High 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 on the deer stage were recovered, identified as chess pawns. The pieces, attributed to the "Islamic" type, are a testimony to the Arab presence in Venafrum, occupied between the ninth and tenth 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, standard bearers, towers and finally pedestrians, who represented the infantrymen on horseback. Only later was also introduced the figure of the lady or queen, present in the venafrana series, of which a total of 19 pieces survive.