A word on the origin of this site

While I certainly cannot claim any credit for this translation, my own chess journey facilitated its coming into being, and so I have been asked to tell my story.

I started chess in the early summer of 2010, well into my adult years and without the opportunity to have learned as a child. With only a few misguided games under my belt, I was facinated by the complexity and variation that chess can manifest, and so I took it upon myself to learn it. Having such a late introduction to such a complex game, I sought out a teacher and found an excellent one who helped me begin to build a foundation, challenged me, and encouraged me. Over the next few months as I studied and stumbled through my first chess games over the board and online I encountered an unusually high occurrence of the Center Counter (or Scandinavian) Defence. I learned this is certainly not an easy defence to play as Black among beginners, but for a while it seemed that every other game I played my opponent chose the Center Counter in reply to my 1.e4.

I began to read up on the Center Counter, as at the time all things chess were new and mysterious to me. I soon discovered that this opening was among the oldest chess openings and was played in the earliest recorded modern game of chess in 1475! Excited to learn this, I played through the Castellvi vs. Vinjoles game and felt touched by this historic connection to the ancient game of chess.

I would often revisit this topic, and one day in my casual online research I found mention that the 1475 game was more aptly described as a "fictitious" game, played in the context of a 15th century love poem! Now I was intrigued.

I continued to look for more information on this poem, particularly an English translation. Finding none, I contacted several chess historians who had done research on the topic, and I wrote the National Library of Catalonia: I learned that an English translation of this centuries old poem was not in existence.

This ultimately brought me to make inquiries at the Indiana University Catalan Studies Program, and so through the interest and generosity of Dr. Sobrer this translation has come to be available to the English speaking world. This story would also not be complete without extending thanks to my teacher, Paul J. Szeligowski, who provided guidance and inspiration.

I hope you appreciate and enjoy this poem as much as I do.

B. Pfau - June, 2011