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Perhaps the oldest anecdote of violence and chess is the case of al Walid I (668-715) who was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 705-715.  He was playing chess (shatranj) with one of his courtiers, who was a much stronger player than the Caliph, but was purposely making bad moves in order for the Caliph to win.  One day, the Caliph observed this and was highly offended.  He seized one of the heaviest chess pieces and hurled it at the courtier's head saying, `May evil befall thee, base sycophant!  Art thou in thy senses to play chess with me in this foolish manner?'  An Arabic manuscript says that the caliph broke his opponent's head with a blow with his firzan (equivalent to the modern Queen).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 at 04:45:38 PM EST
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