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Old May 29th 10, 04:38 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Playing chess in medieval times

On Thu, 27 May 2010 16:28:48 +0000 (UTC), Paul J Gans wrote:

SolomonW wrote:
I am very keen on the game.


By the X century, chess was known in England, France, Germany, Russia and
other European countries.


I was wondering has anyone played the game with medieval rules, does any of
the games still exist and how good player were medieval players?


Do you have a good source for the medieval rules in different
countries?

Sadly, the medieval chess master's point lists have not survived.


This is the first game of chess ever recorded


http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1259987

Francesco di Castellvi vs Narciso Vinyoles
Valencia (Spain) 1475 · Scandinavian Defense: Ilundain Variation

Here is a full analysis by Fritz using a Rybka 3 engine


[Event "Blitz:10'"]
[Site "Melbourne"]
[Date "2010.05.30"]
[Round "?"]
[White "New game"]
[Black "Fritz 10"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[Annotator "Fritz 10 (30s)"]
[PlyCount "41"]

{B01: Scandinavian Defence} 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 {White king safety
dropped}
3. Nc3 {White threatens to win material: Nc3xd5} Qd8 (3... Qa5 4. d4 $14)
4.
Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 $2 (5... Nbd7 6. O-O Nb6 7. Bb3 $14) 6. h3 $4 {
there were better ways to keep up the pressure} (6. Ne5 $142 {
would have given White a clear advantage} Be6 7. Bxe6 fxe6 8. d3 $18) 6...
Bxf3
(6... Bh5 7. d3 $14) 7. Qxf3 ({Worse is} 7. gxf3 Nc6 $15) 7... e6 {
Consolidates d5} (7... Nc6 $142 $5 $14 {should be considered}) 8. Qxb7 $18
Nbd7
9. Nb5 Rc8 10. Nxa7 ({Not} 10. Qxa7 c6 11. Nc3 Nc5 $15) 10... Nb6 $4 {
the position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end} (10... Rb8
$142
11. Qf3 Ne5 $18) 11. Nxc8 Nxc8 (11... Nxc4 {doesn't improve anything} 12.
O-O
$18) 12. d4 $1 {Deflection: d4} Nd6 (12... Qxd4 13. Qxc8+ {Deflection}) 13.
Bb5+ (13. Qc6+ {and White can already relax} Nd7 14. Bd3 Be7 $18) 13...
Nxb5 (
13... Nd7 {is not the saving move} 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7 15. Qf3 $18) 14. Qxb5+
Nd7
15. d5 (15. O-O $5 {keeps an even firmer grip} Bd6 $18) 15... exd5 16. Be3
(16.
Qxd5 $5 {and White can already relax} Bd6 17. Bg5 Qb8 18. Qe4+ Kf8 $18)
16...
Bd6 17. Rd1 (17. O-O-O $142 {might be the shorter path} Qc8 18. Qxd5 O-O
$18)
17... Qf6 (17... O-O {does not help much} 18. Qxd5 Nf6 19. Qd4 $18) 18.
Rxd5 (
18. O-O {seems even better} Qd8 $18) 18... Qg6 $2 (18... c6 19. Rxd6 $1 {
the decision} Qxd6 $18) 19. Bf4 (19. Rg5 $142 {makes it even easier for
White}
Qe6 20. Rxg7 $18) 19... Bxf4 $4 {causes even greater problems} (19... Qe4+
$142
20. Kd1 Qxf4 21. Re1+ Kd8 $16) 20. Qxd7+ Kf8 21. Qd8# 1-0
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Old May 29th 10, 05:23 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Posts: 3,536
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On May 29, 6:38*pm, SolomonW wrote:
On Thu, 27 May 2010 16:28:48 +0000 (UTC), Paul J Gans wrote:
SolomonW wrote:
I am very keen on the game.


By the X century, chess was known in England, France, Germany, Russia and
other European countries.


I was wondering has anyone played the game with medieval rules, does any of
the games still exist and how good player were medieval players?


Do you have a good source for the medieval rules in different
countries?


Sadly, the medieval chess master's point lists have not survived.


This is the first game of chess ever recorded

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1259987


Wow, that game stunk.

I can't believe such a low level of skill existed back then--that game
was not worthy of being recorded.

RL
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Old May 29th 10, 05:31 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,256
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On May 29, 11:38*am, SolomonW wrote:

By the X century, chess was known in England, France, Germany, Russia and
other European countries.


I was wondering has anyone played the game with medieval rules, does any of
the games still exist and how good player were medieval players?


Do you have a good source for the medieval rules in different
countries?


If you're willing to wade through a somewhat dense, highly detailed,
scholarly treatment, I would recommend H.J.R. Murray's "A History of
Chess" (Oxford, 1913). Part 2, "Chess in Europe," describes the
introduction of shatranj to Europe from the Islamic world, and its
evolution there into the modern game. Regional rule variants and
"assizes" — for example in Spain, Lombardy, Germany, France, England,
and Iceland — are described. What may be a few complete games, or at
least game fragments (it's hard to be sure without going laboriously
through the old notation), that have survived from medieval
manuscripts circa 12th-13th centuries CE are given.
D.B. Pritchard's "Encyclopedia of Chess Variants" (1994), in its
entry "Medieval Chess," says that "One manuscript of the 13th century
gives the rules of 44 variants," but he does not name the MS.
Pritchard claims that "no record of a game has survived from the
medieval period," but he does mention a correspondence shatranj
tournament organized by the Deutsches Wochenshach (German Chess
Weekly) in 1913, in which a number of German masters took part, and he
gives one full game, between von Holzhausen and Ahrend. He also gives
couple more, one ancient and one modern (Jacobs-Thomas, 1914) in the
Shatranj entry.
In a lighter vein, you might enjoy two articles in "The Human Comedy
of Chess" by GM Hans Ree (reviewed he http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hcc.txt),
"Ziryab the Musician" and "as-Suli's Diamond." The first discusss how
chess might have been brought to Europe, the second a masterful
endgame study by an Arabian who lived circa 880-946 CE.

I don't see how it would be possible to dermine how good medieval
players were without a reasonably large sample of games to evaluate.
Islamic records do name various individual champions, but I don't know
if any medieval European records doing so are known. I do recall that
in the film "Becket" King Henry II (played by Peter O'Toole) claims
that Thomas Becket (Richard Burton), later Archbishop of Canterbury,
can "checkmate the lot of you" or words to that effect, but whether
this was based on fact I cannot say.

The game cited below uses the modern rules.

This is the first game of chess ever recorded

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1259987

Francesco di Castellvi vs Narciso Vinyoles
Valencia (Spain) 1475 *· *Scandinavian Defense: Ilundain Variation

Here is a full analysis by Fritz using a Rybka 3 engine

[Event "Blitz:10'"]
[Site "Melbourne"]
[Date "2010.05.30"]
[Round "?"]
[White "New game"]
[Black "Fritz 10"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[Annotator "Fritz 10 (30s)"]
[PlyCount "41"]

{B01: Scandinavian Defence} 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 {White king safety
dropped}
3. Nc3 {White threatens to win material: Nc3xd5} Qd8 (3... Qa5 4. d4 $14)
4.
Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 $2 (5... Nbd7 6. O-O Nb6 7. Bb3 $14) 6. h3 $4 {
there were better ways to keep up the pressure} (6. Ne5 $142 {
would have given White a clear advantage} Be6 7. Bxe6 fxe6 8. d3 $18) 6....
Bxf3
(6... Bh5 7. d3 $14) 7. Qxf3 ({Worse is} 7. gxf3 Nc6 $15) 7... e6 {
Consolidates d5} (7... Nc6 $142 $5 $14 {should be considered}) 8. Qxb7 $18
Nbd7
9. Nb5 Rc8 10. Nxa7 ({Not} 10. Qxa7 c6 11. Nc3 Nc5 $15) 10... Nb6 $4 {
the position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end} (10... Rb8
$142
11. Qf3 Ne5 $18) 11. Nxc8 Nxc8 (11... Nxc4 {doesn't improve anything} 12.
O-O
$18) 12. d4 $1 {Deflection: d4} Nd6 (12... Qxd4 13. Qxc8+ {Deflection}) 13.
Bb5+ (13. Qc6+ {and White can already relax} Nd7 14. Bd3 Be7 $18) 13...
Nxb5 (
13... Nd7 {is not the saving move} 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7 15. Qf3 $18) 14. Qxb5+
Nd7
15. d5 (15. O-O $5 {keeps an even firmer grip} Bd6 $18) 15... exd5 16. Be3
(16.
Qxd5 $5 {and White can already relax} Bd6 17. Bg5 Qb8 18. Qe4+ Kf8 $18)
16...
Bd6 17. Rd1 (17. O-O-O $142 {might be the shorter path} Qc8 18. Qxd5 O-O
$18)
17... Qf6 (17... O-O {does not help much} 18. Qxd5 Nf6 19. Qd4 $18) 18.
Rxd5 (
18. O-O {seems even better} Qd8 $18) 18... Qg6 $2 (18... c6 19. Rxd6 $1 {
the decision} Qxd6 $18) 19. Bf4 (19. Rg5 $142 {makes it even easier for
White}
Qe6 20. Rxg7 $18) 19... Bxf4 $4 {causes even greater problems} (19... Qe4+
$142
20. Kd1 Qxf4 21. Re1+ Kd8 $16) 20. Qxd7+ Kf8 21. Qd8# 1-0


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Old May 30th 10, 09:09 AM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On Sat, 29 May 2010 09:23:21 -0700 (PDT), raylopez99 wrote:

On May 29, 6:38*pm, SolomonW wrote:
On Thu, 27 May 2010 16:28:48 +0000 (UTC), Paul J Gans wrote:
SolomonW wrote:
I am very keen on the game.


By the X century, chess was known in England, France, Germany, Russia and
other European countries.


I was wondering has anyone played the game with medieval rules, does any of
the games still exist and how good player were medieval players?


Do you have a good source for the medieval rules in different
countries?


Sadly, the medieval chess master's point lists have not survived.


This is the first game of chess ever recorded

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1259987


Wow, that game stunk.


I have seen worse. Both sides made terrible mistakes on the fifth and sixth
move

5... Bg4
6 h3

when Black lost and White missed the win so White had to win it again.


I can't believe such a low level of skill existed back then--that game
was not worthy of being recorded.

RL


One would hope that chess has improved since then 1475.


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Old May 30th 10, 12:51 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Posts: 3,536
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On May 29, 7:31*pm, Taylor Kingston
wrote:
* If you're willing to wade through a somewhat dense, highly detailed,
scholarly treatment, I would recommend H.J.R. Murray's "A History of
Chess" (Oxford, 1913). Part 2, "Chess in Europe," describes the
introduction of shatranj to Europe from the Islamic world, and its
evolution there into the modern game. Regional rule variants and
"assizes" — for example in Spain, Lombardy, Germany, France, England,
and Iceland — are described.


I prefer the lighter version by Harry Golombek, three time UK
champion. More fun pictures too.

RL

Harry Golombek OBE (1 March 1911 – 7 January 1995), was a British
chess International Master and honorary grandmaster, chess arbiter,
and chess author


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Old May 30th 10, 03:57 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Posts: 3,256
Default Playing chess in medieval times


Adding to my previous post, I note that "The Even More Complete
Chess Addict" by Fox and James (1993), page 115, gives a provisional
list of unofficial Islamic shatranj champions that covers much of the
Middle Ages. Most were Persian. They admit it's rather speculative,
but it is based on various historical documents.
They list no European champions until Ruy Lopez in the late 1500s,
by which time the modern rules had evolved. It would seem that either
medieval European records are less well preserved, or European chess
play in that era was so localized and unorganized that no one of any
champion's stature was recognized.

On May 29, 12:31*pm, Taylor Kingston
wrote:
On May 29, 11:38*am, SolomonW wrote:



By the X century, chess was known in England, France, Germany, Russia and
other European countries.


I was wondering has anyone played the game with medieval rules, does any of
the games still exist and how good player were medieval players?


Do you have a good source for the medieval rules in different
countries?


* If you're willing to wade through a somewhat dense, highly detailed,
scholarly treatment, I would recommend H.J.R. Murray's "A History of
Chess" (Oxford, 1913). Part 2, "Chess in Europe," describes the
introduction of shatranj to Europe from the Islamic world, and its
evolution there into the modern game. Regional rule variants and
"assizes" — for example in Spain, Lombardy, Germany, France, England,
and Iceland — are described. What may be a few complete games, or at
least game fragments (it's hard to be sure without going laboriously
through the old notation), that have survived from medieval
manuscripts circa 12th-13th centuries CE are given.
* D.B. Pritchard's "Encyclopedia of Chess Variants" (1994), in its
entry "Medieval Chess," says that "One manuscript of the 13th century
gives the rules of 44 variants," but he does not name the MS.
* Pritchard claims that "no record of a game has survived from the
medieval period," but he does mention a correspondence shatranj
tournament organized by the Deutsches Wochenshach (German Chess
Weekly) in 1913, in which a number of German masters took part, and he
gives one full game, between von Holzhausen and Ahrend. He also gives
couple more, one ancient and one modern (Jacobs-Thomas, 1914) in the
Shatranj entry.
* In a lighter vein, you might enjoy two articles in "The Human Comedy
of Chess" by GM Hans Ree (reviewed hehttp://www.chesscafe.com/text/hcc..txt),
"Ziryab the Musician" and "as-Suli's Diamond." The first discusss how
chess might have been brought to Europe, the second a masterful
endgame study by an Arabian who lived circa 880-946 CE.

* I don't see how it would be possible to dermine how good medieval
players were without a reasonably large sample of games to evaluate.
Islamic records do name various individual champions, but I don't know
if any medieval European records doing so are known. I do recall that
in the film "Becket" King Henry II (played by Peter O'Toole) claims
that Thomas Becket (Richard Burton), later Archbishop of Canterbury,
can "checkmate the lot of you" or words to that effect, but whether
this was based on fact I cannot say.


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Old May 31st 10, 02:41 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Posts: 36
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On Sun, 30 May 2010 07:57:03 -0700 (PDT), Taylor Kingston wrote:

They list no European champions until Ruy Lopez in the late 1500s,
by which time the modern rules had evolved. It would seem that either
medieval European records are less well preserved, or European chess
play in that era was so localized and unorganized that no one of any
champion's stature was recognized.


To have a game recorded you do not need to be recognized as a champion.
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Old June 1st 10, 12:29 AM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Playing chess in medieval times

On May 31, 9:41*am, SolomonW wrote:
On Sun, 30 May 2010 07:57:03 -0700 (PDT), Taylor Kingston wrote:
* They list no European champions until Ruy Lopez in the late 1500s,
by which time the modern rules had evolved. It would seem that either
medieval European records are less well preserved, or European chess
play in that era was so localized and unorganized that no one of any
champion's stature was recognized.


To have a game recorded you do not need to be recognized as a champion.


I fully agree, though I don't understand the relevance of that to
what I said. I was simply saying that while we do have some evidence
of Islamic champions from the Middle Ages — their names if not their
games — we have little or nothing like that from medieval Europe.
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Old June 1st 10, 10:07 AM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Apr 2010
Posts: 36
Default Playing chess in medieval times

On Mon, 31 May 2010 16:29:28 -0700 (PDT), Taylor Kingston wrote:

On May 31, 9:41Β*am, SolomonW wrote:
On Sun, 30 May 2010 07:57:03 -0700 (PDT), Taylor Kingston wrote:
Β* They list no European champions until Ruy Lopez in the late 1500s,
by which time the modern rules had evolved. It would seem that either
medieval European records are less well preserved, or European chess
play in that era was so localized and unorganized that no one of any
champion's stature was recognized.


To have a game recorded you do not need to be recognized as a champion.


I fully agree, though I don't understand the relevance of that to
what I said. I was simply saying that while we do have some evidence
of Islamic champions from the Middle Ages β€” their names if not their
games β€” we have little or nothing like that from medieval Europe.



For some reason the scribes did not record them.
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Old June 1st 10, 07:29 PM posted to soc.history.medieval,rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,381
Default Playing chess in medieval times


For some reason the scribes did not record them.


Also see: Birth of the Chess Queen, by Marilyn Yalom. While extant
game scores are very difficult to find, there were early chess books
which illustrated what we would nowadays call openings - though as you
and others have been observing here, early games often contained
howlers from both sides. Still, there is The Book of the Games of
Chess, Dice, and Boards [Libro de los Juegos de Axedrez, Dados, y
Tablas] dated 1283.

Proper research on early games should be conducted in Spain, or more
exactly, in Catalonia, which was the original seed-bed for all
Europe.

In The Book of the Games... instead of game scores there are tabla...
significant positions recorded in engravings; I recommend 6 in
particular [here given with Yalom's captions];

a) The Spanish King Alfonso X playing an unidentified woman, and ;
b) Two elegant young ladies with high hats symbolizing status.
c) Nuns were allowed to play chess in Spaon during the reign of
Alfonso X, despite Church prohibition elsewhere, and
d) Edward 1 of England and his fiancιe, Eleanor of Castile.
e) Chess was a common pastime for Moorish women in Spain, as it was
for their sisters throughout the Muslim world. Note the fingers
covered with henna.
f) Beautiful young ladies plaing chess.

Two points: the text reads, "Alfonso's game book occasionally contains
nontechnical insertions ... but the second, if you can view the
paintings, is that the positions between the players often contain a
puzzle or a significant table for an opening.

Cordially, Phil Innes

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