This is a fitting read considering the day of the week.
My favorite one - "Chess had picked up in Europe and pretty soon many of the clergy was spending more time playing chess than saving souls. In 1061 Cardinal Damiani of Ostin forbad the clergy from playing chess. He died in 1072 and chess was resumed in his domain."
This one is brutal - "In 1495 the Inquisition saw victims of persecutions stand in as figures in a game of living chess. The game was played by two blind players. Each time the captured piece was taken, the person representing that piece was put to death."