By
Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:20 PM on 29th December 2010

It was a gathering of thousands of kings, queens and bishops… not to mention rooks, knights and pawns.

In an event fit for royalty, 20,480 people descended on cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, India, to break the world record for simultaneous chess games.

The fest of chess  – a game thought to have originated in India – surpassed the previous record set four years ago, when a mere 13,446 showed up in Mexico City.

Check mate, but it's a world record: 20,480 platers gather to play chess in Ahmedabad, India

Check mate, but it’s a world record: 20,480 platers gather to play chess in Ahmedabad, India

Feat: The giant chessboard effect at the GMDC ground was made using 64 blocks of different coloured tables

Feat: The giant chessboard effect at the GMDC ground was made using 64 blocks of different coloured tables

Participants in were put into 64 blocks of tables, forming a massive black-and-white chess board which could be seen high above the GMDC ground.

Among the throng was grand master and current world champion Viswanathan Anand, who delighted fellow Indians at the gathering in the northern city.

‘It is no doubt one of the best days of my life,’ he told the Hindustan Times.

‘I’ve never seen a chess event of this scale. I am sure we will produce many more world masters now.’

The special representative from the Guinness Book of World Records, Tarika Vara, said at the conclusion that it was indeed a record.

Chess fest: Players in one iof the white table areas help smash a record held for four years

Chess fest: Players in one iof the white table areas help smash a record held for four years

Hot game: Players braved temperatures of up to 30c to take part in the historic challenge

Hot game: Players braved temperatures of up to 30c to take part in the historic challenge

‘I am truly amazed with the talent
and turnout here. It is a great pleasure to announce that 20,480 played
chess at this place simultaneously, and have created a new world
record,’ she announced.

Mr Anand later played simultaneous
chess against 64 players, including Bollywood film star Paresh Rawal,
during the Christmas Eve event.

It is fitting that the record should be broken in India.

The game, which has seen a popular resurgence among Indians in recent decades, is thought to have originated in the country in the 6th century.

The game’s present form emerged in
Europe during the second half of the 15th century, an evolution of an
older Indian game, caturanga.

Its pieces represented the four divisions of the Gupta empire’s military – infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariotry.

Royal occasion: The giant GMCD cricket ground was filled with king and queen chess pieces

Royal occasion: The giant GMCD cricket ground was filled with king and queen chess pieces

Star power: Among the competitors was world champion Vishwanathan Anand from India

Frenzy: Narendra Modi, Gujarat state Chief Minister, signs autographs for Chess fans

Star power: Among the competitors was current world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, seen at the microphone. Eager chess fans also mobbed Narendra Modi, Gujarat state’s chief minister for autographs

These pieces later evolved into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively.

A chess-like game was also played in 7th century Perisa, where it came to be known under the name chatrang.

Chatrang was taken up by the Muslim
world after the Islamic Conquest of Persia (633–644), where it was then
named shatranj, from the Persian word for king, shah

Muslim traders from North Africa are then said to have taken the game to Europe in the 10th century.

In Spanish ‘shatranj’ was rendered as
ajedrez (from the Arabic’al-shatranj’), while the English term chess is
said to be derived from the shah.

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Don’t they need an opponent for it to count?

Or did they just realise that would only be 10,240 games and not enough? This is just a record for the most individuals sitting at a table with a chess board on it.

Having some guy in the middle acting as Master Opponent to 20’odd guys is hardly in the spirit of the thing is it.

Just had to comment on the fool who said “Its about time western countries sanctioned India and China to force them to spend more on their less fortunate countrymen”

Are you genuinely mad, because I don’t see how else can someone be sooo oblivious to PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE.

I am not even going to start dwelling in to the number of things that are wrong in your comment. Its just sad that opinions such as yours exist

WHAT SAD PEOPLE!!

Didn’t they have anything better to do??

– Anisa, Mars,

Is YOUR life really that sad? Or are you just the most envy producing creature around, filled with hatred when somenone enjoys life even in a most humble way?

Perhaps I am “NIIT”-picking, but my definition of “simultaneous” seems to differ from that of the organizers’. Most of these players appear to be waiting around for some Indian fellow to get back to them — you know, kind of like when you call tech support…

WHAT SAD PEOPLE!!

Didn’t they have anything better to do??

DM wrote:

“The fest of chess – a game thought to have originated in India”

The basic concept for chess originated in India or China (debatable) but was further developed by Persians, Arabs and Europeans.

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