Old Chess Guide May Have Drawings From Da Vinci

500-year-old book of puzzles has illustrations in the master's style
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Feb 27, 2008 6:51 PM CST
An image of da Vinci is seen in this file photo from 2006.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Sections of a recently unearthed manuscript, dating back to about 1500 and describing chess strategy, were likely illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci, the BBC reports. The book, De ludo scacchorum, is a collection of puzzles by Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli, a friend of da Vinci's. The striking illustrations are in da Vinci's style.

The leather-bound volume has 48 pages of game diagrams—using beautifully rendered illustrations of king, queen, bishop, and knight pieces—giving directions on reaching checkmate in a specific number of moves, the Guardian reports. Researchers have asked US experts to help authenticate the work—found in the northeast town of Gorizzia—independently. The volume is likely the only surviving copy.