Sunday, December 2, 2012

Origin of the expression checkmate


I have just read (thanks Wikipedia) that the term checkmate derives from the Persian phrase "Shāh Māt" which means,  "the King is helpless" (or "ambushed", "defeated", or "stumped", but not "dead").
Interestingly, according to a common misconception, checkmate means "the King is dead", as chess
reached Europe via the Islamic world, and Arabic māta مَاتَ means "died" or "is dead".
For the record, 
However, it is also interesting to notice that in Pashto, an Iranic language the word "mát مات" still exists meaning "destroyed, broken".

Bye the way, chess is a very old game. It is believed to have invented in northwest India during the Gupta empire in its early form in the 6th century and it was known as chaturanga that means four divisions [of the military].

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