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Francesc de Castellvi vs Narcis Vinyoles
"Old in Chess" (game of the day Nov-13-2012)
Valencia (1475), Valencia ESP
Scandinavian Defense: Ilundain Variation (B01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: It looks a game played between a king (white) and his court jester (black). Why not 10. ...Rb8 11. Qc6 Rb6, for example? Probably because if black won, it was "Off with his head!".

Lasker's rules cited by <Karpova> are interesting, especially:

2) He who loses the queen, loses the game (surprisingly feminist for the period), and

3) a pawn that reaches the 8th rank can only become a piece which has already been taken (that would avoid a lot of the crazy fumbling around that goes on in blitz games, trying to put tin foil on top of a pawn or something)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <ChessHigherCat: (surprisingly feminist for the period),>

But then, maybe not. From the date and place, many chess historians believed that the huge expansion in the power of the queen was a tribute to Queen Isabella of Castile, a powerful queen regnant.

Nov-07-17  MariusDaniel: Great chess game from 15th century!
Sep-21-18  Yigor: The next Scandinavian game in this database: Hanstein - von der Lasa (1839): gid=1266108.
Sep-21-18  Parachessus: <ChessHigherCat> Christian Freeling's brilliant chess variant called "Grand Chess" only allows pawns to promote to captured pieces. So if your queen is still on the board, you can't promote to a queen. Also, in GC pawns can promote on the last TWO ranks. This would mean K+P vs K endings would always be won by the side with the extra pawn.
Sep-22-18  Yigor: 4. Bc4 can be called "Castellvi attack". The main line is 4. d4. The next Scandinavian: Ilundain game: Morphy/Barnes - Staunton/Owen (1858), gid=1242885.
Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: old chess game
Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: King games
Oct-06-19  stridergene: Wow amazing. I am amazed that this game was preserved
Feb-09-20  MordimerChess: So that's the oldest chess game ever recorded. Wow! It was played in Valencia, 1475 AD. It was discovered in 1905 in some manuscript found in archives. And its name was Scachs d'Amor, which means in Catalan language "The Chess Game of Love". Maybe it's the most important chess game in history? ;)

De Castellvi appears as one of the three authors of the "Scachs d´amor" poem. He was the owner of several towns and advisor in the Aragonese court of King Ferdinand. He was definitely a member of a distinguished Valencian family.

Narcis Vinyoles was a polititian and a writer, he was know of his literacy production at that time. And he was a member of well known lawyers family.

Bernat Fenollar, commentator or arbiter was also member of notable Valencian family. He was a priest, a mathematician, but also a literacy patron and organizer of cultural event. So he was the real soul of the chess group and probably the first author of chess book which disappear later from the history. Manuscript of chess oldest game in the World is everything we have now.

And maybe the level of the players were not so high at that time but it seems like these trio invented the modern rules of chess. That's why I think it deserves the video with some commentary about the story behind:

Keep in mind that position from miniature matches the position from the game. I really had to do some serious work on that, lol :D


Feb-10-20  Petrosianic: <it seems like these trio invented the modern rules of chess.>

Why does it seem that way to you? Just because this is the oldest game that has survived doesn't mean it's the first game ever played, nor that these players are the ones who altered the rules of Shatranj into modern chess.

Feb-12-20  MordimerChess: <Just because this is the oldest game that has survived doesn't mean it's the first game ever played>

There is no evidence about any other older game. Also <research on Fenollar proves an important point: The modern game of chess appears in Valencia, towards the end of the XVth century, in a well known circle of poets, literary patrons and printers of books.>

And <Almost all the early works on modern chess are coming from Spain, and they are related in many ways to the chess circle of Valencia during the last part of the 15th century. The origins of modern chess are in Valencia>

And as Fenollar was well known, influencial chess enthusiast and he shows the rules of chess in his books, it's very unlikely that his "chess circle" didn't invent the modern chess of rules (probably without the castling).

Feb-12-20  Petrosianic: <There is no evidence about any other older game.>

Right, as I say, I get that this is the oldest surviving game. I also get that Modern Chess originated in the 15th century, and so this could be the first game. It might even be the first recorded game. But the actual first one ever played? It doesn't even claim that.

It might be hard to determine the actual first game even if we had complete records of every game ever played. No doubt the rules were shuffled around and experimented with a lot as people turned shatranj into chess, so the answer might be somewhat interpretational.

I'm willing to recognize this as the de facto first game, though, since we have no older ones. But I'm not willing to chip in for statues for Castellvi and Vinyoles yet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It might be the first game of modern chess, or the second, or the third....

You get my drift.

Yawn. There are more worthwhile topics of debate.

Feb-12-20  Petrosianic: <Yawn. There are more worthwhile topics of debate.>

On this particular page, probably not. The game itself is no great shakes.

Feb-13-20  MordimerChess: Yeah, let's start from Fenollar's statue. He deserved it the most!
Sep-22-20  login:

Meanwhile in Germany

Sep-22-20  offramp: This is chessgames game number 1259987.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: One could easily imagine this game being played today. Not a good game, especially by Black, but shockingly good for the first recorded game. Through White's fifth, the game was a normal, if offbeat, opening. Vinyoles' 5...Bg4 was correct on general principles, but allowed the tactical shot 6.Bxf7+! (the alternative 6.Ne5 is also strong). White overlooked this. Black soon hung his b-pawn and the game went downhill from there. But both players played well above modern beginner standards.
Dec-27-20  kereru: It's not clear what castling rules they were using, almost certainly not the modern ones.
Jan-21-21  varishnakov: I was not even born yet when this game was played!
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < lomez: This might not actually be from 1745. >

It isn't! It's from 1475, almost 3 centuries earlier. <wink>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: 1.e4 is a novelty. It was so successful that it has been employed by practically every players ever since.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: 1.e4 was sometimes played in Short-Assize of the mid-second-millennium AD, to separate the e-♙ from the ♕.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: This article on the Valencian origin of chess with the modern ♕ and ♗ moves suggests that it wasn't a real game. Rather, the players Castellví and Vinyoles, and the arbiter Fenollar, members of a poetry circle, invented the new rules, and composed this game to illustrate them poetically. Castellví took the part of Mars, Vinyoles Venus, and Fenollar Mercury.

An English translation (from the original Valencian Catalan) of Scachs d'Amor shows how the three, especially Fenollar, were explaining the rules as they went.

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