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Sentimental yet sardonic [userpic]

Obscure Fact of the Week

November 4th, 2010 (01:04 am)

Chess was originally developed by the Arabs. When the Crusaders brought it west, the Church insisted on a role in the game -- and of course their position needed to be closest to royalty. So bishops supplanted the piece previously closest to royalty, which was the navy. That's the reason the bishop moves diagonally: the pieces originally represented ships which 'tacked' back and forth across the board.

Never knew that before.


Posted by: teh nos' (nostalgia_lj)
Posted at: November 4th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)

I first read that as cheese and was very confused.

Posted by: iyalode (iyalode)
Posted at: November 4th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
Art : Girl Big Glasses

Seriously? Wow. Random factoid WIN!

Posted by: Вивиан Лэйк (vivian_lake)
Posted at: November 4th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)

Strange - in Russian chess, rooks are called "ships". And your "bishops" are our "elephants".
*Checks out English Wikipedia* Hmm. Main article says bishops used to be elephants. There's a discussion about bishops and ships on a talk page, though. I'm not obseesed with chess enough to write to snopes.com and ask for their verdict. But now I have a mental image of an elephant with a ship on his back, and the crew of bishops on a ship...

Posted by: iyalode (iyalode)
Posted at: November 4th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)

Yep. I got the same as vivian_lake

Booster. Source pretty please? I'm now officially intrigued.

Posted by: dsample (dsample)
Posted at: November 4th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)

This strikes me as being one of those factoids that's more oid than fact.

Posted by: daiseechain (daiseechain)
Posted at: November 15th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)

That's really interesting - and the game makes a lot more sense now. Thank you! It always used to bother me that it seemed so illogical for bishop to be diagonal-ing all over the place.

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