Chess is a board game played between two players. It is played on a chessboard, which is a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player controls sixteen pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in "check") and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack on the next move.
The current form of the game emerged in Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from an older game (Shatranj) of Indian origin. Aspects of art are found in chess composition.
In the 1630's, what is essentially the modern game of chess was widespread, and already known by several names such as "rapid chess", "the Italian game", and the "chess of the Maddened Queen". Chess in the Germanies was predominantly a nobles' game, though the "chess village" of Ströbeck had a long tradition of everyone learning to play.
At the time of the Ring of Fire, Grantville had several chess enthusiasts, and what was then St Vincent's had a chess club, which later became the Grantville Chess Club. Some were quite good; Josh Modi held a master's rating from the United States Chess Federation.