background Ludii Portal
Home of the Ludii General Game System


Home Games Forum Downloads References Concepts Contribute Tutorials Tournaments World Map Ludemes About

Medieval Chess DLP Game   

Period Medieval

Region Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe

Category Board, War, Replacement, Checkmate, Chess


Chess first came to Europe in the Middle Ages, but at that time it was played differently than the modern game. Its rules more closely resemble the game of Shatranj, played in West Asia and probably the inspiration for the European game. New rules for the movement of the pieces started to become popular in the fifteenth century, which transformed the game into the rules played today.


8x8 board. The pieces move as follows, with the number per player: 1 x King (king): moves one space orthogonally or diagonally. 1 x Queen (counselor): One square diagonally. 2 x Rook (rook): Any number of spaces orthogonally. 2 x Fil (elephant): Two squares diagonally, jumping over the first. Cannot capture another Fil. 2 x Knight: Moves as a chess knight. 8 x Pawn: Moves one space forward orthogonally; one space forward diagonally to capture. No en passant. Promoted to Fers when reaching the eighth rank. No castling. An opponent's piece is captured by moving a player's own piece onto a space occupied by the opponent's piece. When a Shah can be captured on the next turn by an opponent's piece, it is in check. The Shah must not be in check at the end of the player's turn. If this is not possible, it is checkmate and the opponent wins. Stalemate results in a win for that player causing it.

Murray 1913.



Ludeme Description

Medieval Chess.lud


Browse all concepts for Medieval Chess here.


Murray 1913

Evidence Map

12 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Medieval Chess here.

Click on any marker or highlighted region to view the evidence relating to it.
To view all regions, please select it from the category options below.

Evidence category:

Evidence coloured based on:

Map style:


Anonymous. A Poem on Chess. Bodleian Libraary MS. Auct. F. 2. 14. f. 110v.

Anonymous. Opera auctorum Latinorum varia. Jagiellonian Library BJ Rkp. 1954 II.

Dalton, O. 1909. Catalogue of the Ivory Carvings of the Christian Era with Examples of Mohammedan Art and Carvings in Bone in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography of the British Museum. London: The British Museum.

Eales, R. 2007. "Changing Cultures: The Reception of Chess into Western Europe in the Middle Ages." In I. Finkel ed Ancient Board Games in Perspective. London: The British Museum Press, 162–168.

Gamer, H. 1954. The Earliest Evidence of Chess in Western Literature: The Einsiedeln Verses. Speculum 29(4): 734–750.

Hyde, Thomas. 1694. Mandragorias, seu Historia shahiludii, De ludis Orientalium libri primi pars prima, quæ est Latina.

Murray, H. J. R. 1913. A History of Chess. London: Oxford University Press.

Neckam, A. 1190. De Naturis Rerum.



     Contact Us

lkjh Maastricht University Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS), Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN Maastricht, Netherlands Funded by a €2m ERC Consolidator Grant (#771292) from the European Research Council