Scachs d'amor

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First page of the manuscript

Scachs d'amor (Valencian for Chess of Love), whose complete title is Hobra intitulada scachs d'amor feta per don Francí de Castellví e Narcis Vinyoles e mossèn Fenollar, is the name of a poem written by Francesc de Castellví, Bernat Fenollar, and Narcís de Vinyoles, published in Valencia, Crown of Aragon, towards the end of the 15th century.

The poem is conceived as a chess game in which the opponents are Franci de Castellvi, as White (in modern chess), (Mars Març, Love Amor and red pieces in the play), and Narcis Vinyoles, playing Black (Venus, the Glory Gloria, and green pieces).[1] They debate about love, and Bernat Fenollar comments and establishes the rules. The opening in the game would, centuries later, be called the Scandinavian Defense. Green and Red are still used in xiangqi as colours for the pieces.

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

This is believed to be the earliest documented game of chess with the modern rules concerning the moves of the queen and bishop.


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