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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Do you know about a chess manuscript called Alfonso MS?

Introduction, Alphonse dictating the book

Hello Everyone,

An important historical source of information about chess and other indoor diversions, this beautifully illustrated manuscript of 98 leaves was completed in 1283 by order of Alfonso The Wise (1221-84), King of Castile and Leon.

The first of the seven parts is devoted wholly to chess, and contains 103 problems both Arabic and European. The fourth part contains 14 fairy problems and descriptions of several unorthodox games, including forms of great chess and must capture chess. Two significant departures from the laws of Shatranj are noted.
- The Oxford Companion to Chess,
by David Hooper & Kenneth Whyld

The monastery is now housed at the monastery library of St. Lorenze del Escorial.

There is very little matter available on the manuscript but you can check this interesting and painstakingly built website - possibly the only one on the Internet - for more information about the Alfonso MS.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's



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