A chessboard in initial configuration




  • From Middle English ches, chesse, from Old French eschés, plural of eschec, from Medieval Latin scaccus, from Arabic شَاه ("king [in chess]"), from Persian شاه ("shah, king"), from Middle Persian 𐭬𐭫𐭪𐭠, from Old Persian 𐏋.
  • Compare German Schach and Italian scacchi. Compare French échecs ("chess") and its descendants: Catalan escacs and Dutch schaak. More at check and shah.
  • Origin uncertain; perhaps linked to Etymology 1, above, from the sense of being arranged in rows or lines.
  • Compare French châssis ("a framework of carpentry").

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