Archive for June 12th, 2008

Images: http://roseandchess.lib.uchicago.edu/chess.html

“When you see a good move, look for a better one”
(Emanuel Lasker)
In real life…when you want to do something good…try something better instead!


Chess can be used, at least indirectly, as a component of character education. Michael Potts, “Chess and Aristotle’s Ethics,” in Chess and Education: Selected Essays from the Koltanowski Conference
If you could be a piece on the chess board, which piece would you like to be? …if it was a real life situation and you could chose a “position” according to this book that was written in the 13th Century? I have said before in my own chess games-posts that I find the Knight very useful on a chess board whilst other people value a Bishop more…I think if I have to chose a “position”, I will stick to the Knight…they are there for “protection” and I think in real life situations, this is what I would like to do…to “protect”.
has tagged me to blog about what’s important in my life. She’s blogged about God and Love and I agree with her as I put God/Jesus first in my life and secondly…or with God, comes love…almost automatically…….because I believe if you have Jesus in your heart, you have love the same time…you can’t separate the two…..but to follow-up my homework I want to add to her post education/discipline. These two can definitely not be separated and if you do separate it, you get chaos. My opinion about education in schools? If there’s no discipline, you can not teach, thus…no education/learning can take place. If you think it’s possible, you fool yourself….If you want to disagree, feel welcome, make your head stand and sing your tunes, but I will stick to my view. Do you want to see an unmanageable class where learning doesn’t take place? Go into a school/class where there is NO discipline.  To come back to “protection”… I would like to be a  protector of Children and I would like to keep a “watchful eye” over any educational issue…as I think education is very important and with education goes discipline and I would really like to see  any government taking on parents for not taking responsiblities when it comes to disciplining their children. Chess is really a game for “royals” played by “royals”……and by that I mean…people who can respect others and can take up a role in society to make it a better place for all….and you still can’t play chess? Hey, all you have to do in real life/society, to make it work for everybody…play your “part” and play it well! And if you have to make a “move”, make a proper move! A move that is there to the benefit to everybody around you!


Le Jeu des échecs moralisé (The Moralized Game of Chess) was written in Latin in the 13th century by Jacobus de Cessolis, an Italian Dominican friar. Cessolis took advantage of the opportunity to use a relatively new game, chess, to describe an ideal society through the medium of the chessboard. Written at a time of political instability, his work was read centuries later as a guide to proper behavior, both because of the readily understood nature of the metaphor and the references to biblical and classical literature that buttress the argument.

Each piece and its attributes is thoroughly described; for example, if the Knight can move in front of a Pawn it is because the role and responsibility of the Knight is to protect the commoner – who in turn serves the Knight. Morality is prescribed: the King who leaves his wife for another acts against nature; the Queen must be chaste, docile, and concerned with the raising of her sons; the peasant should respect the laws and serve the lord. Each of the eight Pawns stands for a group of people, such as innkeepers or doctors and apothecaries. An intertwined society of mutual obligation is neatly laid out, as Cessolis says, “talents are distributed so that no one suffices by himself, but only has value in his relationships with others.”

With the focus on societal behavior rather than on the rules of the game, it would be nearly impossible to learn to play the game of chess from this text, but it is clear that the rules of medieval chess are quite different from those in place today. The King, for example, was restricted in his movement to the first three rows of the board, as it is his duty to stay close to home and defend the country.

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