hist-games: Lewis set was Re: How did vikings play chess?

Chas webmaster at historicgames.com
Tue Feb 1 08:34:52 PST 2000

Alex R. Kraaijeveld wrote:
> Hi all
> That the Viking board game hnefatafl is often mistranslated as chess is for
> sure. I have also seen claims that the Vikings got chess independently from
> the rest of northwestern Europe via eastern trade routes with
> Constantinople, but I've never seen any kind of evidence for this. What is
> the age of the Lewis chess pieces? I seem to remember they are late-Viking,
> i.e. from a time that would 'fit' with a gradual northwards spread of chess
> over Europe from the Arab world. My posting yesterday was based on this,
> but someone please correct my dates if I'm wrong!

The insert card that came with the Lewis set I own says "They are genreally
accepted as 12th century" and that "they have been attributed both to Scotland
and Scandinavia. My copy of "Chess A Celebration of 200 Years" (Arcade
Publishing NY, 1989) seems to say circa 1200.

MacGregor Games
Purveyors of historic pastimes to re-enactors around the world

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