Chaturanga is an Indian game credited with giving birth to many different games, most notably chess. The true rules of the original game are subject to debate with some saying it was four player game and others saying it included dice, but many of the rules are the same as modern day chess. The word Chaturanga is a Sanskrit word referring to four divisions of an Indian army- elephants, cavalry, chariots, and infantry. . . from which comes four types of pieces in that game.

Chaturanga spread to China, Korea, and Japan. It also appeared in Persia after the Islamic conquest (638-651). Chaturanga continued to spread until it reached Southern Europe in the early 15th century and some of the old Chaturanga rules were modified, and some were added such as castling, the 2 square pawn advance, and then en passant. The most important change was the allowance of a pawn to become a queen.