Chess of the Four Seasons

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Chess of the Four Seasons is a four player chess game which comes was described in the Spanish King Alfonso X El Sabio’s Book of Games (1283).  Each player has eight pieces (4 pawns, 1 bishop, 1 knight, 1 rook, and 1 king), setup as shown in the diagram.  The pieces are colored green, red, black and white and set up in that order, counter-clockwise, around the board.

Piece Movement:

Chess of the Four Seasons is played in the style of medieval chess, which for a modern chess player means: 


The green player moves first, followed by red, then black and finally white.  The goal is to capture your opponent’s kings (through checkmate).  More then one player’s pieces can be involved in checkmating a king, but the player who moves the last piece into position gets the mate.  When you have checkmated an opponent, their king is removed from the board, but the remaining pieces (if any) stay.  The player who captured the king now controls those pieces as if they were their own and the game continues (no, they do not get an additional turn).


During the tournament we will be keeping a score for each player.  These will be used only if we run out of time.


Each color in the game not only corresponds to a season but also one of the four elements and humours.  Green represents spring, air, and blood; Red represents summer, fire, and choler; Black represents autumn, earth, and melancholy; White represents winter, water, and phlegm.


The four pages from Alfonso X's "Libro de ajedrez, dados y tablas" that cover Chess of the Four Seasons.

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