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(1)   A board game for two players who move their 16 pieces according to specific rules; the object is to checkmate the opponent's king
(2)   Weedy annual native to Europe but widely distributed as a weed especially in wheat

Etymology 1

From , plural of < < < .


  1. A two-player boardgame played with a board of eight rows of eight squares of alternating colours and 16 pieces for each player: eight pawns, two knights, two rooks, two bishops, a queen and a king; the aim is to get the opponent's king in a position on the board such that it cannot avoid being captured (the state known as checkmate).

Related terms

See also

  • checkers
  • draughts
  • scacchic
  • Appendix:Chess pieces

Etymology 2

Origin uncertain; perhaps linked to Etymology 1, above, from the sense of being arranged in rows or lines.


  1. A type of grass, generally considered a weed.
    • 2007, Michael Chabon, Gentlemen of the Road, Sceptre 2008, p. 59:
      Hobbled, loudly gourmandizing the dry chess grass, they were guarded by a pair of dismounted soldiers in long, dusty coats [...].