In N. Kershaw's translation of Hrafnsmál we learn that champions play chess in Harold's court:

8. Very magnificent is the life enjoyed by the glorious champions who play chess in Harold's court. They are enriched with money and with splendid swords, with the metal of Himaland and with girls from the East.

9. Their spirits are high when they know that there is a prospect of battle. Eager are they to leap up and bend their oars, to break the oar loops and split the tholes, to churn up the waters with mighty strokes, as I can aver, at the command of their prince.

Source: Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems. Edited and translated by N. Kershaw.

I wonder what the game is called in the original, and if it's indeed a game we would identify with chess. Or if it's one of the tafl games, Hnefatafl perhaps, translated to chess for convenience.


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