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Despite its uncertain origins, chess is one of the oldest and most played games in human history, dating back some 1500 years. The strategy game - as it is known today - features various members of the monarchy and military: king, queen, bishop, knight, rook and pawn. Two players take turns to move their pieces on a chequered board, aiming to eradicate their opponent's different pieces. Various rules apply to how the six types of pieces can be moved. During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, many chess boards and sets were crafted from expensive materials, such as ebony, ivory and fine woods. Today, these antique chess sets are highly sought after on the collectors' market by chess enthusiasts; as well as this, fine antique chess boards have also become a popular decorative item in the home.

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