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Your visit to Blanca, a village in the famous Ricote Valley By Govert Westerveld
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Blanca is the ideal place for the slow movement, to enjoy the charm of its landscapes and to relax and live better. One cannot hurry the act of creation. Maybe this is a reason that we find in this... More > village so many painters. They all need pace, slowness, silence to be creative and productive. I came from Holland, 40 years ago, and hated in that country the long queues of cars, the great haste of the people. During my travels to many foreign countries as a result of international business I came to the conclusion that there for me are only two places to live well: Haiwai and Blanca. This book has been written for you in ten lenguages: English, German, Dutch, Italian, French, Swedish, Russian, Arabic, Japonese and Chinese.< Less
Ibn Sab’in of the Ricote Valley; the First and Last Islamic Place in Spain By Govert Westerveld
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This book is the outcome of a close study of the Ricote Valley and its famous Sufi Ibn Sab’in. Its purpose is to disclose more of the historical and comparative data. Arab Spaniards have... More > created a glorious human story that lasted for centuries within the scope of the Mediterranean culture. However, a lot of the history of the Ricote Valley is only written in Spanish and still not in English. Andalusian scientists moved from the region of Murcia to the heart of the Islamic world. Their move had quite a deep effect. Among these scientists was the great Sufi philosopher, Muhammad Ibn-‘Abdul-Haq known as Ibn- Sab‘in (d. 669 H. = 1270 AD), who came from the Ricote Valley. He is the originator of the deep philosophical approach in dealing with highly humanistic Sufi thought, and the author of the magnificent treatise Al-Kalam ‘ala Al-Masa’il Al-Siqqilliyya, in which he answered the philosophical questions that Frederick II, the Emperor of Sicily, sent to Muslim scientists in the Mashreq and the Maghreb.< Less
The History of Alquerque-12. Remaining countries. Volume II. By Govert Westerveld
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The first Spanish books about the game of draughts have a very high standard and date from the XVI century, while the first French book comes from the XVII century and the game description is very... More > basic. Contrarily to this evidence scholars did not consider it necessary to grant Spain the honour of being the country of creation of the game of draughts and of the new modality in chess with the new dama. Both the Alquerque-3 and the Alquerque-9 games were known in Roman times. The situation is completely different for the Alquerque-12 game. It is said that the Alquerque has its origin in Egypt. Perhaps this is the case for the Alquerque-3 and Alquerque-9 games, but never for Alquerque-12. Some authors claim that the Alquerque-12 game is a Greek or Roman game, but the great expert of these games, Dr. Ulrich Schädler, discards those theories. The first volume of the Alquerque-12 game unravels France and Spain. The second volume deals with the remaining countries of the world.< Less
The Birth of a new Bishop in Chess By Govert Westerveld
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The new bishop in chess has been a great mystery from the XV century until now, because not only was the power of the Queen greatly introduced, but so was also the position of the church. Pedro... More > Gonzalez de Mendoza was the partisan of Princess (later Queen) Isabella I of Castile and fought for her in the Battle of Zamora and Toro between 1475 and 1476. This warrior churchman had a prominent part in placing Princess Isabella on the throne and served her tirelessly in her efforts to suppress the disorderly nobles of Castile with the money of the church. Cardinal Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza remains one of the most striking and picturesque figures of the XV-century, and was equally great as churchman, statesman and warrior. He was considered as “the third king of Spain” and Isabella’s best adviser.< Less
The Poem Scachs d’amor (1475). First Text of Modern Chess. By Govert Westerveld
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The Obres e Trobes (the first book printed in Spain in 1474 in Valencia) is an art competition held on March 25 of that year. There are many poets who have poems and couplets in this art... More > competition, and we find three poets among them, writers of scachs d’amor: Francesc Castellví, Bernard Fenollar and Narcis de Vinyoles. The Obres e Trobes is considered to be the first literary work printed in Spain of which the only known copy in the world is preserved in the University Library of Valencia. It consists of 60 leaves without foliation and signature and is written in Roman letters on paper with hand and star watermark. The three poets, as we see, already knew each other. Seeing the relationship they had with King Ferdinand and knowing his passion for the game of chess, there may be another thing they thought about around 1475. It was time to change the figure of the queen and bishop on the chessboard and inform the King by means of their poem in the form of a manuscript.< Less
The Ambassador Juan Ramírez de Lucena, the father of the chessbook writer Lucena By Govert Westerveld
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This is the first bibliography in English of the protonotary Juan Ramírez de Lucena (1430-1504) who was one of the ambassadors of the Catholic monarchs. He was the father of Lucena, the writer... More > of a chess book that was published in Salamanca in 1997. Knowing the biography of the protonotary and his activities in Italy and France in the highest sphere of society it is clear that his son Lucena could take advantage of this, because his father had opened the door in many places. No doubt that during the life of the protonotary Juan Ramírez de Lucena his son visited these places in Italy and France, as Lucena himself confirmed in the chess treaty of 1497.< Less
The History of Alquerque-12. Spain and France. Volume I. By Govert Westerveld
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Scholars did not consider it necessary to grant Spain the honour of being the creative country of the game of draughts and of the new modality in the chess game with the new dama. Both the... More > alquerque-3 as the alquerque-9 games were known in Roman times. Completely different is the situation for the alquerque-12 game. It is said that the alquerque has its origin in Egypt. Perhaps this is the case for the alquerque-3 and alquerque-9 games, but never for alquerque-12 game. Some authors claim that the alquerque-12 game is a Greek or Roman game, but the great expert of these games, Dr. Ulrich Schädler, discards it. This book is the first proof that the alquerque-12 game was not popular at all in France, but much more in Spain, where the new chess game and draughts game were invented.< Less
The Training of Isabella I of Castile as the Virgin Mary by Churchman Martin de Cordoba in 1468 By Govert Westerveld
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Today most chess historians agree that the weak chess queen, named “dame” in France as from the XIV century, changed to a powerful chess queen in Spain in 1475. Around this year we also... More > see a change of the weak bishop to a strong bishop, according to the chess poem Scachs d’amor. In order to strengthen our hypothesis of Isabella I of Castile (Isabel la Católica) we have written a book about the new bishop and a book about Scachs d’amor in English. Concentrating now on Virgin Mary in relationship with Isabella I of Castile we observe that the Augustinian monastic Martin de Córdoba wrote in 1468 the work El Jardin de las donzellas. It was directed to Princess Isabel I of Castile with the intention to contribute to her education as future Queen. Cordoba was the first writer who draws equivalencies between Isabella I of Castile and Virgin Mary, which became one of her standard portrayals. Shorty thereafter we see the appearance of a new powerful chess queen.< Less
El Ingenio ó Juego de Marro, de Punta ó Damas de Antonio de Torquemada (1547) By Govert Westerveld
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According to data available at this time the first draughts book written in Valencia in 1547 was titled El Ingenio o juego de marro, de punta o Damas. This is indicated by Nicolao Antonio,... More > Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus, 1696 Volume I, page 165. I am able to write about this draughts book, because I came to possession of a copy of this book. The cost was rather high, but it was worthwhile to fly to Amsterdam in 1988 to obtain this copy, of which the original is now in unknown hands in Madrid. The positions of the diagrams, letters, and language that I could reproduce here are nearly identical to the original book, thus diagrams with almost the same nice decoration and with almost the same old Spanish letters and the same language of the XV century. Furthermore I reproduced the same positions of the diagrams, thus using the white squares for the pawns and having the long diagonal on the right hand. The drawing of the pawns and Dama are exactly the same as appearing in the original book.< Less
The History of Checkers (Draughts) By Govert Westerveld
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The modern game of chess started around 1475 in Spain when the queen and bishop got a much more powerful move. It was called "Mad Queen Chess". These new rules quickly spread throughout... More > western Europe and in Spain. The enhanced move for the chess queen started after the coronation of the powerfull queen of Spain Isabella I. The historical records duly note that Queen Isabella I was crowned with the sword of justice raised in front of her, and the sceptre and throne were given to her. This allusion to the real-world event is so clear within the Scachs d’Amor poem to Isabella’s actual coronation that the inspiration of Queen Isabella for the new chess queen and powerfull dama of the draughts game is unquestionable. The Spaniards like the Moors, played a game on the board of lines and called it alquerque. The game became modern draughts through being transferred to the chessboard around that time. This book is the result of at least 30 years investigations in the Spanish archives< Less