from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ancestor of modern chess.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic شطرنج (šaṭranj), from Middle Persian 𐭰𐭲𐭫𐭭𐭢 (čatrang), from Sanskrit चतुरङ्ग (čaturaṅga).


  • The Moors of North Africa rendered "shatranj" as shaterej which gave rise to the Spanish acedrex, axedrez and ajedrez; in Portuguese it became xadrez, and in Greek zatrikion, but in the rest of Europe it was replaced by versions of the Persian shāh ( "king").

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  • For a moment after the insult was hurled, the African went on eating, without looking up from the shatranj board, indeed without seeming to have heard the remark at all.

    Excerpt: Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

  • Engrossed in the study of a small ivory shatranj board with pieces of ebony and horn, and in the stew of chickpeas, carrots, dried lemons and mutton for which the caravansary was renowned, the African held the place nearest the fire, his broad back to the bird, with a view of the doors and the window with its shutters thrown open to the blue dusk.

    Excerpt: Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

  • The Arabs learned it they called it shatranj when they conquered Persia in the 6th century A.D. and carried it across northern Africa.

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  • The game came to Persia in the 7th century and was renamed chatrang then shatranj.


  • To call these Lilliputian nitwits "shatranj keh khilari" (Chess Players) would be to honor and eulogize them too much.


  • Strains of sufiana music echoed in the background even as a game of shatranj (chess) was on.

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  • It's a shatranj problem, but since in this position all of the pieces have the same capacities as in modern chess, it's right at home for us, too.

    The Chess Mind

  • Al-Adli (9th century), White to move and win (Remember that Black's king isn't in check, as shatranj queens only move one square diagonally.)

    The Chess Mind


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  • Shatranj is an old form of chess, which has been popular in Persia and the Middle East

    February 11, 2009