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  1. 11 Sep '10 17:42
    Just to wind GP up (I know how he loves the Lewis chess pieces):
  2. 12 Sep '10 01:25
    Originally posted by Diophantus
    Just to wind GP up (I know how he loves the Lewis chess pieces):
    Did Greenpawn have time today to run over to the museum and crash the conference?
  3. 12 Sep '10 04:04 / 1 edit
    Nah I was working.

    What's the point. I won. No need to gloat about it.

    They are now calling them gaming pieces and stating they might
    not have come from Lewis.

    (though they are still selling the chess sets to dopey tourists.)
  4. 12 Sep '10 09:37
    The berserker (the one biting his shield) is a rook.Right?And I assume the stones are pawns?
    Then,on the linked picture,what is the one on the left of the middle row supposed to be?

  5. 12 Sep '10 09:54
    That would be another rook I think, or warder as they are now being called.

    GP: You may not have won after all. Although they are now calling the whole hoard gaming pieces, they have now divided the pieces between two games - chess and tables (whatever that is). So they are still calling most of the pieces chess pieces. It seems no one ever claimed they were made on Lewis although that is where they were found. The current squabble is between academics from Norway, who reckon they were made in Trondheim, and a pair of chess nuts from Iceland who think they were made in Iceland, closer to the supply of walruses. Apparently the big clue is the presence of bishops in the set so the squabble then morphs into a row about where chess bishops first appeared in Europe.
  6. 12 Sep '10 12:41 / 2 edits
    I ve see it all, those Icelantic chaps are way of ocurse the pieces
    were carved in Trondheim. There is so much proof they came from there
    including unfinished pieces laying about the place.

    Quick run through.

    1470 Caxton's book on chess has no Bishops in chess.

    1500 Spanish lads introduce Bishops to chess for the first time.
    Before then there is no Bishop in chess.

    The game was being played everywhere all over Europe,
    it was part of a Knights training to be good at chess.
    There are engravings of the game being played and no Bishops.

    Nowhere is a Bishop seen on a chess board till 1500. Nowhere.

    The Scandinavians wre great game lovers, they had dozens of games,
    most of which we do not know the rules of.
    What ever this carved in the 11th/12th century it was not for a game of chess.

    (1821-1828 Edinburgh v London corres match, this is relevant)

    1826 Pieces offered for sale in Edinburgh claiming part of Bonnie Prince Charlies' treasure.
    Fearing they were looted from a grave Scots lads tell the guy to get lost.
    (big taboo then in Edinburgh taking stuff from graves, you could get hung for it)

    1831 Book on Edinburgh v London corres match appears written by William Lewis.
    a few months later chess set appears in Edinburgh and offered for sale.

    Scots lads refused to pay money and document very clearly in their
    minutes they do not believe the pieces came from Lewis.

    The seller, a Mr Forrest invented the cow finding the pieces on Lews by a cow.
    It's a wonderful romantic tale (pity about the lack of imagination in choosing
    a site).

    Sit Walter Scott himself viewed the pieces in Septemebr 1833 and turned them down.

    British Museum takes the lot for a knocked down price.
    (the lad was only too glad to finally get them off his hands)

    1840 "Some of these pieces have recently been dyed red and we appear to
    be missing a Rook" The British Museum.

    You cannot play chess with all white pieces.
    You do not need different coloured pieces to play the Viking games
    or use these pieces to tell their saga's.

    Here is the full story I wrote 5 years ago.

    Since then I have found Forrest (the seller) was later convicted twice on
    charges of forgery.

    It was the perfect scam.

    The scam continues only this time by those selling these pieces
    claiming they are chess pieces.
  7. 12 Sep '10 13:41 / 1 edit
    Here's another thing to consider. Although the Icelandic guys say that Greenland, source of walrus bits, was colonised from Iceland, so what? When the walrus ivory gaming bits were made, Greenland had bishops sent from Norway, Trondheim to be exact. The only regular contact between Greenland and the rest of the world was ships travelling between Greenland and Trondheim on church business. One thing the church would have wanted would be the tithe, church tax, which could most sensibly have been paid in high value commodities like walrus ivory rather than foodstuff needed by the Greenlanders to survive the winter. It would make sense if the Archbishop of Trondheim had access to posh gear made from walrus ivory and also if some of that posh gear featured church related items, bishops for example. What the archbishop did with those posh things is another thing entirely. He might have played chess or any of the several other possible games. It is possible the bits could have been entirely decorative or even served as gifts to keep local rulers/officials sweet, another viking practice.

    Those bishops are the only thing that suggests the viking burial grave robbing bit is unlikely. Those bits were made for christians and christians didn't have grave goods. I reckon that makes the "bought from a dodgy sailor" tail more likely. If the cow and sand dune tail hadn't been tarted up with that incredible string of coincidences involving cabin boys and murders that would a reasonable way for the bits to have been discovered. Lewis, and the rest of the Hebrides, was part of the Kingdom of Norway at the time, the local church was run from Trondheim. Maybe the archbishop sent a bag of bits to be distributed among the local dignitaries but it got lost somewhere/somehow en route? That would make a lot of sense archeologically.
  8. Standard member atticus2
    Frustrate the Bad
    12 Sep '10 14:11
    I like 'Berserker'. It's about time we gave the game a thorough PR makeover. Ditch 'Rook'; replace with Berserker for starters

    Facebook campaign? Of course!
  9. 12 Sep '10 15:10 / 1 edit
    Hi Diophantus.

    I would like the pieces to come from Lewis. I really would.
    But there is very strong doubt and no proof.

    Despite all the evidence pointing away from Lewis, on first contact the BM
    said I cannot prove they never came from Lewis so they do not to have
    to prove they did. Eh?

    (Their attitude has changed quite a bit since then).


    There is this Lewis priest who who appears in some of the myths
    and he is in Edinburgh at the same time as Forrest who was a "dealer."

    (he always described as a 'dealer'.

    Very plausible that when carrying out fresh burials at a church
    (most of which are built on the sites of pagan worship)
    they stumbled upon these graves and the pieces.

    "Sell the pieces to make to money to fix up the church and make up a
    story where they came from."

    Forrest bought them no questions asked.

    Somebody knows where they came from and if it was Lewis it is being
    kept a secret to perhaps hide shame and stop armies of treasure seekers
    from digging the place up.

    I nearly have a full set of these things in all sizes.
    People see one, buy it and give to me as a surprise present.
    I'll visit Lewis one day and bury them in the sandbank.

    They are not chess pieces.
  10. Standard member clandarkfire
    Grammar Nazi
    12 Sep '10 15:36
    GP, it seems Wikipedia has got it wrong too.

    Why don't you go edit the site?
  11. 12 Sep '10 15:51
    I 'm there (right down the bottom) like a bad smell that won't go away.

    Something like 'not chess pieces'.

    I don't care what these non-chess playing gonks thinks. They can all sod off.
    You guys know. That is good enough for me.
  12. 12 Sep '10 15:52
    I agree GP, not likely to have come from Lewis but could have come from anywhere in Scotland ruled by Norway. Could have come from Norway itself or Iceland or ... Who knows? Whoever did know is long dead I suspect.

    I also agree they weren't chess pieces. I'd be willing to bet the first time anyone thought about playing chess with them would be in the 19th century! Still, I see no reason not to play chess with them if people want. After all, someone was claiming to have used a foreign coin as a chess piece recently and I have been known to play using bottles, salt and pepper and mustard pots. Add a few assorted coins and a checkered table cloth and there you go.
  13. 12 Sep '10 16:17
    I did a Corner showing chess sets you could up with things laying
    about the kitchen just to show that you could.

    People can play chess with them if they want.

    But like the bottle of kethup which was my kitchen Bishop,
    it's not what they were designed for.

    Re the Rook.
    The set they now sell has a Rook!

    an updated article on that other piece about the Lewis men.
  14. 12 Sep '10 16:46
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    I did a Corner showing chess sets you could up with things laying
    about the kitchen just to show that you could.

    People can play chess with them if they want.

    But like the bottle of kethup which was my kitchen Bishop,
    it's not what they were designed for.

    Re the Rook.
    The set they now sell has a Rook! ...[text shortened]... piece about the Lewis men.
    Yeah, I spotted the new rook. It looks completely out of place. I reckon the nutter biting the shield is a better rook if one must play chess with the things.
  15. 12 Sep '10 17:08 / 1 edit
    And anyway Mr Diophantus (if that is your real name, which I don't believe at all).

    What's all this 'Just to wind GP up...' stuff.

    Don't think you getting away with that.

    Here I am. plodding along minding my own business and everyone
    is trying to wind me up.

    I just jump into their games, it does not take me long to find what
    I'm looking for.

    You big bully. If you must beat up 995 players then it is the duty of
    every good player on here to do it as cleanly and instructive as possible.
    Make each game a wee lesson for them. They will thank you for it one day.

    Game 7565811 White to play.

    How could you resist 5.Ne5.

    Instead you played 5.Qb3 hitting the QNP pawn with a Queen.

    Is this what you are teaching my 955 players to do, go after QNP's with their Queens?