Libro de los juegos

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The game of astronomical tables, from Libro de los juegos
The Libro de los Juegos, ("Book of games"), or Libro de acedrex, dados e tablas, ("Book of chess, dice and tables") was commissioned by Alfonso X, king of León and Castile, during the 13th century and completed in 1283.[1] It consists of 98 pages, many with color illustrations.[1] The games covered include chess (including the earliest known European chess problems), dice, and tables (the family of games that includes backgammon).[1] The book contains the earliest known description of some of these games, including many games imported from the Arab kingdoms.

It is one of the most important documents for researching the history of board games. The only known original is held in the library of the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial near Madrid in Spain. The book is bound in sheepskin and is 40 cm high and 28 cm wide (16 in × 11 in).[1] A 1334 copy is held in the library of the Historical Academy of Madrid.

Background

Alfonso was likely influenced by his contact with scholars in the Arab world.[1] Unlike many contemporary texts on the topic, he does not engage the games in the text with moralistic arguments; instead, he portrays them in an astrological context.[1] He conceives of gaming as a dichotomy between the intellect and chance. The book is divided into three parts reflecting this: the first on chess (a game purely of abstract strategy), the second on dice (with outcomes controlled strictly by chance), and the last on tables (combining elements of both).[1] The text may have been influenced by Frederick II's text on falconry.[1]

Chess

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Chess problem #35
The Libro de juegos contains an extensive collection of writings on chess, with over 100 chess problems and variants.[1] Among its more notable entries is a depiction of what Alfonso calls the ajedrex de los quatro tiempos ("chess of the four seasons"). This game is a chess variant for four players, described as representing a conflict between the four elements and the four humors. The chessmen are marked correspondingly in green, red, black, and white, and pieces are moved according to the roll of dice.[1] Alfonso also describes a game entitled "astronomical chess", played on a board of seven concentric circles, divided radially into twelve areas, each associated with a constellation of the Zodiac.[1]

Tables

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Seis, dos, y as
The book describes the rules for a number of games in the tables family. One notable entry is todas tablas, which has an identical starting position to modern backgammon and follows the same rules for movement and bearoff.[2] Alfonso also describes a variant played on a board with seven points in each table. Players rolled seven-sided dice to determine the movement of pieces, an example of Alfonso's preference for the number seven.[3]

References

1. ^ Wollesen, Jens T. "Sub specie ludi...: Text and Images in Alfonso El Sabio's Libro de Acedrex, Dados e Tablas", Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 53:3, 1990. pp. 277-308.
2. ^ Murray, Harold James Ruthven (1952). "6: Race-Games", A History of Board-Games Other than Chess. Hacker Art Books. ISBN 0-87817-211-4. 
3. ^ Sonja Musser Golladay (9 March 2001). "Los libros de acedrex dados y tablas by Alfonso X, el Sabio".

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Alfonso X (November 23, 1221, Toledo, Spain – April 4, 1284, Seville, Spain) was a Spanish monarch who ruled as the King of Galicia, Castile and León from 1252 until his death. He was elected Rex Romanorum'' in 1254.
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The Kingdom of León (Reinu de Llión in the Leonese Language) was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of Iberia. Founded 913 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their main seat from Oviedo
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work in progress translation of the Reino de Castilla article from Spanish to English. If you are confident enough in your fluency of Spanish and English, please feel free to assist with this translation.
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As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. In the history of European culture, this period is considered part of the High Middle Ages, and after its conquests in Asia the Mongol Empire stretched from Korea to
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1283 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1283
MCCLXXXIII
Ab urbe condita 2036
Armenian calendar 732
ԹՎ ՉԼԲ
Bah' calendar -561 – -560
Buddhist calendar 1827
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Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. Sometimes called Western Chess or International Chess to distinguish it from its predecessors and other chess variants, the current form of the game emerged in Southern Europe in the second half of the 15th
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Dice (the plural of die, from Old French , from Latin datum "something given or played" [1] ) are small polyhedral objects, usually cubical, used for generating random numbers or other symbols.
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Tables is a general name given to a class of board games similar to backgammon, played on a board with two rows of 12 vertical markings called "points". Players roll dice to determine the movement of pieces.
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Backgammon is a board game for two players in which pieces are moved according to the roll of dice. One wins the game by removing all of one's own pieces from the board. Many variants of the game have developed throughout the world, but most of them share common traits.
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A board game is a game played with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a "board" (a premarked surface, usually specific to that game). Simple board games often make ideal "family entertainment" since they are often appropriate for all ages.
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State Party  Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, vi
Reference 318
Region Europe and North America

Inscription History
Inscription 1984  (8th Session)
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Madrid
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1334 in other calendars
Gregorian calendar 1334
MCCCXXXIV
Ab urbe condita 2087
Armenian calendar 783
ԹՎ ՉՁԳ
Bah' calendar -510 – -509
Buddhist calendar 1878
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Astrology (from Greek: αστήρ, αστρός (astér, astrós), "star", and λόγος, λόγου (lógos, lógou), "word" or "speech" lit.
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Intelligence is a property of mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence.
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Chance can be used in any of the following contexts:
  • Probability
  • Luck
  • Randomness
  • Contingency
See also the Ancient Greek concept of Chance (Ancient Greek concept).
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An abstract strategy game is a board game with perfect information, no chance, and (usually) two players or teams. Many of the world's classic board games, including checkers, chess, go, and mancala, fit into this category.
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Frederick II
King of Sicily, King of Cyprus and Jerusalem,
King of the Romans, King of Germany
and Emperor of the Romans


Reign December 9,1212 – December 13,1250
Coronation September 3, 1198
Born
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chess problem, also called a chess composition, is a puzzle set by somebody using chess pieces on a chess board, that presents the solver with a particular task to be achieved.
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A chess variant is a game derived from, related to or similar to chess in at least one respect.[1] The difference from chess can include one or more of the following:

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Western
  Air  
Water Aether Fire
  Earth  
Chinese (Wu Xing)
  Water (水)  
Metal (金) Earth (土) Wood (木)
  Fire (火)  
Japanese (Godai)
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Four Temperaments is a theory of psychology that stems from the ancient concept of four humors (humorism). It is considered obsolete by many contemporary professionals.
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Chess pieces vary in both value and abilities. A standard chess match consists of each player having the follow equipment:
  • 1 King
  • 1 Queen
  • 2 Rooks
  • 2 Bishops
  • 2 Knights
  • 8 Pawns

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For other uses, see Zodiac (disambiguation).


The term zodiac denotes an annual cycle of twelve stations along the ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun across the heavens through the constellations that divide the ecliptic into twelve equal
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Tables is a general name given to a class of board games similar to backgammon, played on a board with two rows of 12 vertical markings called "points". Players roll dice to determine the movement of pieces.
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Backgammon is a board game for two players in which pieces are moved according to the roll of dice. One wins the game by removing all of one's own pieces from the board. Many variants of the game have developed throughout the world, but most of them share common traits.
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In geometry, the pentagonal prism is the third in an infinite set of prisms formed by square sides and two regular polygon caps. It has 7 faces, and 10 vertices, and 15 edges.

If faces are all regular, it is a semiregular polyhedron.
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