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A Story on how Chess was Invented

Once upon a time, in a land buzzing with busy bees and rivers full of sparkling jewels, lived a wise and clever minister named Vikram. He wasn’t just any minister; he loved solving puzzles and using his knowledge to make the kingdom a better place.

One sunny day, while Vikram was organizing scrolls in the royal library, a grumpy Raja (king) stomped past. “Why the long face, Your Majesty?” asked Vikram, concerned.

The Raja sighed. “I’m bored! All day long, people come to me with problems, but there’s no fun in ruling anymore.”

Vikram stroked his chin, his eyes twinkling with an idea. “Maybe what you need, Your Majesty, is a game! A game so challenging it will test your wit and make you forget your boredom!”

Intrigued, the Raja agreed. Vikram disappeared for a while, then returned with a beautiful, checkered cloth. On it, he carefully placed eight squares across and eight squares down, making a giant checkerboard!

“This,” Vikram explained, “is a battlefield for the mind! You see, these squares represent a kingdom, and we’ll have brave warriors to fight for it!”

He pulled out a pouch filled with interesting wooden shapes – a tall one with a crown for the King, a smaller one with a flag for the advisor, a horsey one for the knights, and round ones for the soldiers. The Raja’s frown turned upside down!

Vikram explained the game, how each piece moved differently, and how you had to outsmart your opponent to capture their pieces and win the battle. The Raja was hooked! He played all afternoon, strategizing and laughing.

By sunset, the Raja was exhilarated. “This is the most wonderful game ever invented, Vikram! But how can I ever repay you for such a gift?”

Vikram, with a thoughtful smile, said, “Your Majesty, for this game, I have a very unusual request. I want one grain of rice for the first square on the board, two grains for the second square, four for the third, and so on, doubling the number of grains with each square.”

The Raja chuckled. “A few grains of rice? That’s a small price to pay for such a fantastic game. Agreed!”

The next day, the Raja ordered the rice to be brought. But to his surprise, there wasn’t even enough rice in the entire palace for the first 25 squares! By the 30th square, the storerooms were empty!

Confused, the Raja called for Vikram. “Wise Vikram,” he said, “This doesn’t seem right. How can a few squares need so much rice?”

Vikram smiled. “Your Majesty, the magic of numbers can be quite surprising! The small number of grains in the beginning quickly grows into a mountain at the end. You see, the cleverness of the request lies not in the first few squares, but in the power of doubling!”

The exact  number of grains that that is required to fulfill the needs of minister is

9,223,372,036,854,775,808 on the 64th square and
18,446,744,073,709,551,615 total for the whole board 

The Raja realized his mistake. He may not have had enough rice, but he had something even more valuable – a game that would bring joy to his kingdom for years to come.

And so, chess, born from a minister’s love of puzzles and a king’s desire for fun, became a game loved by everyone, young and old, reminding them of the magic hidden within simple things!


The story may not be true but sure is an interesting one.

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