Early medieval chess
IX - X sec. d.C.
Venafro chess represents one of the oldest examples of this game in Europe. In 1932, on the occasion of works carried out near the Cathedral of Venafro (IS), some objects made in a stag box, identified as chess pieces, were recovered. The pieces, attributed to the "Islamic" type, are a testimony of the Arab presence in Venafrum, occupied between the 9th and 10th centuries by the troops of the Emir of Bari. This strategy game, probably born in India, was one of the main moments of leisure in the Middle Ages, introduced in Europe thanks to the mediation of the Arabs. The most important piece was the king, flanked by other figures: horses, bishops, towers and finally pedestrians, who represented the infantry. Only later was the figure of the lady or queen introduced, present in the venafrana series, of which a total of 19 pieces survive.