Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

#53
A Mongolian chess master beats the Nr. 1 of the modern chess in 2010.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001 ... 67387.html

Well, this is a sort of practical evidence, that Mongalians likely had a really extended chess culture already very early.
Definitely there is also a general Russian preference for chess (many world champions), likely also a sign, that Russia earlier had some intensive interest in the game. Parts of Russia were earlier occupied by Mongolians.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

#54
Moresca

A dance, popular around 1500.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriskentanz
Der Moriskentanz (ital. Moresca, aus span. morisca) ist ein Tanz des Mittelalters und stammt ursprünglich aus Nordafrika. Dabei leitet sich das Wort Moriske von „maurisch“ ab. Morisken, auch Moriscos genannt (spanisch: morisco „maurisch“) sind Mauren, die nach dem Sieg der Reconquista in Spanien lebten.

Dieser zu seiner Zeit sehr beliebte Tanz kennzeichnet sich durch verschiedene charakteristische Sprünge und Körperverdrehungen. Ihn zu tanzen erfordert eine gewisse akrobatische Meisterschaft, weshalb früher auch Gaukler und Schausteller darauf spezialisiert waren. Das Hüpfen und Springen der Narren und Akrobaten in Filmen über das Mittelalter basiert wohl auf Vorstellungen über diesen Tanz. Das wilde, orientalische Springen wird manchmal auch so interpretiert, dass der Ursprung des Moriskentanzes ein Schwerttanz gewesen sei.

Der Moriskentanz benötigte anscheinend eine Reihe von Charakterdarstellern, es gab vermutlich mehrere Rollen. Insgesamt 16 Figuren sollten das ganze mittelalterliche Bevölkerungsspektrum darstellen. Die Zuordnung zu den einzelnen Charakteren erfolgt heutzutage aufgrund mangelnder Dokumente eher willkürlich. So unterscheidet man zum Beispiel: „Bauer“, „Dame“, „zur Hochzeit bereiter Jüngling“, und so weiter.
The German description gives the hint, that the Moresca knew (probable) 16 different figures like "Farmer", "Lady", "loving youth". This remembers chess.

**********

A "still living" Moresca at Corsica is described by Gregorovius in 19th century:
http://books.google.de/books?id=G1sBAAA ... Op2orfMM&A sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=moresca&f=false

Moresca is here understood as sword-dance and the whole as a "fighting-game" ... which would make it comparable to chess.

Here is description of a Moresca during the wedding between Afonso d'Este and Lucrezia d'Este in 1502. At least this one had "not much of chess".
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=610&p=9034&hilit=moresca#p9034

Here is described a scene short before the wedding, when the delegation is still in Rome. Also not much of chess.
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t= ... ht=moresca

Big picture from the Goldenen Dachl in Innsbruck (around 1500) with Mauresken dancer details (somewhere in the middle):
http://acrossthewater.ca/wp-content/upl ... chl_pc.jpg

Further:




http://www.ciacoeoni.net/Antichestampes ... fault.aspx

A movie to the above both pictures:


Image


Image


****************

Here I find a commercial woodcutter, who offers Moriskentänzer objects:








Moriskentänzer

Im Jahre 1480 erhielt Erasmus Grasser den ehrenvollen
Auftrag, die Bildwerke von Moriskentänzern zur
Ausgestaltung des Rathaussaales der Stadt München zu
schnitzen. Die schalkhaften Tänzer, welche heute im
Stadtmuseum München ausgestellt sind, gehören der
Stadt München.

Der Moriskentanz tauchte erstmals im einst spanischen
Süditalien am Hof des Königs von Aragòn auf und
verbreitete sich dann nach Norden.

Im Laufe der Jahrhunderte wurde der Moriskentanz immer
beliebter und wurde auf Tanzfesten als Zwischenspiel
zur Unterbrechung des allgemeinen Tanzes aufgeführt.
Hintergründig lassen die Moriskentänzer die angeborene
naive Freude am drastischen Volksschauspiel und deren
Mummenschanz erkennen.

Unsere Tänzer sind nach den Originalen von Erasmus
Grasser frei nachgebildet und stellen unterschiedliche
kecke, verbissene oder schüchterne Charaktere von
Gauklern, Akrobaten und Musikanten dar.

Die Jungfrau, inmitten der Moriskentänzer prämiert den
besten Tänzer mit einem Ring (oder einem Apfel?).
http://www.holzschnitzerkatalog.com/mor ... er/134.htm
(it seems, that one buy these figures)

The text says, that a King of Aragon brought the Moresca dance to Italy (likely Alfonso of Aragon, king of Naples). The motifs were made c. 1480 by Erasmus Grasser for the Munich city council. The virgin - the only female dancer - has a ring or an apple for the best of the dancers ... totally it are 21 figures.

In 1423 Alfonso of Aragon made a Trionfo like show with a sorcerer ... see the figure 1 ... and an artifical elephant, and a fight against Christian warriors.

**********************

This life description of Erasmus Grasser says ...
1477 – 1480: Erasmus Grasser - bereits als Meister etabliert - schnitzt im Auftrag der Stadt 11 Wappen, die Gestirne Sonne und Mond und 16 Morisken für das alte Rathaus.
Which means: Between 1477 - 1480 Erasmus Grasser made 11 heraldic shields, Sun and Moon and 16 figures ... not 21.

This is the sun (imitation):
Image


And this the moon (imitation):
Image


************

A report from the owning Stadt-Museum: Only 10 figures are still present
http://www.stadtmuseum-online.de/morisk.htm

This were
- Turban (Figur mit kleinem Turban)
- Mohr
- Langmähniger (auch Hochzeiter)
- Agraffenmütze (Figur mit Kegelmütze)
- Frauenhut (Figur mit wagenradartiger Krempe)
- Schildkappe (Figur mit banddurchzogender Schildkappe, auch Prophet genannt)
- Stulpenstiefel (auch Bauer)
- Jagdhut (Figur mit jagdhutähnlicher Kopfbedeckung)
- Löwenmütze (Figur mit löwenbesetzter Mütze)
- Perlenmütze (Figur mit Hochmütze)
... the other 6 figures are lost and unknown, likely there was a Lady and a Musician and possibly there were also planets.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

#55
The catholic Nothelfer cult (developing during 14th century in Regensburg with an insecure note of 1284 in Krems; definitely established and distributing at begin of 15th century) and the Jacobus de Cessolis chess interpretation (estimated globally "around 1300"; with individual pawns as "professions") run together in time. In the same period belong also the "9 worthies", which appear for the time in a roman of Jacques de Longuyon in his "Voeux du Paon" (1312), likely made for the crowning of the emperor Henry VII. in the same year.



This is not "old iconography", but imitated according some earlier style ..
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Maximin_%28Pachten%29

.. but one easily understands the idea, that the Nothelfer look like exotic chess figures with a closed door at the position, where one expects the king and the Queen.

I found the remark, that the 14 Nothelfer were "always" connected to Jesus and Maria (in the above picture possibly inended to be "behind the closed doors". What I've seen as real pictures of Nothelfers, this "always" is not true, but anyway, pictures with Jesus and Maria exist.

Image

http://www.diekelten.at/vierzehnnothelfer.htm

I'm not sure, but the following picture seems to present the Regensburger Nothelfer window, which was made c. 1360 for the Regensburger Dom, it's possibly the oldest surviving representation of a complete set of Nothelfer. It has 16 (not 14) Nothelfer, the saints Leonhard (/somehow connected to France) and Oswald (somehow connected to England) are included (in 1360 the English-French war is rather active ... perhaps the inclusion of these both relates to contemporary political realities).
Info to ..
Leonhard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_of_Noblac
Oswald: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_of_Northumbria

Picture is here:
http://www.haber-brandner.de/eshop/shop ... 6ddfb5fa8d

8 figures to the right, 8 figures to the left, the middle filled with other scenes.

An older Nothelfer Fresco (called the "oldest representation", also in Regensburg, c. 1320/30), considered incomplete, is given at this page ...
http://www.altrofoto.de/index.php/relig ... 15104.html

Compare also:
http://books.google.de/books?id=-ntgMbp ... er&f=false

*********

The day of the 14 Nothelfer is the 8th of August (I don't know, since when). This writes "8.8." ... and in my opinion this indicates possibly the relationship to chess, where 8 pawns are combined in two rows with 8 chess officers.

Cyriacus, one of the 14 Nothelfer saints, got, although he died at 16 of March, also the date 8.8. as his day. This according the transfer of his bones, which was done one at 8th of August (as I've read).

*********

The pawns of chess refer to professions, similar are the Nothelfer (like often other saints, too) related to professions (beside their dominating medical associations).
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

#57
I discovered a chess variant invented by the duke of Rutland (1747) and it's said to have gained some popularity till 1763 (then the major promoter, Sir Abraham Janssen, died).

http://www.chessvariants.com/historic.dir/rutland.html

The game was played on a 14x10 board.

Image


This somehow confirms the condition (as it is postulated for the chess Tarot development), that game inventions (with short life of the game) easily could take place at courts.

*******************

Further (more important) I discovered a variant "Short assize", which is said to to have been popular as early as the second half 12th century (!) and was played in England and Paris.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_assize

The chess-historian Murray is said to have recorded these both positions.

Image


Both position serve to make the start of the game more quick (which according the old rules was slower as Queen and Bishop had only limited movements.

This finding is highly interesting, as the second start position possibly explains the position given in the Echecs amoureux by Evrart de Conty:

Image


At the picture the blue scripture designs the position of the figures (the painter seems to have forgotten the 4 positions at the second row from bottom). From the text it seemed clear, that there were also figures (as far I remember), as indicated at the second Murray picture.

According the explanation the position of the Queen is curious, as it is advanced to the row of the pawns in the manner, that she parts the position of one pawn.

Something similar is recorded for the also rather early Courier chess

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courier_chess

Image


Here - with the start move - the player may move 3 pawns and the Queen in the given manner. This is called a "Freudensprung" (jump of Joy).

The "short assize" version is seen as contrast to the "long assize" version, which was considered to be identical to the normal chess of the time.

*******************

This finding of the "short assize" Version (French "court assize") possibly relates to that, what was concluded about the Cary Yale Tarocchi and it's relation to the chess game.

Image

Old article of 2003
http://trionfi.com/0/c/35/

According the earlier reconstruction the "8 figures" of the pawns row was filled with the 7 virtues and as an exception the card "Love", which according the considerations should have been the Queen's pawn.

This "Love as a pawn" was repeated in the chess interpretation of the Charles VI.

In the chess analysis of the 14 Bembo cards the card Love belongs to "the 6 dangerous cards with cliff" (so also somehow connected to the pawns, as the "8 safe cards without cliff" seem to be related to the 8 chess oficers)

The whole topic one might connect to the general chess observation as an early game of harmony between lovers (not the usual "war explanation"), as it was similar developed in the echecs amoureux and other moralisations.

So likely some courtly politeness had been connected to these somehow strange rules.

********************

Another new point:
Andrea Vitali brought to knowledge, that Italian "arroccare" is used for the English chess terminus "castling". He points out, that "t'arrocco" (sounds similar to Tarocco) is used, when one player plays the move of castling.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/arroccare

The Italian substantive is Arrocco.
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrocco
The German word is Rochade.
The French word is Roque.
The Spanish word is Enroque.

All (besides English, which uses castling) seem to relate to the Persian word رخ rokh, which means Rook in English. The Rook (as it is probably known) is used during castling.

Italian and Spanish uses Torre for Rook in chess
Francais uses the similar Tour
Germans uses the similar Turm

So there's a strange Chess naming difference between "continental chess" and "British Island Chess". ... for unknown reason. As we know, England more or less didn't participate in the early playing card development, likely cause of reasons connected to the 100 years war between England and France. Perhaps the Chess naming difference goes back to this time.

*****************

In the old rules of Chess (before the quick new movements for Bishop and Queen, which were invented in the 1470's in Spain) the Rooks were the dominant figures. In Trionfi.com's attempts to compare early Trionfi games with the Chess figures, the cards Judgment and Fame (Cary Yale Tarocchi) and Judgment and Tower (Charles VI), which beside Tower (usually Nr. 16, so "now" not high) are high cards in the Tarot Numerology.

For Tower (now trump No. 16) we have in the Sola Busca Tarocchi (which is numbered; usually given to 1491) the following picture ...

Image

http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/Sola-Busca_gallery

... which presents a Tower and is clearly related to Nr. 20 (so as a high trump).

In the Boiardo Tarocchi poem, given by Trionfi.com researches to January 1487, we have the following text for trump Nr. 20 ...
Oblivion di termine e confine
Del tutto sei, Elice e Dido a Lethe
Menasti, e famma e tempo hai in toe ruine.

... translated by Marco ...

Oblivion, you are the end and boundary
Of all, you took to Lethe Elice and Dido,
And among your ruins you have fame and time.


We have no Tower mentioned, but ruins and this seems to mean the same. Interestingly we have mentioned also the keywords "Fame and Time" and also interestingly these both appear in the short lines of trumps 19 and 21, which naturally include the poem Nr. 20.
Trump 19:

Tempo, che gli homini a la morte sproni,
Nestor servasti, e si pur vinne al fine,
De un viver tal non par che se ragioni.

Time, you that hurry men to death,
You saved Nestor, and if in the end he came to an end,
It seems impossible to think of such a life.

... (Nr. 20)

Trump 21:

Fortezza d'animo in Lucretia liete
Exequie fece: per purgar sua fama
Se uccise, e all'offensor tese atra rethe,

Inner strength made happy the death of
Lucretia: to clean her fame
She killed herself, and she prepared for the offender a dark net,
The arrangement of the Boiardo poem is complicated and for the moment "not analyzed till the end" ... so this part is simply curious, but perhaps one might draw from the coincidence between Sola Busca Tarocchi and the Boiardo poem text, that the card Tower had been traded "high trump" in the period 1487-1491 in Ferrara, as it would be expected, if it was considered as the chess figure Rook.

****************

Back to the "Arrocco" theme ... I'm not sure about the historic development of "Castling". Some sources claim, that the modern form developed mid 16th century,, but it seems indicated, that earlier existed other forms (which might have had the same name). I'm not satisfied with this somehow vague positions ... perhaps I find better material.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Chess variants 14th/15th century

#58
Some notes to Alfonso's chess book ... as given translated in a download-option here ...
http://www.mediafire.com/?nenjj1dimtd
I earlier talked already about Alfonso's chess book
(partly here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=460 )

These are just selected excerpts:

***********************

Arguments for a board with 8x8 squares ... which indirectly tells, that Alfonso knew also about other versions of chess.
And there are other games of many kinds but all were made to resemble the things that
happened according to the times that were, are or could be showing how kings in time of wars
when armies are made are to make war on their enemies fighting to conquer them, by capturing
them and killing them or throwing them off the land. And also as in the time of peace they are to
show their treasures and their riches and the noble and strange things that they have. And
according to this they made games. Some with twelve squares (per side), others with ten, others
with eight, others with six and others with four. And thus they continued descending down to
just one square, which they divided into eight parts.1 And all this they did because of the great
similarities according to the ancient knowledge, which the wise men used.
But among all the other games, they chose as best and most in common the one with the eight
squares because it is not so slow as the one with ten or more nor is it as hurried as the one of six
or fewer. And therefore men commonly use it [f. 3] in all lands, more than the other games. And
the figure of the board is that it is to be square and it is to have eight horizontal ranks and in each
flank eight squares which are in all sixty-four squares. And half of the squares are to be of one
colour and the other half of another and likewise the pieces.
***************************

The figure at the Queen-position is called fers (or Alfferez) or fersa (Allferza). The figure is interpreted as a standard bearer.
And of the other pieces which are greater one resembles the king, who is the lord of the army and
he should be in one of the two middle squares.
And next to him in the other middle square, is another piece which resembles the fers (alfferez)
who carries the standard of the king’s colours. And there are some men who do not know the
name and call him “fersa” (alfferza).3 And these two pieces each one plays alone and does not
have another in all the sixteen pieces that resembles them.

Footnote 3: While this passage attempts to fix the "castellano drecho" term for the fers, the so-called incorrect latter term is the one used throughout the rest of the ms.
*****************************************

This explains the movement of the fers ... which is somehow complicated, especially in the first move of the fers, which seem to be an early castling method (observe footnotes).
The fers moves one square diagonally and this is in order to guard the king and not leave his side
and to shield him from the checks and checkmates when they are given to him and in order to go
forward helping him to win when the game comes out well.
But he can also on his first move jump to the second4 straight or diagonal square and even if
another piece is in between. And this is in the manner of a good captain who charges ahead in
great feats and battles and rushes everywhere they need him. And in this movement he joins
forces with his foot soldiers and becomes one with them as if forcing them not to leave his side
and to be as one in order to do the best thing and thus he guards himself and them, having some
before him and standing before the others. And therefore when the fers is thus joined with the
pawns, they call it flanked.5

Footnotes:
4 The original uses the word for third, which counts the square from which the piece begins as the first.
5 Alf(f)erzada refers the triangular position of reciprocal protection created by a fers diagonally in front of two pawns. I have chosen to translate the alf(f)erzada position like the alf(f)ilada position as flank(ed) due to their resemblance to this type of military support.

So it seems, that the Fers could move 1-step diagonally (usually), but with its first move he could also jump 2 steps diagonal and vertical (also horizontal ?). It seems, that the fers could move to the position of a pawn, similar to this position (Queen and pawn united ... source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_assize ):

Image


"he guards himself and them" ... It seems, that both figures together at one square couldn't be attacked, and that this formation would have a similar defensive game value as the modern castling (another possible interpretation would be, that any attack of one of the both figures would result in an automatic loss of the attacking figure.
For the basic start formation of the 16 figures Alfonso thinks of the usual 1st and 2nd horizontal line, not of the 1st and 3rd line, as the above "short-assis" position indicates (this is clear by the accompanying pictures).

****************************

The fers is considered to be stronger than the fils [= elephants (= bishops), which can only jump 2 steps in each diagonal direction].
The fers also has great advantage because it guards the king more closely than the other pieces
and it is better than the fils because it has more squares in which it can move and capture than
they. And also it guards and captures forwards and back, which the pawns cannot do even if a
flank is made with them, as is described above.
******************************

Chess with the use of dice:
And these movements should be known by all those who wish to play chess well because
without this they could not know how to do it nor understand the chess problems that men
desire to know because of the annoyance given them from the lengthiness of the regular game
when it is played out completely. Also they established for that reason the use of dice in chess so
that it could be played more quickly.
And they assigned the six, which is the highest roll of the die, to the king, which is the most
honored piece on the board. And the five to the fers. And the four to the rook. And the three to
the knight. And the two, to the fil. And the one, which they call ace, to the pawn.
They rolled the die to decide, which sort of figure should be moved (which reduces the possibilities considerably and invents a factor of luck).
By this additional die rule we get the result, that numbers are connected to chess figures. If we transport this to the known numerology of Tarot cards, we would get ..

Pawn = 1 = Bateleur
Bishop = 2 = Popess
Knight = 3 = Empress
Rook = 4 = Emperor
Fers = 5 = Pope
King = 6 = Love

If we would now integrate Petrarca's Trionfi poem (14th century) as a mediator between Chess with die (13th century) and Trionfi-Tarocchi cards (15th century), we would get ...

1 - Pawn - Love (Amor) - Bateleur
2 - Bishop - Chastity - Popess
3 - Knight - Death - Empress
4 - Rook - Fame - Emperor
5 - Fers - Time - Pope
6 - King - Eternity (Love of Jesus) - Love

In the 4 finishing cards of the PMB-deck in the version of the first deck we have ...

11 - Fool
12 - Hanging Man
13 - Death
14 - Judgment

If we add this to the above grouping, we get (number, chess figure, Trionfi poem, Tarocchi cards, upper cards of PMB)

1 - Pawn - Love (Amor) - Bateleur ... 11 Fool
2 - Bishop - Chastity - Popess ... 12 Hanging Man
3 - Knight - Death - Empress ... 13 Death
4 - Rook - Fame - Emperor ... 14 Judgment
5 - Fers - Time - Pope
6 - King - Eternity (Love of Jesus) - Love

**********************************

A confirmation, that chess was played in Alfonso's time in many ways:
And because the games of chess are differentiated in many ways and problems are even made
out of them, there are some in which take all the pieces are used and in others only some of them,
we wish to talk to you here first of the game which is played with the all the pieces together and
we will show how the board is made and the fashionings of the pieces. However those which are
made best and most completely are to be made in this manner:
The King should be on his chair with his crown on his head and the sword in his hand as if he
were judging or ordering justice to be done.
The fers should be made in the manner of the highest standard bearer of the King who carries the
standard of the colours of the King when they are to enter into battles.
The fils are to be made in the manner of elephants with castles on top of them full of armed men,
as if wanting to fight.
The knights are to be made in the manner of armed knights, like captains who are placed by
order of the king to lead the ranks.
The rooks should be made like the ranks of armed soldiers which are very broad, holding on to
one another.
The pawns are to be made in the manner of common people who are armed and outfitted when
they want to fight.
But since in all the lands that play chess they would be very difficult to make, such pieces as
these, men sought out a way in which they could be made more easily and with less cost, but that
they should resemble in some small way those which we describe. And the figure of those which
is the most used in all the lands, and especially in Spain, is that which is painted here.
***********************

A chess variant, which is called "forced" or "game of the damsels"
And we wish next to tell of the game which they call forced. And this is because even though it
may be played according to each player’s will, in it there is also to be an element of force because
a man goes against his will losing his best piece to his opponent’s worst, willing or not by putting
it on a square where the other is forced to capture it, according to the movement of the piece
against which it is put. And this game is arranged just the same as the first and the pieces move
and capture each other in that same way except that there is in addition the forced capture. And
therefore those that play it are to be knowledgeable so that they do not put their best pieces in a
position where they are to give them up to lesser and more lowly pieces. Because in this lies all
the wisdom of this game and its play. And because of this force which we described, they call it
the forced game. But because some tell that the damsels first invented it overseas, they call it the
game of the damsels.
This is of special interest, as the later Tarot card games differed from other trump card games, that trumping was "forced" (you MUST capture, if you can) ... as in the chess game of the damsels. "invented it overseas" likely meant, that this version developed in England (?).

***********************

The following is not clear:
The fil (= bishop) can move and capture in six squares (13) of the board, counting its own, and no more.

Footnote 13: 13 This is an error in the LJ; the fil can move to eight squares counting its own starting square. For example, a fil at c1 can also move to a3, e3, g1, c5, a7, g5 and e7.


Naturally it looks like an error. But it also might be, that this figure was limited to the rows 1, 3 and 5 and not allowed to enter the 7th row (which might have been considered "foreign territory" and under this condition they would have only six fields, but the writer would have forgotten to tell about this specific rule). The bishop was often seen as an archer, and archer fought from the distance and had no value in close fight (this might have be the ideological background).
In Xiangqi (Chinese chess) two figures know such regional limitations ... the Mandarin (similar to fers and queen) may not leave the palace (3x3 square), and the Elephant (similar to fil and bishop) may not cross the river (= in the middle). The name Xiangqi is interpreted as "game of the elephants".

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Zarathustra (Avesta): 16 versus 16

#59
Inside the Avesta (said to have been written by Zoroaster) ...

http://www.avesta.org/vendidad/vd1sbe.htm

... exists the idea of "sixteen lands created by Ahura Mazda, and of as many plagues created in opposition by Angra Mainyu."

This sounds like a "chess-allegory"

The location is (more or less) Iran and Persia alias Iran is often enough taken as the region of the origin of Chess. However, according to current research, Chess is generally considered to be much younger than the Avesta.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avesta
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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