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STAUNTON'S ANALYSIS OF THE KING'S AND QUEEN'S GAMBITS
A SERIES OF CHESS T A L E S,
ENGRAVED FROM OFIGINAL DESIGNS.
THE WHOLE EXTRACTED AND TRANSLATFD FROM THE BEST solo RCEs,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848. By D. APPLETON & COMPANY., in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York
THE distinction with which the game of Chess is viewed by those initiated in its mysteries, being as well merited as it is general, it becomes superfluous with such to insist upon its right to be classed as an exalted source of recreation.
To those unacquainted with this noble game we would say, however, that it is distinguished from all other games, by the suffrages of many writers on education. Eminent men of every age and clime have been its votaries; illustrious generals have directed engagements on its field; mathematicians have examined its positions, and calculated the force of specific combinations, while divines have exercised contemplation in its vicissitudes.
“The silly prejudice,” says a late English writer, “that Chess is a mere recreation, and the acquisition of a knowledge of its principles a waste of time, has long been rejected by every one capable of forming a judgment upon the matter; and it is now generally admitted to partake more of the character of a science, than that of a simple pastime. That employment surely cannot be wholly purposeless, which enables one to exercise and bring into play many of the qualities necessary to a successful progress in the great game of life. Calculation, foresight-well arranged, and well digested plans of action,-the habit of never commencing an undertaking, until the issue of it
has been thoroughly considered,—steadiness in prosperity, patience in difficulty, a strictly guarded temper; and last, though not least, courtesy and amenity of manner-all these are requisite to make a good Chess-player; and will the possession of them not do yeoman's service to any man, be his profession or calling what it may ? To the objection, that Chess is apt to engross time that ought to be devoted to more important objects, it may be answered, that abuse does not abrogate use; and that a habit of intoxication in one person is no reason why another, who has more command over himself, should not be solaced with an occasional glass or two of wine.” In our own country, Benjamin Franklin, than whom a greater economist of time never existed, was a warm advocate of the game of Chess. The following extract from his memoirs shows, that rather than relinquish his favorite recreation, he devised means to turn to account the time he allotted to its pursuit: “I had begun in 1733,” says he, “to study languages; I soon made myself so much a master of the French, as to be able to read the books in that language with ease; I then undertook the Italian: an acquaintance, who was also learning it, used often to tempt me to play Chess with him: finding this took up much of the time I had to spare for study, I at length refused to play any more, unless on this condition, that the victor in every game should have a right to impose a task, either of parts of the grammar to be got by heart, or in translations, &c. which tasks the vanquished was to perform upon honor before our next meeting: as we played pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language.” At the period above referred to, Franklin was but twenty-eight years of age : in after life, and amid his busy career, Chess was ever his favorite source of relaxation. He has left us an essay entitled “The Morals of Chess,” from which it may not be irrelevant in an American book, to quote a few passages: