A History of Chess by Harold James Ruthven Murray, published in by Clarendon Press, garfstontanguicon.gadia article about this book. A history of chess by H. J. R. Murray; 6 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Chess, History, Protected DAISY, In library. A History Of Chess book. Read 6 reviews from the world's largest community for readers.

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The book A History of Chess was written by H. J. R. Murray (–) and published in . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. The game of chess, as we know it, emerged in the North West of ancient India around studies is the A History of Chess by the English scholar, H.J.R. Murray. PDF | Until now the different scholars practically limited themselves to chess scholar Harold James Ruthven Murray1 is emphasized.

It appeared on pages of Things London, , a general reference book published by the Waverley Book Company Limited, and is reproduced below. Chess was invented in India, and before Indian chronology was put on a sound basis, exaggerated ideas as to the age of chess were formed and these are still often repeated. It is in Indian and Persian works of the first half of the seventh century A. This was written about A.

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The invention of chess cannot be placed much earlier, for from A. The invention of chess is accordingly dated about A. This leaves rather a brief period for the adoption of chess in Persia, a difficulty that can be met by the facts that Chosroes aided in the destruction of the Huns, and that his interest in Indian culture led to his sending envoys to India to obtain a copy of the Fables of Pilpay.

Later Arab historians ascribed the inception of chess to an Indian sage they called Sissa b. Dahir, borrowing the name which belonged to the first Indian prince with whom the Arabs came in contact.

In fact the story is mythical. The complete Indian army from at least the fourth century B. In his game of chaturanga, the inventor added to these four elements the king and his minister or commanding officer; and he arranged his armies on the two opposite outer rows of the ashtapada, placing one army on the first and second and the other on the seventh and eighth rows; on the second and seventh rows he placed eight pawns, and on the first and eighth rows, starting from the corners of the board, he placed chariot, horse and elephant; on the two middle squares he placed king and minister, the two kings standing on the same file.

He gave the king a move of one step in any direction, the minister one step diagonally; to the chariot he gave the move which the rook has in our modern chess, and to the horse the leap of the modern knight.

The elephant leapt diagonally over one square to the square immediately beyond.

The pawn took single steps forward on the file on which it stands, made captures on an adjacent square diagonally in advance, and was promoted to the rank of minister on reaching the end of the board. Stalemate, which has no analogy in actual warfare, he gave as a win to the stalemated king.

The Persians only made two changes in the Indian game. They translated the names of the men and they made stalemate a draw.

The Arabs when they conquered Persia, in A.

Pre-Islamic Persia knew the game for less than a hundred years, but this brief period had an effect of great importance upon chess, since it gained a fixity of arrangement, a method of play, and a nomenclature which have attended the game everywhere in its western career.

Islam absorbed chess quickly and the names of many chessplayers before have been preserved.

Wherever Islam penetrated, so did chess, as far west as Spain, as far south as Zanzibar, as far east as the Malay Islands and as far north as Turkestan. But lawyers maintained that playing chess was against tradition and the Koran.

The Shiite sect omits the first condition. Players were classified by their skill, and the names of the chess champions from to are known.


Christians on the Spanish Marches were playing chess soon after A. By it was played in Bavaria, France and England, and by it had reached Iceland. English and French players adopted the eastern names when they did not understand the meaning, and translated them when they did.

The Italians made chess a model of the European state, the minister becoming a queen and the elephant an elder who was often carved as a bishop. It is way too long and detailed and chess-nerdy for a non-chess player like myself to read end-to-end, but nevertheless one can extract out interesting tidbits about what we know or don't know about the origins of the game, its various transformations to the current game, and most interesting, the diversification of the original chaturanga into many many distinct forms into every corner of Eurasia.

A History Of Chess

Much but not all these variations both describe and are explained by the connections and relations between the various Eurasian civilizations, none of which does not have its own version of chess. As such, the book is not just a history of chess, but a geography of chess, and a small bit of the history of Eurasia.

One warning: the copy I am holding right now was printed in It's written in the Imperial British style, which means it is not politically correct. Not the book if you want a readable history of chess with anecdotes.

On the other hand, there are nuggets of humor and humanity whenever Murray quotes letters, poems, etc. It's also educational to see how a diligent academic dealt with cataloging extant manuscripts in the pre-digital age.

Fun Book Review: A History of Chess: The Original 1913 Edition by H. J. R. Murray

Don't let the page count scare you too much, if all this sounds interesting. Much of the book can be skimmed or skipped. Jan 05, James Stripes rated it really liked it This book has no peer.While it was a slog, I'm glad I read it and feel I have a better understanding of a game that possesses a rich and diverse history.

Feb 27, Le Huynh added it. For several old chess variants the measure as well as other measures, such as the search-space complexity and draw rate, are calculated.

A History Of Chess

It is way too long and detailed and chess-nerdy for a non-chess player like myself to read end-to-end, but nevertheless one can extract out interesting tidbits about what we know or don't know about the origins of the game, its various transformations to the current game, and most interesting, the diversification of the origin A big epic tome what some folks would call 'magisterial' about, um, the history of chess, starting from early 1st millenium Indian 'chaturanga' to 19th century Europe.

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The values given here are estimates, not based on systematic analysis. It's length and excruciating detail render it a chore to read clear through.

Murray — and published in