In early Sanskrit chess (c. 500–700) the king can be captured and also this ended the game. The Persians (c. 700–800) introduced the idea the warning that the king was under strike (announcing check in contemporary terminology).

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This was done to avoid the early and accidental end of a game. Later the Persians added the additional rule the a king could not be relocated into check or left in check. As a result, the king can not it is in captured, and checkmate was the only decisive means of finishing a game.


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Black is checkmated—the game is over.By Bubba73 in ~ English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, 


Before about 1600, the game could additionally be won by capturing all of the opponent’s pieces, leaving just a bare king. This style of play is now called annihilation or robado.


In middle ages times players began to take into consideration it noble to success by checkmate, therefore annihilation became a half-win because that a while, till it to be abandoned.


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Chess Players, Cairo, by Stanisław Chlebowski (1835–1884) Source: Wikipedia/Public Domain


In modern parlance, the term checkmate is a an allegory for one irrefutable and also strategic victory. The term checkmate is, follow to the Barnhart etymological Dictionary, an change of the Farsi expression “shāh māt” i beg your pardon means, literally, “the King is helpless”.

Others keep that it method “the King is dead”, together chess reached Europe via the Islamic world, and Arabic māta means “died” or “is dead”. However, in the Pashto language (an Afghan language), words māt still exists, an interpretation “destroyed, broken”.


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Noble chess players, Germany, c. 1320 Source: Wikipedia/Public Domain


Moghadam traced the etymology of the word mate. It comes from a Persian verb mandan, an interpretation “to remain”, which is cognate with the Latin native maneō and also the Greek menō (μενω, which means “I remain”). It means “remained” in the sense of “abandoned” and the formal translation is “surprised”, in the armed forces sense that “ambushed”. “Shāh” (شاه) is the Persian word for the monarch.

Players would announce “Shāh” once the king was in check. “Māt” (مات) is a Persian adjective for “at a loss”, “helpless”, or “defeated”. So the king is in mate as soon as he is ambushed, in ~ a loss, helpless, defeated, or exit to his fate.


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Noble chess players, Germany, c. 1320 Source: Wikipedia/Public Domain


In modern Persian, the word mate depicts a person who is frozen, open-mouthed, staring, confused and unresponsive. The words stupefied or stunned be afflicted with close correlation. Therefore a possible alternative would certainly be to interpret mate together unable to respond. A king is girlfriend (shah-mate) climate means, a king is unable to answers which would certainly correspond come there gift no solution that a player’s king have the right to make to their opponent’s last move.

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This translate is much closer to the original intent the the video game being no to kill a king but to leaving him through no viable solution other than surrender which, much better matches the beginning story detailed in the Shahnameh.


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