HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Francis Fields
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Francis Fields » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:47 pm

A tournament player I know said the oldest chess history book was written in the 14th century. He said it mentioned 'some unusual things' so he did not know how reliable it was. One of them was the underpromotion rule which said you could not underpromote if the resulting position was then zugzwang.
"Politics is the enemy of the people who said that?" Samuel Johnson (the playwright not the architect)

Stewart Reuben
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:15 pm

Francis. >underpromotion rule which said you could not underpromote if the resulting position was then zugzwang.,

That canot be correct. I doubt zugswang was known in the 14th century, With the modern laws, it is difficult to work out a position that would result in zugswang - if a promotion took place to one of four pieces. My knowledge of the old rules is not good enough to work out a zugswang.
More likeely he meant stalemate.
If he can provide access to this 14th century book, that would be a coup.

David Sedgwick
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:49 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:15 pm
That cannot be correct.
Indeed it cannot.

Leonard Barden (in another thread) wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:37 pm

Francis Fields has form for this type of Forum post.

This is what he wrote in June 2016:

I have heard that the first chess tournament held in England was Oswestry in 1652. The organisers announced it a year in advance so word would spread. The tournament was won by a Mr G Burton a blacksmith from Cheam with 31/31 !!

According to the tournament book people were going up to his opponents and saying 'Are you going for a burton?'


Like his post at the top of this thread, his first tournament in England thread also produced several baffled replies.

There are also a couple of dodgy Francis Field posts in the current thread about the forthcoming Laws book.

Like Nigel Short above, I don't think it is acceptable to use the Forum for historical nonsense disguised as serious posts.

I think this is a case where Carl as chief moderator should take strong action.

Mike Truran
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Mike Truran » Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:51 pm

I think it’s called ‘the oxygen of publicity’.

Nick Grey
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:31 pm

I thought the oldest chess book was a caxton print 1482 ish? other books to that time too?

Francis Fields
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Francis Fields » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:19 am

Stewart,

I have been looking for the book website I mentioned to Simon but can no longer find it.

Francis Fields
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Francis Fields » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:27 am

I have heard the following about chess notation.

Originally, it was called written chess and there were no move numbers. There was pawn takes pawn and bishop captures knight.

Move numbers were introduced and the notation was called full descriptive e.g. King Bishop pawn forward two.

Then we had descriptive notation. 1. P-K4 etc

The first Fide handbook says that Fide invented algebraic notation. A 19th century chess player claimed that he invented it and that he wanted it introduced. He wrote to other chess players in several European countries.

Leonard Barden
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Leonard Barden » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:03 pm

Francis Fields wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:19 am
Stewart,

I have been looking for the book website I mentioned to Simon but can no longer find it.
Like Greenland, Oswestry and now chess notation (see above).....

John McKenna
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by John McKenna » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:33 pm

Caxton's Game and Playe of the Chesse (1st Ed. Bruges 1475, 2nd Ed. circa 1481, London) was a translation of an earlier, 13th century work Liber de Moribus Hominum et officiis Nobilum ac Popularium super ludo scacchorum by Jacopo Da Cessole (13th-14th century)

In the 13th cent. John of Waleys (Joh. Gallensis) wrote about chess and what he wrote was included in Summa Collationum that is/was the earliest known printed reference to chess, published circa 1470.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Wales

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fVM ... BnoECAkQAQ

[NB: Francis is a teammate but we have had no communication or prior discussion of this topic.]
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Francis Fields
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Francis Fields » Wed May 22, 2019 3:58 pm

Henry Bird a nineteenth century chess player who wrote the Times chess column for many years and played an e3/b3 setup long before Nimzovich or Larsen wrote in his 1893 book that the modern rules date from the 15th century. I have also heard that the 50 move was introduced in 1847.


Previously:

Pawns could only move one square originally but it became two to speed up the game and then en passant was introduced.
The queen and bishop originally moved differently.
Stalemate was originally a win. (I don't know about King v King)
You could only promote to a queen before the underpromotion rule was introduced.
Castling was introduced in the 15th century.
"Politics is the enemy of the people who said that?" Samuel Johnson (the playwright not the architect)

Stewart Reuben
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:11 am

Does anybody, apart from Francis Fields, know when, even roughly, rapid chess was introduced? Originally I called it quickplay, but then somebody pointed out to me people would become confused with quickplay finish. FIDE used the absurd active chess. Bill Goichberg recently wrote that must have been dreamt up by somebody who did not speak English. The US used action chess, which is only slightly better. Scots used allegro.
I am referring the game where both players get 30 minutes thinking time on their clocks. I know I pioneered it in England in the 1970s, but did not introduce it. Nowadays it is usually played with an increement. I remember reading something in NewsFlash. But the ECF library doesn't have many copies of that and Paul Buswell's memory is totally blank.
It is only recently that FIDE changed it to rapid chess. Before that it was called rapidplay for many years.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:45 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:11 am
I know I pioneered it in England in the 1970s, but did not introduce it.
One of the earliest experiments would have been what was termed the "Whitby Speciality". During the 1960s and finishing in 1970 there was an annual chess festival over two weeks in Whitby. Play was in the mornings, with the afternoons free or devoted to adjournments. As an evening social event, there were one round per evening Swiss tournaments described as the Whitby Speciality over the Mondays to Fridays of the event. After I agreed a draw in a sterile position, I can recall discussing with an opponent what was supposed to happen if play had continued and one person had less time. I don't recall that it had any "unable to win" rules. But then it was regarded as more social than serious, so there wasn't any question of it being graded. Magazines of the period usually had full details in their Whitby reports.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:59 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:11 am
Paul Buswell's memory is totally blank.
That's very harsh Stewart!

E Michael White
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by E Michael White » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:05 am

The first FIDE Rapid Chess ruleset was produced around 1984/5 and appeared in the Chess Informator No. 40 Page 494. They were mostly used in the early days for games of 60 minutes ( I think that was per player) but rapidly became the standard for 30 mins each. They were originally known as rules for RAPID Chess, then referred to as Rapidplay, then more recently as Stewart says back to Rapid.

The first Rapid event, 30 mins each,I remember playing in was the Stroud Rapid of 1983.

The first FIDE Rapid laws had some features which might be regarded as unusual or at least different from today:-
  1. Insufficient mating material was defined as only K+B v K+B of the same colour
  2. A player could claim a draw by perpetual check or forced repetition of moves
  3. If a player completed an illegal move his opponent could restart their clock until the player played a different legal move ( there are players around today, who think that is the current law as I found out in a local event recently!)
  4. And wait for it boys and girls ….. two handed castling was specifically allowed !
The first FIDE laws for Quickplay Finish were around 1985 and appear in the Informator No 41 Page 371
Last edited by E Michael White on Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: HISTORY OF THE LAWS OF CHESS

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:59 pm

Roger Thank you.
I guess the Whitby Congress was the start in the 1960s. Different rates of play may have been tried such as all in 1 hour or all in 30 minutes.
Quickplay finish Rules did not exist until 1973 when I introduced them, very gingerly for Islington. I remember Paul Buswell pointing out to me that adjudications had virtually disappeared from English weekend tournaments by 1975. So the Whitby Rapiplays would almost certainly have continued until one player's flag fell.
Until 1984 in FIDE a player could win on time in some ridiculous positions. Then they introduced K+B v K; K+ B v K+ B of the same colour and K v K as a draw. It wasn't fully resolved until 1997.
It is perfectly true that there was a substantial period in the FIDE Laws where a player could claim a draw by perpetual check.
I have not come across a claim of forced repetition. I think 3 fold occurrence would handle that.
I have not noticed E Michael White's illegal move way of doing things anywhere in the FIDE Laws.
Two handed moves were specifically allowed until very late in the day. In the FIDE Laws if a player first touched the rook he could still castle, but was supposed to receive a warning. it is still allowed in the US in non-FIDE Rated events.

I first discussed QPF Laws with the Rules Commission in 1980. Instead of simply copying mine, they had slightly different ones. But eventually ended up with the English ones,

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