Relevant Papers

Articles intéressants

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Histoire des échecs



The Chess and Games Library

This page aims at presenting relevant papers for Chess history. As it is sometimes important to understand Chess in relation with other games, important papers dealing with other related games are also presented.

The goal is to offer a space here for all interested individuals who will be able to easily reach the most advanced and important information on the domain.

Authors (any language) are welcome to send me their papers they would like to see appearing here.

  • The original Spanish text of Alfonso X's Book of Games (Libro de los juegos) (composed by Sonja Musser)
  • A true historical gem: a paper from the great historian, H.G.R. Murray providing additional comments to his monumental History of Chess (1913):
    New Light On The History Of Chess (Murray 1915)

  • (Adams 1999): Colin Adams, The Struggle for Survival, an e-book introducing Tenjiku Shogi. Also available (with additions) here.
  • (Banaschak 1997): Peter Banaschak, Facts on the origin of Chinese chess (Xiangqi), 4th Symposium of the Initiative Gruppe Königstein, Wiesbaden, August 1997.
  • (Banaschak 1999): Peter Banaschak, Early East Asian Chess Pieces: An overview, PB's Homepage, August 1999.
  • (Banaschak 2000): Peter Banaschak, On the History of Chû Shôgi, The Chu Shogi Library, 2000.
  • (Berger 2004-1, Berger 2004-2): Friedrich Berger, From circle and square to the image of the World: a possible interpretation for some petroglyphs of merels boards, Rock Art Research 2004 - Volume 21, Number 1, pp. 11-25.
  • (Bhatta 1995): C. Panduranga Bhatta, Antiquity of Indian Board Games - A New Approach, New Approaches to Board Games Research, Asian Origin and Future Perspective, IIAS Working Papers Series 3, Leiden, 1995.
  • (Bock-Raming 1995): Andreas Bock-Raming, The Varieties of Indian Chess Through The Ages, Asiatische Studien - Etudes Asiatiques, XLIX 2, 1995.
  • (Bock-Raming 1995): Andreas Bock-Raming, The Literary Sources of Indian Chess And Related Board Games, New Approaches to Board Games Research, Asian Origin and Future Perspective, IIAS Working Papers Series 3, Leiden, 1995.
  • (Bock-Raming 1999): Andreas Bock-Raming, The Gaming Board in Indian Chess and Related Board Games: a terminological investigation, Board Games Studies 2, 1999.
  • (Bock-Raming 2001): Andreas Bock-Raming, Das 8. Kapitel des Hariharacaturanga: ein spätmittelalterlicher Sanskrittext über eine Form des "Großen Schachs". Annotierte Übersetzung und Interpretation, Board Games Studies 4, 2001.
  • (Boutin-Parlebas 1999): Michel Boutin & Pierre Parlebas, La Métromachie ou la bataille géométrique, Board Games Studies 2, 1999.
  • (Brown 1964): Norman Brown, The Indian Games of Pachisi, Chaupar and Chausar, Expedition 6, Spring, pp32-35.
  • (Buryakov 2000): Yuriy Buryakov, Chess in Ancient Afrasiab, Journal of the Academy pf Arts of Uzbekistan, San'at 4/2000.
  • (Calvo 1998): Ricardo Calvo, Valencia Spain: The Cradle of European Chess, CCI Conference, Vienna, Austria, May 1998.
  • (Calvo 2001): Ricardo Calvo, The Oldest Chess Pieces in Europe, IGK Conference, Amsterdam, December 2001.
  • (Caso 1925): Alfonso Caso, Un antiguo juego mexicano: el Patolli, El Mexico Antiguo, 1925.
  • (Daryaee ?), Touraj Daryaee, The Games of Chess and Backgammon in Sasanian Persia, date and place of publication unknown. Also available here.
  • (DongLi 2002): Dong Li, Suspicions regarding what are alleged to be Sui Dynasty glass and agate Weiqi Chess piece, China Archaelogy and Art Digest, Vol.4 Number 4, April-May 2002.
  • (DunnVenturi 2006): Ann Dunn-Venturi, Ulrich Schädler, Nouvelles perspectives sur les jeux à la lumière de plateaux du Kerman, Iranica Antiqua, Vol. XLI, 2006.
  • (Eder 2007): Manfred Eder, Early Terracottas from Kanauj: Chessmen? Chapter II - Half an Answer and More Questions, Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the European Association of South Asian Archaeology, Ravenna, Italy, July 2007.
  • (Eder 2020): Manfred Eder, Five Chessmen made of Stone - Slate from Gandhara? - and their familiarity with the Finds from Afrasiab, Arbeitspapiere / Working-Papers, Mission Kannauj 2020, A Collection of Papers and Contributions for the Chess-Historic Meeting, February 27th and 28th, 2020, at the New Government Archaeological Museum, Kannauj U.P. India. Edited on behalf of FSG. See also here.
  • (Ellinghoven 2003): Bernd Ellinghoven, Christine Gruber, Kambodschach, Work in Progress zur Geschichte des Schachspiel in Kambodscha, in Kambodschanische Kultur, Heft 8, Berlin 2003.
  • (Fairbairn 1980): John Fairbairn, Shogi history and the variants, Shogi Magazine, n°27, September 1980.
  • (Ferlito 1994), G.Ferlito, Old Islamic Chessmen. Historical, religious and artistic considerations about their shape and design, pp81-89 in Homo Ludens Der spielende Mensch IV, band 4,1994, München-Salzburg.
  • (Ferlito-Sanvito 1990), G.Ferlito - A.Sanvito, Origins of Chess, Protochess, 400 B.C. to 400 A.D, The Pergamon Chess Monthly September 1990 Volume 55 No. 6.
  • (Gamer 1954), Helena M. Gamer, The Earliest Evidence of Chess in Western Literature: The Einsiedeln Verses, Speculum, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Oct., 1954), pp. 734-750
  • (Goret 1999): Jean-François Goret, Catherine Homo-Lechner et François Poplin, Une pièce d'échecs en ivoire convertie en sifflet provenant de Château-Thierry (Aisne), Revue archéologique de Picardie. N°3-4, 1999. pp. 199-202.
  • (Gunter 1991): Ann C. Gunter, Art from Wisdom : The Invention of Chess and Backgammon, Asian Art, Winter 1991.
  • (Horn-Voogt 2008): Fred Horn and Alex Voogt, The Development and Dispersal of L'Attaque Games, Proceedings of Board Game Studies Colloquium XI, Lisbon, 2008, pp. 43-52.
  • (Introuble2-Petteia Polis 2020), Anonymous, Petteia - Polis & Ludus Latrunculorum, as partially chess ancestors, from the blog on the Internet of an anonymous author, but with his permission, 2020.
  • (Josten 1998): Gerhard Josten, The End of Colonialism in Chess, originally published in German for the 8th congress of the Chess Collectors International (CCI), Vienna, 1998. (Josten 2001): Gerhard Josten, Chess - A Living Fossil, Also in The Anatomy of Chess, Tübinger Beiträge zum Thema Schach Band 8, Pfullingen, Promos-Verlag, 2003.
  • (Josten 2005): Gerhard Josten, Einige Fragen an die Indologen zu Bana, Okkasioneller Rundbrief 28, 2005.
  • (Kraaijeveld 2000): Alex R. Kraaijeveld, Origin of Chess A Phylogenetic Perspective, Board Games Studies 3, 2000.
  • (Kruk 2001): Remke Kruk, Of Rukhs and Rooks, Camels and Castles, Oriens, Volume 36, pp288-298, Brill, Leiden 2001.
  • (Lawrence 2014): David Lawrence, A pictish origin for HnefatafL?, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 8, pp 73-79, 2014.
  • (Leventhal 1978): Dennis A. Leventhal, The Chess of China, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China: Mei Ya, 1978. A compilation of selected excerpts mirrored from here.
  • (Lhote 2002): Jean-Marie Lhôte, Martin Le Franc et la dame enragée, Board Games Studies 5, 2002.
  • (Lilleören 2011): Morten Lilleören, The Lewis Chessmen on a Fantasy Island, websites of ChessBase and the Chess Cafe, 2011.
  • (Lilleören 2012): Morten Lilleören, The Lewis Chessmen were never anywhere near Iceland!, followed by (Lilleören 2012-2), The Lewis Chessmen - A Final Remark, websites of ChessBase and the Chess Cafe, 2011.
  • (Lo-Wang 2004): Andrew Lo and Tzi-Cheng Wang, "The Earthworms Tame the Dragon": The Game of Xiangqi, in Asian Games, The Art of Contest, Asia Society, 2004.
  • (Makariou 2005): Sophie Makariou, Le jeu d'échecs, une pratique de l'aristocratie entre l'islam et chrétienté des IXe-XIIIe siècles, Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa, XXXVI, 2005.
  • (Mark 2007): Michael Mark, The Beginning of Chess, in "Ancient Board Games in perspective" (Edited by I.L.Finkel), British Museum Press, London, 2007. (See also my critical review).
  • (Markov 2015): Georgi Markov, Russian four-handed chess: myths and misconceptions, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 9, pp 41-49, 2015.
  • (Markov 2017): Georgi Markov, A note on chess in 19th century Turkestan, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 11, pp 73-82, 2017.
  • (Markov 2019): Georgi Markov, A game that never was: Verney’s duodecimal chess, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 13, pp 15-20, 2019.
  • (Markov 2020): Georgi Markov and Stefan Härtel, Turkish Great Chess and Chinese Whispers: Misadventures of a Chess Variant, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 14, pp 43-60, 2020.
  • (Masukawa 1994): Koichi Masukawa, The Origin of Japanese Chess, Variant Chess 15, Oct-Dec 1994.
  • (Masukawa 2004): Koichi Masukawa, Shogi: Japan's game of the Generals, in Asian Games, The Art of Contest, Asia Society, 2004.
  • (Mebben 1999): Peter Mebben, Die Arithmomachia des Abraham Ries und weitere neuzeitliche Überlieferungen der Rithmomachie, Board Games Studies 2, 1999.
  • (Panaino ?): Antonio Panaino, Hashtpây, date and place of publication unknown. Also available here.
  • (Needham 1962): Joseph Needham, The Magnet, Divination and Chess, in Science and Civilisation in China: Physics and Physical Technology, Part I: Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1962.
  • (Parton 1972a): Vernon Rylands Parton, 100 Squares for Chess and Damante, monograph, 1972. More can be found here.
  • (Piccione 1980): Peter A. Piccione, In Search of the Meaning of Senet, Archaeology 33 (July/August l980): 55-58. Also available here.
  • (Rajendran 2005): A. Rajendran, Exploring the Possibilities of Finding out the Nature of Chess in its Original Form, Okkasioneller Rundbrief 29, 2005.
  • (Roellicke 1999): Hermann-Josef Röllicke, Von "Winkelwegen", "Eulen" und "Fischziehern" liubo: ein altchinesisches Brettspiel für Geister und Menschen, Board Games Studies 2, 1999.
  • (Romain 1999): Pascal Romain, Divination and Recreation in Ancient Near Eastern Board Games, Board Games Studies Colloquia, Florence, 1999
  • (Samsin 2002): Myron Samsin, Pawns And Pieces: Towards The Prehistory Of Chess, 2002. Also in The Anatomy of Chess, Tübinger Beiträge zum Thema Schach Band 8, Pfullingen, Promos-Verlag, 2003.
  • (Samsin 2021): Myron Samsin, Culture and Community on the Silk Road -- The Origin of Chess Revisited, Patten, December 2021, Amsterdam.
  • (Schmidt 2003): von Rainer Schmidt, Urschach und die Vorgeschichte des Xiangqi, Schach-Journal 1/1993. (Scan and OCR by JLC, errors are possible).
  • (Syed 2000, Syed 2000-fig): Renate Syed, Early Terracottas from Kanauj: Chessmen?, available from here. Composed from material also published elsewhere like in "Chess Originated in India - Four Contributions", Förderkreis Schach-Geschichtsforschung e.V., Arbeitspapiere, May 2000.
  • (Syed 2008): Renate Syed, War, peace and chess. Bana's References to "Terracotta Chessmen" and "Discourse on War" in the Harsacarita, Asiatische Studien - études Asiatiques, Vol.55, n°2, 2001
  • (Schaedler 1999): Ulrich Schädler, Vom 20-Felder-Spiel zum Würfelvierschach?, Board Games Studies 2, 1999.
  • (Schädler 2001): Ulrich Schädler, Latrunculi, a forgotten Roman Game of Strategy reconstructed, Abstract Games, Issue 7, Autumn 2001.
  • (Shimizu 2004): Yasuji Shimizu, Shin'ichi Miyahara, The Chinese Chess Pieces in Song Era and Their Characteristics, Schach-Forschungen N°26, Seevetal, 2004.
  • (Shimizu 2014): Yasuji Shimizu, The Development and Regional Variations of Liubo, Board Game Studies Journal online 8, pp. 81-105,, 2014.
  • (Shimizu 2017): Yasuji Shimizu, Theory of the introduction of Shogi via Southeast Asia: Viewed from the forms of Makruk pieces—Study of the reversing of promoted Bia pieces, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 11, pp53-71, 2017.
  • (Shotwell 1994): Peter Shotwell, The Game of Go in Ancient and Modern Tibet, Tibetan Journal of Social Science, 1994.
  • (Shotwell 2006): Peter Shotwell, Go and Ancient Chinese Divination: A Commentary on A Journey in Search of the Origins of Go by Shirakawa Masayoshi, Yutopian 2006.
  • (Slobodchikoff 1953): Léon Slobodchikoff, Co Tuong, Le Jeu d'échecs des Vietnamiens, Bulletin de la Société des Études indochinoises, n.s., t. XXVIII, n° 4, 1953.
  • (Thomsen 2002): Thomas Thomsen, Chess in Europe in the 5th century?, Board Games Studies 5, 2002.
  • (Utas 1992): Bo Utas, Chess I. The History of Chess in Persia, Encyclopaedia Iranica, pp393-397, 1992.
  • (van Binsbergen 1997): Wim van Binsbergen, Board-games and divination in global cultural history: a theoretical, comparative and historical perspective on mankala and geomancy in Africa and Asia, 1997. See also here.
  • (van der Stoep 2002): Arie van der Stoep, Early Spanish board-games, Board Games Studies 5, 2002.
  • (van der Stoep 2014): Arie van der Stoep, A Chess Legend, Board Game Studies Journal online 8, pp. 107-122,, 2014.
  • (van der Stoep 2015): Arie van der Stoep, The origin of Morris and Draughts by etymology, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 9, pp 9-15, 2015.
  • (De Leeuw 1981): J.E. van Lohuizen De Leeuw, A unique piece of ivory carving - the oldest known chessman, South Asian Archaelogy 1981.
  • (Vasantha 2003): Rangachar Vasantha, Board Games from the City of Vijayanagara (Hampi) (1336-1565): a survey and a study, Board Games Studies 6, 2003.
  • (Wiese 2016): Harald Wiese, Four-king chess with dice is neither unrealistic nor messed up, Board Game Studies Journal, Vol. 10, pp33-59, 2016.
  • (Westerveld 1994): Govert Westerveld, Historia de la nueva dama poderosa en el juego de ajedrez y Damas, Homo Ludens, Der spielende Mensch XV, Salzbürg, p103-104, 1994.
  • (Zeng 1999): Zeng Lanying (Lillian L. Tseng), Divining from the Game Liubo : An Explanation of A Han Wooden Slip, China Archaelogy and Art Digest, « Fortune, Games and Gaming », Vol.4, n°4, October-December 1999.
  • (Zheng 1999): Zheng Yan'e, Preliminary Remarks on the Games of Liubo and Saixi, China Archaelogy and Art Digest, « Fortune, Games and Gaming », Vol.4, n°4, October-December 1999.

Original contributions:
  • (Cooper 2001): Roger Cooper, Military Latrunculi, a very interesting development of his ideas about the speculative links between Roman Latrunculi and other board games, with Chess among them.
  • (Melchor 2012): Alejandro Melchor, Notas sobre una pieza de ajedrez del castillo de Mataplana (Ripollès), received March 2012.
  • (Mille 2006): Pierre Mille, L'Occident chrétien médiéval et les échecs. L'évolution des pièces non figuratives du 10e au début du 16e siècle. Revised text, received May 2008.
  • (Rudolph): Jess Rudolph, East Asian Shogi, a contribution which was formerly available on the Internet. Saved before it became a dead link and printed as a pdf.


Some papers of my own:

  • (Cazaux 2001): Jean-Louis Cazaux, Is Chess a Hybrid Game?, IGK Symposium, Amsterdam, 2001. Also in The Anatomy of Chess, Tübinger Beiträge zum Thema Schach Band 8, Pfullingen, Promos-Verlag, 2003.
  • (Cazaux 2003): Jean-Louis Cazaux, We Played Liubo Last Night!, Abstract Games, Issue 15, Autumn 2003.
  • (Cazaux 2004a): Jean-Louis Cazaux, échec et mad !, Vox Ludi Mars-Avril 2004.
  • (Cazaux 2004b): Jean-Louis Cazaux, Qui a inventé les jeux de cartes ?, Vox Ludi Juillet-Août 2004.
  • (Cazaux 2004c): Jean-Louis Cazaux, II règles pour jouer comme les Romains, Vox Ludi Septembre-Octobre 2004.

There are other websites which also display collection of papers. Many presented here have been mirrored from them (many thanks):

Any feedback will be appreciated. If you feel you can contribute in any way, please do contact me.

The purpose of this page is to make easily available the work of most important historians and contributors to the mass of people who want to acquire knowledge. I hope there is no misunderstanding upon my motivation: sharing knowledge. Who knows which flower may come out from a forgotten seed?

However, if you feel that any material here is a problem, please contact me too to ask/suggest a removal whatever your reason. 

(Many thanks to all nice people, especially TD and ME, who provided me with these papers. Also SM is thanked. And GFF)

(Thanks to Gill Zukovskis for correcting misspelling errors)

(Thanks to Georgi Markov for providing Murray's 1915 paper)

(modifié le 03/12/2021)