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Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Michael Nelson wrote on 2012-01-12 UTC
Note that Xiangqi had no divergent pieces until the cannon was added, in the original version all pieces moved passively and captured in the same way. On the other hand, the Pawn in the various forms of early Indo-Persian Chess has been divergent since the earliest known times. If divergence is an evolutionary change, that suggests that Indo-Persian Chess is older that we currently think it is. On the other hand, it could be an import from some non-Chess Indo-Persian game, perhaps acquired from a Greek game at the time of Alexander the Great. This last factor does not apply at all to China.
Note that divergent Pawns are conspicuously absent from Xiangqi, Janggi, and Shogi, but do occur in various SE Asian variants, which have influences fom both China and India.

So I would propose the points:

1. Maybe both the Indo-Persian origin theory and the Chinese origin theory are wrong and two different but somewhat similar games were developed independently, perhaps with some mutual influence on one another.

2. My idea could easily be wrong (probably is).

3. So could anybody's idea be wrong, whether they think Chess originated in China, India, Atlantis, or Mars.

4. Documentary evidence is not definitive, nor is it likely to become so.

5. It ultimately doesn't matter, however interesting the question is.

6. It sure as hell isn't worth
   a. practicing racism, or
   b. accusing others of racism.