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Chess Day

“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.” ~ Blaise Pascal

The rook takes its name from ancient Persian (rokh/rukh) and was also called the tower, marquess, rector, and comes . The term castle is considered informal, incorrect, or old-fashioned!

Jul 20

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International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.

This tartan is an artistic challenge from the designer, Carol A.L. Martin:  


"It's all about chess, castles and corners and one of my favourite pieces - the rook!  This tartan was inspired by the fabulous game of chess. Anyone familiar with a chessboard will see that the one I depict here is not accurate. It is impossible to do this on a tartan whether it be symmetrical or asymmetrical since a chessboard is symmetrical across the diagonal. This is as close as I could come."

In the medieval game of  shatranj, the rook symbolized a chariot.  Persian war chariots were heavily armoured, carrying a driver and at least one ranged-weapon bearer, such as an archer. The sides of the chariot were built to resemble fortified stone work, giving the impression of small, mobile buildings, causing terror on the battlefield.


However, in the West the rook is almost universally represented as a crenellated turret.

Formerly also called a tower, marquess, rector, and comes, the term "castle" is considered informal, incorrect, or old-fashioned.

For more about the origins and history of rook in chess, click the chess board.