World-famous game invented in India

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 March, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 March, 2001, 12:00am

I refer to the advert for the Invesco Group which has been broadcast on Hong Kong's English-language TV channels.

I was surprised to see in the advert that it was claimed chess was invented by the Chinese.

In fact, India is the country which invented this world-famous strategy game.

The oldest name for chess is chaturanga, a Hindi word referring to the four branches of the Indian army - elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers.

It originated around 600AD and spread to countries in the Arab world before moving on to China, Japan and Korea, and eventually to the West.

Geographically speaking, the elephant, which is one of the important pieces used in the original chess game, exists in India but is not found in China, so it would have been impossible for the Chinese to have invented the game.

It is a pity that the marketing group responsible for the advert did not check its facts.

The advert should be removed and replaced by one which more accurately reflects the truth.