DrDave on Poe on Chess

Barry Wood wrote a piece on this, reprinted in _Reinfeld's Treasury of Chess Lore_.

He suggests (I paraphrase), read Poe's passage.

Now say to yourself: "Poe has only just learned to play chess, and is still unsure of the moves of the pieces".

Read it over again.

Does that fit? Chess is like driving a car, after a bit you don't notice the gear changes and so on, you just enjoy the drive. Poe is still struggling with 'which one's the clutch again?'.

I don't wonder where the pieces go, when I look at a board, the natural moves and sequences of moves just start flowing. It took me a while to get into chess, but it was worth the effort. I don't think Poe ever was shown, or was not good enough to appreciate, what the complexity of chess can do for the beauty of the game (just think of the finish of Bernstein-Capablanca, the "Immortal", the "Evergreen", the Levitsky-Marshall finish - can you imagine a draughts equivalent?)

String quartets can be magnificent, but chess is an orchestra.


legacy nid: