"Valencia, Cradle of Modern Chess"
International Symposium on
Chess History and Culture

From left : Josep Alió, Lothar Schmid, Thomas Thomsen, José A. Garzón,
Ulrich Schädler and José Mª Gutiérrez

The symposium at Valencia which has given us some very pleasant days has finished now. Here the schedule of the event (pdf file; in Spanish).

We could enjoy the match Karpov – Kasparov from the first row of the auditorium. And we also paid a visit to the city of Valencia, one of our destinations was the Museum of Fine Arts "San Pio V": there we not only had a look at the extraordinary altar pieces and the painting collection but also at Severina's sepulchre mosaic which especially Ulrich Schädler attended to (see photos below).

From left: Ulrich Schädler, Alessandro Sanvito and Josep Alió


Group photo of the visit of the Museum San Pio

José A. Garzón and Ulrich Schädler in front of Severina's sepulchre mosaic

Juri Awerbach, Thomas Thomsen, José A. Garzón,
José Mª Gutiérrez and Josep Alió (in the restaurant)

Basic conclusions of the symposium

1. The Valencian and therefore Spanish origin of modern chess will remain accredited. One of the major experts in the world, the Russian Yuri Averbakh clarified that Vicent's book was the first printed worldwide with the new rules (Valencia, on May 15, 1495). He also indicated the certainty of the birth of modern chess, called "de la dama" at that time, in Valencia. The proofs were shown by Jose A. Garzón in the inaugural session as well.

2. Prof. Antoni Ferrando, Professor of Valencian Linguistics at the University of Valencia and a real specialist of that epoch and the works of the three poets of "Schacs d'amor" (Fenollar, Vinyoles and Castellví), confirmed the poem's dating: 20 years previous to Vicent's book.

3. Accordingly, the origin of modern chess in Valencia was endorsed by the academic world and the field of chess history.

4. In the historical session, i.e. the table "Collecting and Bibliophily in Chess", constituted by Lothar Schmid (GM, owner of the most important private collection of chess books), Dr. Thomas Thomsen (president of "C.C.I."), Dr. Ulrich Schädler (Archeologist, Director of the "Musée Suisse du Jeu"), Josep Alió (KWA country's representative of Spain, bibliophile), José Mª Gutiérrez (Director of "C.A.P.E.A." [Club de Ajedrez Postal Espanñol en Alemania]) and moderated by José A. Garzón (Organizer of the Symposium), decided to support the creation of the International Reward "Von der Lasa" for the search of Vicent's book. Before the idea had also been supported by GM Yuri Averbakh.

According to Josep Alió, 28/09/2009

Another group photo, Govert Westerveld (third from left) has joined.

In addition three more detailed contributions by Arne Moll at ChessVibes:

Valencia and the origin of modern chess

Valencia lectures part 1: King Alfonso's Book of Games

Valencia lectures part 2: The amazing story of the lost chess book

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