The Game of Chess goes back centuries. The earliest predecessor of the game probably originated in India, before the 6th century AD; a minority of historians believe the game originated in China.
From India, the game spread to Persia, and when the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Southern Europe.
( In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century.
Now,I have always loved chess. My Dad and I played a lot when I was a child, and I still think it is a great “mind game” due to the way patterns are used and how the game forces you to “See ahead” and “to plan out strategies” using those patterns.
But when one looks at the game of chess, one can see that it is very analogous to war—one side attempts to conquer the other side by taking over their territory and by “taking the opponents pieces”. It is also one of the few games where even those who don’t know how to play the game are familiar with the pieces/characters of those pieces used IN the game.
But what do the pieces actually symbolize?
To my knowledge, no one has ever come out with exact definitions for the pieces,but based on their roles in the game and the names they are given, I think we can make some basic assumptions.
The main purpose of the game of chess is to capture the king, and thus “The King”=”The State”.
As stated, Chess is basically a game that is analogous with war, and the main purpose of war is to over throw the government of the country you’re at war with,correct?
This is why the King, while having very little power as a piece on the board is the most important piece, and it’s the only piece that can not be lost/sacrificed.
This is an easy one. The bishop is obviously analogous to the church and the power of the church. (The Bishop moves “Diagonally”) In chess, there are black squares and white squares, and ironically, the bishop can only move on one color —again, this is very symbolic of the “doctrinal aspect” of the Church itself
3)”THE ROOK/THE CASTLE”:
“The Rook”(Or “the castle”) is symbolic of the land owners,the power of the oligarchy.
In the old days they were called “Nobles” or “Landed Gentry”
(Today we call them “Tycoons” or “Oligarch’s”.)
The Rook moves in straight lines both horizontally and vertically and in Chess, the King is allowed to move in an unusual way with “The Castle” (Its called “Castling”) This move puts the Rook in a more protective position in regards to the King and “Protects the King”, which is analogous to what business interests/oligarchs do in regards to the King or “the State”.
The Queen IMO is symbolic of the military industrial complex in it’s entirety.
The reason is the Queen has the power/ability to move like a “The Castle” (Which symbolize the oligarchs/corporate power) AND like “a “Bishop”(which symbolizes the church)
Thus, the queen is the power of those combined forces and is the most powerful piece in the game.
The knight symbolizes the generals/the great warriors in that military—that’s why the knight is the only piece that can “Jump over other pieces”—it symbolizes an individual/and individuals can slip in to the enemy camp more easily than a group.
(In fact, you could modernize the analogy that “The Knight” is similar to a “spy” , or an Ambassador—or even a famous entertainer—-anyone who could easily “Infiltrate” into an enemies territory)
That leaves “The Pawns”:
Now many people see “the masses” as the pawns, but I see the “pawns” as “the ground troops”—the “grunts” of the military. This is why “the pawns always go first” in chess.
Also, pawns attack “On a diagonal”—that is, they attack and defend in the same direction as the Bishop(“The church”) moves.
To me is symbolic how effective the bishops are at defending/backing up their own pawns(They both attack/defend diagonally) but also how ineffective they can be against the pawns of the other side.
This is also symbolic of how much power the church has to galvanize /protect its own pawns, but how little effect it has on the enemy’s pawns(Who are protected by THEIR bishops/their “religion” and can easily marginalize/not be affected by the bishops/the religion of their opponent)
Obviously the pawns have a much more difficult time defending against “The Knight”(The charismatic warrior/ambassador etc) as The knight has the ability to jump OVER the pawns(And other pieces as well) and thus attack them from within.
As for the peasants/The people?
Well, as I see it, just like in the world we live in today,They have no representation in the game because they are not in play.
(Tho some would argue that since “The First Responders/Ground troops” are drawn “from the people” that we are represented in that way)
Still,I know for many that last declaration will seem a bit harsh. Many will counter my claim that “the people aren’t even represented” in chess by saying:
“Well, that might’ve been true in the past, but today we have democracy and the ability to vote for our leaders” etc
But I would suggest that the whole idea of democracy is an illusion, and that the politicians people are “Allowed to vote for ” are not the ones making policy/and running the show.
So for that reason,there is no “Piece” that symbolizes the “Average person” in chess, because when it comes to war(which is what Chess symbolizes) the “average person” is not involved.
But—there is one important symbolism that also needs to be accounted for in the game of chess—-and that is the players themselves!
To me, the players symbolize the bankers/the ones in control of the money supply who are manipulating all of the pieces on the board.
Of course, this is only my opinion on this subject, and in the end, it’s only a game.