Referred to as the Game of Kings?

When it comes to the list of the most popular board games, the one name that stands at the very top is chess. It has been around for many centuries, and its popularity has only increased over time.

Chess is extremely popular around the globe for numerous reasons. For starters, it offers individuals an outlet where they can challenge their brains to develop quick strategies and tactics to overpower their opponents.

Secondly, according to Healthline, indulging in chess offers many benefits, such as developing planning skills, enhanced creativity, etc. Moreover, playing chess casually is a great way to unwind and relax after a tiring day or week. 

The craze of the ancient board game is no longer restricted to the orthodox offline version. Thanks to the advent of technology and digital media, individuals who like playing chess can opt to play exciting board games online by navigating to online platforms or downloading chess games.

It is an excellent way for individuals to play chess with family members or friends without the hassle. However, every player should be familiar with chess rules irrespective of whether they are playing the game in online or offline mode.

For instance, players should have an accurate idea about the number of players involved in the game, its fundamental objective, the arrangement of the chessboard, the total number of chess pieces and their function, etc. Doing so will ensure they do not face problems while playing chess against skilled opponents. 

The game of chess has an exciting history. Its origins can be traced back around 15 centuries. It is believed that the game was invested in the North of India, and gradually, it spread throughout the Asian continent.

Moreover, it also made its visa to Europe via the expanding Islamic Arabian empire. Over the years, the game of chess has been given many titles, but one that has stuck along is “The Game of Kings.”

This article will shed light on why chess is referred to as the Game of Kings by people all around the globe. Let us dive right into it:

1. Because of History

One of the main reasons why chess has been nicknamed “The Game of Kings” is because of history. The king piece on a chess board holds significant significance.

In a way, it is the center of the game’s objectives. The title conferred upon the game essentially addresses it as a game with kings that battle each other to emerge victorious. 

The naming system following which the title was given to the king closely resembles what all beginners do when they describe a game, i.e., they visualize the game’s objectives and determine how it is played.

Hence, since chess’s main objective is to “checkmate” the king, it would be safe to say that the game’s nickname has been derived from its objective. 

In India’s past era, chess was initially called the Game of Kings, primarily because the central authoritative figure was the Shah or the King. Moreover, the game finishes in Shahmat, which translates to “The King is Dead.”

Thanks to the immense love the game receives, people across the globe still call it the Game of Kings. The title conferred upon chess due to its nature is accurate. It is an honorary name that many chess enthusiasts around the globe accept.

2. Because of its Initial Audience

Another convincing reason chess is known as the Game of Kings is its popularity during the medieval ages. The nobility during those times loved to indulge in chess matches against each other.

Many believe the game was popularized not because of kings but because of nobles and other officials who idled their time away by indulging in chess games. 

In current times too, many royal individuals indulge in chess matches during events and gatherings, which further proves the point that chess was and is still actively played by individuals associated with royalty. 

3. Because of Symbolisms

Another potential reason why chess is referred to as the Game of Kings is because of symbolism. Two of the most prominent pieces on a chessboard are the king and queen.

The king piece represents the player, and since the player controls all the pieces, the player is indirectly deemed as the king. Two players compete against each other in a game of chess, so chess is popularly known as the Game of Kings. 

Both players in a chess match act as kings by using their pieces to engage in a battle against one another.

Thus, in a way, the players become temporary kings, and they exercise their authority as a leader by commanding chess pieces in a way that guarantees their victory. To conclude, this may be another reason chess has received a nickname synonymous with kings. 

Over the years, there have been many speculations about why chess’s nickname is “Game of Kings.”

Some believe that it is because of the game’s origins. Others believe that the game has been conferred the nickname due to the noble people who indulged in the game during the era of kings.

Moreover, it is also believed that the game has gotten the royal nickname due to symbolism. It would not be wrong to say that there is no single reason why the popular board game has such an exciting nickname, but many justify its title. 


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