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Diagrams Of Chess-Problems, In A Collection Of Chronicles Of English History And Miscellaneous Tracts

Diagrams Of Chess-Problems, In A Collection Of Chronicles Of English History And Miscellaneous Tracts

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1400

Shelfmark: Royal MS 13 A.xviii

Item number: f.161r

Length: 25.9

Width: 16.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This volume consists of numerous texts of the 14th and 15th centuries; they encompass a wide variety of materials, in Latin and French, prose and verse. All but the last two items were bound together by the 15th century, when they were owned by the Carmelite Convent in London. This is the first page of almost 2000 lines of French verse describing 55 chess problems, illustrated with 58 diagrams. The first shows how, starting from the lower left corner, a knight can move to every other square on the board, without landing on any square twice: each move is numbered in sequence medieval Arabic numerals ('2' looks like a '7', and '4' looks like an '8' without the bottom part, and so on.)

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