“Known as one of the greatest shatranj
Chess masters of the Arab world”
It is difficult for modern players to grasp that
As-Suli's city, Baghdad, was at one time the capital of Chess and capital of the world from the 9th century onwards.
It was founded in 762 AD by Caliph Al-Mansour who had 100,000 men erect a circular city with a diameter of 8655 feet, encompassed by a rampart of 360 towers.
By 814 AD this had grown to 40 square miles. As-Suli came from a place bordering the Caspian
sea and elevated to be the favourite of the Caliph Al-Muktafi.
He fled the city on uttering an unwelcome political comment and died in Basra at the grand old age of 92 years.
He was also a composer of Chess ditties/puzzles and the writer of the first book on how to play Shatranj correctly and an excellent conversationalist with encyclopedic knowledge.
He owned a large library, wrote historical books as well as two volumes on Shatranj. Al-Lajlaj was one of his students.