Hoyle's Games, Improved And Enlarged - online book

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like Montaigne, I do not rank Chess as a puerile game; it is an agreeable pastime, and by exer­cising the intellectual powers in the combination of ideas, barren it is true, will form the mind of youth to earlv habits of reflection and induction, that will prepare it for other combinations of the highest importance in the great game of life.
Chess, it is generally asserted, bears a striking analogy, to the science of war, and, as a co­rollary it follows that a great general must be a great chess player. The latter is not borne out by historical fact. Gustavus Adolphus, Charles the Twelfth, Napoleon, and a host of other distin­guished warriors, were but indifferent chess players. Neither does Chess bear the analogy to war which is so generally supposed. Strategi­cally speaking, I grant there may be some identity of principles; but tactically speaking, it does not exist; and the reason is obvious—in actual ope­rations in the field, locality plays a distinguished part—a field of battle generally presenting every variety of ground, while the chess-board is marked by the greatest uniformity of configuration. To obviate, in fact, this defect, it is that tacticians have long felt the desideratum of a game which should present a more faithful image of war, and afford an opportunity of combining the action of the three arms, and of making the application of their evolutions to every variety of ground. With this view, a game (Jeu de la Guerre} was invented about the beginning of the present century by a Swiss, to which the celebrated Massena for a time devoted considerable attention. But a still more complete game, the Kreiggs Spiele, was in­vented a few years ago by a Prussian officer of artillery, which caused at the time considerable sensation in the military circles on the Continent.
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