On This Day 20 July

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-07-20
In 1837 Euston Station was opened; in 1903 shipped their first car; in 1919 Sir Edmund Hillary was born who would be the first to reach Mt Everest Summit and in 1969 the Apollo crew landed on the moon. In 1924 the International Chess Federation was founded and each 20 July International Chess Day is celebrated.

Chess was born much earlier than 1924 when the International Chess Federation was founded


Commonly thought to be the ancestor of Chess, Chaturanga is an Indian game of strategy which started some time in the 7th century.


It wasn't until 1924 that the International Chess Federation was founded with 181 chess federations being members. It was suggested by UNESCO in 1966 that the 20th of July be celebrated as International Chess Day, however it wasn't until 2019 that the UN General Assembly approved the resolution which recognised it as such.

The Chessworld have clearly laid out some of the benefits from playing chess

Grows dendrites

Dendrites allow the neurons in the brain to communicate with each other. The growth of dendrites helps improve the quality and speed of these connections.

Exercises both sides of the brain

The left side of the brain deals with object recognition and the right side with pattern recognition and playing chess requires the use of both.

Prevents Alzheimer's Disease

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted a study which showed that playing chess decreased the risk and combatted some of the effects of dementia and alzheimer's disease.

Helps treat Schizophrenia

Another medical study showed that patients with Schizophrenia who played chess displayed an improvement in their condition versus those who did not play chess.

Improves thinking and problem solving skills

Being a game of strategy it goes without saying that playing chess will help improve thinking and problem solving skills.

Builds self-confidence

As with any endeavour it can help build your self-confidence and not just when you win. The introspection of what happened to result in a loss can be an incredibly powerful tool in improving yourself.

Helps with re-habilitation and therapy

Chess is often used as a tool in the rehabilitation of people who have suffered strokes or other kinds of accidents. It requires the use of both mental faculties as well as motor faculties.

Go on, dig out that chess board and get playing today on International Chess Day

Do you want to learn what Chess can do to help social cohesion and equality? Today (20 July 2020) there is a virtual summit being held by the International Chess Federation on YouTube from 3pm GMT.

Other events on this day

  • 1837: Euston train station opened
  • 1903: Ford shipped their first automobile
  • 1919: Sir Edmund Hillary was born; he was the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest with Tenzing Norgay
  • 1924: International Chess Federation was founded; International Chess Day is celebrated annually today
  • 1968: world's first Special Olympics took place in Chicago
  • 1969: Apollo crew landed on the moon
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