Hoyle's Games, Improved And Enlarged - online book

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324                             CHESS.
quence, that the first means of applying the prin­ciple consists in seizing the initiative or the offen­sive. In order, therefore, to apply skilfully this incontrovertible principle, castle as early as pos­sible, by which you place your king in a position of security, and bring a powerful piece, the rook, into action. But if, on the other hand, vour ad-versary should have seized the initiative, do not castle until he has well developed his attack, and the castle on the opposite side, by which you re­move your king out of the tactical direction, or the radius of attack, and oblige your adversary to change his front. Should you, on the other hand, imprudently castle on the side on which your ad­versary has developed his attack, you execute a flank march before an army in position, and, like Soubise at Rosbach, will infallibly lose your army and your honour. Act, therefore, always en masse, reconnoitre well your adversary's posi­tion, and remember that it is skilful disposition and a rapid combination of simultaneous attacks which determines the result. Chess being a game of pure skill, induces many people to look upon a great chess player as a being endowed with a superior capacity ; but this I have no hesitation in ranking as a popular fallacy. Some of the greatest chess players have in other respects been mere imbeciles ; while, on the other hand, men of the most splendid genius have never been able to attain more than a mediocrity of skill. Early instruction— constant practice, limited to one single object—a mechanical memory for combination, strengthened by exercise—and that peculiar turn for play which is so much more powerfully developed in some men than in others—these are the sources of the science of Chess, but which are, however, no indication of other talents. Nevertheless,
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