Chess in India

Rolf Heiner Koch roheko at MSN.COM
Tue Feb 17 18:46:06 UTC 1998

Mrs. Renate Syed from the University of Munich
works years about chess in India.
see also publications of Johann Klatt,
DhanapAla's RishabhapancAzikA,
-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Arash Zeini <ar.zeini at UNI-KOELN.DE>
Datum: Montag, 16. Februar 1998 17:11
Betreff: Chess in India

Dear members of the list,

I am searching for Sanskrit literature about
chess, it doesn't matter from which period. Does
anyone know  where I can begin to search ?
Are there any references from the Indian side
regarding the story of the middlepersian text
called  ' wizAriSn i Catrang ud nihiSn i
nEwardaSEr', which tells the story of the Indian
King Sacidarm (sometimes Iranists refer to him as
Divsaram or Devasarm; in the text: 'sacidarm i
wuzurg, SahryAr i hindUgAn-Sa'; transliterated as
"scyd'lm") who sends a chess-board for the
Sassanian King HusrOg anOSag ruwAn without sending
him the rules. HusrOg is asked to find the rules
for this play. It is meant to be a test for the
Sassanian king.
HusrOg or Khosrow I (Anushirvan) ruled from 531 AC
to 579 A.C.  Nyberg believes that 'Sacidarm' is
the middlepersian version for Skr. 'Satyadharma'.

Here the beginning of the story in the translation
of  J. C. Tarapore, Bombay, 1932:

(1) It is said thus that during the reign of
Khosraw of immortal
soul, Divsaram, a great king of India, for the
trial of
the wisdom and knowledge of the Iranians and for
securing his
own benefit set up the game of Chatrang (or
chess); 16 pieces
were made of diamonds and 16 of red ruby. (2) With
game of chess were sent 1200 camels loaded with
gold and silver
and jewels and pearls and clothes, 90 elephants
which carried
selected things came with them and Takhtritus, who
was the
vizier among the Indians, came with them.
(3) In the letter it was written thus: "As your
name is the
King of Kings, all your emperorship over us
connotes that your
wise men should be wiser than ours. Either you
send us an explanation
of this game of chess or send revenue and tribute
to us."

Are there references in the history of India which
refer to such relationship between India and
Persia ?
Any comments on this topic are appreciated.

Thanks in advance and with best wishes,
Arash Zeini

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