Next Page Previous Page Bibliography Links
Table 1
thru Chess Problem #15
Table 2
Chess Problems
#16 to #50
Table 3
Chess Problems
#51 to #89
Table 4
Other Games
The Board for  Tables that are played by astrology
Illustration of the "astronomical tables"
Seven men including the king playing 7-player Backgammon

This is a seven-player variant of Backgammon. It is meant to represent the movement of the seven celestial bodies amoung the stars. In the manuscript, this game is not named allthough Bell calls it "Zodiac" The text refers to it as the "board-game with tables-men that is played according to Astronomy" (el tablero delas tablas ... que se iuega por astronomia).

Each player represents one planet. His tables-men are accordingly of the colour belonging to that planet:
Saturn - black, Jupiter - green, Mars - red, Sun - yellow, Venus - violet, Mercury - coloured, Moon - white.

The games is played with three seven-sided dice. These dice have to parallel pentagonal faces showning 6 and 7 and, orthogonally to them, five oblong faces numbered 1 to 5. The player Mercury (coloured) has thus just thrown three of these dice showing 1, 5 and 7.

Each player has 7 men of his colour piled upon the ace-point of his starting table. Play moves anti-clockwise. The men are advanced as in backgammon, but the starting point of the other players is skipped when it is occupied by more than one piece. Thus, the player Mercury can now move one man each to the 2nd and 6th point of this table and one to the 2nd point of the table of this adversary to his right. 7 nobles playing at 7-handed Tables (Backgammon) F. 97 V)