The chess work by Lucena of Salamanca appeared towards the end of the fifteenth century (probably in 1497) at the time when the Old Medieval chess was virtually moribund. Entitled "Repeticion de Amores e Arte de Axedres", it contained a certain amount of simple opening analysis plus a

*"When Gustavus Selenus wrote his chess work in 1616, the old game only survived in Germany in the village of Ströbeck. This village may quite well have been the last place on the continent of Europe where the old chess was regularly played." (Murray, A History of Chess.) "Gustavus Selenus" was, in fact, the pseudonym for Augustus, Duke of Brunswick (1579-1666), author of Das Schach oder König Spiel and also an ancestor to Charles (1804-73), the deposed Duke of Brunswick who plays Morphy on page 2.

number of positions, including this smothered mate problem, which for some inexplicable reason has come to be known as "Philidor's Legacy".

The solution goes:

1 Q-K6+










This neat Q sacrifice—the most advanced combinative idea known at that time—must have seemed like a kind of miracle to Lucena's readers and I imagine that it might also enchant newcomers to the game today.

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