Chess in 1475

Chess in 1475

David_Grakovsky
David_Grakovsky
Nov 12, 2008, 12:00 AM |
6 | Fun & Trivia

The Center Counter Defense is one of the oldest recorded openings, first recorded as being played between Francesco di Castellvi and Narciso Vinyoles in Valencia in 1475, and being mentioned by Lucena in 1497. It is one of the oldest asymmetric defenses to 1.e4, along with the French Defence.

Scachs d'amor (Catalan for "Chess of Love"), whose complete title is Hobra intitulada scachs d'amor feta per don franci de Castelvi e Narcis vinyoles e mossen fenollar is the name of a poem written by Francesc de Castellvi, Bernart Fenollar, and Narcis de Vinyoles, published in Valencia, Spain towards the end of the 15th century.

The poem is conceived as a chess game in which the opponents are Franci de Castellvi, as White (in modern chess), (Mars Març, Love Amor and the red pieces in the play), and Narcis Vinyoles, playing Black (Venus, the Glory Gloria, and the green pieces). They debate about love, and Bernart Fenollar comments and establishes the rules. Green and Red are still used in Xiangqi as colors for the pieces.

The poem uses the game as an allegory for love. Its structure is based upon sixty-four stanzas (the same number as for the chessboard squares), nine verses each. The stanzas are grouped three after three: The first stanza in the group represents the White move, the second one the Black's move, and the third one a comment on the rules by the arbiter. The three stanzas in the beginning are an introduction and the last one is checkmate.

Supposedly, the game played is the first one documented with the modern rules of chess.

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