1. bookVolume 14 (2020): Issue 1 (October 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2183-3311
First Published
15 Dec 2016
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Turkish Great Chess and Chinese Whispers: Misadventures of a Chess Variant

Published Online: 17 Dec 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2020) - Issue 1 (October 2020)
Page range: 43 - 60
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2183-3311
First Published
15 Dec 2016
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

A large chess variant with 52 pieces originally described in a 1800s Ottoman Turkish book as šaṭranǧ-i kabīr, or great chess, appears under various names in a number of subsequent Western sources, including authoritative works on chess history and variants. Game rules as presented in the latter are seriously flawed though, with inaccuracies regarding pieces array and moves. Over a period of more than two centuries, baseless assumptions, misreadings of previous sources and outright errors gradually accumulating in the literature have changed the game almost beyond recognition. With some of the game’s aspects not covered even by the original Turkish source, reconstructed rules are suggested and discussed, as well as a reformed variant.

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