Carol Hamill
180 Homer Road
Victoria, BC, CANADA
V8Z 1V6
(250) 658-2856
hamill@island.net



        Medieval Chess

Recreating Medieval Chess:
from schachorum ludo to the queen’s chess

by Carol Hamill

Table of Contents
Introduction ...

   Shatranj game rules
   Arab role in the development of chess

   Alphonso [Alfonso] X’s Book of Games 1283
   Alphonso chess - game rules

France ...
   Caxton’s Game and Playe of the Chess 1474
Medieval Chess as played in France and England -
                         a reconstruction ...

Germany ...
   Einsiedeln poem 990’s
   Carmina Burana 1200’s
   Charlemagne Chessmen 1080
   Cessoles De ludo scachorum 1300
   Vida’s Scacchia ludus 1547

Russia ...

   Lewis Chessmen

Rooks - the evolution from chariot to castle


Tables – Comparative nomenclature ..

                                                                          creative copyright  2007  Carol Hamill
Introduction

Purpose
This essay will provide information on early forms of chess, tracing the variation in rules, and in game piece design, as the game evolved in Europe. Chess has its origins in India and Persia, it spread to the Orient, and to the Arab world by the 9th century. In Europe, the game evolved as it was adapted to local customs and variations from the Arabic form. To the medieval recreationist, (such as in the SCA), this represents an opportunity to play chess by a set of rules that more closely resembles medieval chess. The most avid recreationist will be able to learn to play chess by rules specifically correct to the time and place of their persona.  More generally, it would be possible to adopt a set of rules for a game we could call medieval chess.
The evidence for the origins of chess, and the linguistic relationships that reveal its transmission, form an important part of the study of the history of chess. This topic is debatable because so little physical evidence remains with which to prove any particular theory. My intention is to try to envision what might have been possible in terms of the actual chess pieces and to track changes to the rules, by looking at original source documents and poems about chess.

My intention is to provide a standardized medieval chess game, appropriate to be played by medieval recreationists.  I will provide the rules to various forms of chess, and illustrations that shown some of the designs for chess pieces that will more correctly represent the game, as played during the middle ages.

Background
The game spread throughout Europe in the 9th century. The earliest written European accounts are written in Latin, making reference to schachis (chessmen) with various spellings or to schachorum ludo (the game of chessmen). Chess would have travelled along the trade routes and entered Europe at the main contact points, of Spain and Italy. Later on crusaders would have had direct contact in both Rome and from Arab sources.
There cannot be certainty as be when chess arrived at any particular place in Europe. For the medieval recreationist this does not represent a problem because the unpredictability of trade, or travel or gift exchange could have made the game accessible anywhere in Europe by the 9th century. One word of caution, the Romans did not play chess. Their game of ludus latrunculorum is not related to chess and the Latin term schachi can refer to various game pieces including those for draughts and backgammon.
The modern game (called the new chess or the queen’s chess) belongs to the period after 1500 CE.
Before then, European chess was played using some variation of the Arabic chess moves. It was not until the 16th century that the queen and the bishop began to have their powerful modern moves. Specifically, "...there are no certain references to the new chess before the 1490’s" (Eales, 76). The queen’s chess appears first in Italy as ‘scacchi all rabiosa’ and marks the beginning of the new standard game, which is now called International or Western chess.  It is interesting to learn, how the medieval game was played and to examine the experimentation and development of the rules, that made chess into the universally successful game that it is today. Those wishing to recreate the period, can learn about the society that existed by learning genuine medieval chess.

The weaker queen and bishop pieces meant that the game moved more slowly and that check mate was more difficult than in the modern game. The medieval game served an important social function, and although there were texts that showed chess problems, chess was not considered an intellectual pursuit as it is today.
Chess was a pastime of both sexes of the nobility and of the literate classes such as monks and clerics. Its popularity can be attested to by the periodic denunciations by church authorities finding chess to be a sinful idle diversion. The church often tried particularly to prohibit clerics from playing chess. Chess was played at court and minstrels carried chessmen with them. There are grounds to believe that chess was socially widespread, based on the existence of unadorned stone, clay and wooden chess pieces. I will define medieval chess as the generally excepted set of rules, applied in Europe, to the 8x8 sized board game. The time period is from the earliest Christian records to approximately 1500.


Medieval chess piece design

To understand medieval chess piece design it is useful to begin with chess piece design from India and Persia. One modern design would be as follows:
       king piece - Raja sits on an elephant with mahout standing beside
       queen piece - Wazir or male advisor sits on an elephant with mahout standing beside
       bishop piece - camel and rider
       knight piece - horse and rider
       rook piece - boat
Note that the two armies would often have differently styled pieces. Medieval chess piece designs generally do not come from Persian or Indian sources.  Most of Europe aquired chess from Arab sources.





 Arabic chess

Shatranj
Shatranj or shatranji is an old form of chess, that came to Persia from the Indian game of Chaturanga around the 7th century. The Persian game called Chatrang, spread through the Islamic world, as Shatranj. The rules and pieces remained the same as in Persia, although some Arabic names were substituted for the Persian ones.
The initial board setup in Shatranj was essentially the same as in modern chess. However the position of the white Shah (king), on the right or left side was not fixed., but both Shahs would be on the same file. The game was played on an 8x8 board that was not chequered.
S - shah (king) one square in any direction - no castling      Shahs face each other, either in the d-file
                 or the e-file (as shown below)
F - fers (general or counsellor) only one sq. diagonally any direction
                One General may not attack the other General
E - elephant / al-fil is a leaper like the knight, but jumping to the opposite corner of a 3x3 array of squares -
              having the effect of leaping over the nearest square to the next nearest on the diagonal.
              Because of this, one elephant cannot attack another.
H - horsemen - faras as in modern chess, jumping one square orthogonally and one square diagonally.
R - rukh (war chariot or boat) same as in modern chess any number of squares orthogonally
P - pawn / baidak move one square forward but captures diagonally forward
              no pawn initial two-step opening move hence no en passant pawn promotes to fers / general only

Winning:
Checkmate: when the opponent's king is unable to avoid capture on the next move.
Bare King - when all of the opponent's pieces, except for the king, have been captured.
Strangled Stalemate e.g. If black has no legal moves – in that situation black may exchange their king
      with any other of his pieces, provided this does not put the king into check. If black cannot make any
exchanges they loose.
Drawn game  -   e.g. perpetual check, repeated moves, by agreement, any situation where neither player
       will gain the advantage

Board set up

R
H
E
S
F
E
H
R
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
R
H
E
S
F
E
H
R
The opening moves could be speeded up by agreement to form battle array. Each player, in turn would make their first ten moves, no move to cross the center line.

Arab role in the development of chess

The earliest known examples of Arabic chess pieces, dating from c. 750–800, were excavated at Nishapur in north-east Iran; a few of the pieces are clay, but most are of natural and green-stained ivory. Arab society adopted chess as a serious intellectual pursuit.  Chess masters wrote about chess:
          "A typical treatise started with legendary accounts of the game’s invention’ considered its
           lawfulness for Muslims, then proceeded to the classification of players, the relative value of
           pieces, symbolism, notation, ta’biyat [standard opening position] and typical end-game
           positions" (Parlett, 299)

These books contained chess problems, very like those published today. According to stories and illustrations, Arabic women played chess and it was an important part of the court life of the certain caliphs, such as C?rdoba, Abd al-Rahman III (r. 913-61). His reign was an important time of cultural exchange as he was tolerant of both Christians and Jews, providing the opportunity of the exchange of ideas within Spain.
For additional information go to:
The Arab Role in the Development of Chess <www.alshindagah.com/marapr2002/chess.html>
The origins of Chess Pieces, Draughtmen and Dice by Anna Contadini <www.goddess.chess.com>

Islamic law and abstract chess pieces

"Under Muslim tradition a true believer will not handle chessmen which are carved, they must be symmetrical and without any kind of literal representation of any person or animal" (Hammond, 104) This is the strictest interpretation of the Qu’ran and is part of the Sunni tradition. This interpretation was not universally excepted amongst Muslims, and was subject to time and place. There where caliphs who banned chess altogether and there were caliphs who presented carved chess pieces as gifts, but it was generally the case that chess was a permissible activity provided that: firstly; it did not interfere with religious duties, secondly; that it was not played for money and finally; that the chess pieces were non-realistic. (Yalom, p. 7) The Arab abstract piece designs can be found throughout Europe. They are the fundamental form of medieval chess piece design.

Image # 1  bishop knight and pawn abstract chess pieces 11 c.


     "The pieces are abstract Arabic basic forms with Nordic modifications  
      11th c."
     image taken from: Golombek, Harry. A History of Chess. G.P. New
     York:Putnam’s & Sons. 1976 p.57












Illustrations: Shatranj game and abstract chess pieces

Image # 2 Shatranj game painting





    Note that the original board is not chequerd

     image from: <http://history.chess.free.fr/shatranj.htm>












Image # 3     Ivory 9th or 10th c. Abstract chess pieces

Mozarab chess pieces known as "the pieces of Saint Genadio", preserved in the MozArabic
 monastery of Pe-alba de Santiago (Leon, Spain)
description and image found at: <www.goddesschess.com/chessays/calvopieces.html> 1/31/07








Image # 4      Egypt. 10-12c Abstract chess pieces

   The abstract king piece commonly appears as a stylized throne,
    (shown in Images 4&5), or as a cylinder with a ball on top
      in Image #  14


    British Museum, London
    image found at: <//history.chess.free.fr>





Image # 5   Shah, glass Egypt or Syria Mamluk period 13-14th c

     Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
     image and description from http://history.chess.free.fr/shatranj.htm









Image # 6    Iranian chess set, glazed fritware 12  c.

     Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
     image taken from:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess










 Christian Spain - Alphonso X’s The Book of Games

One route of transmission of chess to Europe was though Arab expansion into Spain by 900 CE. Arab traders may have brought carved ivory sets with them for sale or as gifts. These could have been of Persian or Indian design and may have served as models for early European design. The game was introduced to Christian controlled Spain and was known in France, as there is record that Haroon-al-Rashid presented Charlemagne with an elaborate chess set. This is not to be confused with the so called Charlemagne chessmen which are Italian and dated to the late 11th c. Records list valuable chessmen in family accounts, such as the Countess Ermessind’s bequeath of a rock-crystal chess set in a will dated 1058 CE (Golombek, p. 51). The Spanish word for chess is ajedrez which derives directly from shatranj. Linguistic relationships form an important part of the study of the history of chess, as in the work of H.J.R. Murray.  However, it is not my intention to discuss linguistics. I have provided tables at the end of this paper, on comparative nomenclature.
Setting aside the issue of language, Europeans would have learned chess by seeing a game in process. They would have most likely seen abstract pieces and learned the Arab names. Having learned only the names and movements of the pieces, Europeans would have been free to interpret and adapt the pieces to European cultures. This can be illustrated with reference to an important treatise on chess written in Spanish in 1283 CE.
Alphonso [Alfonso] X’s The Book of Games

Alphonso X’s The Book of Games (commissioned by Alphonso X "El Sabio" King of Leon and Castile) is 98 pages in length and contains 150 colour drawings. There is a large section on chess as well as descriptions of Great chess and Four handed chess. The book illustrates 103 chess problems. The author prefers the 8x8 board game because it is "not as slow" as the 10x10 board game nor as hurried as the 6x6 size board game. He describes the board as squares of alternating colours we would call chequered. (see Images 9-10). The chequered board is generally thought to be a European innovation and is found on illustrations of European chess boards. ( In modern times only the Oriental chess games, such as Shogi and Xiang-qi, are played on non-chequered boards.) The author of The Book of Games, has learned the names and movement of the chess pieces but does not understand all of the references that come from the original Persian. He correctly identifies the role of the king, but the piece next to the king, which he names fers, is described as "one who carries the standard of the king’s colors" (see Golladay's  English Translation of Alfonso X's Book of Games website, listed in sources). He identifies the elephant correctly, and states that the horse is more properly called knight. The Arabic word rukhkh means nothing to him, and so his explanation is that "they are made wide and stretched because they resemble the ranks of soldiers" (Golladay website). An illustration of the rook that he seems to be describing. can be found in the image below. This is one of the common designs of abstract Arab rooks.


Image # 7   Rukh, 8-10th c ivory
     Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
     image from // history.chess.free.fr

     To a  Moor this piece (a rook) represented a chariot and its driver. (List
     but to a Christain its meaning was open to interpretation.   In Spain the use of the male
     chess piece fers, lasted long after it had been replaced by a queen in the rest of Europe
     and abstract pieces were mixed with realistic ones. (Yalom, p. 14, 87) Anyone wishing
     to recreate the chess played in Spain can draw on the rich cultural history of Jews,
                                      Arabs and Christians.

Alphonso [Alfonso] X’s The Book of Games illustrations

Images # 8-10   illustrations in The Book of Games Monastery of San Lorenzio del Escorial, Madrid

 Image # 8  Craftsman making chess pieces

medieval chess pieces, book illustration
miniature showing craftsmen shaping chessmen on a lathe image taken
from www.goddesschess.com




     Notice the shape of the pieces and that the rook appears
          to have a suspension loop in it











Image # 9  Noblemen and their servants

Noblemen and their servants         image taken from //historicgames.com



Image #10   A Christian and a Muslim playing in a tent

              mage taken from Golombek, Harry. A History of Chess. page 91.

           Notice that the Arab is shown playing with a Christian-styled
          chess set where the horse piece is not abstract in design.












The Alphonso X’s manuscript : Medieval Chess

These rules are based on the description found in Alphonso [Alfonso] X’s Book of Games. Spanish, 1283 AD
Golladay, Sonja Musser. English Translation of Alfonso X's Book of Games
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html

The Alphonso X’s Book of Games was commissioned by Alphonso X "El Sabio" King of Leon and Castile. It is 98 pages in length and contains 150 colour drawings, there is a large section on chess as well as reference to chess variations. The section on chess includes the movement of the pieces, there functions, appearance, the strategy of forming a flank, and the use of dice to make the game move more quickly. The game was played on an 8x8 chequered board.
K - King one square in any direction - no castling
kings face each other, either in the d-file or the e-file (this detail is not in the text but is inferred)
Fe - Fers ("one who carries the standard of the kings colors", captain) only one sq. diagonally any direction
special initial jumping move of two squares in any direction "...the fers cannot capture on the first move
if it is played going to the second square but after it is played it will capture in the second diagonal square
according to its movement."(Golladay website)
E - Elephant a leaper like the knight, but jumping to the opposite corner of a 3x3 array of squares - having
the effect of leaping over the nearest square to the next nearest on the diagonal.
Because of this, one elephant cannot attack another.
Kt - Knight as in modern chess, jumping one square orthogonally and one square diagonally.
R - Rook same move as in modern chess any number of squares orthogonally
P - Pawn same as in modern chess, move one square forward but captures diagonally forward
optional pawn initial two-step opening but no mention of en passant pawn promotes to fers only
Winning:
Checkmate: when the opponent's king is unable to avoid capture on the next move.
Bare King - when all of the opponent's pieces, except for the king, have been captured.
Strangled Stalemate e.g. If black has no legal moves – in that situation black may exchange their king
with any other of his pieces, provided this does not put the king into check. If black cannot make any
exchanges they loose.
Drawn game
e.g. perpetual check, repeated moves, by agreement, any situation where neither player will gain the advantage.

One possible board set up
R
Kt
E
Fe
K
E
Kt
R
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
R
Kt
E
Fe
K
E
Kt
R




 France

Charlemagne (Karl the Great) received the gift of an elaborate chess set from Haroon-al-Rashid but this set should not be confused with the so called Charlemagne chessmen (see discussion later on). In Birth of the Chess Queen, Marilyn Yalom discusses in detail the cultural context for chess in France. It is linked to both the romance literature and the cult of the Virgin Mary.  One example is a story (circa 1230) entitled Huon of Bordeaux, in which a young knight travels to Babylon and has a game of chess with an Emir’s daughter. She asks if he would prefer to play using dice or by moving the pieces. (Apparently there was no concern at his court for Muslim law banning gambling.) Chess was a way for young people to meet, and chess matches appear in French tales such as the Arthurian romances and in the form of chess duel stories. Both noble men and women were expected to be skilled at chess and numerous kings and queens are listed as being skilled at chess. Whether they were or not is immaterial; it was simply expected that the hero of the story or the great ruler of the past, must have been skilled at chess.

Chess sets could be as much an expression of wealth as were fine garments. In a Latin narrative about Saint Foy, a noble youth is obligated to carry a chessboard to a distant sanctuary. "Early medieval chessboards, often quite large and made of precious materials like ivory and ebony, were considered a worthy offering for the church where Saint Foy’s relics were preserved." (Yalom, 84) As was the case elsewhere, the church tried to prohibit the clergy from playing chess. Such prohibitions may have fostered the style of chess set, made to look like a book. Chess boards adapted to fold up as a book (Hammond, p.39), would provide an interesting and documentable type of set for medieval recreationists to use.

H. J. R. Murray  writes that there was little difference between the French and the English games. The form of game that the crusaders learned would have included the possible use of dice and would be played with the shatranj chess moves. The original abstract Arabic chess pieces would have arrived from Spain and been brought back by crusaders. The pieces names and their proper appearance were described in various booklets about chess. The modern bishop replaced the elephant in much of Europe, but not in France where it remained the fool or jester for much of the medieval period. The male advisor (fierce or fierge) was generally replace by a feminine figure (dame) in the 12th century, during the lifetime of Eleanor of Aquitane. (Yalom, p.87). However the fool and the queen figures still retained the limited moves from the shatranj rules.
A French translation of De ludo scachorum by Jacques de Cessoles (various spellings) was done by Jehan de Vignay in 1380. This French translation was used as the basis of Caxton’s very important English translation discussed later. The use of en passant capture can be inferred from Anglo-French assize of 1150.
In French the game was called: eschès, and later échecs.

The Latin term scacchi and the term échecs could also be applied to game pieces in general such as in draughts, tables or merels. (Parlett p.300). Caution such be used when reading period documents. Many references that appear to discuss chess could be related to some other game, (this is especially important with reference to Scandinavian sources).

The pieces: roy, roi (king)
fierce or fierge (advisor),
later dame (queen)
alfin, aufyn or fol , in modern French fou (fool )
chevalier (knight)
roc by 17th c. this became tour (castle)
pion (pawn)



Illustrations from France - Romance and chess
Image # 11 chess players, stained glass window

Vitrail provenant de l'hôtel de la Bessée (Villefranche sur Saône) (1430 - 1440)
Source : "Les Echecs Roi des jeux, jeu des Roi" de Jean-Michel Péchiné
image taken from: www.jmrw.com/Chess/Tableau_echecs/index.htm


Illustrations from France - Chess Notation

Although this book of chess problems, illustrated below, was published in Italy, this particular manuscript
was designed in Paris. Notice how many of the pieces resemble abstract Arabic pieces.

Image # 12 Manuscript –chess problem circa 1173
king and queen - similar to illustration in Alphonso X’s The Book of Games

bishop - very much like the rounded piece with two points used to represent the elephant
knight - rounded but apparently with wedge shape on one side

rook - standard flat ‘v’ shape used widely from Arabic design
pawn - rounded, very much like the Arabic pawn


"Recueil de parties et problèmes d'échecs: Collection of games and problems of chess: «Nicholes of S. Nicholaï of Lombardy, Gieu of the eskies. Manuscript copied and painted in Paris, beginning of the XIVe century. Parchment (206 layers) - Paris, BNF, Manuscripts (fr. 1173 f° 3)»"
image and text from:    www.chess-theory.com/image4/charlemagne.jpg

























 England and Scotland

There are numerous references to English kings who were chess players. For example, Edward I of England (r.1272-1307) was married to Eleanor of Castile who was the sister of Alfonso X. See the section on Spain for the details of the manuscript on chess associated with Alfonso X.
H. J. R. Murray writes that there was little difference between the French and the English games. Keep in mind that French, was the language of the English court for a long time. The form of game that the crusaders learned would have included the possible use of dice and would be played with the shatranj chess moves. The original abstract Arabic chess pieces would have arrived from Spain and been brought back by crusaders The game could also have been brought into the British Isles though contact with the Norse. The wardrobe of the King of Scotland in 1539 includes reference to chessmen of jasper and crystal. The pieces names and their proper appearance were described in various booklets about chess. English words of the pieces evolved into reference is to the queen and the bishop but for example, the poet Chaucer uses : fers to refer to the modern queen. Yalom writes that the term fers is of the feminine gender like the Latin ferzia found in the Winchester Poem . The use of en passant capture can be inferred from Anglo-French assize of 1150.
The Winchester Poem is a Latin poem of the 12th century. It contains use of the Latin calvus "bald-headed" in place of the various terms used for the modern bishop piece and although the queen is named regina, a queened pawn is referred to ferzia. Since a king may not have two wives, there existed controversy about the king having more than one queen on the board at one time. By one set of rules, a pawn could only be promoted after the queen have been taken.

Caxton’s Game and Playe of the Chess: a moral treatise on the duties of life. - first published 1474
The bulk of this work is a translation of the French translation (Jehan de Vignay 1380) of the Latin work
De ludo scachorum by Jacques de Cessoles (various spellings) written in Italy. This is the second non-religious book to be printed in the English language (Golombek p. 63) and it was very popular. At one time two hundred codices could be found in the various public libraries of Europe. The original edition was illustrated (as shown below) with 16 different woodcuts, and the text is a treatise on correct moral behaviour, using stories to show moral lessons. It includes a description of how each piece ought to appear an how that class of people ought to behave.

The terms, and descriptions used include:
kynge, sitting on chair, clothed in purple "betokens virgyns and damesels"
quene, (moves on own colour) sitting on chair clothed in gold with fur
alphyn (limited elephant-type moves) "betokenyth wise men" (Caxton) sitting on chair
note: that this is note the same as the standard bearer (Cesssolis) or the fol (de Vignay)
knyght, gentlemen, sitting on horse
rook "vicaires and legats of the king" sitting on a horse same description as used in the original by Cessolis
comyn people each pawn is associated with a category of trades people
1 labourers and workmen 2 smyths 3 notaries, advocates drapers cloth makers 4. merchants money changers 5 physicians apothacaries, 6 tavern keepers 7 guards and "keepers of the city" 8 "ribaulder, disepleyar and currours" - loosely translated as "irregular retainers, and displayers and cursers.
Note that the modern bishop piece called alphyn is described as representing a wise man and the rook represents a legit of the king.
Special innovations from Cessolis manuscript (Golombek p. 63)
- The king has a special jump of 2, 3 or 4 squares in his initial move provided that he is not in check and it does not go through check.
- Stalemate counted as a draw.
- Pawn initial two-step move for all pawns, but not the en passant capture

Illustrations from England


Image # 13   Bishop chess piece England 12 c.

Bishop Chess Piece, 12th century  English
Walrus ivory; 3 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (9.8 x 6 cm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York
image taken from:    http://www.metmuseum.org/

























 Image # 14  Abstract king Chessman Date: 1100s - 1200s

This piece, a king, is a version of the Arabic design of an Indian king on an elephant. The ball on top represents the king, the diagonal grooves below are his throne (howdah) and the lower part of the piece is the elephant.

 St Swithin's House, 30-37 Walbrook EC4 [City of London] [GM158, 1949-1950] [Salters' Hall]
 bone,   H 44 mm; DM 26.5 mm
image and comments taken from: Medieval London http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/


     Note that this piece is like the design for a king shown in The Book of Games
    ( Image # 8)












 Medieval Chess as played in France and England - a reconstruction

The following reconstruction is meant as an example of one possible variation. I have selected
it because I feel it is a playable version and would be useful to medieval recreationist groups.

The chequered board would have been likely black and yellow or black and white.
The terms used would be in French:
     roi (king)    same move as modern chess except - no castling in its modern form*
     fierce (advisor)     one sq. only diagonally
     alfin or fou (elephant or fool)     jumping to the opposite corner of a 3x3 array of squares
     chevalier (knight)     same move as modern chess
     roc (rook)     same move as modern chess
     pion (pawn)     same move as modern chess including initial two-step move and en passant
                    except pawn promotes to fierce only
The use of en passant capture can be inferred from Anglo-French assize of 1150.
* The king has a special jump of 2, 3 or 4 squares in his initial move provided that he is not in check and it does not go through check.
Winning:
Checkmate: when the opponent's king is unable to avoid capture on the next move.
Stalemate:
Bare King (when all of the opponent's pieces, except for the king, have been captured)
Note this is a change from the Arab rules to the game.
Drawn game:
Player cannot make a legal move, perpetual check, repeated moves, by agreement, or any situation where
neither player will gain the advantage


 Germany

There was a certain amount of experimenting with the rules of chess in Germany including the use of a 9x12 board for the chess variation called Courier Chess. In this game the courier piece is added and it has the moves of the modern bishop. There still exists today, a variant of chess that does not aim at checkmate but is played out until one player has a solitary king. A win would take place by material only. This type of win would have been very common when playing chess by the shatranj rules. Germany adopted the use of the pawn’s initial two-step move, as shown in a German assize, for recreationists this is a reasonable change to add, as it makes the game more playable.  Here are the descriptions of chess from two Latin works from in or around Germany.

Einsiedeln Poem:  Versus de scachis (Verses in Chess) Latin,  written by a German monk in Switzerland
circa 997 CE.   The poem makes reference to a chequered board that is red and white.
     king rex      same moves as modern king
     queen regina     moves orthoganally one square - a king may only have one queen on the board at a time
     bishop    comes count or traveller
                     curvus aged one or crooked     retains elephant move of three squares diagonally
     knight eques      moves same as modern knight
     rook rochus     moves same as modern rook
     pawn pedes      moves one square ahead but takes to the side diagonally
The description of chess suggests that the author learned the rules to shatranj, but in that game there may be any number of visiers on the board at one time due to "queened pawns". Since the author has identified the piece beside the king as being the queen, a king may only have one queen at a time. The use of the term curvus may be a result of seeing the elephant piece of the abstract set. There is room for plenty of speculation about what was made of the two tusks on the standard elephant piece. Did they look like horns? the points to a jesters hat? the top of the bishops mitre?. In Germany as elsewhere, this piece was identified in a variety of ways. One term used in Germany is ‘läufer’, which means ‘runner’ and the German term of knight is ‘springer’.

Carmina Burana Latin. poem of rhymed couplets circa. 1210

The poem indicated that the queen is placed to the right of the king.
     king rex      same moves as modern king
     queen femina      moves orthoganally one square - name of original piece
                 regina      moves orthoganally one square - name of ‘queened pawn’
                             Note: the author avoids the problem of a king having two queens
     bishop alficus "horned head" retains elephant move of three squares diagonally
     knight eques moves same as modern knight
     rook rochus moves same as modern rook
     pawn pedes moves one square ahead but takes to the side diagonally

Illustration from Germany

Image # 15 Otto IV of Brandenburg and lady playing chess

Manesse manuscript 1320 (Germany)
source: Yalom, Marilyn. Birth of the Chess Queen. New York: HarperCollins Pub. 2004, Plate 5.

Note that the chess pieces are abstract in design.

















 Charlemagne chessmen - Italy

This name is given to a group of chessmen housed at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and at the Dom Treasury at Osnabruck. They have nothing to do with Charlemagne or with France. They were found at Saint Denis Abbey near Naples. They are made of elephant ivory and were craved in Italy (Salerno or Amalfi) between 1080-1100. They were mis-identified as being from a set known to be given to Charlemagne and the name has stuck.

Image # 16   Pawn, Charlemagne chessmen
The pawn pieces can be identified as dressed as a Norman foot soldiers circa 1075-1100.
          image source: www.chessgraphics.net/jpg/cat03.jpg




The Charlemagne pieces are as follows:
          figures enclosed in pavilions and standing up        
          figures enclosed in pavilions and siting down
          elephant and rider
          horse and rider
          chariot and driver
          foot soldiers

These designs demonstrate the craftmans familiarity with either Persian or Indian chess piece design.


 Italy and Sicily

Chess reached Sicily via Arab conquerors in the 9th century. Chess was introduced to Italy by means of a number of trading routes, and since Sicily became a Norman kingdom, it provided an important link to Scandinavia. The documentary proof of the spread of chess does not provide a real picture of the possibilities. It is reasonable to assume that traders, soldiers and travellers carried games with them to pass the time.

The Cessolis manuscript
De ludo scachorum (various names) by Jacques de Cessolis (Cessole, various spellings) written in Italy about 1300, represents the catholic view of ideal behavior of each class of people. It was a popular and influential book translated throughout Europe. It forms the basis of Caxton’s book Game and Playe of the Chess (1474). The terms used include the Latin form of queen, and alfiere for the bishop piece, meaning standard bearer (not alphyn as Caxton uses). Note that in the Alphonso manuscrpt, from the same time period, the queen piece is called described as the standard bearer. In the Cessolis manuscript each pawn represents a different set of professions, so that the chess pieces can reflect all of society and an individuals place in it.
To the medieval church, chess provides an opportunity to illustrate the proper order of society and man’s role in a divine plan. The advent of a female piece, in place of the male advisor, changes this metaphor. By the rules of chess, when a pawn is promoted it must now become a queen. How could a lowly pawn aspire to be queen?, and how could a king have two queens at the same time. This problem was dealt with in various ways.

Special innovations form Cessolis manuscript (Golombek p. 63)
- The king has a special jump of 2, 3 or 4 squares in his initial move provided that he is not in check and does not go through check. (Another variation in Lombard is the joint move of the king and queen of 3 squares in their initial move)
- Stalemate counted as a draw.
- Pawn initial two-step move for all pawns, but not the en passant capture.
The Cessolis manuscript shows that attempts were made to speed up the opening moves of the game, by means of the initial two-step move of pawns and the special leap of the king. Also the 13th c. Lombard assizes allow joint opening move of the king and queen and the use of the initial two-step move for pawns.

The Poem by Vida
Marcus Hieronymus Vida wrote a Latin poem, scacchia ludus (The Game of Chess) in Italy, published in 1527.  The poem is a description of a chess game played by the Roman gods, using the new chess rules.
The game is played on a painted table with black and white pieces.  The pieces are named king, queen, archer (bishop), knight, and the rooks are described as "Elephants, that on their backs sustain vast towers of war" (Goldsmith translation : www.ancientchess.com/frames-story.htm)  This description is believed to have led to the modern rook design of a tower alone.

Special innovations form Vida’s poem
All pieces have their modern moves including the pawns initial two-step but not the en passant capture.
There is no mention of castling or of any special ‘king leap’ .
Only when the white queen has been taken does the author consider moving a pawn towards ‘queening’.
                    "Hence the pale ruler with a love-sick eye
                     Surveys th’ attendants of his former wife
                     And offers one of them a royal life." (Goldsmith translation)
Bare King Rule - when all of the opponent's pieces, except for the king, have been captured.
In earlier forms of chess this position was win situation. Under Vida’s rules the modern rule for stalemate applies, that is: if the bare king has no legal move but is not in check the game is a draw.

Italy - illustration

Image # 17 The Chess Players cassone panel ca. 1475


Liberale da Verona (Liberaled: Jacomo) Italian Veronese 1445-1527/29
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Image from: www.metmuseum.org




 Byzantium

There are Byzantine court references to chess as early as 802. (Yalom p.22). "The Greek word for chess, zatriki comes directly from the Persian chatrang showing that Byzantium did not obtain its game from the Arabs" (Parlett p.300). The word for rook is lameda which means boat, which also suggests a direct connection to one of the Indian forms of the game.  The Byzantine emperors liked to have Norse guardsmen and so chess may have been introduced to Scandinavia this way. Western Europe’s connection with Byzantium was by means of these Norse trade routes and as a result of Crusaders travelling to the east. The Crusaders could have had contact with either or both the of the Arab and Byzantium forms of the game.
R.C. Bell claims that:
"During the next four centuries [after the Crusades] there was little change in the game and the European
form of medieval chess described in Caxton’s The Game and Playe of the Chesse printed in Bruges in
1474 was little different from the Persian Shatranj of the Crusades." (Bell, 60)
Whatever form of the game the Crusaders experienced, what they brought home with them was the same rules that had been used for the game since it began. Experimentation that we have records of, appears to be mainly with increased numbers of pieces on a larger board, such as in Courier chess and Great chess.

From a 2002 news story, is this:
"A team of British archaeologists has unearthed evidence suggesting that Europeans were playing chess
as early as the sixth century. An ivory chess piece, excavated at a Byzantine palace in what is now southern
Albania, is more than 500 years older than any previously discovered. " (BBC News World edition 27July 2002   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/default.stm).

This evidence that the Persian or Indian form of chess was in Byzantium as early as the sixth century suggests the possibility that trade and gift exchange may have lead to a wider distribution then is currently thought to be the case.


I
 Russia

The game of chess that arrived in Russia may have been a form of the Indian game chaturanga, and introduced through Byzantium, (see the discussion in Golombek p.55-56). On the other hand, the term for checkmate is "shakhimat", which H. J. R. Murray argues, derives from the Arab term shatranj. There are Arabic–styled pieces found in Russia from the 10th century and realistic pieces from the 12th century.
The rules of medieval chess are similar to those in Europe. What makes Russian medieval chess interesting is the chess set design. The chess sets are characterized by different figures for the opposing armies, the use of the elephant and the appearance of a boat instead of a rook.  The image below (Image # 18) is a good illustration of these characteristics and there are similarities modern chess boards from India. The word for rook in Russian is lad’ia , which means boat. The ferz remained masculine well into the 18th century when it was replaced by the queen. As in other countries, chess was the game of common folk and played by women.
          king - tsar then korol (king)
          queen - firz male in gender
          bishop - slon (elephant)
          knight - kon
          rook - lad’ia (boat)
          pawn - peshka
During the middle ages Russia had little contact with western Europe, however it is interesting to speculate that trade thought Russia to Scandinavia could have meant the Norse had access to the Greek form of chess.

Russia - illustrations
Image # 18  Russian Kholmogory set


image from: www.crumiller.com/chess/chess_photos/other/
Russian Kholmogory set
This set was carved from mammoth ivory in Kholmogory, Russia in the late 1700's. Note that the Queens are men, representing viziers. Bishops are represented as elephants, and even now the Arabic and Spanish words for Bishop is "alfil", with the same root at "elephant". Rooks are ships. A classic Kholmogory set. I believe that 3 pieces are replacements, carved in walrus ivory.


 Image # 19 Boat (rook) ivory 12 c.

     Volkovysk, Belarus
     Vyshgorod Bielorussian Art Museum. Minsk
      image from //history.chess.free.fr image from //history.chess.free.fr









 Scandinavia

It is interesting to speculate on whether or not the Norse trade with Byzantium could have lead the Norse to learn the Persian form of chess before it was modified in Europe. Image # 1 shows abstract chess pieces with Nordic modifications. The Norse introduced the game to the Netherlands, Scotland, and generally in northern Europe. It is claimed that on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1027, King Canute (Denmark and England) learned to play chess.
In the story about King Canute and Urf the Jart, Urf grew angry when the king took back a bad move he had made, so King Canute had Urf killed. This is a good story, however references to chess in the old Norse sagas are suspect, as chess was deemed a fitting pastime for kings when the sagas were written. It is likely that the story involved a game of hneftaft. (Yalom p.157)
The most publicized chessmen made in Norway are called the Lewis chessmen and were found in Scotland. They are generally accepted to have been made in Norway in the mid 12th c.


Image # 20 Ivory chess piece king, Norway 1170-1200




Louvre Museum, Paris
source : www.larsdatter.com/games.htm

Note how this can be compared to the Lewis Chessmen discussed below.




I


The Lewis Chessmen    -   Chess pieces found on the Isle of Lewis

The Lewis Chessmen is the name given to several incomplete sets of chess pieces that were found in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis. Most are currently held by the British Museum or the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They are made from walrus ivory, with some made from whale teeth. They are generally accepted to have been made in Norway in the mid 12th c.

The pieces are as follows:
     kings - all bearded, crowned enthroned
     queens - crowned enthroned
     bishops hold crosier, two pointed miter of 12c design
     knights - on horse back
     rooks - called armed guardians or warder, have helmet, shield and sword
     pawns - resemble milestones


David Shenk describes there importance as follows:
          "The story of how chess migrated from the Golden Gate Palace in Baghdad to the remote
          Isle of Lewis, and how the pieces morphed from abstracted Persian-Indian war figurines to
          evocative European Christian war figurines, is an epic that underscores the enormous
          transfer of culture and knowledge in the Middle Ages from the East to the West" (Shenk, p.45)






Image # 21   bishop, drawing



     Lewis chessmen 12 th c. walrus ivory 8-10 cm
     British Museum: London
      Source: Wilson, Eva. Early Medieval Designs from Britain. Dover Pub.:
      New York 1983 p.84.







.
 The evolution of the rook – from chariot to castle

The rook was the most powerful piece on the medieval chessboard. The term ‘rukh’ sounds like roka (boat ) used in the Ganges valley and like rukhkh the Arabic term for "the horseman who is commander of the army" In Persian rukh means war chariot. The abstract curved flat piece used by Arab chess players would have left plenty of room for Europeans to decide for themselves, what the rook represents.
The European rook took many forms. In the Charlemage chessmen set, (circa 1080) the rook is carved as a chariot with driver and horses. The Lewis chessmen of the mid 1100’s have rooks that resemble soldiers each has a helmet, shield and sword. Alfonso X’s The Book of Games (1283) describes the rook as "made wide and stretched because they resemble the ranks of soldiers". Cessolis (circa 1300) calls them "vicars or envoy’s of the king" (Yalom, p.70). In the Latin poem, Scacchia Ludus of 1537, by Vida, the rooks are described as "warring towers borne upon the backs of elephants" (Parlett p.304) By the mid 16th century the rook is represented by the tower alone, (Hammond p. 107).

Image # 22  Rook, stone

     A jet chess piece with suspension loop York
     image from: www.iadb.co.uk/secrets/medhom.htm -






Image # 23    Rook,  bone

   Paladra Lake, Colletiere Isere France
 image from: Colletiere : thirty years of a life reconstructed
www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/charavines/en/cpintro.htm


Image # 24



Rook, deer bone, 978-1070,

Pineuilh, Gironde, France
source: http://history.chess.free.fr/first-european.htm





 Conclusion

Living in medieval Europe you would have been familar with a number of board games including merels in England and hneftaftl in Scandinavia.  Your first contact with chess might have been by seeing a chess set, brought by a merchant or a visitor.
A learned person might encounter chess, in a poem or Latin text meant to justify the game. You would not have thought that chess was a new invention, various historical figures were given credit for inventing the game or you would have credited it to the ancients. Chess was a sinful pleasure, and you likely would have heard sermons specifically against the play of chess. You may also have heard or read, how chess can be seen as a metaphor for the natural order of society, justifying the game on moral grounds.  Older games, such as merels and  hneftaftl, fell out of fashion and were replaced by tables (backgammon) and medieval chess.


Major differences between the New chess (circa. 1500) and medieval chess played in Europe.

king -
          New chess the king still had an optional 2, 3, or 4 step initial move. Modern castling does not appear   
          until around 1600.
firz / queen -
          From moving only one sq. diagonally any direction with optional 2 step initial joint move with king     
          (Lombard assizes) to unlimited movement of modern queen
bishop -
          From a leaper like the knight, jumping to the opposite corner of a 3x3 array of squares to modern move.
          By 1200 the courier piece has modern bishop movement as does the taliah ( picket or guard) in
          Tamberlane chess but this move is not transferred to the bishop until about the same time as the queen
          has her modern move.
knight  -
          no change, modern movement
rook  -  
          no change, modern movement
pawn  -
          modern movement except: optional two-step opening (in some forms privilege restricted to pawns of the
          king, queen or rook). This privilege ended once a capture had been made. En passant capture inferred
          from Anglo-French assize of 1150. Pawn promotes to firz/queen only. (When the piece was identified as
          female in gender, some forms had the restriction that the king could only have one queen at a time)

Winning: Checkmate: when the opponent's king is unable to avoid capture on the next move.
Stalemate: Bare King (when all of the opponent's pieces, except for the king, have been captured)
Drawn game: Player cannot make a legal move, perpetual check, repeated moves, by agreement, or any
          situation where neither player will gain the advantage

Chess piece design
The common every day chess pieces were simple, often abstract in design and made of bone, clay or wood..
Fancier sets of carved ivory, rock crystal, precious stone are spotlighted in the museums, but do not express the common abstract design identifiable throughout Europe. Medieval chess pieces found throughout Europe are a variation on the Arabic abstract chess piece designs. The boards were chequered and made in a variety of colour combinations.



For medieval recreationists  with a persona earlier then 1490 the rules of chess did not  give the queen piece and the bishop piece their modern moves.  The game was slower, less complex and  likely to end, not with checkmate, but with a bared king.  To recreate the medieval experience chess should be played by medieval chess rules.  This will work best if abstract design chess pieces are used, so as to keep the different moves in mind.






Image # 25  Abstract chess pieces - carving details

medieval chess pieces, walrus ivory

The knight (on the right), the rook and pawn, chess pieces made out of walrus ivory.
Musée Schlumberger. Crèvecoeur-en-Auge. DR
image from: www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/cultur...









 Table # 1    Comparitive nomenclature of the earilest forms of chess
International
(Western)
chess
chaturanga
(Sanskrit)
India
chatrang
(Persian)
shatranj (sh?t-ranj)
(Arabic)
Alphonso X manuscript
(Spanish)
ajedrez
zatriki
(med. Greek)
king
raja
raja &mahout on elephant
shah
shah
from Persian
king, siting on chair wearing crown, with sword
king
queen
wazir
general & mahout on elephant
farzin
counsilor
firz[an], fers
general, vizier
fers
standard bearer
vizier became
queen
bishop
fil
camel & rider
horse & rider
pil
elephant
al-fil
jumping piece
fil
elephant with castle full of men on top
elephant
knight /
horse
asp
horse & rider
asp
horse & rider
faras
horse & rider
knight
horse & rider
rook /
castle
rukh
boat
elephant &howdah (tower) on back
chariot
rukh rokh
chariot driver
camel
rukhkh
horseman who commandes army
rook
armed soldiers holding on to one another
boat, ship
pawn
piyada
piyada
baidaq
baidak
pawn
common people

Table # 2   Comparitive nomenclature within Europe
International
(Western)
chess
Medieval Latin
scacchi
scaccarium
various spellings
E = Einsiedeln poem
CB = Carmina Burana
French
eschès
echecs
Middle English
ches, chess
Russian
shakhmaty
Italian
scacchi
scacco
German
schach
Medieval European
chess piece
representations -
examples
king
rex
roy
kynge
tsar
korol
re
könig
king on throne
king standing
queen
ferzia
femina, regina conjunx CB
then:
regina (E)
fierge fierce
dame (1500)
fers (Chaucer)
quene (Caxton)
firz
regina
dame
counsellor
queen standing
queen on throne
bishop
alfinus, alphinus
alphicus (leper)
alfiere( standard-bearer)
aificus (‘horned head’) CB
comes, curvus (count or aged one) (E)
Vida’s poem (1547) use of terms for archer
alfin, aufyn (OF)
fou (fool)
alphyn (Caxton)
wise man sitting in chair holding a book
slon (elephant)
standard-bearer
läufer (runner)
bishop, archer
sage, jester standard-bearer, fool (France)
elephant (Russia)
knight /
horse
eques (E) and CB
caballarius
chevalier
(knight)
knyght
kon (horse)
cavallo
springer, (leaper)
knight
mounted knight
horse alone
rook /
castle
rocus
rochus
Vida’s poem (1547) use of terms for elephant with tower
roc
rook (Caxton)
legat of the kynge - man on horseback
ladya or
lad’ia
(boat)
rocco
roch
chariot
boat or ship (Russia)
elephant
elephant &howdah (tower)
castle tower by mid 16th c.
pawn
pedes
(foot soldier)
pion (pawn)
comyn people (Caxton) in 8 categories
pieshka
bauer
foot soldier, farmer, peasant, knave,


 Glossary

assize         a legal proceeding that issues a decree, edict or regulation. Historically concerned with topics such as
                    weights and measures, prices, fashion and a wide variety of topics.
backgammon        modern form of class of ancient games termed tables or tabula in Latin includes game of tric trac.
castling       a move of the king and either rook of the same colour on the same rank, counting as a single move of the king and
                    executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two  squares towards the rook, then that rook is
                     transferred to the square the king has just crossed.    Modern castling does not appear until around 1600.
chaturaji      Sanskrit - one type of four-handed chess
chaturanga      Sanskrit - the four angas of an army (elephants, horses, chariots and foot-soldiers)
chess      a set of games all characterized by equal opposing armies with differentiated pieces each having a specific move
draughts (checkers)       a set of games played on a chess board, origin about 1100 CE
en passant      to take with one of your pawns, the opponents pawn that has been moved forward two squares, passing over the
                         square on which it would have been liable to capture. The use of en passant can be inferred from Anglo-French
                         assize of 1150
International chess (Western chess)         the modern form of chess played in international tournaments
jeopardy ME.       a difficult problem in chess - used by Chaucer
ludus latrunculorum           classical Latin sometimes mistranslated as "chess’ refers to a Roman game.
mate             possibly from mat Arabic meaning dead or from ‘maneo, -ere’ classical Latin meaning: at a loss, helpless
medieval chess            the commonly recorded set of rules, applied in Europe, to the 8x8 sized board game.
                                      The time period is from the earliest Christian records to approximately 1500.
notation of chess (algebraic)      where each square is uniquely described by a letter and a number. The eight ranks are
                    numbered 1 through 8 starting with the white kings home rank. The files are named a through h,  moving left to right
                    across the board. Pawns are moved without mention of name (e2-e4 ) Ktg1-f3 means knight at g1 to f3
queen’s chess ( new chess)         the game that uses the more powerful modern moves of the queen and bishop pieces.
scaccarium         med. Latin chessboard, game of chess, exchequer
scaccatus         chequered (uncertain origin)
scacci, scaci, scachi         med. Latin forms of scaccarium
scacchorum ludo         med. Latin the game of chessmen
scacchi schachi         med. Latin term applied to various games pieces such as in draughts, tables or merels.(Parlett p.300).
                                    Caution such be used when reading period documents.
Staunton chess pieces chess          piece design most commonly used today in International chess. Note that the use of the
                     Maltese cross on top of the king is likely a reference to the Maltese ivory carving school started by the Knights
                     of St. John in Malta c.1561


 Annotated Sources List

1. Websites:
Ancient Chess http://www.ancientchess.com
by Jean Louis Cazaux excellent pages on chess history and an annotated list of original documents that
refer to chess. Sells accurate reproduction of medieval Persian chess set.
Chess.com http://www.chess.com
online chess club
Chess graphics http://www.chessgraphics.net/ interesting collection of pictures
Chess Poster http://www.chess-poster.com/english/chesmayne/chesmayne.htm
section on history of chess includes timeline section which is entertaining but the dates are not documented
Chess Variants http://www.chessvariants.org/Gindex.html 
excellent source of all types of games related to chess including medieval forms such as, Great chess and Four-handed chess.
Goddess chess http://goddesschess.com - site changed to link to www.chess.com
Goldsmith, Oliver. Vida’s Scacchia ludus (The Game of Chess) translation
Ancient Chess http://www.ancientchess.com/frames-story.htm
Golladay, Sonja Musser. English Translation of Alfonso X's Book of Games
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html
Historic Games http://historicgames.com
recreation of various games, same timeline as poster at Chess Poster
History of Chess http://history.chess.free.fr/chaturanga.htm
provides rules and discusses the misinformation that is published about the origins of this game
The Internet Medieval Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html
one of the basic sources on the internet for medieval research
Jon's Antique Chess Sets http:// www.crumiller.com/chess/chess_
interesting collection of pictures site is that of art dealer
The Online Guide to Traditional Games http://www.tradgames.org.uk/
excellent source for a wide variety of games
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Game and Playe of the Chesse, by Caxton
online at http://www.gutenberg.net
basic source for original documents

2.  Bibliography
source locations are:  UVic (University of Victoria, BC) and GVPL (Greater Victoria Public Library)

 Bell, R.C. Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations. New York : Dover Publications , Inc,. 1979.
 Carver, Craig M. A History of English In It’s Own Words. New York: Harper Collins Pub., 1991.
 Eales, Richard Chess: The History of a Game. London: B T Batsford Ltd. 1985.
     available at UVic library basic source book on chess
 Falkener, Edward. Games Ancient and Oriental and How to Play Them. New York: Dover Pub. Inc. 1892; reprint 1961.
     available at GVPL contains rules to a wide variety of games
 Golombek, Harry. A History of Chess. New York: Putnam’s & Sons. 1976.
     available at UVic Library and GVPL excellent source, well written
 Hammond, Alex. The Book of Chessmen. London: Arthur Barker Ltd. 1950.
     available at GVPL work of amateur historian, lots of illustrations but no documentation
 Joy, T. Edward. Victoria and Albert Museum Gaming The Arts and Living London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. 1982
     available at UVic Library
 Murray, H. J. R. A History of Chess. 1913. The fundamental authority on chess history
     available at UVic
 Parlett, David. The Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford: Oxford University Press 1999
     available at GVPL Contains basic rules of various forms of chess.
 Shenk, David. The Immortal Game: A History of Chess. Toronto: Bond Street Books 2006
     available at GVPL anecdotal account
 Yalom, Marilyn. Birth of the Chess Queen. New York: HarperCollins Pub. 2004
     available at GVPL excellent book, well written and well researched No explanation given for the development of the
     stronger bishop piece at the same time as the stronger queen.

                                                                                             3. Original Sources

 Alphonso [Alfonso] X’s The Book of the Games of Chess, Dice, and Boards Spanish, 1283
     98 pages 150 colour drawings contains reference to great chess, and four handed chess partial translation obtained from Golladay,
    Sonja Musser. English Translation of Alfonso X's Book of Games. accessed May 2007 website:
     http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html
 Caxton Game and playe of the chess. 1474 translation into English from the French translation by Jehan de Vignay of the Cessolis  
     manuscript. obtained from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Game and Playe of the Chesse, by Caxton accessed May 2007
     website: www.gutenberg.net
 Cessolis, Jacobus de, Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ac popularium sive super ludo scachorum
     ( The book of the morals of men and the duties of nobles and commoners). also called Ludis Scacchorum 1300 Italy Latin.
      discussed in detail in Golombek book.
 Golladay, Sonja Musser. English Translation of Alfonso X's Book of Games
     http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html
   List, Larry. (author and curator) email responce to current essay "I have always understood to be an abstraction of the rook
     from the original Indian sets, which was a chariot with driver. In the abstract piece, the bump or tip at the left is the simplified
     head and torso of the driver, the small middle bump is the rear of the horse and the right-most bump or tip is the head of the
     horse."sent 06 Nov. 2011
 Vida, Marcus Hieronymus. Scacchia ludus (The Game of Chess) Italy, Latin 1527 translation by Oliver Goldsmith obtained from
      Ancient Chess website accessed July 2007 website: www.ancientchess.com/frames-story.htm





 creative copyright  2007  Carol Hamill