The Chess Variant Pages

Enter Your Reply

The Comment You're Replying To
M Winther wrote on 2006-05-18 UTC
Jeff, concerning divination, this phenomenon of how the divine coincides with the profane is evident in religious history. Prof. Rangachar Vasantha says that '...[c]hess was genetically linked to magical and religious rituals, which have been known in India from ancient times. Chess and other board games were derived from, and the moves of the pieces are being closely related to the movements of the celestial bodies and their numerical symbolism.'

We modern people tend to see chess as simply a martial game for entertainment. But such a simplistic view was unthinkable for the ancient people. Pavle Bidev discusses these issues and how Murray, typically, rejected the notion that original chess was 'based upon certain fundamental conceptions of the Universe.'

Game depictions notoriously appear at holy places. They could, in some sense, have been deliberate sacrifices to the gods, and the spirits of the dead, for their pleasure and entertainment. Hence, the gods are drawn to the temple. It is similar to the well-known food-sacrifice. In the Christian context the encircling of the Fox, in Fox and Geese, could be viewed as an expression of the cloister community's continuous work to encircle Christ. I mean, it could be viewed as an unconscious expression. Thus, it is not wholly profane.

A good example of a 'holy game' was the Egyptian Senet. The '...stratagems of the game reflect nothing less than the stratagems of the gods, [and] senet, when properly understood, can reveal essential Egyptian religious beliefs about the afterlife.' --Mats
(link updated today)

Edit Form

Comment on the page Enochian Chess

Quick Markdown Guide

By default, new comments may be entered as Markdown, simple markup syntax designed to be readable and not look like markup. Comments stored as Markdown will be converted to HTML by Parsedown before displaying them. This follows the Github Flavored Markdown Spec with support for Markdown Extra. For a good overview of Markdown in general, check out the Markdown Guide. Here is a quick comparison of some commonly used Markdown with the rendered result:

Top level header: <H1>

Block quote

Second paragraph in block quote

First Paragraph of response. Italics, bold, and bold italics.

Second Paragraph after blank line. Here is some HTML code mixed in with the Markdown, and here is the same <U>HTML code</U> enclosed by backticks.

Secondary Header: <H2>

  • Unordered list item
  • Second unordered list item
  • New unordered list
    • Nested list item

Third Level header <H3>

  1. An ordered list item.
  2. A second ordered list item with the same number.
  3. A third ordered list item.

Alt text for a graphic image

A definition list
A list of terms, each with one or more definitions following it.
An HTML construct using the tags <DL>, <DT> and <DD>.
A term
Its definition after a colon.
A second definition.
A third definition.
Another term following a blank line
The definition of that term.