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Why the Name of Maya Chess?



What is the Meaning of the Word Chess?

The name of Chess for a strategy game, comes from Sanskrit: "Chaturanga", meaning ¨ ¨ the four forces, alluding to the formations of armies with infantry, cavalry, elephants, and castles with what they contained : The King, The Queen and counselors.

Chess Maya receives this name from the universal concept of the four fundamental forces of nature such as fire, air, water and earth.

From the splendor of Greek thought with Empedocles, who held that there were four basic substances: earth, water, air and fire, according to Aristotle "and remaining eternally begotten", this perception has remained to this day in the minds of humanity.

At present the four elements are known as solids, liquids, gaseous and energetic.

Nothing has changed since the original approach, the human perception is still the same, just have changed the terms in which they are defined.


Finally there is no real way to know what the initials: I. N. R. I. that were placed in the cross of Jesus Christ.

Some schools say they just need to know the symbols translation into Hebrew elements, ie meaning Water IAM, NOUR which is the symbol of Fire, which is Air RUACH (or spirit) and that is the Earth IABESHAD . Joining the four initials INRI for symbols
It is said that in ancient times the great masters was recognized with this symbol indicating that he had balanced the 4 elements.


Neolithic  Carved
Stone Polyhedra

The Four Forces of Nature


Neolithic Carved Stone Polyhedra

Hundreds of carved stone spheres, roughly three inches in diameter, believed to date to around 2000 BC, have been found in Scotland. Some are carved with lines corresponding to the edges of regular polyhedra.  Roughly half have 6 knobs---like the one at right above---but the others range from three to 160 knobs.  The more mathematically regular ones do not appear to have had a special importance.  For example, in addition to the 12-knob dodecahedral form shown in the center and just to its right above, there are also ones with 14 knobs, corresponding to a form with two opposite hexagons, each surrounded by six pentagons.  Nonetheless, the dodecahedron appears here long before the Greeks wrote of it.  The function of these stones is unknown and so it is unclear whether I should list them here under the category art, but many are intricately carved with spirals or cross-hatching on the faces.  The material varies from easily carved sandstone and serpentine to difficult, hard granite and quartzite.

The above image is by Keith Critchlow, scanned from the book by Lawlor.  Both those authors lean towards the mystical and must be read critically.  In the image, note that the third and fourth balls, with icosahedral and dodecahedral edges indicated, do not correspond to different underlying carvings.  I don't know if there are any with exactly 20 knobs arranged as an icosahedron.

For a primary reference (but with no mathematical discussion) see Dorothy N. Marshall, "Carved Stone Balls," Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 180, pp. 40-72, 1976/77. 



In Maya Chess, the pieces that make up each of the teams are:


They represent the forces of nature, while the leader represents the man, displaying his intelligence to get the K'atun, by any of the 4 modes:

1.K'Atún by access to the Temple of the Moon;

2.K'Atún by access to the Temple of the Sun;

3.K'Atún by capture.

4.K'atun by Mak Chahal.

Every action generates a reaction, the pieces of the opponent are the opposite forces that try at all costs to prevent the opponent hit your target.


The tetrahedron (Captain) and octahedron (Guardian), were considered since times immemorial as representing Fire (Captain) and the Air (Guardian) that get generate from duplication, the four prisms that from the perspective of Maya Chess "The Game of the Gods" Recreates the four elements of nature.


The Leader
as The Fifth Element or "Quinta Essentia"


Besides the representation of the four elements or natural forces, identified by each of the geometric forms obstructive, whose function is manifested dynamically in space from the surface of the board, ie, three-dimensional, there is a fifth element:

The Leader, whose essential characteristics are manifested in two dimensions, since its function and movements occur only in two planes, the shape of the Leader is decorative, as it slides over the board.


This element:the Leader, represents man, making use of spatial perception abilities and tactical skills, builds upon and uses the four elements (Captain, Guardian Attack and Defense) to achieve the goal: K'atun in any of regulatory three movements.

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