One of the themes poets and writers have created themes in their works is related to chess. As this game has had various forms in different eras, so some people and consequently commentators, ignoring this and just based on its current form, have described and explained related texts. One of these is to equate "castle" with "rook". This research using descriptive-analytical method based on induction, and following old Persian texts follows to prove the differences between these two elements in chess. The results show that "castle" was a place in Roman chessboards, and has had significant differences with "Rook". Some commentators ignoring this issue have slipped in the description of texts related to this game and have referred rook as "castle", which itself has caused misunderstanding in describing terms, interpretations, and finally deviating from poets and writers' intentions.which itself has caused misunderstanding in describing terms, interpretations, and finally deviating from poets and writers' intentions.
Chess Rook is not the Castle; Investigating the Differences between "Rook" and "Castle" in Chess Based on Old Persian Literary Texts
Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran
PhD. in Persian Language and Literature
One of the themes poets and writers have created in their works is related to chess. As this game has had various forms in different eras, some people and consequently commentators, ignoring this and just based on its current form, have described and explained related texts. One of these is to equate "castle" with "rook". This research, using descriptive-analytical method based on induction, and following old Persian texts, tries to prove the differences between these two elements in chess. The results show that "castle" was a place in Roman chessboards, and has had significant differences with "Rook". Some commentators, ignoring this issue, have slipped in the description of texts related to this game and have referred to rook as "castle", which itself has caused misunderstanding in describing terms, interpretations, and finally deviating from poets and writers' intentions.
Keywords: Chess, Castle, Rook, Descriptions of old Persian texts.
Old Persian texts research, due to temporal dimension and various changes resulting it, has drawbacks that, without comprehensive studies, can lead to various slips; therefore, it is necessary for any interested person and commentator to consider the appropriate information related to the periods under study to receive the concepts considered by poets and writers. The importance of this issue is doubled when some explanations are cleared and the contents turn hierarchically among experts.
In different explanatory pathology of literary texts, we notice two content and structure drawbacks, of which content ones are more frequent due to poets' thematic creation with various cases. Among the cases that esteemed commentators have faced are ones related to thematic creation with various scientific terms, including chess. This game has been considered by courtiers and consequently poets and even mystics due to its various functions and pieces and also the conformity of its existence philosophy with battlefields. Among such thematic creations, the cases related to "rook" are more thought-provoking. Looking at the text descriptions related to chess, we find that this piece is synonymous with a place in chess under the name of "castle". In this study, we have tried to provide a clear reading of differences between the two by presenting the functions of "rook", and explaining various forms of chess in different periods, and finally to deal with some related explanations pathology.
Difference between rook and castle
Many chess-related reference books do not provide complete and accurate information about "rook". They just refer to some kind of animal; and this seems justified; since the pieces next to rook (knight, bishop and sometimes camel) are among huge animals; However, pondering different types of chess mentioned, we realize that "castle" is:
- The name of the position on chessboard not piece name;
- The function of this position is to provide security for king in threat time;
- It existed just in Roman type, not all ones;
- It is not synonymous with "rook";
- It has a function similar to "castle" in today's chess; Hence, "the king's going to castle" is synonymous with king-castle (= today's common term).
Poets and writers derive a part of their material from the capacities around them, especially intellectual, cultural, social, religious collections, etc. existing in the society and the surrounding and special natural features. One of these topics is old games, including chess, which poets and writers have created themes in different texts, especially classical ones. Pondering the explanations related to these texts, we notice some gross errors that are often due to their lack of attention to reference books and judging based on oral literature and their contemporary form. One of these cases is to equate "rook" with "castle". However, with a purposeful look at different forms of this game at different times and explanations related to them in reference books, as well as paying attention to rook characteristics (= a huge animal with special features) and castle (= A place on chessboard), we notice the essential difference between these two elements in the old forms of chess. The main reason for considering these two elements as one is the adherence to contemporary oral literature; because in today's form, these two words are used interchangeably, and the function of the two pieces is merged in today's form; In other words, the side piece (rook/ castle) in today's chess can have both the movement of rook and the function of castle.
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