Abbildungen der Seite

thrown over their shoulders, the paws ing to themselves a fame which the skill crossing in front; the bishops with fools' of players of a more recent date has in caps and bells; the knights were borses' vain attempted to rival. In confirmation heads with flowing manes; and the pawns, of this fact, the best players of the present eight whites, and eight negroes, of various century have done little more to elucidate expressions and ages. But, perhaps, the the game than to give translations, occamost splendid set on record was the one sionally, from the most esteemed amongst brought to this country for the purpose of them. In this way have appeared, in an sale, some years since; they were all of English dress, the works of Damiano, the purest red and white cornelian ;-but Salvio, Gianutio, Ruy Lopez, &c. &c., the price demanded was so large, that it by Sarratt; and since, the very accurate is not believed that they met with any and valuable translations by Lewis, of purchaser here : indeed, however fitted Greco, Carrera, &c., &c.; and that by for the cabinet, or the boudoir, as orna- Bingham, of Dal Rio, the most instructive, ments or accessaries, chessmen so splendid perhaps, of all; though it were certainly can be of little use to the real player; to be wished that it had been edited by a and it has been generally observed of those more experienced player. Up to the time who had expended considerable sums in of the appearance of these translations, the purchase of such, that, after the the only standard work on the game, in novelty had worn off, they have reverted England, was that by Philidor; but, treatwith satisfaction, for all practical purposes, ing on little more than one opening, he to their old, substantial, black and white, may perhaps be said to have fettered, wooden ones.

rather than expanded, the genius of the Various attempts have been made by English student, inasmuch as, professing the learned-amongst whom Sir William as it does to be an analysis of the game, Jones, and the late Mr. Christie, are most players were led to imagine all openings conspicuous—to assimilate the names of not recognized by him as bad play; and our pieces with those used in the east, thus some of the most instructive, if by without, however, much success. Caprice chance they occurred, were neglected or may, perhaps, have influenced the chris- despised. Still, however, the knowledge tening them, as much as intention; and was scattered over many volumes ; a it can matter very little, so long as their great portion of it was also much too repowers are universally retained. Con. fined for the mere student: and a work nected with this subject, however, it does that should convey just as much of instrucappear a little singular that the sober and tion as he would be able to appreciate, religious English should have named the has always been a desideratum. Players fou— the fool, or madman--a bishop; in this country will therefore have seen, whilst they have preserved the names of with much satisfaction, the first portion of the king, the queen, the knight, and the a work by Mr. Lewis,-to whose persefoot-soldier, or pawn. To reconcile some verance the game already owes so much, apparent absurdities in this nomenclature, - which is intended to contain every a small tract appeared some thirty years information requisite for the perfect desince,—acknowledged, it is understood, velopment of the pieces in all the usual by the painstaking player known as the openings. This work is preceded by a anonymous editor of Philidor,-proposing a few apt, but general, rules of great to substitute for the queen, minister; for value; and, in the illustration of the the pawn, commoner, &c., &c.; and to Bishops close game,” “the Kings Knight's entiile the operation called “castling," Game," " the Queen's Bishops pawns "closeting,” &c. This proposal, however, game," and of "the Kings Gambit," so like all others that have been ostensibly far as in the three first parts it has gone, made for varying the game, or its terms, leaves nothing to be desired. from established usages, met with no en- Whilst 'it may be, however, doubted, couragement; and now, like the same whether the best players of late years have gentleman's “scale of powers," is only re- not been found in France, the question is ferred to for the purpose of a passing smile. one of comparative individual strength,

It does not appear that, until the com- that has never been tried; in number, mencement of the last century, any consi- the French certainly exceed us, and so, derable skill in the game was cultivated perhaps, of the generation that has passed in England, whilst, amongst the Italians, away; for, without naming Philidor, in its refinements had been most elaborately whose constitution the faur brillant apanalysed, and its professors were establish- pears to have been at least as evident as the profound, the names of the marquis impertinences of strangers, induces the inde Grosminy, the chevalier de Feron, the habitants to decline playing, unless for chevalier du Son, Verdoni, and de Lagalle, money, and, accordingly, many persons amongst the players of the last century, have lost to them. It appears, however, and Du Bourblanc, Le Preton, and La that they have not been always equally forBourdonnaye, of this, are a host, against tunate; for, on a certain occasion, a friend which we have only to oppose Sarratt, of Silberschmidt, one N. N., indulging the and Lewis, - beyond dispute the two knight errantry of a true chess-player, ablest players that England has produced. challenged their provost, and best players,

Notwithstanding, the game is perhaps and, after a contest of considerable duraplayed more generally by the Germans, tion, at the sign of the Chess-board and than in either of the nations to which we Marble, came off victorious. Now, it was have referred, eminently suited as it is to natural that the aforesaid N. N. should be their peculiar temperament - wary, pro- desirous of carrying off some trophy, and found, cautious, and persevering — and, he therefore applied for a certificate; it accordingly, that country has produced was given, stating simply the fact; and, many fine players.

“alas, to confess," such is the term, that A singular instance of the estimation N. N. “had carried off the victory." in which it has been heretofore held by This important document was signed and them occurs in a work written by Silber- sealed with the corporation seal : but no schmidt, entitled “Chess Secrets,” and re- sooner had he obtained it than, probably ferred to by Dr. Netto, in one lately in alarm for their privileges, they were de published by him; by which it appears sirous of withdrawing it, and no intreaties that a certain dignitary of the church of were at first spared to recover possession Halberstadt, in Prussia, had been, for of it. Fnding these of no avail, they some offence, banished from that city to offered money, increasing their estimate the village of Stræbeck, when, for the of its value, until, had he been so disamusement and occupation of his leisure, posed, he might have realized to very consihe took some pains to instruct the natives derable advantage. N. N., however, in the game of chess; finding apt scholars, valued his honor too highly, and, not and gratified with the opportunity of content with inflexibly bearing his certifi. "improving their manners and morals," cate away, he has rather ungallantly he took much pains to render them credit- published it to the world—“ alas,” to the able players, and, subsequently, when, utter discounfiture of the men of Stræbeck. after his recal, he became bishop of Hal- Meanwhile, the various works on art berstadt, he conferred certain municipal and science, the encyclopædias, &c., proprivileges on the village of his banish- fessing to give instruction, and to contain ment, of which, according to another knowledge on all matters within the circle writer, they were to be deprived, if beaten of human attainment, contained no referat chess; but, in addition, he bestowed a ence to the abundant works in Italian, more valuable benefit in the erection and German, &c., from which real information endowment of a free-school, which still on the game of chess might have been exists, and inwhich the game must be taught. acquired; but, contenting themselves with The fame of their skill attracted thither, in an elaborate rifacimento of Dr. Hyde's the year 1651, Frederick William, of researches, and the addition of a few bald Brandenburg, who, in return for the amuse- anecdotes from the French Encyclopément they had afforded him, and in token distes, they contrived to cover a certain of the estimation in which he held their portion of space, without affording, to play, presented to them a magnificent such as might consult them, one sentence carved chess-board, having on its obverse of real instruction or useful knowledge. a table for the game of the "Courier,” toge- It has been a question amongst players ther with two sets of chessmen, the one how far the capacity for conducting a game. of ivory, but the other of silver, - one without seeing the board—the moves of the half of the latter being gilt, by way of pieces being indicated by a third person distinction : this set, however, it is should be admitted as evidenceofa superior, supposed, the churchmen of Halberstadt or first rate talent for the game Without considered too valuable for a paltry vil- affecting to decide that question, it is not lage,-accordingly, they were borrowed to be doubted that players of a very infeby them, and never returned. The neces- rior grade have frequently excelled in this sity of protecting themselves from the particular exhibition of memorial tenacity,

whilst it is on record that many ancient (3.) Sir William Jones has left us a players,-Salvo, Paolo Boi, Zerone, Me- poem entitled “ Caissa," the first idea of drano, Ruy Lopez, &c. &c., notoriously which was taken from Vida,“ in which first rate in their day, played under such (says he) the invention of chess is pracrestrictions up to within nearly a pawn of rically ascribed to Mars, though it is their strength; that Sacchieri could play certain that the game was originally equally well four games at a time; brought from India.” although Philidor's vanity led him to rank (4.) Gibbon, treating upon the learning the talent so highly, that, in his ostenta- and wisdom of the Brahmins, continues, rious notice of some of the games played “ To admonish kings that they are strong by him, at Parsloes, &c., against three only in the strength of their subjects, the adversaries at a time, he prefaces it by an same Indians invented the game of chess, apology for a statement which he professes which was likewise introduced into Persia to give “ lest posterity should not credit under the reign of Nusluvan." the possibility of the fact." Philidor (5.) Chaucer tells us it was probably did not, any more than other

“ Athalus that made the game great men, calculate on the much slandered First of the chess, so was his name.". “ march of intellect," or that it would

And Cornelius Agrippa informs us that take chess in its course. He either did Attalus, king of Asia, is said to be the not know, or never supposed that posterity inventor of games of chance. would-the works on the game then con- (6) Peter Texiras is certain it is of fined to the libraries of the curious. lle Persian origin, inasmuch as the name of was mistaken. The effect has been that

every piece is derived from that language. an increased love for the game has spread (7.) Kennett agrees with those who over the country—that clubs have been attribute the invention to Palamedes, formed—that coffee houses and divans prince of Eubæa, during the siege of Troy, have been opened for the game-that -an excellent time for becoming a prohundreds play at it where it was scarcely ficient in the game! possible, a few years since, to find an (8.) Others will give the merit to adversary, and that a liberal education

Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who is said to can hardly be said to be complete without have devised the pastime to divert his idle a knowledge of this “ science” according army; to whom (I imagine) Burton alto Leibnitz,—but, certainly, this most ludes when he tells us that the game was interesting and scientific of all games. “invented, some say, by the generall of Durch, 1831.

R. B. an army in a famine, to keep souldiers

from mutiny.” He gives Bellonius as his ANTIQUITY OF Cuess—ORIGIN OF THE


(9.) The Arabians claim the honor for QUEEN.

their countryman, Sissa, or Sida. And [For the Year Book.]

(10.) A manuscript in the Harleian There are, perhaps, as many countries Collection pronounces Ulysses to be the which lay claim to the honor of the inven- inventor. In fact, so many were the tion of chess, as there were cities which competitors for the honor of the discovery, contended for the birth of Ilomer. I shall that 'Ilerodotus considered it worthy of briefly enumerate a few of the numerous record, that the Lydians did not lay claim inventors of this most rational amusement, to the merit of the invention of chessd and then offer, with all due submission, a

Among such

a host of contending mere conjecture of my own.

evidence it is impossible for us to decide (1.) Sirutt (in his celebrated work, the question : but we may fairly offer any which has been lately edited by a parti- conjecture which is founded upon the cular friend to science, and to myself,) internal testimony of the game itself. I informs us that John de l'igney assigned shall, at any rate, assume the permission the invention to a Babylonian philosopher of so doing. We must observe in the

-Xerxes—in the reign of evil Merodach, machinery of the game, that, strangely whose object it was “to reclaim a wicked inconsistent with our ideas of propriety king,” &c. Strutt agrees that “it made and probability, “the queen" is the chief its first appearance in Asia."

character in the contest. She is not (2.) Seneca attributes the origin of the merely the soft excitement of the war,-game to Chilo, the Spartan, one of the the Helen for whom mighty monarchs seven sages of Greece.

will fight and fall; she is not the high

minded instigator of hostility, who bids that it produces all the malevolent pasher king go forth with her blessing to the sions," and a vehement desire of getting battle : no, she is the active, undaunted, the better in a concern, wherein it were indefatigable leader of the army,-herself more excusable to be ambitious of being a bost!

overcome.” Burton pronounces it to be This occupation is, certainly, as incon- " a testy, cholerick game, and very offensistent with the character of an Asiatic sive to him that loseth the mate” The princess of the days of yore as with that wife of Ferrand, count of Flanders, of a modern belle; for all history informs allowed her husband to remain in prison, us that the eastern queen was no more when she could easily have procured his than the humble slave, and inanimate liberation, in consequence of their mutual amusement, of her royal spouse. There hatred produced by chess-playing! And is but one oriental lady in the pages of history gives us many other instances of ancient annals who acted the part of the the vindictive feeling which this "moral" queen of chess,—who fought, and who pastime generates. Pliny informs us that conquered,—and that lady is Semiramis. Numidia Quadratilla used always to send To ber reign, therefore, do I attribute the her grandson out of the room when “she invention of chess. It is indisputably of used to relax her mind with a game of Asiatic origin, and of very great antiquity. chess."—And Ovid instructs the lover to The earliest writer upon the subject who be especially particular in allowing his appears to have given it any serious con- lady-love to win the game: the triumph sideration places its birth (as we have of his skill might cost him the heart of seen above) in Babylon : and, moreover, his indignant antagonist. the institution of the game would, at that It will, probably, be objected to my particular period, have been not only humble conjecture, « that the queen used probable in appearance, but politic in not to be the leading piece upon the practice. It would have been, during board ; that the ancient name for that that reign, not only a pleasant amusement, 'piece was “ fers,” or “ferce," - which, but a piece of most delicate flattery to Hyde says, is obviously derived from the the royal heroism; it would then have Persian “phez,” or “pherzan," a general, been an entertaining method of teaching or chief counsellor,-a title by which that her idle subjects that their empress piece was distinguished in the east : and was their lord and their leader,--the that must be the original name of the gainer of their glory,-the palladium of piece, because all the terms of the game their prosperity. I can discover no other were derived from the Persian.” To this, way of explaining the extraordinary regu. I shall briefly reply that I donbt the delations of the game.

riration from such a source: and, seThe objects, which have been assigned condly, that the piece we call the “queen" as contemplated by the inventors of chess, has been supposed to be a female, as long appear to me most unsatisfactory. “It was as the game has been known in Europe. constructed (says one party) for the purpose First. It is asserted that the same of teaching a king humility: to show him terms in the game are used by all the he is supported solely by the exertions of world, and that those terms are of Persian his subjects.” This is true; but it also origin : for instance “check-mate," which instructs him that at the king's downfall is derived from “ shâk-mât,"_" the king the whole nation must perish ; and it is conquered.” To this I must reply, does any thing but teach him to submit that the French never used that term: to restraint, when it proves that the com- their expression-indicative of the pomonweal must be ruined when even the liteness of the nation – was “ave, king is check'd on all sides. “ It was “hail,” to the king,-a Latin salutation; invented (says another exposition) to and the idea of deriving “ check” from withdraw the attention of the hungry from “shâk” is too ridiculous to require furthe contemplation of their bunger." But ther comment. In the oldest MSS. quoted starvation has a voice, which, like every by Strutt, the names of the men are as other ventriloquism, can be heard both English as they are now. The bishop is far and near! Montaigne thought so called “the archer;" the castle is termed lightly of the interest of the game, that “rook,” or “ roc;" apd if, indeed, “roc” he writes, “ I hate and avoid it, because be a Persian word, signifying (properly) it is not play enough :” and as to the a rock, I think we have a word very much * moral" of the amusement, he declares like it in our own language.



al 기


Secondly. The queen I will maintain ture that the game of chess was invented to have always been considered a lady, out of compliment to Semiramis, inas whatever her appellation might have been much as there appears no other way of In the Harleian MSS., where she is called accounting for the particular character “ fers,” she is also termed “reyne," and enacted by “ the queen. “ regina." In the account of the Fanciful

P. P. Pipps. Dance, performed before queen Whims, March, 1831. which was neither more nor less than a large game with animate chessmen-(such as,

The KNIGHTS' LEAPS. we read in actual history, that John, duke

MR. Hoxe—The subjoined Knights' of Austria, and a certain duke of Weimar, grand leaps over the whole Chess-board were wont to have played in a large ball,

are much at your service for the Year purposely chequered black and white, Book. where their servants moved, a-la-chess

Chess BOARD NUMBERED to enable the men, at their bidding), - Rabelais enu

reader to perform the leaps. merates the performers, and calls them “ a king, a queen, two archers,” &c., and she is characterised, throughout, as acting

3 4 5 6

8 the part of a lady. Chaucer, in his “ Booke of the Duchesse,” introduces the

10 11 12 13 14 | 15 | 16 sorrowful John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, lamenting the death of Blanch, his 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 consort, and makes him complain that he had played at chess with fortune, when

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 | 32 “ With her false draughts full diverse ? She stale on me and toke my fers.

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Which “ fers” evidently means his chichesse; for he continues, that

41 42 43 44 45 | 46 47 | 18 Through that draught I have lorne My blisse : alas, that I was borne'

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 And now his only wish is to die.

I hope it will be acknowledged that 57 | 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 here is some foundation for my conjecLeap 1. From 4 to 21 to 6 to 16 to 31 to 48 to 63 to 53 to 59 to 49 to 43 to 28

to 38 to 55 to 61 to 44 to 34 to 17 to 2 to 12 to 22 to 39 to 56 to 62 10 45 to 51 to 57 to 42 to 25 to 19 to 36 to 30 to 13 to 7 to 24 to 14 to 8 to 23 to 40 to 46 to 29 to 35 to 52 to 58 to 41 to 26 to 9 to 3 to 18 to 1 to 11 to 5 to 15 to 32

to 47 to 64 to 54 to 60 to 50 to 33 to 27 to 37 to 20 to 10 to 4, Leap 2. From 19 to 4 to 21 to 6 to 16 to 31 to 48 to 63 to 46 to 36 to 30 10 40

to 55 to 61 to 51 to 57 to 42 to 25 to 10 to 20 to 35 to 32 to 62 to 56 to 39 to 24 to 7 to 13 to 3 to 9 to 26 to 41 to 58 to 43 to 28 to 45 to 60 to 50 to 33 to 18 to 1 to 11 to 5 to 15 to 32 to 22 to 12 to 2 to 17 to 27 to 37 to 47 to 64 to

54 to 44 to 34 10 49 to 59 to 53 to 38 to 23 to 8 to 14 to 29 to 19. Leap 3. From 1 to 11 to 17 to 2 to 19 to 9 to 3 to 13 to 7 to 22 to 16 to 6 to 12

to 27 to 21 to 4 to 10 to 25 to 42 to 57 to 51 to 61 to 55 to 40 to 23 to 8 to 14 to 24 to 39 to 56 to 62 to 52 to 58 to 41 to 26 to 20 to 5 to 15 to 32 to 38 to 48 to 63 to 53 to 59 to 49 to 43 to 28 to 34 to 44 to 29 to 35 to 45 to 30 to 36 to 46 to

31 to 37 to 47 to 64 to 54 to 60 to 50 to 33 to 18 to 1. Leap 4. From 9 to 3 10 20 to 5 to 22 to 16 to 6 to 12 to 2 to 17 to 11 to 1 to 18

10 33 to 27 to 37 to 31 to 46 to 63 to 48 to 54 to 64 to 47 to 53 10 59 to 49 10 34 to 28 to 38 to 32 to 15 to 21 to 4 to 10 to 25 to 35 to 29 10 39 to 56 to 62 to 45 to 55 to 61 to 44 to 50 to 60 to 43 to 58 to 52 to 42 to 57 to 51 to 41 to 26 to

36 to 30 to 40 to 23 to 8 to 14 to 24 to 7 to 13 to 19 to 9. Leap 5. From 25 to 10 to 4 to 14 to 8 to 23 to 29 to 19 10 2 to 17 to 27 to 21 to

31 to 16 to 6 to 12 to 18 to 1 to 11 to 28 to 22 to 32 to 15 to 5 to 20 to 26 to 9 to 3 10 13 10 7 to 24 to 30 to 40 to 55 to 61 to 51 to 57 to 42 to 36 to 46 10 63 to 48 to 38 to 44 to 34 to 49 to 59 to 53 to 47 to 64 to 54 to 37 10 43 to

33 to 50 to 60 10 45 to 39 to 56 to 62 to 52 to 58 to 41 to 35 to 25. The leaps may be commenced on any given square March 12, 1831.


« ZurückWeiter »