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The Poem Scachs d’amor (1475). First Text of Modern Chess.

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  • Author: Govert Westerveld
  • Status: Public
  • Number of pages: 145
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The Obres e Trobes (the first book printed in Spain in 1474 in Valencia) is an art competition held on March 25 of that year. There are many poets who have poems and couplets in this art competition, and we find three poets among them, writers of scachs d’amor: Francesc Castellví, Bernard Fenollar and Narcis de Vinyoles. The Obres e Trobes is considered to be the first literary work printed in Spain of which the only known copy in the world is preserved in the University Library of Valencia. It consists of 60 leaves without foliation and -signature and is written in Roman letters on paper with hand and star watermark. The three poets, as we see, already knew each other. Seeing the relationship they had with King Ferdinand and knowing his passion for the game of chess, there may be another thing they thought about around 1475. It was time to change the figure of the queen and bishop on the chessboard and inform the King by means of their poem in the form of a manuscript.

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