The Priest’s Gambit

A brief story of the remote clergyman who played chess

“Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates life”. Oscar Wilde’s The Decay of Lying: An Observation.

Cover of The Queen’s Gambit novel.

The origin of the word chess

A Spanish XVI Century priest was a chess master

The teacher’s learning

Cover of Pedro Damiano’s book. Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Ruy López as a chess player

El Escorial (Madrid). Image credits: ThousandWonders.
Luigi Mussini’s oil painting Sfida scacchistica alla Corte di Spagna. Ruy López is sitting on the left, dressed with a red habit. King Phillip II is sitting in front of him, dressed in black. Between both, opening the arms, it is Leonardo da Cutri. Back is Paolo Boi (left) and the clergyman Alfonso Cerón (right). Image credit: Wikidata.

Ruy López’s chess treatise

Cover of Ruy Lopez’s book

What does the hell Gambit mean?

Checkmate to the priest’ story

God save all the Gambits! And the Brexit’s Queen, of course. And The Crown!



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Agustín Muñoz-Sanz

Medical Doctor (Infectious Diseases specialist/Professor of Medicine) and writer (narrative, theater).