William Ewart Napier

Lockdown and subsequent restrictions have given me time to browse the dustier reaches of my chess library, including Napier's Paul Morphy and the Golden Age of Chess, a compilation of his three booklets Amenities and Background of Chess, each a selection of 100 lightly annotated games to amuse and provide an educative ABC. Horowitz edited this combined work and commented:

Comment on Poe's view of 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?'.

Shakespeare annotates

Pinched wholemeal (as opposed to piecemeal) from Irving Chernev.
"In a book called Chesslets, by Dr. J. Schumer, all the games are annotated by quotations from various writers.


  Here is one of the games, with comments by Shakespeare:"

-- CHERNEV, Wonders and curiosities of chess

(27) Atkins - Saunders [E90]

  Stratford-Upon-Avon, 1925



  To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning.

Chess Stories

Playing Botvinnik

"If you play Botvinnik, it is even alarming to see him write his move down. Slightly short-sighted, he stoops over his scoresheet and devotes his entire attention to recording the move in the most beautifully clear script; one feels that an explosion would not distract him and that examined through a microscope not an irregularity would appear. When he wrote down 1.c2-c4 against me, I felt like resigning."

Capablanca's Challenge

Chess Quotes

"Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe"

(Everyone's favourite chess quote - Chernev, Knight, Reinfeld, me...)

The mind of a Grandmaster

Not Safe For Work. Or Juniors. Or the Faint of Heart. Proceed at your own risk... Nigel Short speaks:
"I'm going to give him a good rogering"
"T.D.F." (= Trap, Dominate, Fuck)
"I'm going to give it to him good and hard"
Chapter One, page 9, Dominic Lawson's The Inner Game.

  If psychoanalytic/psychodynamic/depth psychology approaches to chess interest you, there is Ernest Jones' very well-known account of the life of Paul Morphy, and Cockburn's

What I know about chess

[to be read aloud slowly to a group after a year's practice... or give them a copy to mark]

[PDF version for printing]

Chess is a fun game and easy to learn.  You play on a board of 164 squares, which are coloured light and dark, and there are two armies, one black and grey.  The rows are called ranks and the columns are called officers.

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