Saudi Grand Mufit says chess is "the work of Satan" and is forbidden
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh responded to a question on a Saudi television show saying that chess was "the work of Satan," as were alcohol and gambling.
|Chess is believed by many scholars to have originated in India in the sixth century AD. It spread to Persia and when the Arabs conquered Persia, they adopted the game and the game spread throughout the Muslim world and from there to southern Europe. During the Cold War, Russia was dominant in the game except for a period when the American,Bobby Fischer, became a U.S. hero for a time beating the Russians. He beat the Russian Boris Spassky in 1973 in a tournament held in Reykjavik Iceland. He refused to defend his title when chess authorities refused to meet his demands. Later he became anti-American and ended up in Iceland where he died in 2008:|
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Fischer lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and Iceland, and made increasingly anti-American and anti-semitic remarks on various radio stations. Possibly, as a result, his U.S. passport was revoked. Unaware of the revocation, Fischer traveled to Japan, where he was arrested by Japanese authorities and detained for more than eight months under threat of deportation. In March 2005, Iceland granted Fischer full citizenship, leading Japanese authorities to release him from prison. Fischer flew to Iceland, where he lived until his death on January 17, 2008.Fischer was arguably one of the best players ever.
“It makes the rich man poor, and makes the poor man rich. It causes hostility and wastes time where it should not be spent.”It is not clear how chess makes the rich man poor and the poor man rich. although if it did. that sounds to be not such a bad idea. As for wasting time and causing hostility, it could be argued that almost any competitive game could have these effects on some players. It remains to be seen whether the royal rulers will enforce the fatwa. Fatwas are not considered law but legal opinions or religious guidance.
By the late 15th century, it had survived a series of prohibitions and Christian Church sanctions to almost take the shape of the modern game.