By H. E. Bird
Reprint of the e-book at the background and play of the sport of chess.
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Extra resources for Chess History and Reminiscences
The King standeth in the field in middle of his army, and hath his Queene next unto him and his Nobilitie about him, with his soldiers to defend him in the forefront of the battell. Sith therefore this game is pleasant to all, profitable to most, hurtful to none. I pray thee (gentle reader) take this my labour in good part, and thou shalt animate me hereafter to the setting forth of deeper matters. Farewell. LUDUS SCACCHI. " Fortified in this conceit the ingenious author converts the Pawns into Members of the House of Commons, the Rooks into Peers, while the Queen is transformed into a Minister, and the whole effect of this curious nomenclature upon the notation of the games is ludicrous in the extreme.
The enlightened, mild and humane Al Mamun (second son of Harun) the great patron of science, comes seventh on the list, and is supposed to have been the most enthusiastic and liberal of all the Khalifs, and we are told that it was a happy thing for any worthy man of learning or scholar to become known to him. D. (the great battle) which finally overthrew the Moorish ascendancy. The versions of Persian Chess. Burzuvia 1, King of Hind 2. D. After the usual compliments the epistle proceeds: "The Empress (Irene) into whose place I have succeeded looked upon you as a Rukh, and herself as a mere Pawn, therefore she submitted to pay you a tribute more than the double of which she ought to have exacted from you.
That about the time of Mahomet they played in the East at chess with figured men. " From which it appears says the historian, the Prophet saw small images of which he knew not the use. The Mahometans of the Persian sect, it is said, used figures, and the Turks and Arabians plain pieces. The Arabians had among them very expert chess players. The progress of chess from Persia to Arabia plainly appears from the number of Persian words which are never used by the Arabians except in this game. The Elephants which held a place in it, and the Chariot, Ship, or Boat, original terms for the Bishop of our game are among the proofs adduced of its Indian origin which neither European nor Asiatic writers seem to doubt, whilst with chess players the agreement in principle and identity of pieces in the present game with the ancient Chaturanga is deemed almost conclusive.
Chess History and Reminiscences by H. E. Bird