Monday, January 17, 2011

The First War Game

My friend Dr. Dean is a Chess Master;
I never got into that game in youth, because to my young analytical mind
(graduated magna cum laude in college with mathematics degree)
the movement of the pieces made NO sense.
It wasn’t until my 30s when I read the book Born in Blood
by Robinson, that the game of chess became rational. Paraphrasing . . .

Chess is a Persian game that was brought to the west by the Crusaders –
the Catholic Church was against anything that was from the east and/or distracted from religious devotion.

Hence, the game of Chess was banned and deemed satanic
(sound familiar ; - );
however, the game proved too popular to legislate away;
THEREFORE, the church tolerated this new game as long as the pieces were ReNAMED.

Hence, CHESS pieces are as follows:

The PAWN represents spearmen or pike men, defensive units,
that slowly advance, but have to attack a flank for success.

The ROOK is actually the elephant (a Pagan animal) –
 unstoppable and fierce, but only capable of linear attacks/ charges.

The KNIGHT is heavy cavalry,
charges forward, but needs to strike a flank for maximal effect.

The BISHOP (the most important piece on the board?) represents a sailing ship;
notice how it tacks along the board unimpeded while delivering mayhem.

The QUEEN is guarded by elite, light mounted archers;
she can move and strike in any direction with full effect, but vulnerable to attack if isolated.

The KING is surrounded by his elite body guard; however,
  he is loaded down with the TREASURE of his house; therefore,
he may move only one square in any direction.
Even the term ‘check mate’ is a bastardization of the Arabic
“sheik mat”,
which translates to ‘the king is dead.’


  1. Oh wow. That is so cool. I never knew!

    - Ark

  2. The book Born in Blood ,
    also traces the origins of the Masons
    and enjoyable read