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CHESS

CHAPTER I.

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE PROBABLE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF THE

GAME OF CHESS.

The origin of Chess still remains a matter of dispute; of its high antiquity, however, there rests no doubt.

Some give the invention of it to Palamedes, during the siege of Troy (near twelve centuries before Christ); who endeavoured, by its introduction, to prevent that irksomeness amongst the Greeks, which the length of the siege threatened to render intolerable. But even allowing him to have been the inventor of a game at that period, it is not certain that the modern Chess has any great affinity to it.

B

Others imagine it had its origin in China, and Mr. Irwin, in a letter from Canton to the Earl of Charlemont, gives him the following translation from the Concum, or Chinese Annals, respecting the invention of the

game, as delivered to him by Tinqua, a soldier mandarin, of the province of Fokien.

Three hundred and seventy-nine years after the time of Confucius, or one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five years ago, Hung Cochu, King of Kiangnan, sent an expedition into the Shensi country, under the command of a mandarin, called Hansing, to conquer it. After one successful campaign, the soldiers were put into winter-quarters ; where, finding the weather much colder than what they had been accustomed to, and being also deprived of their wives and families, the army in general became impatient of their situation, and clamorous to return home.

Hansing, upon this circumstance, revolved in his mind the bad consequences of complying with their wishes. The necessity of soothing his troops, and reconciling

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