An Introduction to the History and Study of Chess: With Copious Descriptions, Etymological & Practical; Together with a System of Elementary Rules for Playing; to which is Added, The Analysis of Chess, of André Danican Philidor; the Whole Simplifyed and Arranged in a Manner Entirely New.
By Thomas Pruen. 1804
A couple passages on Chess' all-consuming nature:
. . .In their Critical Review for September, 1787, is the following passage:
"The enthusiastic admiration of Chess-players , for their game, is
easily accounted for by those who have felt its influence, and have
known the uncommon hold it takes of the mind and its affections.
Equal players labour with great earnestness ; and a casual absence of
mind alone determines the game. We have heard of a lady's suffering
herself to be undressed, without perceiving it, while immersed in the
mysterious movements of queens, bishops, and knights."
A pamphlet, entitled A Letter to a young Gentleman just entered at the University, published at Oxford in 1784, has this paragraph :
Chess, by my advice, you will always continue to practise. If we
should meet when you are some years older, I will tell you the
various reasons which I have for advising you to play at this game,
in preference to any game that depends only on chance. Remember
too, that after having been able to learn Chess, you must not complain
of an inability to learn any thing else."
This extreme interest in the game, renders the playing for money unusual,! as well as unnecessary. M. de Legalle, however, the instructor of Philidor, used to win half a crown a game of the Chancellor d'Aguesseau, and his scholar would frequently find persons to play with him at a crown a game ; but it may be supposed the object of such persons was instruction, and not money.
Hoyle also taught how to open the game, at a crown a lesson.
Exquisite or Noteworthy Chess Sets:
Dr. Hyde says, that Lewis the Xlllth of France had a chess-board quilted with wool, the men each with a point at the bottom ; by which means he played when riding in a carriage, stacking the men in the cushion.
Chess-boards are now commonly made for the use of those who travel by water, or in a carriage, with a hole in each square, a peg at the bottom of every man, and fifteen holes on each side of the board to hold the prisoners.
Charles I. had an elegant set of chessmen, which were kept in a magnificent bag. They are now in the possession of Lord Barrington. The chess-board is inlaid with ebony and ivory, of which materials the pieces are likewise made. The kings and queens are whole-length human figures, representing European and African sovereigns.
In 1747 there was at Rotterdam, in the possession of a coffee-house-keeper, a set of chess-men, which were made for Prince Eugene. They were three inches in height, of solid silver, chased ; not different in colour, but sufficiently distinguished, by one party representing an European, and the other an Asiatic army.
A most valuable set of chess-men are also preserved at Rotterdam, which were made by Vander Werf, the celebrated painter, who employed the leisure hours of eighteen years in carving them. The pieces are three inches high, and the pawns two ; half the number are of box, and the other half of ebony ; they are all, except the castles, busts on pedestals. The kings are decorated with a lion's skin, of which the paws are crossed on their breast. The fools (bishops with us) have caps and bells, and are represented with very grotesque countenances. The knights are horses' heads and necks, with flowing manes : the pawns, as well as the pieces, are all different, being eight Negroes and eight whites, of various ages. They are as highly finished as any of his paintings, and are in the possession of his grandson, Mr. Gevers.
The Icelanders, who are great players, make their men of fish bones. They have the bishops as we have; their rooks are officers called centurions, who are represented sounding a horn.
The modern Indian pieces are sometimes made of solid ivory, five or six inches high. The king and queen are seated on elephants, under a canopy, and surrounded by their guards : the bishops are camels, with archers as their riders, and the knights are on horseback, both surrounded with guards likewise ; the castles are elephants, with a great gun on each side, suspended from the saddle, or a castle on their backs filled with warriors ; the pawns are soldiers — one is a serjeant, another a drummer, and another a fifer, the rest private soldiers. They are sometimes made with red and white carnelian, and are then very beautiful and valuable.
Chess Variants Prior to the 19th Century:
There appears to have been a game very like Chess, called the Philosopher's Game. The board of this game is eight squares in breadth, and sixteen in height. There are twenty-four men on a side, represented as fiat pieces of wood, cut in the form of circles, triangles, and squares. The king is a square, on which is a triangle and a circle. The bottom or lower part of every man (except the two kings) must be marked with his adversary's colour, that when he is taken he may change his coat, and serve him unto whom he is prisoner. The men are numbered, and are to be taken by equality, obsidian, addition, substraction, multiplication, and division, and by arithmetical, geometrical, and musical proportion.
Carrera invented two new pieces, to be added to the eight original chess-men. That which he calls campione is placed between the king's knight and castle : its move is both that of the castle and of the knight. The other, named centaur, between the queen's knight and castle, has the move of the bishop and knight united. Each of these pieces has its pawn, and, of course, the board must contain two more squares on each side, which will augment their number to eighty. This invention appears to have died with the inventor.
There was also another game, called Arch Chess, which likewise shared the fate of that of Carrera. This arch chess-board is like the Polish draught-board, with a hundred squares. — Two new pieces, and two pawns, are added on each side. The place of the first, called centurion, is between the king and his bishop, its move unites that of the queen and the castle for any two squares only, and that of the knight, so that there are sixteen places where it can go, besides its own, when in the centre of the board, but it cannot move into any of the eight squares which immediately environ it. The other piece, named decurion, is situated between the queen and her bishop ; moves and takes as the bishop does, but only one square at a time. This piece, and the adverse one, of course stand on squares of different colours, which colours they can never quit. It will appear, that in this game, as well as in that by Carrera, the black king must at the beginning stand on a white square, and the queen, who must always be placed on a square of her own colour, will then be at his left.
The late Duke of Rutland invented a complicated game, which Sir Abraham Janssen, who was accounted, in his time, the best chess-player in England, was very much attached to. The board is 14 squares in breadth, and 10 in height, which makes 140 houses ; 14 pieces and 14 pawns on a side : the pawns might move either one, two, or three squares, the first time.
The pieces were, the king, the queen, the two bishops, two knights, a crowned castle, uniting the move of the king and castle, and a common castle. On the other side of the king, was a concubine, whose move was that of the castle and the knight united, two bishops, a single knight, a crowned castle, and a common one.
The best players at this game, after Sir Abraham, were Stamma, Dr. Cowper, and Mr. Salvador. Philidor, in less than two months, was able to give a knight to each of these gentlemen at this game. It may be observed, that the pawns are here of very' little use ; and that by the extent of the board the knights lose much of their value, which of course renders the game more defective, and less interesting, than the common one ; and since the death of Sir Abraham, in 1763, it is forgotten, or at least disused.
Marshall Keith devised an amusement, somewhat of the nature of Chess, ith
which the King of Prussia was much delighted. It consisted of several thousand statues, or men, that he would oppose to each other in battle, and by their movements shew the advantage or disadvantage of different modes of attack and defence.
Don John of Austria had a chamber in which was a chequered pavement of black and white marble : upon this, living men moved under his direction, according to the laws of Chess. The same thing is told of the Duke of Weimar, who in squares of white and black marble played at Chess with real soldiers.
Rabelais mentions three games at Chess, played with living men and women : "trente-deux personnaiges du bal combattent".
There is a curious game, in which a king and eight pawns, beat a whole set of pieces and pawns, by being allowed to make two moves to every single one of the adversary. The king with the pawns only is almost certain of winning the game, for he may make his first move into check, and his second out of it, so that he can take the queen when she stands immediately before her king, and then retreat ; but he may not remain in check, neither can he himself he checkmated, unless his adversary has preserved his queen and both his castles.
Kempelen's Chess-playing Automaton:
In the year 1783, M. De Kempelen, an Hungarian, appeared in London with an Automaton Chess-player, which he exhibited at five shillings. This figure is as large as life, in a Turkish dress, sitting behind a table with doors, of three feet and a half in length, two in depth, and two and a half in height. The chair on which it sits is fixed to the table, which runs on four wheels : the automaton leans its right arm on the table, and in its left hand holds a pipe ; with this hand it plays, after the pipe is removed.
A chess-board of eighteen inches is fixed before it. This table, or rather cupboard, contains wheels, levers, cylinders, and other pieces of mechanism ; all which are publicly displayed ; the vestments of the automaton are then lifted over its head, and the body is seen full of similar wheels and levers : there is a little door in its thigh, which is likewise opened : and with this, and the table also open, and the automaton
uncovered, the whole is wheeled about the room : the doors are then shut, and the automaton is ready to play, and it always takes the first move. At every motion the wheels are heard, the image moves its head, and looks over every part of the chess-board ; when it checks the queen it shakes its head twice, and thrice in giving check to the king. It likewise shakes its head when a false move is made, replaces the piece, and makes its own move, by which means the adversary loses one.
M. De Kempelen remarked to Mr. Twiss, that though this figure had been exhibited to mathematicians and chess-players, in great part of Europe, yet the secret by which he governed the motion of the arm had never been discovered. He prided himself solely on the construction of the mechanical powers by which the arm could perform ten or twelve moves ; it then required to be wound up like a watch; after which it was capable of continuing the same number of motions.
The automaton could not play unless M. De Kempelen, or his substitute, was near it to direct its moves. A small square box, during the game, was frequently consulted by the exhibitor : and herein consisted the secret, which he told Mr. Twiss he could in a moment communicate. He who could
beat M. De Kempelen, was, of course, certain of conquering the automaton.
The strongest and best armed load-stone was allowed to be placed on the machine by any of the spectators.
The Monthly Review for April 1784 says, that this automaton had beaten, amongst other great players, the celebrated Mr. Philidor. But this Mr. Twiss declares to be a mistake ; for that Mr. Philidor could give M. De Kempelen a castle and beat him.
It was the opinion of many that the whole was carried on by the help of a confederate, and a pamphlet was even published on the subject ; but the minutest investigation has left no room for this suspicion.
The Knight's Tour - apparently a novelty of the time:
Not altogether unconnected with the contents of this chapter is the account of a trick that may be played, of covering the sixty-four squares of the chess-board by the knight at as many moves.
There are several ways of doing it ; but the celebrated De Moivre having given one, which is nearly on a regular defined plan, it is presumed the reader will not be displeased at seeing it.
Supposing the squares to be numbered, beginning at the farthest left hand corner, the moves would be as follows :
The knight's first place would be on No. 8, second on 23, third on 40, fourth on 55, fifth on 61, sixth on 51, seventh on 57, eighth on 42, ninth on 25, tenth on 10, eleventh on 4, twelfth on 14, thirteenth on 24, fourteenth on 39, fifteenth on 56, sixteenth on 62, seventeenth on 52, eighteenth on 58, nineteenth on 41, twentieth on 26, twenty-first on 9, twenty-second on 3, twenty-third on 13, twenty-fourth on 7, twenty-fifth on 22, twenty-sixth on 32, twenty-seventh on 47, twenty-eighth on 64, twenty-ninth on 54, thirtieth on 60, thirty-first on 50, thirty-second on 33, thirty-third on 18, thirty-fourth on 1, thirty-fifth on 11, thirty-sixth on 5, thirty-seventh on 15, thirty-eighth
on 21, thirty-ninth on 6, fortieth on 16, forty-first on 31, forty-second on 48, forty-third on 63, forty-fourth on 53, forty-fifth on 59, forty-sixth on 49, forty-seventh on 34, forty-eighth on 17, forty-ninth on 2, fiftieth on 12, fifty-first on 27, fifty-second on 44, fifty-third on 38, fifty-fourth on 28, fifty-fifth on 43, fifty-sixth on 37, fifty-seventh on 20, fifty-eighth on 35, fifty-ninth on 45, sixtieth on 30, sixty -first on 36, sixty-second on 19, sixty-third on 29, sixty-fourth on 46.
Philidor's Legacy (it's interesting to note that the name of this maneuvor existed as such already in 1804):
There is another trick, which will amuse the young player much more, called " Philidors Legacy." whether it were written by that master or not, it is clever, and deserves notice ; and the learner will find it inserted among the games.
OF CHESS-PLAYERS, AND PUBLICATIONS ON CHESS.
THE following sovereigns were admirers of the game, and some of them great players.
The Emperor Charlemagne.
The Emperor Alexius Comnenus.
Richard Coeur de Lion.
Sebastian, King of Portugal.
Philip II. King of Spain.
The Emperor Charles V.
Catherine of Medicis, Queen of France.
Pope Leo X.
Henry IV. of France.
James I. King of England,
Charles XII. King of Sweden.
Frederic, the late King of Prussia, &c.
The Prince De Tingry, a lieutenant-general in the French army, and knight of the Holy Ghost, died while playing at Chess.
The playing blind-folded, or with two or more antagonists at once, is not a novel thing. In the year 1266, there was at Florence a Saracen, named Buzecca, who played at one time at three chess-boards, with the best masters of Chess in Florence, playing with two by memory, and with the third by sight ; two games he won, and the third he made a drawn game (by a perpetual check), which circumstance was at that time esteemed marvellous.'
Salvio used to play blind-folded, as appears by his book.
Keysler, in his account of Turin, in 1749, says, " The late Father Sacchieri, of Turin, was a remarkable instance of the strength of human understanding, particularly that faculty which we term memory. He could play at Chess with three different persons at the same time, even without seeing any one of the chess-boards. He required no more than that his substitute should tell him what piece his antagonist had moved, and Sacchieri could direct what step was to be taken on his side, holding at the same time conversation with the company. If any dispute arose about the place where any piece should be, he could tell every move that had been made, not only by himself but by his antagonist, from the beginning of the game ; and in this manner incontestably decide the proper place of the piece."
Verci says he played to perfection on four chess-boards. Sokeikes, an Arabian author, speaks of several Arabians who played at Chess blindfold, and of others who played at two boards at the same time. . .In the year 970, a Greek, named Jusuph Tchelebi, who had travelled through India and Persia, and seen many kingdoms, played at Chess at Tripoli, in Syria, blindfold. The chess-men which he used were very large, and he played, not by naming the moves, but by feeling the men, and placing them in the squares, or taking them off, as occasion required. The Indians are very expert at Chess, and it rarely happens that an European can contend with them.
The celebrated Philidor, who studied Chess when very young under M. De Legalle, the best player in France, soon equalled, and at length beat his master, and to the day of his death remained unrivalled. He was first induced to turn his mind to the playing without seeing the board by M. De Legalle asking him whether he had made the attempt to which he replied, that as he had calculated moves, and even whole games, in bed, he thought he could do it, and immediately played a game with the Abbe Chenard, which he won without seeing the board, and without hesitating upon any of the moves. Finding he could readily play a single game, he offered to play two games at the same time, which he did at a coffee-house ; and of this party, the following account is given in the French Encyclopedic :
We had at Paris a young man of eighteen, who played at the same
time two games at Chess without seeing the boards, beating two
antagonists, to either of whom he, though a first-rate player, could
otherwise only give the advantage of a knight. We shall add to this
account a circumstance, of which we were eye-witnesses : In the
middle of one of his games a false move was designedly made, which,
after a great number of moves he discovered, and placed the piece
where it ought to have been at first. On the 8th of May, 1783, he
played three games at once without seeing either of the tables. His
opponents were, Count Bruhl, Mr. Bowdler (the two best players in
London), and Mr. Maseres. He beat the Count in an hour and twenty
minutes, and Mr. Maseres, to whom he gave the king's bishop's pawn,
as well as the move, which he allowed to the others, in two hours ;
Mr. Bowdler reduced his game to a drawn battle in an hour and three
quarters. The 10th of May, 1788, he played three games with Count
Bruhl, Mr. Nowell, and Mr. Leycester, and beat each of them : to the
former he gave the move, and to the latter two the king's bishop's
pawn and the move. The 13th of March, 1790, he played three games
more, with the Honourable H. S. Conway, Captain Smith, and Mr.
Sheldon, beating them, though giving the move to each. With Mr.
Conway he saw the board. He went through the whole with astonishing
accuracy, and often corrected mistakes in those who had the board
before them. Philidor sat with his back to the tables, and some
gentleman present, who took his part, informed him of the moves of
his antagonist (unless he himself called them), and then by his direction,
played his pieces as he dictated. The idea of the intellectual labour
that he was suffering at first suggested painful sensations to the
spectators, which, however, were soon dissipated, as he seldom
paused above -half a minute, and seemed to undergo little mental
fatigue, being somewhat jocose through the whole, and uttering
occasionally many pleasantries that diverted the company. When,
the intrinsic difficulty of the game is considered, as well as the great
skill of his adversaries, he not having inexperienced, but some of the
best players in Europe to contend with, who of course conducted it
with the most subtle complications, this exertion seems nearly
miraculous, and deserves to be recorded as a proof, at once
interesting and astonishing, of the power of human intelligence.
In 1751, Philidor went to Berlin, under the hopes of playing with the
King ; who, however, declined it. The King saw him play several times
at Potsdam, but did not play with him himself: there was a Marquis
De Varennes, and a certain Jew, who played even with the King,
and to each of these Philidor gave a knight, and beat them. The best
chess-players who were living in England, during :; the last century,
were Mr. Cunningham, Lord Sunderland, Lord Godolphin, Lord Elibank,
Count Bruhl, the Honourable Henry Conway, Lord Harrowby,
Mr. Bowdler, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Cargyll, Sir Abraham Janssen, P. Stamma,
Dr. Black, Dr. Cowper, and Mr. Salvador.
In 1740, Philidor played a match of ten games with Stamma, giving
him the move, allowing a drawn game to be a lost one, and betting
five to four on each game. With all these advantages, Stamma won
only two games, of which one was a drawn game. In 1770, a Chess-club
was formed at the Salopian Coffee-house, Charing-cross ; and in 1774,
a new one next door to the Thatched-house, in St. James Street,
where it is still continued.
In 1783, a chess-club was established at Paris, in the new buildings of
the Duke of Orleans, near the Palais Royal, under the protection of
Monsieur, the King's brother, who was himself a member of it.
The first book on Chess was, as has been before noticed, written by Jacobus De Coesollis, in or about the year 1200. Verci says, that the original work was written either in Latin or in French ; that the Latin manuscript is still preserved in the library of the seminary in Padua ; and that the first Italian edition was printed at Florence, in 1493, in quarto, and the second at Venice, in 1534, in octavo.
The next was a translation of the above, printed by Caxton, in 1474. This translation was made from a French one by Jehan De Vignay, a Monk Hospitalar, and is a Small folio of 144 pages.
The only book on Chess of any age in the Spanish language was printed in 1561, and is a quarto of 300 pages ; the author Ruy Lopez De Sigura.
In 1617, Carrera published a quarto of 600 pages ; containing an historical account of Chess and chess-players ; a description of the pieces, and a number of games. In this book he gives some anecdotes of the celebrated player Paolo Boi.
Salvio published his II Puttino, containing an historical account of Chess and players, with upwards of sixty games, in 1634. Giachino Greco, known by the name of the Calabrois, or the Calabrian, published a book on Chess, which was translated into French, and printed at Paris in 1774. An English translation of it was published in London, in 24mo. in 1750.
Philip Stamma, a native of Aleppo, and interpreter of the Oriental languages at the English Court, published The Noble Game of Chess at London, in 1745. He seems to have been the first who specified the gamesby letters and figures. It appeared in French in 1737, at Paris.
Philidor published his " Analyse du Jeu des Echecs, 12wo. in London, in 1749;
again in an octavo of 300 pages, in 1777, one in French and another in English : and again one handsomely printed, in 2 vols. in 1790. He first gave notes, explaining the nature of the moves ; which rendered his books more valuable than any that preceded ; and his method has been copied in every succeeding publication. Indeed it seems to have been thought, that a book on Chess must necessarily be connected with the name of PHILIDOR ; and accordingly we find his Analysis generally added, and the whole publication bearing his name.
In 1763, a most formidable Chess book was publishedoat Bologna, called Osservazioni Teorico-pratiche sopra il giuoco degli Scacchi , Da Giambatista Lolli, Modonese. It is a folio of 623 pages, containing games and endings.
The Latin poem on Chess , by Marcus Hieronymus Vida, Bishop of Alba, was written in 1540. It has been frequently translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and English ; and the late Sir William Jones founded his elegant poem Caissa on it.
In 1787 was published, " Chess;" a work professing to collect every thing relating to the subject: and in 1789 a second volume.
There have been innumerable other publications on Chess, in most languages, but the above are the most worthy of note.
CASTLING. — Is the moving the king two squares leaping over one, either on his own side or on that of his queen, and placing the castle on the square over which he leaped. The old way of castling, and which is still used in some countries, was to leave it to the player's option to place his king on any one of the squares of the last row, those of the rooks included. The mode now mentioned is that which is adopted by Philidor. The king can castle but once in the game ; and not then even, in case of his either being actually in check, or having before moved, or being exposed to check in passing over any square commanded by an adversary, or with a rook that has been previously moved, or if there is any piece between him and the rook.
The propriety of this arrangement, and of some of these limitations, is strongly called in question, by a late publication, on the grounds, first, that the arrangement is destructive of uniformity ; since the king, after having castled, will, if on his own rook's side, stand one square from the end ; while on his queen's side he will be two squares : and the writer conceives, that as in the latter case the rook will have to leap over two squares instead of one, as, on the king's side, the advantage of leaping the additional square might, with more propriety, be given to the king than the rook : and, secondly, that the prohibition from castling, when he is in danger, is as extraordinary as if a general, pressed on all sides, were prevented taking refuge under the guns of a fort ; that very interesting situations occur by allowing the king to castle when in check, which cannot under a contrary precaution ; and that the prohibiting his passing a square commanded by an adversary is absurd, because not general with respect to the other pieces ; and if it were general, "Chess would have a constitution most ingeniously impracticable."
Though I have thus inserted these opinions, the remark I shall content myself
with making on the subject is, that in all laws CERTAINTY is the most desirable object ; and that a law had better be a little doubtful as to its justice than as to its operation. In the legislation of Chess, Philidor may be considered despotic, and his laws being implicitly adopted by the chess-clubs in London and Paris, perhaps the inconvenience suffered by following them will be much less than the difficulty would be of making chess-players unanimous on any proposed alteration. In castling there is the double object, of placing the king in a more secure place, and bringing the rook immediately into play.
MAKING A PAWN A QUEEN,
Whenever a pawn has reached the last row of the adversary's end of the chess-board, he may be exchanged for any piece the player pleases, although he has not previously lost one. This is contained in Philidor's IXth Law : but it must be noticed, it has been a subject of much dispute and contradiction, countrymen, who have committed as great a fault as the Germans. They are less to be excused, there being many good players among them, nay, some of them the best in Europe. I presume they have been led away (like myself formerly) by a bad custom, established, in all probability, by the persons who first brought Chess into France ; I am inclined to think it must have been some player at draughts, who knowing little more than the moves of the pieces, imagined one might make as many queens in the game at Chess as at draughts. I would only ask, what a fine sight it is to see upon the chess-board, two pawns on the same square, to distinguish a second queen ; and if by chance a third should be made (as I have often seen at Paris), then it is still a finer sight, while the bottom of the pawn is almost sufficient to cover a square on the board ! Is not, therefore, this method most ridiculous, especially as it is practised in no country where the game of Chess is known ? However, if my countrymen will go on in this erroneous way, I would advise them, to prevent all disputes that may arise about their multiplicity of queens, to make to each set of chess-men three or four queens, as many rooks, knights, &c.
The writer above-mentioned forms a candid supposition, that perhaps Philidor, in yielding to the mode, contained in the IXth Law, was overborn by a majority, prepossessed in favour of a practice to which from their first acquaintance with the game they had been accustomed. A great difficulty still overpowers the question : I have now before me an edition containing the laws published in 1790, and the one from which the above extract from Philidor is cited was printed in 1791 ; both before Philidor's death, which took place in 1795. The Indians, when their pawn has attained the line of the adversary's pieces, if it steps into the queen's, bishop's, knight's, or rook's houses, make it that officer whose station he has taken, provided such a one has previously been lost ; otherwise the pawn must be endeavoured to be protected till the requisite vacancy happens.
CHECK.— As on the political board the king never dies, so on the chess-board the king is never taken ; and, therefore, whenever he is attacked, and in such a situation as were he an inferior piece he would be captured, notice is immediately given him of his danger by the word check.
DOUBLE CHECK— is when it is given by two pieces at once, and which is not uncommon ; for example — a bishop may stand before a rook, so that either gives check, when by moving, and checking with the bishop, the rook may give check by discovery also ; and the same with the other pieces. There are three ways of getting out of check; first, by taking the piece attacking him, either by himself or one of his party : and this can only be done, in the case of double check, if one of the pieces does not guard the other. Secondly, by interposing a piece between him and the threatener ; which also cannot be done in the case of double check, or against a knight. Thirdly, by removing to another square which no hostile piece commands.
CHECKMATE— is when neither of these is in his power ; he is therefore heckmated, and the game is at an end.
It is almost needless to say, that one king cannot give check to the other, since, by it, he himself stands in a similar situation. There are different ways of giving checkmate, as follow : —
CHECKMATE by Discovery —which is when an adverse piece is opposed to the king, but is for the time incapable of injury, owing to a piece standing between him and the king : the discovery takes place when this latter piece is removed, and in case the piece removed is a hostile one ; so that the discovered check arises by the act of the enemy. It is considered a master-stroke, and frequently fatal.
BLIND MATE— is that which is given unwittingly, and not perceived till it has been done ; which, of course, is productive of but little merit, and in France, when the game is played .jtrictly, only half the stake (if there be any) is won, and even Philidor has contradicted himself upon it. Notwithstanding the express law, the meaning of which appears plain and unequivocal, he in a late edition of his Analysis has the following passage : — speaking of, and freely blaming the innovations introduced into play by the
Germans, he says, " While this field of criticism lies open, I cannot pass by my own
SMOTHERED MATE— is when the king is so surrounded by his own friends
that he cannot move out of check for them ; and this mate is generally given by the knight.
FORCED MATE — is that which is clearly seen to be inevitable, though a few desperate sacrifices might for a while protract it.
STALE MATE — called le pat by the French, and lo stallo by the Italians, (from stall) a dwelling place, because the king remains in his place, — is when the king, not being in check, is so crowded up either by his own or his adversary's pieces that he cannot move without going into check, and at the same time has no other piece to move. In this case, he is allowed with us to win the game ; in France, however, it is made a drawn game.
DRAWN GAME.— This must frequently happen between equal players; and most commonly is occasioned by one of the five following means : First, by a perpetual check ; secondly, by the two king's remaining alone on the field of battle ; thirdly, by each king having only a single piece at the end of the game, without any local advantage on either side ; fourthly, by the game being so situated, that both sides are on the defensive, and neither will be the first to yield and lose the advantage of his situation ; and lastly, when the king, having lost all his men, is not mated in fifty moves, from the unskilfulness of his enemy, according to Law XVII.
LA TAVOLA — means that kind of drawn game which is occasioned by continual checks. The French term it, Le chec perpetueL
GAMBIT, il Gambetto, Lancarella, la Gambarola, Jambette, Croc en jambe. — The real meaning of this word is doubtful ; it appears to be an expression borrowed from wrestling, when a man throws his adversary by a particular stroke of the leg. At Chess it means that kind of game which begins with pushing the king's and king's bishop's pawn two squares each, instead of making one defend the other ; or the queen's and queen's bishop's pawn. The pawn first pushed is called the gambit-pawn : this game is founded rather on experiment than on system. The surrender of the pawn, indeed, is a common feature in all the gambits ; but afterwards the moves, vary so much, and depend so greatly on the spirit of the player, that little connexion can be discovered. It appears, however, that a gambit, equally well played on both sides, will be indecisive ; though the power, whfbh he who sacrifices the pawn has, of always attacking, will be fatal, unless- the other party play uniformly well the first ten or twelve moves. It must be remarked, too, that playing the gambit is in no wise advantageous when a piece is given to the adversary.
EN PRISE. — A piece is said to be en prise, when it is in the adversary's ower to capture it.