In the year 1454, Taddeo Parisio was the ruler and lord of a little town of Marostica, located in the province of Vicenza in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Lord Parisio had two beautiful daughters: Lionora, who they described as having a beauty that would make angels envious and Oldrada, an equally pretty girl.
Lord Parisio had two knights in his service: Rinaldo D’Angarano and Vieri da Vallonara. Both knights professed their declaration of love for Lionora. So intense was their rivalry that they challenged each other to a duel for Lionora’s hand in marriage.
It was well know that Lord Parisio was highly regarded for his wisdom and good business sense. These knights were so valuable that he couldn’t afford to lose either of them in a duel. So Lord Parisio came up with an ingenious idea. The hand for his daughter would be settled by a game of chess. The winner of the chess game would have the hand of Lionora and the loser the hand of Oldrada. A win-win situation as his two best knights would be members of the royal family and both be saved from injury. The two knights agreed to the contest.
The staging of the chess game took place on a giant full scale chess board located in the piazza below the castle. The chess board was filled with human chess pieces complete with a king, queen, two bishops, two knights and two castles with their pawns.
Piazza degli Scacchi -Marostica
Five hundred years later, Marostica still continues with this human chess game making sure to include all the traditional pomp and ceremony in the Piazza degli Scacchi. The human chess game is played each even year during the second Friday, Saturday and Sunday in September. The 2016 dates are Friday 9 September, Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September 2016. If chess is your game this is not to be missed.
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