Texas Tech University

The Original Game of Thrones

Just as the popular television show centers on the struggle for the Iron Throne, the goal of chess is to capture the opposing king.

chess-game piecesWhile the battles on the chess board are not quite as bloody as in the fantasy world of the Game of Thrones, chess does require tactics, planning, cunning, and courage.

In the exhibition Chess: The Original Game of Thrones, the Museum of Texas Tech University gives you a look at the centuries-long history of the game, as well as descriptions of the chess pieces and the popularity of the game from its beginnings through today.

While the exact origin of the game is not known, historians believe it began in the 6th century in India. From there it moved to Persia, and by the 10th century had spread across Eurasia and North Africa.

chess gameThe strategy needed to win a bloodless battle over an opponent has appealed to nobility and the masses since its inception. The game was so popular that King Louis IX of France banned gambling to curtail betting on chess games. In England, Kings Henry I, Henry II and Richard the Lionhearted and Ivan the Terrible of Russia were all patrons of the game.

Chess: the Original Game of Thrones showcases numerous elegant and unique chess sets courtesy of the OS Museum in Post, Tx and looks at chess in the popular media, from Alice through the Looking-Glass to Star Trek and Harry Potter.Texas Tech has a world-class chess team lead by a grand master player, the highest ranking available in the game. The exhibition profiles the successes of the team and its members over the years.

Visit the exhibit. Learn the history of the original war game. Test your skill at capturing the King.