Discussion:
Sam Sloan asked by WCF to investigate Chinese claim of invnetion of modern chess
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samsloan
2009-12-03 16:09:17 UTC
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The older form of chess, shatranj, was known in
Europe no later than the 10th century CE, 500 years earlier
Where is your support for this claim?
  For starters, try H.J.R. Murray's "A History of Chess" (Oxford
University Press, 1913), Part II, "Chess In Europe," starting on page
394.
I do not believe that this is true.
  Then I would say you are ill-informed or uninformed.
No rather it is YOU, Taylor Kingston, who is uninformed.
No basis nor support of any kind has been found for that statement
made in 1913 by HJR Murray. There is no solid or firm evidence of
chess being played in Europe or anywhere else in the word for that
matter by the 10th Century AD.
If you have any such evidence, please post it here.
Sam Sloan- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
OK, I'll bite on this one. What is wrong with the chess references in
the letter from Haroun al-Raschid to Nicephorus as evidence? Is this
some trick regarding the definition of chess, so that you are
requiring the modern rules in order to be called chess?
Jerry Spinrad
This is not a trick at all.

When researching my monograph "The Origin of Chess" that I published
in 1985, I went searching for sources for the statements in HJR
Murray's book such as his claim that Ferdosi mentioned chess in the
Shahnama or that chess was mentioned in the writings of Al Beruni. I
found no evidence or support for such claims.

I was shocked because I had always assumed that Murray has support for
his claims.

If such ancient references to chess existed, there would be scholars
at the great universities who study such things who would know about
them.

Instead, what you have is just chess players like Ken Whyad who simply
copy each other and HJR Murray without actually researching the
subject.

Please provide one source that it not a chess player in support for
your statements.

Sam Sloan
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-03 18:06:23 UTC
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Post by samsloan
The older form of chess, shatranj, was known in
Europe no later than the 10th century CE, 500 years earlier
Where is your support for this claim?
For starters, try H.J.R. Murray's "A History of Chess" (Oxford
University Press, 1913), Part II, "Chess In Europe," starting on page
394.
I do not believe that this is true.
Then I would say you are ill-informed or uninformed.
No rather it is YOU, Taylor Kingston, who is uninformed.
No basis nor support of any kind has been found for that statement
made in 1913 by HJR Murray. There is no solid or firm evidence of
chess being played in Europe or anywhere else in the word for that
matter by the 10th Century AD.
If you have any such evidence, please post it here.
OK, how about the will of Ermengaud I, Count of Urgel (in the
Spanish province of Catalonia), dated abouty 1008 or 1010 CE:

"I order you, my executors, to give ... these my chessmen to the
convent of St. Giles, for the work of the church."

That this chess set was considered important enough to mention in a
will clearly indicates that the game had been around a while, i.e.
back into the 900s. Murray also cites (among many other references) a
Latin glossary of the 10th century, the Gloss. Paris, which includes
the word "mattus," deriving from the noun "mattum," meaning "a mate in
chess." See Murray, pages 401-406.
Post by samsloan
OK, I'll bite on this one. What is wrong with the chess references in
the letter from Haroun al-Raschid to Nicephorus as evidence? Is this
some trick regarding the definition of chess, so that you are
requiring the modern rules in order to be called chess?
Jerry Spinrad
This is not a trick at all.
When researching my monograph "The Origin of Chess" that I published
in 1985, I went searching for sources for the statements in HJR
Murray's book such as his claim that Ferdosi mentioned chess in the
Shahnama
On page 157 of "A History Of Chess" Murray quotes as follows from
the "Shanama" of Firdawsi (aka Ferdosi):

"O king, may you live as long as the heavens endure! Command your
wise men to examine this chessboard, and to delberate together in
every way in order that they may discover the rules of this noble
game, and recognize the several pieces by their names."

That is only one of several mentions I might cite. Of course, I do
not have the original text of the Shanama and could not read it if I
did, but I am more inclined to trust an Oxford scholar than Sam Sloan
in this matter.
Post by samsloan
or that chess was mentioned in the writings of Al Beruni.
What Murray cites from al-Beruni deals with nothing /but/ chess. A
Persian born in 973 CE, al-Beruni traveled extensively in India, and
wrote at length about various proto-forms of chess played there, such
as the four-handed chaturanga.
Post by samsloan
I found no evidence or support for such claims.
I was shocked because I had always assumed that Murray has support for
his claims.
Then I would suggest either that Murray suffered major
hallucinations, involving entire pages of imaginary text, or that your
research was inadequate.
Post by samsloan
If such ancient references to chess existed, there would be scholars
at the great universities who study such things who would know about
them.
Well, it appears there are, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Please provide one source that it not a chess player in support for
your statements.
I'm not sure what you're asking for, Sam. As far as shatranj being
played in the Islamic world as early as the 7th century CE, this is so
well documented that it requires no reply. That from there it made its
way to western Europe no later than the 9th or 10th century, by
peaceful trade and/or Muslim conquests in Spain and Italy, is also
well documented. Murray writes "We may state the position quite fairly
thus: contemporary documents establish a knowledge of chess in
Southern Europe at the beginning of the 11th c., but philological
evidence requires that that knowledge must have commenced at least a
century earlier."
And there is a /huge/ amount of evidence that the shatranj form of
chess had spread into Europe beyond Spain and Italy well before the
1434 date of the WCF's fairy tale. For example the Isle of Lewis
chessmen of the 12th century (probably of Scandinavian origin), and
various illustrations such as that of Otto IV, Margrave of Brandenburg
(1266-1308), playing chess in the Book of Manesse. Not to mention
literally hundreds of references in literature, poetry, historical
chronicles, morality plays, ecclesiastic and legal documents, etc. The
manuscripts of hundreds of chess problems from medieval times can
still be found in European libraries.
The Manuscript of Alfonso, dating from about 1280, shows that
Europeans were already modifying the game away from the Arabic
shatranj, for example increasing the queen's move (though not yet to
the extent of the modern game), and allowing a pawn to go two squares
on its first move. Eventuallly there were many local variants, e.g.
the Lombardy rules and the English "long" and "short" assizes.
At some point in the late 1400s the modern game, without limits on
the moves for queen and bishop, came into being. While I won't say
it's impossible that it was brought from China in 1434 by a vastly
expensive and perilous naval expedition involving hundreds of ships
and thousands of slave girls sailing about 20,000 miles through then
largely uncharted waters, I am more inclined to the simpler hypothesis
that it evolved naturally out of the many shatranj variants then being
played throughout Europe.
samsloan
2009-12-04 01:10:48 UTC
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What you are doing below is what everybody else does, which is state
that"Murray says this", "Murray says that" and "Murray says the other
thing". However, I have searched extensively for the original sources
that Murray would have had to use and have found none.

However, there was an article published in German in Germany just a
few years before 1913 that made similar statements. I have concluded
that this was Murray's Source.

Murray was not "an Oxford Scholar". Murray was a high school teacher.

I wish that there were sources for Murray's statements because I would
like to be able to cite them.

For example, Murray's quote below from the Shanama was false because
the Shanama has never been translated into English and Murray could
not read Persian or Arabic.

I am not disputing your statements about Chess having reached Europe
by the 12th century. For example, you write below "For example the
Isle of Lewis chessmen of the 12th century (probably of Scandinavian
origin)".

I am not disputing this. I am disputing your statement that chess was
played in Europe by the 10th century. There is no evidence for that.

Sam Sloan
Post by samsloan
The older form of chess, shatranj, was known in
Europe no later than the 10th century CE, 500 years earlier
Where is your support for this claim?
  For starters, try H.J.R. Murray's "A History of Chess" (Oxford
University Press, 1913), Part II, "Chess In Europe," starting on page
394.
I do not believe that this is true.
  Then I would say you are ill-informed or uninformed.
No rather it is YOU, Taylor Kingston, who is uninformed.
No basis nor support of any kind has been found for that statement
made in 1913 by HJR Murray. There is no solid or firm evidence of
chess being played in Europe or anywhere else in the word for that
matter by the 10th Century AD.
If you have any such evidence, please post it here.
  OK, how about the will of Ermengaud I, Count of Urgel (in the
  "I order you, my executors, to give ... these my chessmen to the
convent of St. Giles, for the work of the church."
  That this chess set was considered important enough to mention in a
will clearly indicates that the game had been around a while, i.e.
back into the 900s. Murray also cites (among many other references) a
Latin glossary of the 10th century, the Gloss. Paris, which includes
the word "mattus," deriving from the noun "mattum," meaning "a mate in
chess." See Murray, pages 401-406.
Post by samsloan
OK, I'll bite on this one. What is wrong with the chess references in
the letter from Haroun al-Raschid to Nicephorus as evidence? Is this
some trick regarding the definition of chess, so that you are
requiring the modern rules in order to be called chess?
Jerry Spinrad
This is not a trick at all.
When researching my monograph "The Origin of Chess" that I published
in 1985, I went searching for sources for the statements in HJR
Murray's book such as his claim that Ferdosi mentioned chess in the
Shahnama
  On page 157 of "A History Of Chess" Murray quotes as follows from
  "O king, may you live as long as the heavens endure! Command your
wise men to examine this chessboard, and to delberate together in
every way in order that they may discover the rules of this noble
game, and recognize the several pieces by their names."
  That is only one of several mentions I might cite. Of course, I do
not have the original text of the Shanama and could not read it if I
did, but I am more inclined to trust an Oxford scholar than Sam Sloan
in this matter.
Post by samsloan
or that chess was mentioned in the writings of Al Beruni.
  What Murray cites from al-Beruni deals with nothing /but/ chess. A
Persian born in 973 CE, al-Beruni traveled extensively in India, and
wrote at length about various proto-forms of chess played there, such
as the four-handed chaturanga.
Post by samsloan
I found no evidence or support for such claims.
I was shocked because I had always assumed that Murray has support for
his claims.
  Then I would suggest either that Murray suffered major
hallucinations, involving entire pages of imaginary text, or that your
research was inadequate.
Post by samsloan
If such ancient references to chess existed, there would be scholars
at the great universities who study such things who would know about
them.
  Well, it appears there are, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Please provide one source that it not a chess player in support for
your statements.
  I'm not sure what you're asking for, Sam. As far as shatranj being
played in the Islamic world as early as the 7th century CE, this is so
well documented that it requires no reply. That from there it made its
way to western Europe no later than the 9th or 10th century, by
peaceful trade and/or Muslim conquests in Spain and Italy, is also
well documented. Murray writes "We may state the position quite fairly
thus: contemporary documents establish a knowledge of chess in
Southern Europe at the beginning of the 11th c., but philological
evidence requires that that knowledge must have commenced at least a
century earlier."
  And there is a /huge/ amount of evidence that the shatranj form of
chess had spread into Europe beyond Spain and Italy well before the
1434 date of the WCF's fairy tale. For example the Isle of Lewis
chessmen of the 12th century (probably of Scandinavian origin), and
various illustrations such as that of Otto IV, Margrave of Brandenburg
(1266-1308), playing chess in the Book of Manesse. Not to mention
literally hundreds of references in literature, poetry, historical
chronicles, morality plays, ecclesiastic and legal documents, etc. The
manuscripts of hundreds of chess problems from medieval times can
still be found in European libraries.
  The Manuscript of Alfonso, dating from about 1280, shows that
Europeans were already modifying the game away from the Arabic
shatranj, for example increasing the queen's move (though not yet to
the extent of the modern game), and allowing a pawn to go two squares
on its first move. Eventuallly there were many local variants, e.g.
the Lombardy rules and the English "long" and "short" assizes.
  At some point in the late 1400s the modern game, without limits on
the moves for queen and bishop, came into being. While I won't say
it's impossible that it was brought from China in 1434 by a vastly
expensive and perilous naval expedition involving hundreds of ships
and thousands of slave girls sailing about 20,000 miles through then
largely uncharted waters, I am more inclined to the simpler hypothesis
that it evolved naturally out of the many shatranj variants then being
played throughout Europe.
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-04 15:39:15 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by samsloan
What you are doing below is what everybody else does, which is state
that"Murray says this", "Murray says that" and "Murray says the other
thing". However, I have searched extensively for the original sources
that Murray would have had to use and have found none.
Then I would suggest that you have not searched thoroughly.
Otherwise we would have to believe that Murray fabricated the many
pages he quotes from al-Beruni and Firdawsi.
The inadequacy — not to say outright shoddiness — of your research
skills has been demonstrated here many times, Sam. Just recently, you
claimed that a Weiss-Chigorin game from NY 1889 was not on any
database. I checked my standard-issue ChessBase disc, and there it
was. In another instance, you claimed that the Benko Gambit had never
been played before a game you saw in the 1960s. Readers here quickly
found earlier examples.
You are very fond of making absolute claims based on little or no
research. So why should we believe you rather than Murray, who spent
14 years working on "A History of Chess" ?
Post by samsloan
I wish that there were sources for Murray's statements because I would
like to be able to cite them.
Just check his bibliography, which lists hundreds of sources. Or
perhaps, as I suspect, you've never actually read "A HIstory of
Chess." Never even seen it, perhaps?
Post by samsloan
For example, Murray's quote below from the Shanama was false because
the Shanama has never been translated into English and Murray could
not read Persian or Arabic.
Nonsense. Murray did read Arabic, and he consulted competent
scholars for other languages. His father, Sir James A.H. Murray, was
editor-in-chief of the Oxford English Dictionary, and so had many
colleagues who helped with AHOC.
Post by samsloan
I am disputing your statement that chess was
played in Europe by the 10th century. There is no evidence for that.
Ahem, Sam, I've already cited the will of Ermengaud, which mentions
chessmen specifically, and the 10th-century Paris Glossary, which
included chess terms. Just these by themselves are enough to refute
your "no evidence" claim.
Furthermore, It is well known that shatranj was played in the
Islamic Empire no later than the 7th century CE. Islam expanded into
Spain in the 8thC and Italy in the 9th. Besides warfare there was also
peaceful trade between Muslims and Christians. Do you really think the
Muslims didn't bring chess along with them when they settled in
Europe?
Also over this period they were nibbling at the Byzantine Empire
from the east and south, through modern-day Crete and Greece.
Furthermore, as Dr. Spinrad has already pointed out, there is the
letter of the Byzantine king Niqfur (aka Nicephorus) to Harun al-
Rashid, which dates from 802 CE. Jerry didn't quote it, but I will:

"From Niqfur, King of Byzantium, to Harun, King of the Arabs, now
the Empress to whom I have succeeded estimated you as the rank of the
Rook, and estimated herself as the rank of the Pawn, and paid a
tribute to you ..."

Niqfur would have dictated this from Constantinople, which is on the
continent of Europe.

There are other relevant references. The "Muruj adh-dhahab" of al-
Mas'udi, a geographer and historian who died in 956 CE, says:

"The Greeks and Byzantines and other peoples have special theories and
methods about this game, as we may see in the works of chessplayers
from the most ancient down to al-Adli and as-Suli."

Last I checked, Greece was part of Europe. In the Byzantine Empire
the game went by the name "zatrikion," a Hellenization of "shatranj."

This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
samsloan
2009-12-04 18:55:56 UTC
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  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.

However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.

Why can nobody else find it?

Because it does not exist!

I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.

Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now. In
no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.

You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.

However, if you cannot find even one source for even one quote, you
will have to admit that Murray just made it all up.

Sam Sloan
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-04 20:47:54 UTC
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Post by samsloan
  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.
Good. We agree on something here.
Post by samsloan
However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.
I'm afraid you're wrong there, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Why can nobody else find it?
Because it does not exist!
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
As I noted earlier, you are not famed for your research skills.
Post by samsloan
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now.
Whose standards? Certainly not yours, Sam.
Post by samsloan
In no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
I don't have all that much on pre-modern chess, but I can give you
three references offhand. First, collector Gareth Williams, on pages
14-15 of "Master Pieces" recounts the Shahnama's tale of the
introduction of chess to Persia. Williams' retelling differs from
Murray's and is clearly not copied from it.
Secondly, GM Yuri Averbakh, in an essay titled "On the Origin of
Chess" in the anthology "The Anatomy of Chess" (Promos Verlag GmbH,
2003), writes:

"The first to write about a war game of the Indians was an Arab
scholar, al-Biruni ... In his work, written in Arabic, he informs us
about [chaturanga] ... Many historians have made a critical analysis
of al-Biruni's text."

So not only do we have two writers independently confirming Murray's
description of the basic content of these two tetxts, we have Averbakh
assuring us that /many/ historians have read al-Biruni's text. This
would be rather hard to do if it did not exist.
Finally, the 1843 edition of Bilguer's "Handbuch des Schachspiels"
refers to the aforementioned story of Nicephorus and Harun al-Rashid.
This book predates AHOC by 70 years.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
We're waiting ...
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-04 21:18:01 UTC
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Post by samsloan
  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.
  Good. We agree on something here.
Post by samsloan
However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.
  I'm afraid you're wrong there, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Why can nobody else find it?
Because it does not exist!
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
  As I noted earlier, you are not famed for your research skills.
Post by samsloan
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now.
  Whose standards? Certainly not yours, Sam.
Post by samsloan
In no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  I don't have all that much on pre-modern chess, but I can give you
three references offhand. First, collector Gareth Williams, on pages
14-15 of "Master Pieces" recounts the Shahnama's tale of the
introduction of chess to Persia. Williams' retelling differs from
Murray's and is clearly not copied from it.
  Secondly, GM Yuri Averbakh, in an essay titled "On the Origin of
Chess" in the anthology "The Anatomy of Chess" (Promos Verlag GmbH,
  "The first to write about a war game of the Indians was an Arab
scholar, al-Biruni ... In his work, written in Arabic, he informs us
about [chaturanga] ... Many historians have made a critical analysis
of al-Biruni's text."
  So not only do we have two writers independently confirming Murray's
description of the basic content of these two tetxts, we have Averbakh
assuring us that /many/ historians have read al-Biruni's text. This
would be rather hard to do if it did not exist.
    Finally, the 1843 edition of Bilguer's "Handbuch des Schachspiels"
refers to the aforementioned story of Nicephorus and Harun al-Rashid.
This book predates AHOC by 70 years.
Found one more source with two relevant references. The article on
chess in my 1972 Encyclopaedia Britannica also mentions the Shahnama's
story of the introduction of chess from India to Persia. Furthermore
it cites al-Masudi, an Arabic writer circa 950 CE, from whom Murray
drew extensively. The article is written by George Bernard Hughes.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
The floor is yours, Sam. We're all ears ... :-)
Bobcat
2009-12-05 04:49:29 UTC
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Post by samsloan
  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.
  Good. We agree on something here.
Post by samsloan
However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.
  I'm afraid you're wrong there, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Why can nobody else find it?
Because it does not exist!
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
  As I noted earlier, you are not famed for your research skills.
Post by samsloan
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now.
  Whose standards? Certainly not yours, Sam.
Post by samsloan
In no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  I don't have all that much on pre-modern chess, but I can give you
three references offhand. First, collector Gareth Williams, on pages
14-15 of "Master Pieces" recounts the Shahnama's tale of the
introduction of chess to Persia. Williams' retelling differs from
Murray's and is clearly not copied from it.
  Secondly, GM Yuri Averbakh, in an essay titled "On the Origin of
Chess" in the anthology "The Anatomy of Chess" (Promos Verlag GmbH,
  "The first to write about a war game of the Indians was an Arab
scholar, al-Biruni ... In his work, written in Arabic, he informs us
about [chaturanga] ... Many historians have made a critical analysis
of al-Biruni's text."
  So not only do we have two writers independently confirming Murray's
description of the basic content of these two tetxts, we have Averbakh
assuring us that /many/ historians have read al-Biruni's text. This
would be rather hard to do if it did not exist.
    Finally, the 1843 edition of Bilguer's "Handbuch des Schachspiels"
refers to the aforementioned story of Nicephorus and Harun al-Rashid.
This book predates AHOC by 70 years.
  Found one more source with two relevant references. The article on
chess in my 1972 Encyclopaedia Britannica also mentions the Shahnama's
story of the introduction of chess from India to Persia. Furthermore
it cites al-Masudi, an Arabic writer circa 950 CE, from whom Murray
drew extensively. The article is written by George Bernard Hughes.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
  The floor is yours, Sam. We're all ears ... :-)
There is one thing most of us can all agree on (except Sam Slone): You
can expect whatever comes from Sam's self-delusional mind will be
slanted, and all one sided; he'll not raise any doubts, and simply
ignore what does not fit, or runs contrary too his myopic POV. No
wonder WCF picked him: they want someone write a history they
themselves adhere to and to make a "political" statement about the
origins of chess. Sloan who has a rather molecular veneer of
"scholarship" is in reality nothing more than a political hatchet man
who, given his rather poor scholarship, will simply ignore what is
inconsistent and write according to the WCF's preconceived notions on
the origin of chess.. as we have seen in this thread. The FACT is much
can be argued on both sides of the equation, but what we will be
entreated to from Sloan will be totally biased and one sided. The WCF
will then trot out Sloan as the "expert" who provided the "proof" on
the origins of Chess. Maybe the WCF is DOA if the best person they can
pick to write the History of Chess is Sam Slone.
None
2009-12-05 15:32:35 UTC
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Raw Message
On Dec 4, 11:49 pm, Bobcat <***@hotmail.com> wrote:

There is one thing most of us can all agree on (except Sam Slone):
You
can expect whatever comes from Sam's self-delusional mind will be
slanted, and all one sided; he'll not raise any doubts, and simply
ignore what does not fit, or runs contrary too his myopic POV. No
wonder WCF picked him: they want someone write a history they
themselves adhere to and to make a "political" statement about the
origins of chess. Sloan who has a rather molecular veneer of
"scholarship" is in reality nothing more than a political hatchet man
who, given his rather poor scholarship, will simply ignore what is
inconsistent and write according to the WCF's preconceived notions on
the origin of chess.. as we have seen in this thread. The FACT is
much
can be argued on both sides of the equation, but what we will be
entreated to from Sloan will be totally biased and one sided. The WCF
will then trot out Sloan as the "expert" who provided the "proof" on
the origins of Chess. Maybe the WCF is DOA if the best person they
can
pick to write the History of Chess is Sam Slone. --BC

Typical Sloan: Throw some feces on the ceiling and dance around
whatever doesn't stick.
j***@vanderbilt.edu
2009-12-05 16:44:44 UTC
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Post by Bobcat
There is one thing most of us can all agree on (except Sam Slone): You
can expect whatever comes from Sam's self-delusional mind will be
slanted, and all one sided; he'll not raise any doubts, and simply
ignore what does not fit, or runs contrary too his myopic POV. No
wonder WCF picked him: they want someone write a history they
themselves adhere to and to make a "political" statement about the
origins of chess. Sloan who has a rather molecular veneer of
"scholarship" is in reality nothing more than a political hatchet man
who, given his rather poor scholarship, will simply ignore what is
inconsistent and write according to the WCF's preconceived notions on
the origin of chess.. as we have seen in this thread. The FACT is much
can be argued on both sides of the equation, but what we will be
entreated to from Sloan will be totally biased and one sided. The WCF
will then trot out Sloan as the "expert" who provided the "proof" on
the origins of Chess. Maybe the WCF is DOA if the best person they can
pick to write the History of Chess is Sam Slone. --BC
Typical Sloan: Throw some feces on the ceiling and dance around
whatever doesn't stick.
Sam Sloan and Phil Innes share a common failing; they come up with
bizarre theories, and fall in love with them despite lack of
supporting evidence. Let us give Sam credit, however; he presents his
case clearly and without rancor, so you can actually discuss the issue
with him. With Phil, his arguments would be incoherent, and he would
spend a great deal of his energy hurling abuse at anyone who dared
challenge his theory. Thus, I find Sam's bizarre theories entertaining
to read about, while Phil's always degenerate into unreadable screeds.
The WCF is, of course, DOA; choosing Sam for this task is just 1 of
many indications of how bizarre the organization is.

Jerry Spinrad
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-05 17:31:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by j***@vanderbilt.edu
Post by Bobcat
There is one thing most of us can all agree on (except Sam Slone): You
can expect whatever comes from Sam's self-delusional mind will be
slanted, and all one sided; he'll not raise any doubts, and simply
ignore what does not fit, or runs contrary too his myopic POV. No
wonder WCF picked him: they want someone write a history they
themselves adhere to and to make a "political" statement about the
origins of chess. Sloan who has a rather molecular veneer of
"scholarship" is in reality nothing more than a political hatchet man
who, given his rather poor scholarship, will simply ignore what is
inconsistent and write according to the WCF's preconceived notions on
the origin of chess.. as we have seen in this thread. The FACT is much
can be argued on both sides of the equation, but what we will be
entreated to from Sloan will be totally biased and one sided. The WCF
will then trot out Sloan as the "expert" who provided the "proof" on
the origins of Chess. Maybe the WCF is DOA if the best person they can
pick to write the History of Chess is Sam Slone. --BC
Typical Sloan: Throw some feces on the ceiling and dance around
whatever doesn't stick.
Sam Sloan and Phil Innes share a common failing; they come up with
bizarre theories, and fall in love with them despite lack of
supporting evidence. Let us give Sam credit, however; he presents his
case clearly and without rancor, so you can actually discuss the issue
with him. With Phil, his arguments would be incoherent, and he would
spend a great deal of his energy hurling abuse at anyone who dared
challenge his theory. Thus, I find Sam's bizarre theories entertaining
to read about, while Phil's always degenerate into unreadable screeds.
The WCF is, of course, DOA; choosing Sam for this task is just 1 of
many indications of how bizarre the organization is.
Jerry Spinrad
I would agree that arguing with Sloan is entirely different from
arguing with Innes; Sloan is more rational and less splenetic.
However, he tends to disappear when it's obvious he's losing the
argument. Earlier here he wrote "Just find one source for any of those
quotes that has not been copied from Murray, and I will gladly admit
that I am wrong." I've presented several, and he has neither made the
promised admission nor addressed my points.
ChessFire
2009-12-06 18:42:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by j***@vanderbilt.edu
Post by Bobcat
There is one thing most of us can all agree on (except Sam Slone): You
can expect whatever comes from Sam's self-delusional mind will be
slanted, and all one sided; he'll not raise any doubts, and simply
ignore what does not fit, or runs contrary too his myopic POV. No
wonder WCF picked him: they want someone write a history they
themselves adhere to and to make a "political" statement about the
origins of chess. Sloan who has a rather molecular veneer of
"scholarship" is in reality nothing more than a political hatchet man
who, given his rather poor scholarship, will simply ignore what is
inconsistent and write according to the WCF's preconceived notions on
the origin of chess.. as we have seen in this thread. The FACT is much
can be argued on both sides of the equation, but what we will be
entreated to from Sloan will be totally biased and one sided. The WCF
will then trot out Sloan as the "expert" who provided the "proof" on
the origins of Chess. Maybe the WCF is DOA if the best person they can
pick to write the History of Chess is Sam Slone. --BC
Typical Sloan: Throw some feces on the ceiling and dance around
whatever doesn't stick.
Sam Sloan and Phil Innes share a common failing; they come up with
bizarre theories, and fall in love with them despite lack of
supporting evidence. Let us give Sam credit, however; he presents his
case clearly and without rancor, so you can actually discuss the issue
with him. With Phil, his arguments would be incoherent, and he would
spend a great deal of his energy hurling abuse at anyone who dared
challenge his theory.
Whereas one notices much or even constant 'hurling' from Kingston and
Spinrad - naturally abstract hurling.

Both are vague to such degree that they rarely commit to specifics
and /volunteer/ abusive measures without content contribution - while
talking of 'theories' of other people - naturally not actually citing
them, since that would be [a] difficult, since they must perforce
paraphrase, and [b] often because such theories do not exist.

In this thread I have made 2 substantive references; one to David Li's
title on Asian origins, and I think my friend Dr. Li should be
represented here! The second is to substantiate Taylor Kingston's
citatation circa 990 [though not to agree with him that an obscure
monastic codex should be 'widely known'.
Post by j***@vanderbilt.edu
Thus, I find Sam's bizarre theories entertaining
to read about, while Phil's always degenerate into unreadable screeds.
No specifics, 100 abuse. This is entirely normal for the gutter class
on usenet, to which Dr Spinrad successively subscribes... from Hot
Saucing of the Polgar children to any current issue that crosses his
emotional mind, such that he can write only these vague abusive
contributions, rather than address content.

At least I applaud Sam Sloan for asking a genuine question. Let that
not be a crime in 2009.

Phil Innes
Post by j***@vanderbilt.edu
The WCF is, of course, DOA; choosing Sam for this task is just 1 of
many indications of how bizarre the organization is.
Jerry Spinrad
samsloan
2009-12-04 22:55:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by samsloan
  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.
  Good. We agree on something here.
Post by samsloan
However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.
  I'm afraid you're wrong there, Sam.
Post by samsloan
Why can nobody else find it?
Because it does not exist!
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
  As I noted earlier, you are not famed for your research skills.
Post by samsloan
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now.
  Whose standards? Certainly not yours, Sam.
Post by samsloan
In no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  I don't have all that much on pre-modern chess, but I can give you
three references offhand. First, collector Gareth Williams, on pages
14-15 of "Master Pieces" recounts the Shahnama's tale of the
introduction of chess to Persia. Williams' retelling differs from
Murray's and is clearly not copied from it.
  Secondly, GM Yuri Averbakh, in an essay titled "On the Origin of
Chess" in the anthology "The Anatomy of Chess" (Promos Verlag GmbH,
  "The first to write about a war game of the Indians was an Arab
scholar, al-Biruni ... In his work, written in Arabic, he informs us
about [chaturanga] ... Many historians have made a critical analysis
of al-Biruni's text."
  So not only do we have two writers independently confirming Murray's
description of the basic content of these two tetxts, we have Averbakh
assuring us that /many/ historians have read al-Biruni's text. This
would be rather hard to do if it did not exist.
    Finally, the 1843 edition of Bilguer's "Handbuch des Schachspiels"
refers to the aforementioned story of Nicephorus and Harun al-Rashid.
This book predates AHOC by 70 years.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
  We're waiting ...
Who would have guessed it? I have a copy of Bilguer's Handbook right
here. Imagine that!

Unfortunately, it contains no mention of Nicephorus and Harun al-
Rashid, or of al-Beruni

As to the Shahnameh, we have that great bastion of all human
knowledge: Wikipedia.

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

However, it contains no mention of the famous story about the
invention of chess.

Sam Sloan


ray keene has written or contributed to 160 books on chess and
thinking, the world record. he has organised three of kasparovs world
championship matches, against karpov, short and kramnik and he has
presented numerous televison shows on chess, for the bbc, channel 4
and thames tv..
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-04 23:13:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by samsloan
Who would have guessed it? I have a copy of Bilguer's Handbook right
here. Imagine that!
Unfortunately, it contains no mention of Nicephorus and Harun al-
Rashid, or of al-Beruni
I never said that Bilguer mentioned al-Beruni. However, my edition,
the 1843 edition, does indeed mention Nicephorus on page 1 of the
Einleitung. Kannst du Deutsch lesen?
Nit-picking won't help you here, Sam. I've cited six references
rebutting your claim that chess was unknown in Europe by the 10th
century CE. You said only one would be enough for you to admit you're
wrong. We're waiting ... :-)
ChessFire
2009-12-05 00:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
David Li write a book on Chinese origins of chess, and we even
discussed it here in this newsgroup with David. Rather more in detail
than any current writing. Phil Innes
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-05 20:09:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by samsloan
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
Here's another one. In "The Art of Chess" (New York, 2002), art
historian Colleen Shafroth writes:

"One of the earliest documents to suggest that chess traveled into
Persia from India is in an early seventh-century Persian collection of
stories known as the Chatrang-namak. Nearly four centuries later, the
famous Persian poet Abdul Kasim Mansur, better known by his pen name
Firdawsi (c. 940?-1020?) retold the same story in his monumental epic,
the Shah Namah (Book of Kings). Firdawsi relates that a rajah of India
sent the game of chess — without any explanation of the rules — as a
riddle to King Khosrau I (reigned 528-579), also named Anüshviran, of
Persia. Thanks to a minister variously named Borzogmehr or Wajurgmitr
in subsequent texts and translations, the king solves the riddle ..."

Thus you are contradicted in two ways, Sam: (1) Yet another writer
confirms, contrary to your claim, that the Shah Namah does indeed
mention chess, and (2) yet another scholar confirms the validity of
Murray's description of two sources — the Chatrang-namak and the Shah
Namah — contrary to your claim that no one else has confirmed Murray
in this regard.

Oh, and here's yet another point: as I did earlier, Shafroth
mentions the Einsideln Verses, "a ninety-eight line poem now dated
sometime in the 990s. Because the subject is a game of chess, it
suggests that chess must have been fairly well known — at least in
southern Europe — before the end of the tenth century." She also
mentions the will of Count Ermengaud I. The book even has a photo of
what may well be the actual set mentioned in the will, made of
beautiful transparent rock crystal.

So here's yet another scholar contradicting your claim that chess
was unknown in Europe at that time.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray,
How many independent confirmations have I presented here now? Eight?
Ten? I've lost count.
Post by samsloan
and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
We're still waiting, Sam ... :-)
None
2009-12-05 23:49:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Dec 5, 3:09 pm, Taylor Kingston <***@comcast.net>
wrote:

We're still waiting, Sam ... :-) --TK

Yes do thank Taylor for doing your research for you.
Bobcat
2009-12-06 00:51:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
  We're still waiting, Sam ... :-) --TK
Yes do thank Taylor for doing your research for you.
... Just just don't expect Sam to use any of it. Do however expect Sam
to find some "explanation" why all these sources are wrong. If the WCF
thinks Sam Sloan is the BEST and most knowledgeable person on this
subject, then they have shot themselves in the foot, and diminished
any credibility they might have started with.
samsloan
2009-12-06 05:03:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by samsloan
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  Here's another one. In "The Art of Chess" (New York, 2002), art
"One of the earliest documents to suggest that chess traveled into
Persia from India is in an early seventh-century Persian collection of
stories known as the Chatrang-namak. Nearly four centuries later, the
famous Persian poet Abdul Kasim Mansur, better known by his pen name
Firdawsi (c. 940?-1020?) retold the same story in his monumental epic,
the Shah Namah (Book of Kings). Firdawsi relates that a rajah of India
sent the game of chess — without any explanation of the rules — as a
riddle to King Khosrau I (reigned 528-579), also named Anüshviran, of
Persia. Thanks to a minister variously named Borzogmehr or Wajurgmitr
in subsequent texts and translations, the king solves the riddle ..."
  Thus you are contradicted in two ways, Sam: (1) Yet another writer
confirms, contrary to your claim, that the Shah Namah does indeed
mention chess, and (2) yet another scholar confirms the validity of
Murray's description of two sources — the Chatrang-namak and the Shah
Namah — contrary to your claim that no one else has confirmed Murray
in this regard.
  Oh, and here's yet another point: as I did earlier, Shafroth
mentions the Einsideln Verses, "a ninety-eight line poem now dated
sometime in the 990s. Because the subject is a game of chess, it
suggests that chess must have been fairly well known — at least in
southern Europe — before the end of the tenth century." She also
mentions the will of Count Ermengaud I. The book even has a photo of
what may well be the actual set mentioned in the will, made of
beautiful transparent rock crystal.
  So here's yet another scholar contradicting your claim that chess
was unknown in Europe at that time.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray,
  How many independent confirmations have I presented here now? Eight?
Ten? I've lost count.
Post by samsloan
and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
  We're still waiting, Sam ... :-)
Rather, I am waiting for you.

I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200.

All you have done is cite either books that preceded Murray, such as
that by Forbes or Bilguer (who died in 1840), or books that just
copied from Murray.

For example, you claim above that the Shahnameh contains a story about
how chess came to be invented.

However, the Wikipedia article on the Shahnameh makes no mention of
any such story.

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

Nor does any other book on the Shahnameh contain any mention of this
famous story (famous among chess players that is).

Sam Sloan
Bobcat
2009-12-06 07:58:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by samsloan
Post by samsloan
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  Here's another one. In "The Art of Chess" (New York, 2002), art
"One of the earliest documents to suggest that chess traveled into
Persia from India is in an early seventh-century Persian collection of
stories known as the Chatrang-namak. Nearly four centuries later, the
famous Persian poet Abdul Kasim Mansur, better known by his pen name
Firdawsi (c. 940?-1020?) retold the same story in his monumental epic,
the Shah Namah (Book of Kings). Firdawsi relates that a rajah of India
sent the game of chess — without any explanation of the rules — as a
riddle to King Khosrau I (reigned 528-579), also named Anüshviran, of
Persia. Thanks to a minister variously named Borzogmehr or Wajurgmitr
in subsequent texts and translations, the king solves the riddle ..."
  Thus you are contradicted in two ways, Sam: (1) Yet another writer
confirms, contrary to your claim, that the Shah Namah does indeed
mention chess, and (2) yet another scholar confirms the validity of
Murray's description of two sources — the Chatrang-namak and the Shah
Namah — contrary to your claim that no one else has confirmed Murray
in this regard.
  Oh, and here's yet another point: as I did earlier, Shafroth
mentions the Einsideln Verses, "a ninety-eight line poem now dated
sometime in the 990s. Because the subject is a game of chess, it
suggests that chess must have been fairly well known — at least in
southern Europe — before the end of the tenth century." She also
mentions the will of Count Ermengaud I. The book even has a photo of
what may well be the actual set mentioned in the will, made of
beautiful transparent rock crystal.
  So here's yet another scholar contradicting your claim that chess
was unknown in Europe at that time.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray,
  How many independent confirmations have I presented here now? Eight?
Ten? I've lost count.
Post by samsloan
and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
  We're still waiting, Sam ... :-)
Rather, I am waiting for you.
I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200.
All you have done is cite either books that preceded Murray, such as
that by Forbes or Bilguer (who died in 1840), or books that just
copied from Murray.
For example, you claim above that the Shahnameh contains a story about
how chess came to be invented.
However, the Wikipedia article on the Shahnameh makes no mention of
any such story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahnameh
Nor does any other book on the Shahnameh contain any mention of this
famous story (famous among chess players that is).
Sam Sloan
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."

Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.

Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.
None
2009-12-06 14:05:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
Bobcat
2009-12-06 22:27:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by None
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
I bow to you: Sam now TRAPPED like a rat, is playing a NEW Gambit: The
"that isn't chess; and neither is this chess" Gambit. Sam can't
concede like a Gentleman that he is WRONG, even in the face of
mounting EVIDENCE that a form of chess way played circa 1000 CE.

A search on FIDE produces The World Chess Federation; so now it seems
we have two "World Chess Federations". One FIDE "World Chess
Federation" and one Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". If the Non-FIDE
"World Chess Federation" wants Sam Sloan to be its point man on the
History of Chess... then I am really wondering who is Bank Rolling the
Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". My guess, and only a guess, is some
Asian group who has motive for "proving" that "chess" originated in
China, and that Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a Chinese
slave, when the research quoted states Arab slave. If we are lucky we
might get our very own Deep Throat two tell us, "Follow the Money".
Chessgate anyone?!? Mr. Kingston has repudiated Sam as any sort of
scholar on the History of Chess yet who the Non-FIDE "World Chess
Federation:" refers to as an "Expert" on the subject. We have yet to
see one iota of EVIDENCE produced by Sam that refutes the claim that
"chess" and its predecessors originated in India, and that it was NOT
played circa 1000 CE. While there is some evidence that some form of
chess may have originate in China, it certainly did not evolve into
the commonly accepted notion of "chess", rather it evolved into many
of today's various versions of Asian Chess including but not limited
to Chinese Chess. The international version of Chess and Asian Chess
including Chinese Chess are radically different games, that have some
overlapping ideas and concepts.

There has to be some reason for all this posturing by the NFIDE-WCF: I
have not heard of one person who would refer to Sloan as an "Expert"
on anything, other than self promotion. Indeed if only half of Sam's
braggadocios are TRUE, then I am truly surprised that a) Sam is not in
jail somewhere in the United States b) in jail in some other country
c) have a contract out on him d) dead. So if you are this NFIDE-WCF
trying to establish itself as an alternative to FIDE, why pick some
disreputable character like Sam Sloan for anything?!? Me?!? I'd be
putting as much distance between me and Sam Sloan as possible, and not
seek him out for anything, rather than embracing him and stroking
Sam's enormous ego by calling him an "Expert". There has to be an
angle that I'm not seeing. WHO is Bank Rolling this Non-FIDE "World
Chess Federation and more importantly WHY?? Time will tell. Stay tuned
fellow readers. Me?? I'm out of here, Sloan is an ENORMOUS JOKE, and a
waste of time. I may come prowling by here every now and then, now
that I have found it just to see what if anything is up with NFIDE-WCF
and Sam Sloan's latest brags and grand feats of self-promotion and hot
air claims.
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 22:32:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bobcat
Post by None
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
I bow to you: Sam now TRAPPED like a rat, is playing a NEW Gambit: The
"that isn't chess; and neither is this chess" Gambit. Sam can't
concede like a Gentleman that he is WRONG, even in the face of
mounting EVIDENCE that a form of chess way played circa 1000 CE.
A search on FIDE produces The World Chess Federation; so now it seems
we have two "World Chess Federations". One FIDE "World Chess
Federation" and one Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". If the Non-FIDE
"World Chess Federation" wants Sam Sloan to be its point man on the
History of Chess... then I am really wondering who is Bank Rolling the
Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". My guess, and only a guess, is some
Asian group who has motive for "proving" that "chess" originated in
China, and that Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a Chinese
slave, when the research quoted states Arab slave. If we are lucky we
might get our very own Deep Throat two tell us, "Follow the Money".
Chessgate anyone?!? Mr. Kingston has repudiated Sam as any sort of
scholar on the History of Chess yet who the Non-FIDE "World Chess
Federation:" refers to as an "Expert" on the subject. We have yet to
see one iota of EVIDENCE produced by Sam that refutes the claim that
"chess" and its predecessors originated in India, and that it was NOT
played circa 1000 CE. While there is some evidence that some form of
chess may have originate in China, it certainly did not evolve into
the commonly accepted notion of "chess", rather it evolved into many
of today's various versions of Asian Chess including but not limited
to Chinese Chess. The international version of Chess and Asian Chess
including Chinese Chess are radically different games, that have some
overlapping ideas and concepts.
There has to be some reason for all this posturing by the NFIDE-WCF: I
have not heard of one person who would refer to Sloan as an "Expert"
on anything, other than self promotion. Indeed if only half of Sam's
braggadocios are TRUE, then I am truly surprised that a) Sam is not in
jail somewhere in the United States b) in jail in some other country
c) have a contract out on him d) dead. So if you are this NFIDE-WCF
trying to establish itself as an alternative to FIDE, why pick some
disreputable character like Sam Sloan for anything?!? Me?!? I'd be
putting as much distance between me and Sam Sloan as possible, and not
seek him out for anything, rather than embracing him and stroking
Sam's enormous ego by calling him an "Expert". There has to be an
angle that I'm not seeing. WHO is Bank Rolling this Non-FIDE "World
Chess Federation and more importantly WHY?? Time will tell. Stay tuned
fellow readers. Me?? I'm out of here, Sloan is an ENORMOUS JOKE, and a
waste of time. I may come prowling by here every now and then, now
that I have found it just to see what if anything is up with NFIDE-WCF
and Sam Sloan's latest brags and grand feats of self-promotion and hot
air claims.
Bobcat, as I posted here earlier today, FIDE and the WCF are two
distinct organizations. FIDE was founded in
1924, and has been the major governing body for international chess
for many decades, handling Olympiads, World Championships, titles,
ratings, etc.
I can't find many definite facts about the WCF, but I believe it's
based in Las Vegas, and is mainly the creation of American organizer
Stan Vaughan. It lacks the general recognition given to FIDE. Here is
a video of a press conference in which Vaughan outlines the WCF's
differences with FIDE and its ambitious plans:


Bobcat
2009-12-06 22:56:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bobcat
Post by None
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
I bow to you: Sam now TRAPPED like a rat, is playing a NEW Gambit: The
"that isn't chess; and neither is this chess" Gambit. Sam can't
concede like a Gentleman that he is WRONG, even in the face of
mounting EVIDENCE that a form of chess way played circa 1000 CE.
A search on FIDE produces The World Chess Federation; so now it seems
we have two "World Chess Federations". One FIDE "World Chess
Federation" and one Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". If the Non-FIDE
"World Chess Federation" wants Sam Sloan to be its point man on the
History of Chess... then I am really wondering who is Bank Rolling the
Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". My guess, and only a guess, is some
Asian group who has motive for "proving" that "chess" originated in
China, and that Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a Chinese
slave, when the research quoted states Arab slave. If we are lucky we
might get our very own Deep Throat two tell us, "Follow the Money".
Chessgate anyone?!? Mr. Kingston has repudiated Sam as any sort of
scholar on the History of Chess yet who the Non-FIDE "World Chess
Federation:" refers to as an "Expert" on the subject. We have yet to
see one iota of EVIDENCE produced by Sam that refutes the claim that
"chess" and its predecessors originated in India, and that it was NOT
played circa 1000 CE. While there is some evidence that some form of
chess may have originate in China, it certainly did not evolve into
the commonly accepted notion of "chess", rather it evolved into many
of today's various versions of Asian Chess including but not limited
to Chinese Chess. The international version of Chess and Asian Chess
including Chinese Chess are radically different games, that have some
overlapping ideas and concepts.
There has to be some reason for all this posturing by the NFIDE-WCF: I
have not heard of one person who would refer to Sloan as an "Expert"
on anything, other than self promotion. Indeed if only half of Sam's
braggadocios are TRUE, then I am truly surprised that a) Sam is not in
jail somewhere in the United States b) in jail in some other country
c) have a contract out on him d) dead. So if you are this NFIDE-WCF
trying to establish itself as an alternative to FIDE, why pick some
disreputable character like Sam Sloan for anything?!? Me?!? I'd be
putting as much distance between me and Sam Sloan as possible, and not
seek him out for anything, rather than embracing him and stroking
Sam's enormous ego by calling him an "Expert". There has to be an
angle that I'm not seeing. WHO is Bank Rolling this Non-FIDE "World
Chess Federation and more importantly WHY?? Time will tell. Stay tuned
fellow readers. Me?? I'm out of here, Sloan is an ENORMOUS JOKE, and a
waste of time. I may come prowling by here every now and then, now
that I have found it just to see what if anything is up with NFIDE-WCF
and Sam Sloan's latest brags and grand feats of self-promotion and hot
air claims.
  Bobcat, as I posted here earlier today, FIDE and the WCF are two
distinct organizations. FIDE was founded in
1924, and has been the major governing body for international chess
for many decades, handling Olympiads, World Championships, titles,
ratings, etc.
  I can't find many definite facts about the WCF, but I believe it's
based in Las Vegas, and is mainly the creation of American organizer
Stan Vaughan. It lacks the general recognition given to FIDE. Here is
a video of a press conference in which Vaughan outlines the WCF's
http://youtu.be/iWPr4ejCia8
I do not disagree but if you Google "World Chess Federation" it brings
back at link with FIDE, and vice versa; that FIDE and the "World Chess
Federation" are two separate entities is clear, but both claim to be
"The World Chess Federation". Someone is playing fast and loose with
the term "World Chess Federation". I wish FIDE would revert back to
the old "International Chess Federation", than claiming it is now the
"World Chess Federation". Sorry I still use dial up and can't do
video. Best Wishes you are a PLEASURE to communicate with and read.
Hope to stumble across more of your posts.

Sincerely,

Bobcat
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 23:13:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bobcat
Post by Bobcat
Post by None
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
I bow to you: Sam now TRAPPED like a rat, is playing a NEW Gambit: The
"that isn't chess; and neither is this chess" Gambit. Sam can't
concede like a Gentleman that he is WRONG, even in the face of
mounting EVIDENCE that a form of chess way played circa 1000 CE.
A search on FIDE produces The World Chess Federation; so now it seems
we have two "World Chess Federations". One FIDE "World Chess
Federation" and one Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". If the Non-FIDE
"World Chess Federation" wants Sam Sloan to be its point man on the
History of Chess... then I am really wondering who is Bank Rolling the
Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". My guess, and only a guess, is some
Asian group who has motive for "proving" that "chess" originated in
China, and that Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a Chinese
slave, when the research quoted states Arab slave. If we are lucky we
might get our very own Deep Throat two tell us, "Follow the Money".
Chessgate anyone?!? Mr. Kingston has repudiated Sam as any sort of
scholar on the History of Chess yet who the Non-FIDE "World Chess
Federation:" refers to as an "Expert" on the subject. We have yet to
see one iota of EVIDENCE produced by Sam that refutes the claim that
"chess" and its predecessors originated in India, and that it was NOT
played circa 1000 CE. While there is some evidence that some form of
chess may have originate in China, it certainly did not evolve into
the commonly accepted notion of "chess", rather it evolved into many
of today's various versions of Asian Chess including but not limited
to Chinese Chess. The international version of Chess and Asian Chess
including Chinese Chess are radically different games, that have some
overlapping ideas and concepts.
There has to be some reason for all this posturing by the NFIDE-WCF: I
have not heard of one person who would refer to Sloan as an "Expert"
on anything, other than self promotion. Indeed if only half of Sam's
braggadocios are TRUE, then I am truly surprised that a) Sam is not in
jail somewhere in the United States b) in jail in some other country
c) have a contract out on him d) dead. So if you are this NFIDE-WCF
trying to establish itself as an alternative to FIDE, why pick some
disreputable character like Sam Sloan for anything?!? Me?!? I'd be
putting as much distance between me and Sam Sloan as possible, and not
seek him out for anything, rather than embracing him and stroking
Sam's enormous ego by calling him an "Expert". There has to be an
angle that I'm not seeing. WHO is Bank Rolling this Non-FIDE "World
Chess Federation and more importantly WHY?? Time will tell. Stay tuned
fellow readers. Me?? I'm out of here, Sloan is an ENORMOUS JOKE, and a
waste of time. I may come prowling by here every now and then, now
that I have found it just to see what if anything is up with NFIDE-WCF
and Sam Sloan's latest brags and grand feats of self-promotion and hot
air claims.
  Bobcat, as I posted here earlier today, FIDE and the WCF are two
distinct organizations. FIDE was founded in
1924, and has been the major governing body for international chess
for many decades, handling Olympiads, World Championships, titles,
ratings, etc.
  I can't find many definite facts about the WCF, but I believe it's
based in Las Vegas, and is mainly the creation of American organizer
Stan Vaughan. It lacks the general recognition given to FIDE. Here is
a video of a press conference in which Vaughan outlines the WCF's
http://youtu.be/iWPr4ejCia8
I do not disagree but if you Google "World Chess Federation" it brings
back at link with FIDE, and vice versa; that FIDE and the "World Chess
Federation" are two separate entities is clear, but both claim to be
"The World Chess Federation". Someone is playing fast and loose with
the term "World Chess Federation".
Right now the WCF is a "world" federation in name only, as far as I
know. Their ambitions are rather far from being realized. Maybe some
day they will supplant FIDE (Lord knows FIDE has plenty of faults),
but they have quite a ways to go, and the consensus is not to bet on
it. I suspect the story of the Chinese slave girls and asking Sloan to
investigate is just an ill-considered publicity stunt on their part.
Post by Bobcat
I wish FIDE would revert back to
the old "International Chess Federation", than claiming it is now the
"World Chess Federation". Sorry I still use dial up and can't do
video.
Sorry to hear that. I looked for a WCF web-site, but could not find
any. Anyone else here know of one?
Post by Bobcat
Best Wishes you are a PLEASURE to communicate with and read.
Hope to stumble across more of your posts.
Thank you, those are kind words (a rare thing here!). Are you new to
the group? We get so many pseudonyms here it's hard to be sure if one
is addressing a newcomer or an old habitué under a new name.
Bobcat
2009-12-06 23:50:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Bobcat
Post by Bobcat
Post by None
Post by Bobcat
"I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player, and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200."
Typical Sam: You want one "modern" source. Well lets see here, how
about time travel?!? :) And within the last 30 years who is NOT a
chess player... Are you THAT clueless Sam?? For the most part most
people find chess to be trivial, so why include it if your thesis has
another point -- you do know what a thesis is I trust? People who are
most likely to mention it are CHESS PLAYERS. DAH!!!! The man has
already listed source after source, after source.
Well here is the Challenge to you Sam: PROVE that chess was NOT played
circa 1000 C.E. The literature tends to support the thesis -- there is
that word again, you had best look it up -- that it was. Your
Sinophilic prejudices tend to disregard multiple sources and accounts
from different parts of the world simply because they are not
"modern". Sometimes "modern" sources are not available, so you look
for corroborating evidence. There seems to be more than enough
corroborating evidence that say it DID exist circa 1000 C.E. You are
one of the few who are saying it DID NOT. Please state in as clear and
concise words as possible what corroborating evidence you have that
says that it was NOT played 1000 C.E. Please note, the lack of a
mention of some source is NOT the same as evidence against the thesis.
Please provide us with YOUR PROOF. Assuming you can Time Travel back
to 1000 C.E. we will accept as PROOF if you can provide us with a eye
witness, first person account.- Hide quoted text -
Yes the burden of proof is certainly Sam's but he is sneaky enough to
con (Sam is an ex-con) dupes like Mr. Kingston into whipping it out
and putting it on the table.
I bow to you: Sam now TRAPPED like a rat, is playing a NEW Gambit: The
"that isn't chess; and neither is this chess" Gambit. Sam can't
concede like a Gentleman that he is WRONG, even in the face of
mounting EVIDENCE that a form of chess way played circa 1000 CE.
A search on FIDE produces The World Chess Federation; so now it seems
we have two "World Chess Federations". One FIDE "World Chess
Federation" and one Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". If the Non-FIDE
"World Chess Federation" wants Sam Sloan to be its point man on the
History of Chess... then I am really wondering who is Bank Rolling the
Non-FIDE "World Chess Federation". My guess, and only a guess, is some
Asian group who has motive for "proving" that "chess" originated in
China, and that Da Vinci was the illegitimate child of a Chinese
slave, when the research quoted states Arab slave. If we are lucky we
might get our very own Deep Throat two tell us, "Follow the Money".
Chessgate anyone?!? Mr. Kingston has repudiated Sam as any sort of
scholar on the History of Chess yet who the Non-FIDE "World Chess
Federation:" refers to as an "Expert" on the subject. We have yet to
see one iota of EVIDENCE produced by Sam that refutes the claim that
"chess" and its predecessors originated in India, and that it was NOT
played circa 1000 CE. While there is some evidence that some form of
chess may have originate in China, it certainly did not evolve into
the commonly accepted notion of "chess", rather it evolved into many
of today's various versions of Asian Chess including but not limited
to Chinese Chess. The international version of Chess and Asian Chess
including Chinese Chess are radically different games, that have some
overlapping ideas and concepts.
There has to be some reason for all this posturing by the NFIDE-WCF: I
have not heard of one person who would refer to Sloan as an "Expert"
on anything, other than self promotion. Indeed if only half of Sam's
braggadocios are TRUE, then I am truly surprised that a) Sam is not in
jail somewhere in the United States b) in jail in some other country
c) have a contract out on him d) dead. So if you are this NFIDE-WCF
trying to establish itself as an alternative to FIDE, why pick some
disreputable character like Sam Sloan for anything?!? Me?!? I'd be
putting as much distance between me and Sam Sloan as possible, and not
seek him out for anything, rather than embracing him and stroking
Sam's enormous ego by calling him an "Expert". There has to be an
angle that I'm not seeing. WHO is Bank Rolling this Non-FIDE "World
Chess Federation and more importantly WHY?? Time will tell. Stay tuned
fellow readers. Me?? I'm out of here, Sloan is an ENORMOUS JOKE, and a
waste of time. I may come prowling by here every now and then, now
that I have found it just to see what if anything is up with NFIDE-WCF
and Sam Sloan's latest brags and grand feats of self-promotion and hot
air claims.
  Bobcat, as I posted here earlier today, FIDE and the WCF are two
distinct organizations. FIDE was founded in
1924, and has been the major governing body for international chess
for many decades, handling Olympiads, World Championships, titles,
ratings, etc.
  I can't find many definite facts about the WCF, but I believe it's
based in Las Vegas, and is mainly the creation of American organizer
Stan Vaughan. It lacks the general recognition given to FIDE. Here is
a video of a press conference in which Vaughan outlines the WCF's
http://youtu.be/iWPr4ejCia8
I do not disagree but if you Google "World Chess Federation" it brings
back at link with FIDE, and vice versa; that FIDE and the "World Chess
Federation" are two separate entities is clear, but both claim to be
"The World Chess Federation". Someone is playing fast and loose with
the term "World Chess Federation".
  Right now the WCF is a "world" federation in name only, as far as I
know. Their ambitions are rather far from being realized. Maybe some
day they will supplant FIDE (Lord knows FIDE has plenty of faults),
but they have quite a ways to go, and the consensus is not to bet on
it. I suspect the story of the Chinese slave girls and asking Sloan to
investigate is just an ill-considered publicity stunt on their part.
Post by Bobcat
I wish FIDE would revert back to
the old "International Chess Federation", than claiming it is now the
"World Chess Federation". Sorry I still use dial up and can't do
video.
  Sorry to hear that. I looked for a WCF web-site, but could not find
any. Anyone else here know of one?
Post by Bobcat
Best Wishes you are a PLEASURE to communicate with and read.
Hope to stumble across more of your posts.
  Thank you, those are kind words (a rare thing here!). Are you new to
the group? We get so many pseudonyms here it's hard to be sure if one
is addressing a newcomer or an old habitué under a new name.
New. I stumbled here following one lead and then started to prowl. Use
to be a decent player -- solid Class B.
AC Ratone
2009-12-08 23:25:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
After reading online, and Murry's book over last couple of years, one
of the most convincing articles is the very short essay by Jean-Louis
Cazaux based on logic instead of evidence. As I said, convincing (to
me I mean).

This is online at the group Koenigstein http://www.mynetcologne.de/~nc-jostenge/

If I read him right Cazaux's thesis that European/Indian/Persian chess
could not have been derived from Chinese, or vice versa are such
things as playing on the squares as opposed to the intersections, pawn
capture directly ahead as opposed to forward diagonal, promotion to an
exact other piece opposed to merely increased powers (moving
sideways), and the existence of the river and the canon in Xiangi
along with an incomplete pawn line along a whole rank.

The western pawn capture method allows blockades which are very basic
to the game. So basic that Chinese chess where the pawns can simply
butt the opposing pawn off the board makes it more or less a different
game, instead of a variation.

Yes Cazaux says western chess did not derive out of China or the
opposite derivation.

Of course he also fully realizes that the similarities (such as those
pointed out in this thread) are impossible to be coincidental leaving
him to conclude that the Silk road brought cross pollination between
European proto chess and Chinese proto Xiangi.


Fact: At the time of Christ the romans/greeks had simplistic board war
games where the pieces were all pawns so to speak.
Fact: Western (including Indian) board "Racing" games featured pieces
moving long distance along squares.
Fact: Ancient China had Liubo with the central body of water
represented on the piece board.
Fact: Liubo was a small board with few intersecting lines. Anyone who
may have been using Liubo game pieces for devising a new game had very
few possible move combinations, such as diagonal, some sort of leap,
orthogonal. The diagonal and orthogonal could not be very far, the
board was too small.

So then, the western world already had innocent board games moving on
squares featuring long distance 'runners' (large number on the throw
of the dice).

China had a cramped simple game with pieces with short but 'chess
like' moves (rook,bishop,knight). This was obviously not a worthy game
at all.

China adopted western ideas, the chariot was born, long range attacks
now possible, the board became decent in size. The chess like moves
from China transformed western juvenile pastimes to a worthy game, a
game for wealthy scholars who were owned by Sultans and writing books
for centuries before Europe got a clue.

To Cazaux is seems illogical that China took an already developed
western chess and for no good reason added a river, made pawns capture
straight ahead thus destroying the basic chess strategy of blockade,
and so forth and so forth. Therefore to him (by logic not evidence)
there was no already developed western chess serving as the source
during the time period when Xiangi was being formed.

I agree with him that while Shogi from Xiangi seems (logically) very
possible, Xiangi from Chess does not.

I contributed nothing to the analysis above, it is all deducible from
Cazaux's small essay!
samsloan
2009-12-09 01:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Sorry, but I disagree. The similarities between Chinese chess and
International Chess are far more significant the differences.

Both games have a rook that moves in exactly the same way. The rook
starts in the corner, the same in both games.

Next to the rook both games have a knight, but the Chinese call it a
horse.

Next to the knight both games have the bishop although the Chinese
call it an elephant or a minister.

In the center both games have a king, although the Chinese call it a
general.

In front, both games have pawns.

In both games, the object of the game is checkmate, but the king is
never captured in either game.

No other game in the world has any of these features, much less all of
them.

The only reasonable conclusion is that the two games are related and
have a common origin.

Sam Sloan
AC Ratone
2009-12-09 08:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"Sorry, but I disagree. The similarities between Chinese chess and
International Chess are far more significant the differences...The
only reasonable conclusion is that the two games are related and have
a common origin."

Certainly that is a legitimate opinion.

But to summarize Cazaux's view, as I read and interpret him:

There are great similarities between occidental and oriental chess,
and that is no coincidence.
The Chinese originated the moves of the major pieces (except the
rook).
The Chinese originated the familiar line of King at center, next
adviser, elephant, knight.
The Chinese originated checkmate.
But they still had a simplistic game, not like the noble Xiangi of
today. Proto Xiangi had a cramped board and games ended quickly.
Nothing elegant about it.

The west had independently originated the large board and the longer
moves (dice determined how far their single piece the pawn/rook could
advance, as many as six squares). But these western games were simple
racing games.

The silk road brought the cultures together and both worlds adopted
the superior features of the other and almost simultaneously two
different noble games Chess and Xiangi sprang into existence.




.

Bobcat
2009-12-06 23:40:27 UTC
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  Bobcat, as I posted here earlier today, FIDE and the WCF are two
distinct organizations. FIDE was founded in
1924, and has been the major governing body for international chess
for many decades, handling Olympiads, World Championships, titles,
ratings, etc.
  I can't find many definite facts about the WCF, but I believe it's
based in Las Vegas, and is mainly the creation of American organizer
Stan Vaughan. It lacks the general recognition given to FIDE. Here is
a video of a press conference in which Vaughan outlines the WCF's
http://youtu.be/iWPr4ejCia8
Yep you are RIGHT: Googled "Stan Vaughan" and got a million hits. Here
is an excerpt from one:

"The problem is that Stan Vaughan has a long history of forming
organizations with the same identical name as existing organizations
and then claiming to BE that organization. The USCF won a court case
against Vaughan in 2000 and got a court injunction prohibiting him
from doing this."

or

"He claims affiliation with the "World Chess Federation". However,
that is his own World Chess Federation incorporated in Nevada, not the
Real World Chess Federation, better known as FIDE, with headquarters
in Switzerland."

I suspect that it is no coincidence that he chose "The World Chess
Federation" as the name of his organization, which is what FIDE refers
to itself as. No wonder I am confused. And yes it does seem to based
out of Las Vegas, NV dba the American Chess Association ... now
morphed into the World Chess Federation????
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 15:45:15 UTC
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Post by samsloan
Post by samsloan
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
  Here's another one. In "The Art of Chess" (New York, 2002), art
"One of the earliest documents to suggest that chess traveled into
Persia from India is in an early seventh-century Persian collection of
stories known as the Chatrang-namak. Nearly four centuries later, the
famous Persian poet Abdul Kasim Mansur, better known by his pen name
Firdawsi (c. 940?-1020?) retold the same story in his monumental epic,
the Shah Namah (Book of Kings). Firdawsi relates that a rajah of India
sent the game of chess — without any explanation of the rules — as a
riddle to King Khosrau I (reigned 528-579), also named Anüshviran, of
Persia. Thanks to a minister variously named Borzogmehr or Wajurgmitr
in subsequent texts and translations, the king solves the riddle ..."
  Thus you are contradicted in two ways, Sam: (1) Yet another writer
confirms, contrary to your claim, that the Shah Namah does indeed
mention chess, and (2) yet another scholar confirms the validity of
Murray's description of two sources — the Chatrang-namak and the Shah
Namah — contrary to your claim that no one else has confirmed Murray
in this regard.
  Oh, and here's yet another point: as I did earlier, Shafroth
mentions the Einsideln Verses, "a ninety-eight line poem now dated
sometime in the 990s. Because the subject is a game of chess, it
suggests that chess must have been fairly well known — at least in
southern Europe — before the end of the tenth century." She also
mentions the will of Count Ermengaud I. The book even has a photo of
what may well be the actual set mentioned in the will, made of
beautiful transparent rock crystal.
  So here's yet another scholar contradicting your claim that chess
was unknown in Europe at that time.
Post by samsloan
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray,
  How many independent confirmations have I presented here now? Eight?
Ten? I've lost count.
Post by samsloan
and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
  We're still waiting, Sam ... :-)
Rather, I am waiting for you.
I challenged you to find one modern scholarly source, say within the
last 30 years, who is not a chess player,
Why "not a chess player"? What difference does that make? The fact
that Yuri Averbakh is a GM and a historian makes him all the more
authoritative, IMO.
Post by samsloan
and who is not copying from
HJR Murray, and who has claimed that there is evidence for chess
existing anywhere in the world say before 1200.
All you have done is cite either books that preceded Murray,
Indeed. Because someone writing before Murray cannot be accused of
"copying from Murray." If I could find them, I'd love to see Von der
Lasa's and Van der Linde's histories of chess, both written before
Murray's. If they mention Firdawsi and/or al-Biruni, it would knock
you into a cocked hat, Sam. (Not that you're not there already.)
Post by samsloan
such as
that by Forbes
Forbes? Forbes who? Malcolm? I have not cited anyone named Forbes.
If you mean Duncan Forbes (1798-1868), I am not about to cite him,
since his history of chess, in which he claimed the game went back
5,000 years, was long ago discredited.
Post by samsloan
or Bilguer (who died in 1840), or books that just
copied from Murray.
Excuse me? Neither Averbakh, nor Williams, nor Shafroth was copying
from Murray, as far as I can tell. Their accounts of the Persian king
solving the chess riddle set by the Indian rajah are all worded
differently and use different spellings of the main characters' names.
For example Murray calls the Persian king Nushirwan and his counselor
Buzurjmihr. Shafroth calls them Khosrau and Wajurmitr, and Williams
calls them Khusrau and Bozorgmehr. Where Murray says al-Beruni,
Averbakh says al-Biruni, and his translation of al-Biruni's text
differs from Murray's. Averbakh disagrees with some of Murray's
conclusions.
Post by samsloan
For example, you claim above that the Shahnameh contains a story about
how chess came to be invented.
What drugs are you on, Sam? I never said that. I said the Shah-namah
has a story about how chess came to Persia from India.
Post by samsloan
However, the Wikipedia article on the Shahnameh makes no mention of
any such story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahnameh
Wow. Wikipedia, the ultimate authority, where anyone can write
anything, whether he knows about it or not. Case in point: the
Wikipedia entry written by Sam Sloan, in which he claimed that I "came
from England" and was probably Edward Winter!
Concerning the Shah-namah, that article also makes no mention of
water, bread, meat, or horses. By Sam's logic we must conclude that
the ancient Persians did not drink water, bake bread, eat meat or ride
horses. I also notice that among the Wikipedia article's sources are a
comic book and an opera — very scholarly stuff.
ChessFire
2009-12-06 18:28:52 UTC
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Post by samsloan
  This is all just a small part of the evidence Murray presents
showing that chess was played in Europe by 1000 CE. You will have to
deal with and refute all of it before we can give your "no evidence"
claim any credence.
In fact, this is part of the evidence that Murray cites.
However, nobody else has cited it or can find it.
Why can nobody else find it?
Because it does not exist!
This exists, at least as best known evidential material:

Anna Comnena's history of the reign of her father, the Emperor Alexius
[1081-1118]. She mentioned that he was in the habit of playing chess
with members of his court on awakening in the morning, and does not
imply that this was a special eccentricity on his part, though she was
aware that the ame was of Persian origin, 'invented by the luxorious
Assyrians and brought thence to us.'

A second explanation, says Eales, lies in the non-Byzantium route of
chess to Europe, citing instead the crusades. 'It is a paradoxial but
well-established fact that even in the period of the crusades more new
learning came to the West from the Muslim 'enemy' than through eastern
Christian civilization... In this respect the crusades 1050 to 1100
was something of a watershed.'

'But even before 1050 thge first tentative signs of transmission were
becoming apparent. Gerbert of Aurillac, later Pope Sylvester II, built
up a reputation as an arithmetician in the 970's and 980's on the
strength of a few years study in Spain. The introduction of arithmetic
into Europe formns a fair analogy for the introduction of chess as
both involved a transfer of practical skill but probably of
explanatory texts as well.'


I think that Murray probably intended this reference, [whether he
actually cited it is unknown]:

'In the main the documentary evidence bears out these hypotheses [as
above]. What was for a long time thought to be the earliest reference
to chess in a western document occurs in the will of Ermengaud I,
Count of Urgel on the Spanish marches, by which he gave his chessmen
to the monastery of St. Giles [probably St GILES AT NIMES NEAR
MONTPELLIER] "FOR THE USE OF THE CHURCH". THE WILL IS DATED 1008 and
there is no reason to doubt this, though Murray suggested 1010 as an
alternative.

But earlier reference exist, as in Versus de scachis, a ninety eight
line poem describing the game and it's rules [from Swis monastery
Einsiedeln] ... Murray assigned the MSS tentatively to the eleventh
century, but a more recent examination has the MSS to a high degree of
probability to the 990's.

Phil Innes
Post by samsloan
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now. In
no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
However, if you cannot find even one source for even one quote, you
will have to admit that Murray just made it all up.
Sam Sloan
samsloan
2009-12-06 19:48:42 UTC
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Post by ChessFire
A second explanation, says Eales, lies in the non-Byzantium route of
chess to Europe, citing instead the crusades. 'It is a paradoxial but
well-established fact that even in the period of the crusades more new
learning came to the West from the Muslim 'enemy' than through eastern
Christian civilization... In  this respect the crusades 1050 to 1100
was something of a watershed.'
Phil Innes
Post by samsloan
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now. In
no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
However, if you cannot find even one source for even one quote, you
will have to admit that Murray just made it all up.
Sam Sloan
Unfortunately, the book by FIDE Master Richard Eales on Chess History
is simply a re-gurgitation and re-wording of the 1913 book by H.J.R.
Murray, when it comes to anything before Philidor. I was greatly
disappointed when I read Eales book, as I had been hoping that he
would shed light on these questions.

Eales has also been slammed by Winter because of this:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/wanted.html

Even assuming that these quotes are correct and that they have been
translated correctly, the early use of the term "chess" or its Spanish
equivalent "ajedrez" does not mean that the game being described there
is anything like the game we play today.

For example, the 1474 book "The Game and Playe of the Chesse" by
William Caxton has nothing to do with the game we call chess today.

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/CAMELOT/teams/ajgpint.htm

I sincerely wish that someone would produce conclusive evidence that a
game similar to what we call chess today was played at an earlier age,
but so far nobody has done so.

Sam Sloan

There is a similar problem in Chinese where they played a game called
"Liu Bo Qi" back in BC, which is often translated as "chess", but
there is no proof or evidence that these gasmes were similar.

Sam Sloan
ChessFire
2009-12-06 20:43:29 UTC
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Post by samsloan
Post by ChessFire
A second explanation, says Eales, lies in the non-Byzantium route of
chess to Europe, citing instead the crusades. 'It is a paradoxial but
well-established fact that even in the period of the crusades more new
learning came to the West from the Muslim 'enemy' than through eastern
Christian civilization... In  this respect the crusades 1050 to 1100
was something of a watershed.'
Phil Innes
Post by samsloan
I have been working on this since 1985. That is 24 years. I have yet
to find any of his original sources.
Murray wrote in 1913. Standards of scholarship are much higher now. In
no other field does anybody quote a 1913 source as being
authoritative.
You can easily prove me wrong, if that is possible. All you have to do
is find a modern source for any of the quotes that Murray provides.
Just find one source for any of those quotes that has not been copied
from Murray, and I will gladly admit that I am wrong.
However, if you cannot find even one source for even one quote, you
will have to admit that Murray just made it all up.
Sam Sloan
Unfortunately, the book by FIDE Master Richard Eales on Chess History
is simply a re-gurgitation and re-wording of the 1913 book by H.J.R.
Murray, when it comes to anything before Philidor.
Not at all so. He frequently qualifies Murray and sometimes
contradicts him.
Post by samsloan
I was greatly
disappointed when I read Eales book, as I had been hoping that he
would shed light on these questions.
Name you nouns, what questions?
Post by samsloan
http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/wanted.html
Even assuming that these quotes are correct and that they have been
translated correctly, the early use of the term "chess" or its Spanish
equivalent "ajedrez" does not mean that the game being described there
is anything like the game we play today.
'anything'?

What does this term mean? Not a little or not a lot? And certainly the
game was not the same as the game played today, nor has anyone said
so. The Queen had changed gender and power too, being previously a
male attendent of the King. Real margaret Yalom's book on the Birth of
the Chess Queen.
Post by samsloan
For example, the 1474 book "The Game and Playe of the Chesse" by
William Caxton has nothing to do with the game we call chess today.
'nothing to do'?

this is merely to say why you must write more specifically, and
certainly less absolutely. Otherwise you are in danger of appearing to
be an enthusiast quoting the usual certainties in absolute terms,
unable to broach even moderately subtle issues.
Post by samsloan
http://www.lib.rochester.edu/CAMELOT/teams/ajgpint.htm
I sincerely wish that someone would produce conclusive evidence that a
game similar to what we call chess today was played at an earlier age,
but so far nobody has done so.
no-one you have understood? an earlier age than when...?

The Greeks knew chess as zatrikion, a hellenization of the Persian
chatrang, which suggests that they received it at an earlier date,
certainly before 900. The arab historian at-Tabari described a letter
written by the Emperor Nicephorus to the Caliph Harun al-Raschid in
802, in which chess was mentioned.

Even a generation later al-Mas'udi [dies 956] mentioned Byzntine chess
as an established fact.

Murray lists 4 references to zatrikion - drawn from C17th and C18th
glossaries, and there is no particular reason to suppose any
ecclesiastical supression in the East [Byzantium] as I said at first,
citing Comnena.

What must be understood by any researcher is that communications in
writing were rare, especially on 'electional' type subjects such as
chess. There were few books, and instead Codexes, bound hand written
papers, which had few copies, maybe no copies made of them, and
thereby it is reasonable to suppose that the game was not communicated
by written means, but by clerics and monks who simply travelled and
communicated with those others among them who could speak a common
language [eg, Latin or Greek]

Otherwise you wind up with the imbecility of supposing that the New
Yorker magazine represents the common speech and even common interest
of the people, as some twit recently tried to play here in public,
analogously he not finding the word 'lover' to have sexual connotation
in a single] Victorian gents magazine.

Eales is intelligent on the need to look at other sources to establish
the history of chess, says so in his book, and choses sensible seems
to me anthropological routes to espy what was all the rage in the year
1000.

Likely the game showed up a 100 years before, per greek record, and
slowly circulated until about 1100 when we saw progressive written
records of both its symbolic and social emergence in European culture
by way of Arab-influend Spain.
Post by samsloan
Sam Sloan
There is a similar problem in Chinese where they played a game called
"Liu Bo Qi" back in BC, which is often translated as "chess", but
there is no proof or evidence that these gasmes were similar.
Without saying what either 'proof' would be, or what would be
'similar' to what? you gain your point.

Phil Innes
Post by samsloan
Sam Sloan
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 22:14:56 UTC
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Post by samsloan
Unfortunately, the book by FIDE Master Richard Eales on Chess History
is simply a re-gurgitation and re-wording of the 1913 book by H.J.R.
Murray, when it comes to anything before Philidor. I was greatly
disappointed when I read Eales book, as I had been hoping that he
would shed light on these questions.
http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/wanted.html
Sam, did you even bother to read that Winter article? It does /not/
say Eales' book is a "re-gurgitation [sic] and re-wording" of Murray.
Nor does Winter "slam" it. The only judgement he makes is to say
"Golombek’s A History of Chess (1976) and Eales’ Chess The History of
a Game (1985) certainly had their strengths but neither seemed to come
fully to grips with the complexity of the subject," and by "the
subject" he means the entirety of chess history from ancient origins
to the present day, a very tall order.
Post by samsloan
Even assuming that these quotes are correct and that they have been
translated correctly, the early use of the term "chess" or its Spanish
equivalent "ajedrez" does not mean that the game being described there
is anything like the game we play today.
For example, the 1474 book "The Game and Playe of the Chesse" by
William Caxton has nothing to do with the game we call chess today.
http://www.lib.rochester.edu/CAMELOT/teams/ajgpint.htm
Once again, Sam, I must ask: do you ever actually read what you
cite?

As your own link makes clear, Caxton's "chesse" is chess, in its
medieval shatranj-like form. All the same pieces: kings, queens,
bishops, knights, rooks and pawns are there, and to quote from your
link, "in the final chapter ... readers learn the rules of the playe,
rules that were and remain largely unchanged since chess entered
Europe in the tenth century." QED, eh?

The fact that the book does not discuss actual chess play (i.e.
openings, endgames, problems etc.) is irrelevant. It is a /morality/,
a story in which the game is used as an allegory of life and a premise
for moral instruction. In this it's no different than the medieval
bestiaries, in which supposed facts about animals were used to support
religious doctrines. The fact that, contrary to the bestiaries, stags
do not suck snakes out of holes in the ground (symbolizing the
Christian's eagerness to root out sin), and lion cubs do not stay as
if dead for three days after birth (symbolizing Christ's resurrection
on the third day after crucifixion), does not mean the bestiaries were
referring to something other than the stags and lions we know today.
By the same token, the use of chess as a moral allegory does not
make it a different game.

In any event, this is all by the by. You still have not addressed
any of my earlier posts showing that Firdawsi and al-Biruni did
mention chess, and that chess was known in Europe before the 11th
century.
samsloan
2009-12-06 23:07:26 UTC
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  In any event, this is all by the by. You still have not addressed
any of my earlier posts showing that Firdawsi and al-Biruni did
mention chess, and that chess was known in Europe before the 11th
century.
Yes I did. I asked for an exact source for their words, including the
page and line number where their words mentioning chess can be found,
and you have not provided it.

All you have responded is that Murray wrote these words back in 1913.

Why cannot you come up with a more modern source?

Sam Sloan
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 23:29:54 UTC
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Post by samsloan
  In any event, this is all by the by. You still have not addressed
any of my earlier posts showing that Firdawsi and al-Biruni did
mention chess, and that chess was known in Europe before the 11th
century.
Yes I did. I asked for an exact source for their words, including the
page and line number where their words mentioning chess can be found,
and you have not provided it.
All you have responded is that Murray wrote these words back in 1913.
Bullshit, Sam. Go back and read my posts. You will find several
books cited, including page numbers, and several Internet links you
can check immediately. About a dozen relevant citations altogether. If
you want line numbers, just tell me the citation involved, and I'll
give you page and line number(s) for anything I've cited from a book.
Not that it makes any difference — you wouldn't bother reading the
books anyway.

You're obviously just weaseling around because you know you're
caught out. You're failing to demonstrate even the partial integrity
Jeremy Spinrad credited to you. A sorry spectacle.
Post by samsloan
Why cannot you come up with a more modern source?
Jeez, Sam, as Ray Lopez is fond of saying, "Lern to reed." I've
cited Averbakh (from a 2003 book), Williams (2000), Shafroth (2002),
the Cornell University Middle Eastern Studies web-site, an online
English translation of al-Biruni, recent historical articles, etc.
etc. Your failure to read them or understand their content does not
validate your position.
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-04 23:04:29 UTC
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Post by samsloan
I am disputing your statement that chess was
played in Europe by the 10th century. There is no evidence for that.
Here's one more bit of evidence I just came across. There is a poem
known variously as the Einsiedeln Verses, Versus de Schachis, or MS
Einsiedlensis, from what is now Switzerland, that mentions chess.
Murray mentions it several times in AHOC, giving it in full in its
original Latin on pages 512-514. If I understand Murray correctly, he
could not date this work earlier than about 1100 CE, but later
scholarship now gives it a likely date of 997:

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

If the 997 date is correct, it is clear proof that chess was well
known in Europe in the 10th century CE. I am not very good with Latin,
but if I understand correctly, the poem makes references to a
checkered board that is red and white, and the pieces rex (king),
regina (queen), eques (knight), rochus (rook) and pedes (pawn).
So, yet another source that Sam must refute if his claim that chess
was unknown in Europe before 1001 is to stand.
samsloan
2009-12-04 08:27:20 UTC
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There can be no doubt that Chinese chess and International chess share
a common origin. The games have too many similarities to have
developed independently by chance.

Both games have a rook, a knight and a king, which is called a general
in Chinese. Both have pawns. Chinese chess has an elephant that is the
equivalent of our bishop except that it can only jump two squares
diagonally and cannot cross the river. Chinese chess has two guards
that are very weak equivalent of our queens. Both games end in
checkmate.

Chinese chess has a few extra things that international chess does not
have, including a cannon than only captures by jumping, a river that
cannot be crossed by the elephants and a palace that the king and his
guards cannot leave.

There is also Japanese chess, or shogi, Thai chess or makrook, and
Korean chess that is played with a board and pieces similar to Chinese
chess but with different moves. There is Cambodian chess that is the
same as Thai chess except for some differences in the rules,
Vietnamese chess that is similar to Chinese chess except for some
differences in the rules and Indian chess that is the same as our
chess except for some differences in the rules, the main difference
being that the pawn can only go one square on the first move.

There is also a kind of chess played on the island of Sumatra in
Indonesia. An Indonesian chess grandmaster gave me the rules and I
wrote them down but unfortunately have misplaced them.

All of these games obviously have a common origin. The question is
where is that origin was and when did this take place.

I believe that the most likely place of origin is China, not India.

As to when, nobody can say but it seems that all of these varieties of
chess appeared at about the same time, which was around 1400-1500.
Thus, my best guess is that chess as we know it was invented around
1400.

As a chess player I would like to be able to say that the game is a
thousand years old, or more, but I have seen no evidence that this is
the case.

Sam Sloan
Taylor Kingston
2009-12-06 16:33:27 UTC
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Post by samsloan
When researching my monograph "The Origin of Chess" that I published
in 1985, I went searching for sources for the statements in HJR
Murray's book such as his claim that Ferdosi mentioned chess in the
Shahnama or that chess was mentioned in the writings of Al Beruni. I
found no evidence or support for such claims.
Hey, have a look here, Sam:

http://www.arts.cornell.edu/nes/index.html

Cornell University disagrees with you. This page shows an
illustration captioned "Royal figures playing chess, from the Shahnama
by Firdawsi. Persia, 10th century."

Here's another one:

http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200904/the.game.of.kings.htm

The caption reads: "Above: Seated before the shah, the Persian
advisor Buzurgmihr (to right of chessboard) demonstrates his mastery
of the game to a downcast challenger, an envoy from the court of
India. The match was recorded in the Shahnamah (Book of Kings) by the
11th-century Persian poet Abu’l-Qasim Firdawsi, and this illustration
appeared in a 14th-century edition."

And concerning al-Beruni, this site says it has the "Full text of
'Alberuni's India. An account of the religion, philosophy, literature,
geography, chronology, astronomy, customs, laws and astrology of India
about A.D. 1030'":

http://www.archive.org/stream/alberunisindiaac01biru/alberunisindiaac01biru_djvu.txt

The text is in a format that can be computer-searched. I found many
references to chess, for example:

1 84 ALBERUNfS INDIA.

As this kind of chess is not known among us, I shall
here explain what I know of it.

The four persons playing together sit so as to form a
square round a chess-board, and throw the two dice
alternately.

Feel free to check it yourself, Sam. Maybe you'll finally find what
you claim to have been seeking for 24 years. It took me just a few
minutes.
Post by samsloan
If such ancient references to chess existed, there would be scholars
at the great universities who study such things who would know about
them.
As I said before, Sam, there are and they do. Unless, for example,
you think Cornell is not much of a university and has no scholars.
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