Indian "Magic Knight's Tour" Silk, 1852

Jon's main chess page

A silk document from 1852 with a "Magic Knight's Tour" composed by is made on silk Krislnaraj Wadiar, the Rajah of Mysore.

Here is further information from the website

The Third Composer of Magic Knight's Tours: Krishnaraj Wadiar, The Rajah of Mysore
Mysore was annexed by the British following the death of Tippoo at Seringapatam 1799. What happened next is told in The Golden Book of India by Sir Roper Lethbridge, 1893, pp.362-8; in summary: The British resolved that Mysore revert to control of the family of its ancient rulers. An infant son of Chamraj, by name Krishnaraj, was placed on the gadi. During the minority of the Maharaja Krishnaraj 1799–1810 the state was administered by a Diwan or Prime Minister, the famous Purnaiya. The affairs of the state however fell into disorder after the retirement of Purnaiya; and the ‘misgovernment’ of the Maharaja was terminated by the British Government assuming the direct administration in 1831, retaining the Maharaja as titular sovereign. On the 18th June 1865 the Maharaja adopted as his son and successor the young prince Maharaja Chama Rajendra Wadiar, whose adoption was sanctioned in 1867. Maharaja Krishnaraj died in 1868. The rulers of Mysore were called Wadiar or Wodeyar, being a plural or honorific form of Odeya, Kanarese for ‘Lord’. Assuming the age of majority in India was 21 would give the date of birth of Krishnaraj as 1790.
Thus it would seem Krishnaraj had more leisure to pursue his own interests from 1831 to 1868, and one of these was the investigation of knight's tours. These tours were preserved in a manuscript by Pandit Harikrishna Sharma Jyotishacharya, written in 1871, which was printed in Devanagari script by Venkateshwar Steam Press, Bombay in 1900, and is reproduced, with English commentary, in the book Indian Chess by S.R.Iyer (NAG Publishers, Delhi 1982). The English commentary in Section IX reads: “Now some ways of horse-movement are being explained ... some of those ways mentioned by the King of Karnataka, H. H. Shri Krishna Udayar, are quoted below.” Karnataka is the modern name (since 1973) for Mysore, so the King of Karnataka may be identified with the Rajah of Mysore.
This manuscript contains one 8 by 8 magic knight's tour. This tour was independently discovered by Francony in 1881, and appeared in N. Rangiah Naidu's Feats of Chess 1922 without mention of its author. Murray wrote: “It was not known in Europe until 1938 that Indian players had also busied themselves with magic tours and that a closed unsymmetrical magic tour had been discovered in Mysore on 31 July 1852. A contemporary silk handkerchief bearing this tour, which it ascribed to Maharajah Kristna Rajah Wodayer Bahaudah, the Rajah of Mysore, was exhibited at the Margate Easter Chess Congress, 1938.” Another sighting of this silk was reported by Major J. Akenhead in a letter dated 12 March 1947 to Fairy Chess Review, vol. 6, April 1947, p.84: “I was in Mr A. Hammond's (Emil, Burlington Gardens) yesterday and found that he had a piece of silk framed on which was a magic knight-tour invented, as the wording stated by Maha Rajah Kristna Rajah Wodaye, Behauder Rajah of Mysore, on 31st July 1852.” The present whereabouts of the silk (or silks?) is unknown. This 8×8 magic tour is #37 among the 82 tour diagrams given in Indian Chess. It is a closed tour of squares and diamonds type, and is fourfold magic, in that it can be numbered magically from four different origins by cyclic shift of the numbering (i..e from f5, d1, b7 as well as f3).