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Chess

Q:

Why is chess haram?

A:

َAlaikum Salaam

The philosophy of ahkam, i.e. the reason why certain things are made halal and others haram is not always completely clear for us, even though its basis is always rational. According to some scholars, chess is haram because the Hadith from the Holy Prophet (s) and the Ahlul Bayt (s) have specifically used the word “chess” and considered it as haram, and thus we submit to their instructions, as we do for all other laws in Islam.  

Ayatullah Makarem in his book mentions a few possible reasons and also quotes from a famous chess player on the various negative impacts of such a game. I refer the respected reader to his book:
http://www.al-islam.org/philosophy-islamic-laws-nasir-makarim-shirazi-jafar-subhani/question-82-what-decree-regarding-game

Miqdad .R.