MOV File
Online Collections


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Art & Architecture Thesaurus

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Board game, held to be one of the oldest and most popular, played by two opponents on a checkered board with specially designed pieces of contrasting colors, commonly white and black. Players alternate turns in accordance with fixed rules, each player attempting to force the opponent's principal piece, the King, into checkmate, which is a position where it is unable to avoid capture. It first appeared in India in the 6th century CE; by the 10th century, it had spread from Asia to the Middle East and Europe. It remains popular and the focus of popular amateur and professional competitions.

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The Portland Art Museum’s Online Collections site is brought to you thanks to support provided by the State of Oregon through its second Culture, History, Arts, Movies, and Preservation funding program and generous awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.