al=Aldi's Chess Problem

billwall

Perhaps the oldest known chess problem comes from al-Aldi in the 9th century.  He published this problem or mansuba in a manuscript around 840 AD.  At the time, he was the strongest player in the world.  White to play and mate in 3 moves.

 

Etienne
Very nice! I have a question though, in the 9th century AD, the game was not the same (I really only know of the queen, castling, capture en passant, the double move of pawns first move and the conversion of pawns on the last rank that were later additions) but do you know if some other rules were different? And what piece replaced the queen in the starting position?
Trickster
etienne you said that pawns don't get converted at the end so what does happen if the pawn goes to the end????
billwall
The queen replaced the Arabic firzan or visier.  It moved 1 square at a time.  The bishop replaced the fil or elephant.  It moved diagonally into the 3rd square, including jumping over a piece.  The pawn moved 1 square at a time.  When it reached the 8th, it was replaced by the firzan.
hacker700
simple
chessbot3000

A nice puzzle.

Billwall & Etienne (or anyone else), can you suggest any reading material about the early history of chess? I find the subject fascinating, but never even knew the recorded history of chess went back that far. Embarassed

Thanks!

billwall
Murray's History of Chess is best.  Davidson's A Short History of Chess is OK. 
milad
that was cool man
JackC
Nice