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This item is a piececlopedia entry
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-12-21
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Rook. Moves across unobstructed orthogonal line.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Carlos Martín wrote on 2003-02-01 UTCGood ★★★★
I think I've read somewhere else in the CVP that 'rook' is the name of a bird in English, and that the piece got its name from the rook's tendence to nest in the highest parts of those mobile towers.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-02-01 UTC
The rook is a corvine bird, like the crow or raven. It is a homophone for the Rook in chess, and therefore the subject of folk etymology. Rooks also steal small, shiny objects to decorate their nests, whence the slang term 'to rook' meaning 'to cheat'. English speakers also refer to that piece as the Castle, probably more commonly than Rook.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-03-09 UTC
Another connection between this piece and birds is that it takes the shortest route from rank to rank or file to file - 'as the crow flies', and flight also ties with a chariot being a metaphorical flier, as in Marvell's 'Time's wingèd chariot'. I understood that the word meaning 'hero' or 'brave warrior' was a North European one, and influenced the design of the Rooks in the Lewis chess set (click on the carved figure for this set).

Izabela wrote on 2003-09-21 UTCGood ★★★★
I actually have to write an essay for school about Tower/ Rook and information on this page was very helpful. Thank You

Anonymous wrote on 2005-05-27 UTCGood ★★★★
Interestingly, the only other European languages where the word is based on 'rukh,' rather than being that language's word for 'tower' or 'castle,' are Icelandic and Faroese -- both repositories of Old Norse vocabulary. I wonder if this might show a direct transmission of chess and chess terms from Iran/Arabia to the Norse lands, and through them to England, by means of the Varangian mercenaries?

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