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An old fashioned Facebook-style rant -- about why chess sucks

An old fashioned Facebook-style rant -- about why chess sucks

Nov 5, 2016, 10:48 PM 0

Science fiction writer H.G. Wells apparently played some chess but had mixed feelings about the activity.

If you don't recognize the name, you may recognize his work. He wrote short stories including The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine and others which have been made, and re-made, into Hollywood movies time after time.

A quote of his about chess recently popped up in a chess.com article, which prompted me to google and find the whole essay: http://www.readprint.com/chapter-53020/Certain-Personal-Matters-HG-Wells

I had this blog almost finished when I realized the amazing chess.com personality "batgirl" had already written about the essay, and even dug up some period artwork depicting Wells locked in a chess game of some sort: https://www.chess.com/blog/batgirl/concerning-h-g-wells 

As somebody who works in media, it's remarkable to me how well this type of writing has aged, even if the prose is a little inflated. Basically, the essays are the old-fashioned equivalent of facebook rants, except that they rely on actual written-word wit, without emoticons or memes. Mark Twain wrote essays in a similar fashion criticizing the German language and also the writings of James Fenimore Cooper. Well's essay about chess seems similar to how a present day comedian might write at length about how annoying the Words with Friends app is, or how irritating Farmville requests can be.

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