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Old March 31st 08, 09:15 PM posted to,,,
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jul 2007
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Default NEWS FLASH: De Ludo Schaccorum, by Luca Pacioli

Here is an interesting story:



Freelance Writer
Cecil Rosner

THE chess world is buzzing with is very own Da Vinci Code mystery. A
Renaissance-era book on chess recently resurfaced in the long-lost library
of an Italian count. The book, called De Ludo Schaccorum (Of the Game of
Chess), is by Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli.

Pacioli wrote the book around 1500, and research by a Milan scholar suggests
he may have received assistance from a friend. That friend is none other
than Leonardo da Vinci, one of Western civilization's greatest artists and

Pacioli's book contains more than 100 chess puzzles, each illustrated with a
diagram showing the position of the pieces, such as the one you see
accompanying this column. But Pacioli's diagrams are all hand drawn, and
experts have detected some amazing similarities between the artwork and da
Vinci's style.

The proportionality of the pieces suggests the hand of da Vinci, who
produced numerous sketches on everything from birds in flight to imaginative
mechanical inventions. Most amazing of all is the suggestion that the
illustration of the Queen is similar to a sketch da Vinci created elsewhere
for a fountain.

No one has offered conclusive proof of the claim yet, and some think it may
be a tactic on the part of the book's owners to increase its value. There is
an even more tantalizing suggestion. Da Vinci may have even composed some of
the puzzles.

The diagram accompanying this column is from Pacioli's book, with a slight
modification suggested by British grandmaster Raymond Keene. Black is
already in check, so it is obviously Black's move, but the problem is to see
how White ends up mating Black. It's complicated. But so was the enigma of
Mona Lisa's smile.

There is still time to re-arrange your plans for tonight to attend an active
chess tournament at the McPhillips Street Station Casino. The event is open
to anyone aged 18 and older, and there are $500 in prizes.

The five-round event allows 20 minutes per player per game. Entry fee is
$20. To register, sign up at the casino anytime from 6 to 6:50 tonight. Play
is expected to begin at 7 p.m. and will wrap up before 11 p.m.

Should you win one of those healthy cash prizes, just remember to head
straight for the exit without any stopovers at the slot machines. Chess is a
game of skill. Slots are not.

This week's problem (Leonardo da Vinci?): Black, already in check, to move,
but White to demonstrate a mating attack. Solution to last problem: 1.Rh1.

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