"Chatu-ranga" means "divided into 4 parts"
Posted by Nigel Hanrahan on July 23, 2008, 9:46:31, in reply to "Re: The Real Birthplace of Chess...."
Lawrence: I think the "chatu" refers to a four-part army and not four armies. Check out the quote and reference below. |
"The Sanskrit name Chaturanga means 'quadripartite' (divided into four parts) and was also used to describe the Indian army of Vedic times in which a platoon had four parts: one elephant, one chariot, three soldiers on horseback, and five foot-soldiers. The board was known as the 'ashtapada' (eight-square) and is believed to have been adopted from an older race game related to parcheesi."
I'm dubious about a more ancient origin of chess as Anand outlines. But who really knows? The strongest evidence would be chess pieces, typically made of wood and therefore unlikely to be found, from a more ancient time than we currently have. To me, this seems an unlikely scenario.
Mind you, the tales of old wives and mothers, murmured to infants, can be a source of oral history that would otherwise be lost. I understand Anand's mum is still alive. Maybe someone should ask her about it.