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But it is not so. There are comparatively many Chess players, but no one of renown. Most of them play conformably to European rules, and to those who do, one can easily give the odds of a Rook. This, however, is more difficult, when playing according to the Arabian rules. The difference in the latter is :

"1st. The King is always placed at the right-hand of his Queen, so that he is opposite to the adversary's Queen.

"2nd. A Pawn can never move two squares.

"3rd. In Castling three moves are required. In the first, the King is played to one of the Pawn's squares. In the second, the Rook goes as far as he likes, or can. In the third, the King hides himself, by a Knight's move, behind his Pawns. If once checked, either before or during these three moves, he loses the faculty of the Knight's move.

"4th. A Pawn arriving at his eighth square, can only be exchanged for a piece already taken by the adversary."

"The difference in first placing the King paralyzes our theory of openings: and the restriction of the Pawns in moving only one step completely precludes those impetuous attacks so necessary when we give the odds of a piece. The Arabians play very quickly, and never fail to point with the finger to the piece they attack. They no more respect the principle of non-intervention than the Russians do, for every spectator gives his opinion, and his advice. Their Chess-boards ordinarily consist of a handkerchief, on which the squares, all

1 This is the most common kind of chess-board, (if I may use the expression,) among the Asiatics. It is very portable and convenient, especially in travelling. The Chessmen, being of small solid blocks of wood, are carried in a little bag; and the whole equipage is produced at a moment's notice. The travellers, when they halt for the sake of rest, squat down on the ground and

white, are only separated by black lines. The pieces are seldom of ivory, but commonly of wood, rudely carved, and the Bishops and Knights very difficult to distinguish."

Herr Grimm further favours us with the following Oriental story, which being short, and "by no means dull," we here subjoin.

"All my endeavours to find some Arabian Manuscripts on Chess are fruitless. The connoisseurs of Arabian literature believe that some must exist, but nobody of my acquaintance has, or knows of any. No one here remembers the name of Stamma, but Chess-players are fond of relating the following anecdote regarding a celebrated Aleppean player of the last century. This man was exceedingly poor, notwithstanding which he would do nothing except play at Chess, and as nobody here plays for money, he could scarcely obtain an existence. A certain Pasha, a great amateur of Chess, visiting Aleppo, made the acquaintance of our hero, and engaged him to go to Stamboul. The latter pleading poverty, the Pasha provided for his journey, and at Stamboul, after clothing him from head to foot, introduced him to the Sultan. Entering the Seray, he left, as is the custom, his slippers at the door. The Sultan, also a great lover of Chess, instantly called for the Chessboard. They played, and the Aleppean lost the first game.

"The Sultan frowning, addressed the Pasha, 'How fall to; yea, if there should be neither handkerchief nor chessmen, the deficiency is readily supplied. A board is soon delineated on the sand, and pebbles are used instead of the wooden men. Of course, in the mansions of the grandees, there are boards and men of a very different cut; but even to this very day, the boards are seldom chequered black and white, and when they happen to be so, it makes no earthly difference as to the mode of placing the men.-F.

1 Stambul or Istambul is the Arabic name for Constantinople.-F.

darest thou present to me as a great master this man who loses so ignominiously?' The Pasha, only now conscious that he had more at stake than the players, asked his protégé why he played so indifferently. The reply was, 'I left the new slippers you gave me at the door, and fearing that some one will take them away, my mind is so occupied with this thought that I cannot play as well as is necessary against so strong an adversary as the Sultan. Then the Sultan, smiling, ordered in the slippers, which our friend took, and, placing them under him, won all the succeeding games, without offending the so cunningly flattered Sultan. Though the Aleppean, who may have been no other than Stamma, exhibited in his play abundant skill, I think it would hardly surpass his courtly ingenuity concerning the slippers."

Chess in Egypt.

I have not been able to ascertain the mode in which the modern Egyptians play the game. Mr. Lane,1 apparently no Chess player himself, in describing the sedentary games of Egypt, merely tells us that the people of that country "take great pleasure in Chess (which they call sutreng), Draughts (dāmeh), and Backgammon (tāwooleh)." The probability is, however, that the Egyptian game is the same as that of the Turks and Arabs.

Some writers, who occasionally do a Chess article for the magazines, have carried their imaginations so far as to say that the ancient Egyptians were adepts at the game. A little attention would have shewn them the utter groundlessness of their assertion. The game represented on Egyptian monuments is merely a species

1 "Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians." Vol. II. p. 46.

of Draughts, and is thus described by Wilkinson in his work on the Ancient Egyptians :

"The pieces were all of the same size and form, though they varied on different boards, some being small, others large, with round summits; many were of a lighter and neater shape, like small nine-pins,-probably the most fashionable kind, since they were used in the palace of King Rameses. These last seem to have been about one inch and a-half high, standing on a circular base of half an inch in diameter; and one in my possession, which I brought from Thebes, of a nearly similar taste, is one inch and a-quarter in height, and little more than half an inch broad at the lower end. It is of hard wood, and was doubtless painted of some colour, like those occurring on the Egyptian monuments.

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They were all of equal size upon the same board, one set black, the other white or red, standing on opposite sides, and each player, raising it with the finger and thumb, advanced this piece towards those of his opponent; but though we are unable to say if this was done in a direct or diagonal line, there is reason to believe they could not take backwards, as in the Polish game of draughts, the men being mixed together on the board.

"It was an amusement common in the houses of the lower classes, and in the mansions of the rich; and King Rameses is himself pourtrayed on the walls of his palace at Thebes, engaged in the game of draughts."

Chess in Persia.

The modern Persian game, as we might expect, differs little from that of the Turks and Arabians, as may be

seen from the following communication addressed from Paris to the Editor of the Chess Player's Chronicle some fifteen years ago.

“* * * You have probably read in the newspapers an account of the arrival in Paris of five noble Persians, sent by the Shah for the purpose of learning modern languages, science, &c. Each of them is to study a particular branch, and they will return to their country with the elements of a complete revolution. Three of them are young men of twenty or twenty-one years of age, and play Chess tolerably! They tell me there are many strong players in their country, and that the game is much cultivated there. Their game differs from ours in the following particulars: "—

"I. The board is placed with the White or Black square on the right indifferently."

"II. The King is placed on the fourth square from the left-hand corner, and the Queen (the Vizier) always on the right of the King, consequently, the board standing after our fashion with the White square on the right hand, the White King and Queen only will change places the Queens are thus, as in the Indian game, in face of the adverse King."


"III. The Pawns move only one square the first

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"IV. Castling is admitted, only Castling on the King's side the King goes to Knight's square, and the Rook to

1 I am inclined to think that the writer has here made a slight mistake in his description. Ought he not to have said, like Herr Grimm, "the King is placed on the fourth square from the right hand corner; and the Vizier always on his left ?" It is contrary to Oriental etiquette for the Vizier to stand on the King's right hand; besides, the assertion is at variance with what we know of the modern Arabian and Indian games. Perhaps the correspondent, as a mere matter of gallantry, places the Queen on the King's right hand, overlooking the important fact that the eastern Vizier was no lady, but an astute old infidel of the masculine or neuter gender.-F.

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