Quaternity Chess

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  • Javier Romano

The game of Four Seasons: a precursor of Quaternity chess?


I came across this interesting painting a few years ago, when I've started to play Quaternity Chess with some friends in Southern Spain. It caught my attention because it clearly seems to be a record of one of the Chess precursors mentioned by Arif Ali-Shah in his brilliant introduction to "Quaternity Chess, International Rules" (2016).

There are only 8 pieces per player. The position of the colours is different: black opposes green while in Quaternity black oposses white, and the board has a grid of 8 x 8 squares, instead of 12 x 12. I quite like the colours as well as the costumes, resembling maybe monks, mixed with princes and perhaps poets, which makes you wonder if this ancient game was played by different social casts in India, as well as in Persia and the Arab world later on.

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