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The rapid sale of an unusually large Edition of this little treatise, has called for a reprint before the Editor was at all aware of the gratifying and flattering fact, that his unpresuming endeavours to render the highly interesting, scientific and intellectual GAME OF CHBSS comprehensive to the juniors of the age, had been so highly appreciated.
The nature of the Work admits of but little originality, and none is claimed, save in the concise and lucid mode of arrangement, the explanatory notes to the introductory games, and the illustrative diagrams to the moves of the pieces.
The move of the knight is unquestionably the least easy to be comprehended by the novice, of any piece upon the board; and antil the publication of this introgressive treatise, in which the moves were for the first time attempted to be illustrated by diagrams, all writers, even of the most recent and expensive books, had " despaired" of making the move of the knight comprehensible to the uninitiated. The game was, as it were, monopolized in the hands of a few Teachers of Chess, whose treatises, while they contained a choice selection of the most difficult problems and scientific openings from Philidor, and other Masters, all had reference to the Teacher for a comprehensive insight into the first principles of the game.
A great book has become proverbial as a great evil, and the ponderous and extensive tomes which have been put forth upon Chess, have affrighted thousands from the attempt of acquiring a knowledge of a game which carried with it so much the appearance of abstruse science and requisite study.
The deficiency has been supplied by the present publication, and the Editor trusts this enlarged and improved edition will not be less appreciated than the former.
The Editor takes it as a complimentary acknowledgment of the success of his endeavours, that his little work has excited the rivalry of teachers of acknowledged talent to attempt a simplication of the game, and also, that the greater part of the originality belonging to this elementary treatise, has been, in more than one "instance, piratically and unblushingly published by others as their own,-a laxity of literary morals by no means creditable (particularly in one instance) to the alleged character of the very egotistical and assuming depredator.
Priory Vale, January, 1837.
PLAYING at Chess is the most ancient and universal game among men; for its original is beyond the memory of history, and it has, for numberless ages, been the amusement of all the civilized nations of Asia, the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese. Europe has had it above one thousand years; the Spaniards have spread it over their part of America, and it begins to make its appearance in the United States. It is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view. of gain to induce engaging in it;, and thence it is never played for money; those therefore who have leisure for such diversions, cannot find one that is more innocent; and the following piece, written with a view to correct (among a few young friends) some little improprieties in the practice of it, shows at the same time, that it may, in its effects on the mind, be not merely innocent, but advantageous to the van. quished as well as the victor.
The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at Chess then we learn,
1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action : for it is continually occuring to the player, “ If I move this piece, what will be the advantage of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?
II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chess-board, or scene of action, the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding cach other, the probabilities that the adversary may take this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him.
III. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This babit is best acquired by observing strictly the laws of the game, such as, • If you touch a piece you must move it somewhere;' . if you set it down you must let it stand;' and it is therefore best that these rules should be observed; as the game more becomes the image of human life, and particularly of war; in which, if you have incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops and place them more securely, but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness.
And, lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favorable change, and that of porsevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in bope of victory by our own skill, or at least of giving a stale-mate, by the negligence of our adversary. And whoever considers, what in Chess he often sees instances of, that particular pieces of success are apt to produce presumption, and its consequent inattention, by which the loss may be recovered, will learn not to be too much discouraged by the present success of his adversary, nor to despair of final good