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  • The attacking infantry advances steadily, their elephants already having broken the defensive line.


  • The king tries to retreat, but enemy cavalry flanks him from the rear.


  • Escape is impossible.


  • But this isn't a real war, nor is it just a game.


  • Over the roughly one-and-a-half millennia of its existence, chess has been known as a tool of military strategy, a metaphor for human affairs, and a benchmark of genius.

    在 1500 多年的歷史中,西洋棋一直被視為軍事戰略的工具、人類事務的隱喻以及評定天賦的基準。

  • While our earliest records of chess are in the 7th century, legend tells that the game's origins lie a century earlier.

    雖然關於西洋棋的記載最早出現於 7 世紀,但據說這個遊戲的起源在前一個世紀便已開始。

  • Supposedly, when the youngest prince of the Gupta Empire was killed in battle, his brother devised a way of representing the scene to their grieving mother.


  • Set on the 8x8 ashtapada board used for other popular pastimes, a new game emerged with two key features.

    在一款用於其他流行消遣的八條盤碁 8 乘 8 棋盤上,創造了新的遊戲,其有兩個關鍵特色。

  • Different rules for moving different types of pieces, and a single king piece whose fate determined the outcome.


  • The game was originally known as chaturanga, a Sanskrit word for "four divisions".


  • But with its spread to Sassanid Persia, it acquired its current name and terminology, "chess" derived from "shah" meaning king, and " checkmate " from "shah mat" or "the king is helpless ".

    但隨著恰圖蘭卡傳播至波斯第三帝國,薩珊王朝,便獲得了現今的專有名詞「chess」,源自「shah」,意思是國王,以及「checkmate (將死)」,源自「shah mat」,或指「國王已無能為力。」

  • After the 7th century Islamic conquest of Persia, chess was introduced to the Arab world.

    7 世紀伊斯蘭教征服波斯後,西洋棋也傳入阿拉伯世界。

  • Transcending its role as a tactical simulation, it eventually became a rich source of poetic imagery.


  • Diplomats and courtiers used chess terms to describe political power.


  • Ruling caliphs became avid players themselves.


  • And historian al-Mas'udi considered the game a testament to human free will compared to games of chance.


  • Medieval trade along the Silk Road carried the game to East and Southeast Asia, where many local variants developed.


  • In China, chess pieces were placed at intersections of board squares rather than inside them, as in the native strategy game Go.


  • The reign of Mongol leader Tamerlane saw an 11x10 board with safe squares called citadels.

    蒙古帝國帖木兒領袖時期可以看到 11 乘 10 的棋盤,再加上稱為堡壘的安全棋格。

  • And in Japanese shogi, captured pieces could be used by the opposing player.


  • But it was in Europe that chess began to take on its modern form.


  • By 1000 AD, the game had become part of courtly education.

    在西元 1000 年,西洋棋已經成為宮廷教育的一部分。

  • Chess was used as an allegory for different social classes performing their proper roles, and the pieces were re-interpreted in their new context.


  • At the same time, the Church remained suspicious of games.


  • Moralists cautioned against devoting too much time to them, with chess even being briefly banned in France.


  • Yet the game proliferated, and the 15th century saw it cohering into the form we know today.

    然而西洋棋還是被發揚光大了,到 15 世紀時,西洋棋已演變成我們現今熟悉的形式。

  • The relatively weak piece of advisor was recast as the more powerful queen, perhaps inspired by the recent surge of strong female leaders.


  • This change accelerated the game's pace, and as other rules were popularized, treatises analyzing common openings and endgames appeared.


  • Chess theory was born.


  • With the Enlightenment era, the game moved from royal courts to coffeehouses.


  • Chess was now seen as an expression of creativity, encouraging bold moves and dramatic plays.


  • This "Romantic" style reached its peak in the Immortal Game of 1851, where Adolf Anderssen managed a checkmate after sacrificing his queen and both rooks.

    這種「浪漫」風格在西元 1851 年的不朽對局達到巔峰,在那場對局中阿道夫‧安德森在犧牲了皇后與兩個車後,完成「將死」。

  • But the emergence of formal competitive play in the late 19th century meant that strategic calculation would eventually trump dramatic flair.

    但在 19 世紀晚期,正式競賽對局的出現意味著戰略算計最終將勝過戲劇性般的才能。

  • And with the rise of international competition, chess took on a new geopolitical importance.


  • During the Cold War, the Soviet Union devoted great resources to cultivating chess talent, dominating the championships for the rest of the century.


  • But the player who would truly upset Russian dominance was not a citizen of another country but an IBM computer called Deep Blue.

    但是推翻俄羅斯統治地位的玩家並不是其他國家的公民,而是一台 IBM 的電腦,稱為深藍。

  • Chess-playing computers had been developed for decades, but Deep Blue's triumph over Garry Kasparov in 1997 was the first time a machine had defeated a sitting champion.

    下西洋棋的電腦已經開發數十年,但深藍在西元 1997 年擊敗加里‧卡斯帕洛夫,是首次有機器在人類手中獲得勝利。

  • Today, chess software is capable of consistently defeating the best human players.


  • But just like the game they've mastered, these machines are products of human ingenuity.


  • And perhaps that same ingenuity will guide us out of this apparent checkmate.


The attacking infantry advances steadily, their elephants already having broken the defensive line.


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西洋棋的歷史 (A brief history of chess - Alex Gendler)

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    April Lu 發佈於 2020 年 10 月 15 日