According to the United States Chess Federation, the modern version of chess originated from India and is based on a game known as Chatarung. Around 1000 A.D. the game spread from India to Europe through the help of Persian traders.
Once chess reached Europe, the rules were changed slightly to make the Queen a weaker piece. This slowed down the pace of the game considerably because it took longer to checkmate the opponent. By the 16th century, a standardized set of rules was widely distributed due to the invention of the printing press. At the same time, the queen was transformed into the strongest piece on the board, something which changed the game immeasurably.