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Isn't chess also a sport, depending on whether there is any competition? 07:07, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

No, a sport is an athletic activitve. Chess is a game and a competition, but it’s not athletic. —Stephen 15:22, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Russian шахматыEdit

While it’s true that Russian plurals don’t have genders that require different adjective forms, foreigners still have to know the gender of the plural word in order to know how to decline it. If we do not reveal that шахматы is feminine plural, people will try to write "шахматов" for the genitive. Words that are only (or usually) used in the plural are a particular thorn for Americans, because the gender cannot be guessed from the nominative plural ending. —Stephen 22:33, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Gender is nothing here.
See, e.g., папа (m): папы - genitive is пап.
Compare with мама (f): мамы - genitive is мам.
Grammatically шахматы has no gender, and even native Russians cannot guess it. BTW, шах & мат (шахматы ← шах + мат) are both masculine.
There is declension table in corresponding article шахматы and I think that it is enough...
--Jaroslavleff 22:43, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know. Words like папа are declined that way because of the ending in -a, in spite of being a masculine noun...but such words are exception to the rule. All Russian-English dictionaries always give the gender of plural nouns such as шахматы and деньги, because Americans have no feel for it and usually guess wrong, especially in the case of feminine nouns.
Although the conjugation table is there for those who are serious enough to study it, the main way Americans guess the plural genitive is by knowing the gender. A few exceptions like папа do not interfer with this logic in our minds.
Although native Russians may not know the gender of шахматы, or may even think that a hypothetical singular must be masculine, they nevertheless know how to write the genitive plural correctly. Americans do not, and the very first thing we always have to learn about any plural noun is its gender. Otherwise, we will usually guess "шахматов". Most people take time to study the declension paradigms only occasionally and only in extreme cases. —Stephen 23:15, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Declension in plural depends on "Declension type" (1st, 2nd or 3rd), but not on gender!
1st type: папа, мама, колбаса, каша, малаша, саша, мужчина, женщина, etc - both masculine and feminine ending on "-а" or "-я".
2nd type: словарь, село, конь, озеро, колесо, телефон, etc - both masculine and neuter with no ending (on consonant or soft sign "ь") and ending on "-о" and "-е" (neuter)
3rd type: ложь, рожь, молодость, etc - only feminine ending on "ь".
Plural declension depends only on type of declension, not on gender.
When you writing that this is a feminine plural, how can one guess which way he/she must to decline it - like 1st declension or 3rd declension? Genitive will be "шахмат" (1st type) or "шахмати" (3rd type)?
So, I think that gender indication is more incorrect than indication of declension type. --Jaroslavleff 09:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
PS. This scheme (three declension types) is some simplified. Perhaps I soon write some appendix about Russian declension types, when I'll have time. There is New Year at hand :).
In the first place, no American would ever imagine that шахматы might be declined like молодость. For us, it can only be type one or type two. Second, foreigners don’t learn a language the same way the natives do. You learned Russian from the inside out, but we learn it from the outside in. We don’t classify nouns according to type 1, 2, and 3...we classify them according to gender and whether hard or soft. There are hard and soft masculine nouns, hard and soft feminine nouns, and hard and soft neuter nouns. Beyond these six basic types, there are many irregularities and nouns of mixed type. For us, шахматы can only be hard, and we further have to know the gender to know which kind of hard it will be. For native Russians, you learn the language in a completely different way and you explain it and see it in a different way. You learn the declensions of each noun and the necessary endings for any modifying adjective before you ever think about gender and type. With us, we learn gender and type (different from your native type) first, and the actual declension later. This is the case not only with Americans learning Russian, but with anyone learning any foreign language.
I’ve already been working on an appendix page for Russian declensions, but from a Western point of view. It’s at Appendix:Russian noun declension. —Stephen 11:40, 25 December 2006 (UTC)


The heading says "two-player board game" and my question is this: are we talking about any two-player board game or specifically this two-player board game? Some of the translations listed (German Schach and Icelandic skák and skáktafl, for example) refer specifically to chess, while some others (such as Faroese talv) are a broader term for such games and yet others (such as Latin lātrunculī and Irish ficheall) more likely refer specifically to a different board game and not chess.

Game historian H. J. R. Murray (A History of Board Games Other Than Chess, 1951) tells us that fairly little is known of the game of lātrunculī, but it disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire (pp. 33-34). Considering lātrunculī was played in the Roman Empire until circa 500 CE and chess was probably first developed in northern India around that time, I find it extremely unlikely that the word lātrunculī was EVER used in reference to chess/shatranj/chaturanga/Schach. A better Latin translation would probably be scaccus, as this is cognate with most of the European names given to the game at the time that it was brought to Europe by medieval crusaders. Also, Welsh gwyddbwyll, Cornish gwydhbol, Irish ficheall and Scots fidhcheall all historically referred to an earlier game than chess. Indeed, Murray suggests these may have been British variants of lātrunculī (p. 35). Whether or not those terms have since been repurposed to refer specifically to chess rather than the older game(s) is not for me to say, but I will leave that to someone more familiar with their modern usage. Honestly, I am not quite sure what to make of tàileasg, but I wonder if it is another broad term for board games, like tafl.

Moreover, we should probably establish a unified approach to translating this term. I for one think broader terms such as tafl or talv should probably be moved to board game, those referring to other games should be dropped or moved as appropriate, and only those terms specifically referring to chess (or one of its major historical variants such as shatranj) should be retained here. Wilhelm meis (talk) 18:10, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

With a little more digging around, it looks like Faroese talv and Irish ficheall may be examples of cohyponymic transfer (i.e. semantic change of a word that used to refer to one thing and now refers to something else with superficial similarities). Basically, the old name for an old board game was transferred to the newer board game that, though different, assumed the old game's place in society. Still, I would appreciate some more reliable sources on these if anyone has access to them, and I definitely would need to see a reliable source for lātrunculī in reference to chess. Wilhelm meis (talk) 19:00, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
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