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Luis Ramirez de Lucena vs Quintana
"Old in Chess" (game of the day Jul-17-2007)
Huesca (1515), Huesca ESP
Saragossa Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-16-09  dwavechess: 22/32 concur with rybka 3 at 3 min. per move with rybka.abk book
Apr-27-09  WhiteRook48: don't get 6 Bh3
Apr-30-09  gsagostinho: "There is a chess game supposedly played in Huesca in 1515 between Lucena and a Father Quintana, published in "La Nueva Espana", a daily newspaper of that city, on 14 March, 1959. The journalist makes a vague allusion to "a document from a private collection" which is difficult to follow up without more accurate details. After the year 1515, the evidence is much weaker. The traces seem to fade between France and Bologna, as though our chess player had emigrated from Spain, and it is precisely in Bologna where two subsequent chess works appear."


Apr-30-09  Octal: Does is really matter whether or not the game exists? For don't we study games not from the historical aspect, but for education toward our chess playing?
Aug-08-09  tommer: If his book was published 1497, 18 years before this game so I would be surprised to see it included.
Mar-04-10  siegbert: To correct above ne5 bxe5 is not mate.blacks king has kc6. better to take with the pawn and white is a piece and a passed pawn to the good.
Jun-14-11  rich187113: Great Job Ramirez! One less tango to worry about!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The <Saragossa Opening>? I guess there was no opening strategy back then.
Jan-24-12  Knight13: Lucena's at least playing at a strength of 1900 ELO in this game.
Sep-19-12  vinidivici: is this lucena the tactician of the rook endgame...?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The very man himself.
Aug-01-13  Sergash: Not too many errors for such an old game. Lucena was probably at least Expert level!

16.Re1?! ((Houdini 1.5a: 16.h3 Nh6 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.Kf3 ou =)

22.g5?! (Houdini 1.5a: 22...Nd8 23.f3 Nd6 24.Kf2 h5 =)

27...Nb5?! (Houdini 1.5a: 27...Na5 28.Bf4 (28.Nxd5 Rb5 29.Ne7+ Kd7 30.Bh4 Nac4 ) Nb5 29.Nxd5 c6! 30.a4 Nxd4 31.Rd1 cxd5! 32.Rxd4 Rf2 33.Rxd5 Nc6 34.Kg4 Ra2 )

29...Nxc3?? (Houdini 1.5a 29...Nd6! 30.Re6 Rxa2 31.Bf4! Ra5 32.Nxc7! Nf7 / )

Sep-04-14  Christoforus Polacco: Lucena's knight don't go automatic to 'f3' square but 'f1' with idea 'e3' to attack pawn 'd5' - and it was decided in this game :)But horse on 'f1' was waiting a little ...

I think that white should play 23.f3 and black 23.hg5 N:g5

Nov-11-14  Ke2: Funny, this game is unique on move 1.

1. c3? Nc6?

May-28-15  sicilianhugefun: 1.c3 is simply a logical move. It opens up the d1 to a4 diagonal and supports a future d4 thrust. There is not much theory during those times which makes the game all the more beautiful. It creates room for natural play, analysis and logical thinking. Just because the moves being made aren't in accordance to so called modern theory makes it altogether bad already.
May-28-15  Tomlinsky: <Before the bishop and queen acquired their current moves in the 16th Century they were weak pieces and the king was relatively safe in the middle of the board. When the bishop and queen got their current moves they became very powerful and the king was no longer safe on its original square, since it can be attacked from a distance and from both sides. Castling was added to allow the king to get to a safer location and to allow rooks to get into the game earlier (Davidson 1981:16).

The rule of castling has varied by location and time. In medieval England, Spain, and France, the white king was allowed to jump to c1, c2, d3, e3, f3, or g1,[13] if no capture was made, the king was not in check, and did not move over check. (The black king might move similarly.) In Lombardy, the white king might jump an additional square to b1 or h1 or to a2 (and equivalent squares for the black king). Later in Germany and Italy, the king move was combined with a pawn move.

In Rome from the early 17th century until the late 19th century, the rook might be placed on any square up to and including the king's square, and the king might be moved to any square on the other side of the rook. This was called "free castling".

In the Göttingen manuscript (c. 1500) and a game published by Luis Ramírez de Lucena in 1498, castling consisted of two moves: first the rook and then the king.

The current version of castling was established in France in 1620 and England in 1640 (Sunnucks 1970:66). >

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Round about 1980, I played some OTB events with Keith Rex Hayward and we had at least one game which featured this Reversed Hanham, though Hayward opened 1.c3, following up with d3, Nd2, Qc2 Ngf3 and e4 in one order of moves or another.>

Jobava vs Caruana, 2014

Jan-10-16  ColdSong: Bad bishop story.
Apr-05-17  Yigor: 1. c3 (-0.07) Nc6 (+0.00) 2. d4 e6 (QP: Horwitz defense, +0.15) 3. e4 d5 (French defense: normal variation).

PSCC: 1C -> 2D1C -> 2D1Ce -> 2DE1Ce -> 2DEd1Ce

Apr-06-17  Lossmaster: This is "an obviously fictitious game", with "anachronistic castlings", according to chess historian Peter J. Monté in "The Classical Era of Modern Chess" (McFarland, 2014, p. 83, n. 11), a comprehensive book on the first 150 years of the modern game (roughly, 1490-1640). Monté goes on writing that the game "is dished up by [Francesco] Romero in 'La Nueva España', 1959 (March 14), p. 3 and by E. Minerva in 'Lucena giocatore', 'L’Italia Scacchistica', 1999, pp. 300-01. It is rightly taken for a 20th century fabrication by Garzón (p. 456)." That source is José R. Garzón, "El regreso de Francesch Vicent. La Historia del nacimiento y la expansión del ajedrez moderno" (Valencia, 2005); English translation by M. Pérez Carballo: "The Return of Francesch Vicent. The History of the Birth and Expansion of Modern Chess" (Valencia, 2006).
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: I just forget it's 1515 then and weigh the game for it's strength. I say Black attacked poorly while White defended and later attacked well!
Oct-05-18  Violin sonata: Is this the oldest game that ever played, or there is an older than this?
Oct-05-18  wordfunph: I'm sure there were other older games played but they were not recorded (or recorded, but the records were lost)
Oct-16-19  Chesgambit: NN vs Lucena, 1497 ( first game 1490 not recorded )
Jul-23-23  generror: <<Octal:> Does is really matter whether or not the game exists? For don't we study games not from the historical aspect, but for education toward our chess playing?>

That problem is that you say "we". "We" is a pretty varied bunch, and people have different motivations and goals. It's of course totally okay and valid to use this database for education and entertainment. But many of "us" are also interested in the history of chess, in the evolution of the game, it does make quite a difference if a game is real or fake.

Here the problem is that a 1515 game features modern castling rules. If this game is real, chess historians would need to rewrite the history of the game, because modern castling only was introduced over a century later in France and England.

Personally, I am very sure this game is a fake. You'll have to come up with a better source than "some old manuscript in a private collection that nobody has ever seen or heard about" if you want your game to be taken serious by historians.

I for example could claim I know of some 17th-century manuscript by Gustavus Selenus featuring a game with the Sicilian Najdorf, showing that he clearly was the strongest player in Europe back then (that he's from my home country is pure coincidence, of course), but nobody would ever take this seriously, and rightly so, because nowadays, in the age of internet and fake news, people have grown sadly, but rightfully mistrustful.

However, if I had been around in the 1950s and been able to put that into some local newspaper, the game would probably have been added to this database.

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