The precursors of chess originated in India during the Gupta Empire, where its early form in the 6th century was known as chatura?ga, which translates as 'four divisions (of the military)': infantry, cavalry, elephantry, and chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively.
Chess was introduced to Persia from India and became a part of the princely or courtly education of Persian nobility. In Sassanid Persia around 600 the name became chatrang, which subsequently evolved to shatranj, and the rules were developed further. Players started calling 'Shah!' (Persian for 'King!') when attacking the opponent's king, and 'ShahMat!' (Persian for 'the king is helpless') when the king was attacked and could not escape from attack. These exclamations persisted in chess as it traveled to other lands.