Essay By Hg Wells

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It ensures that you always play a winning game in these happy days of your chess childhood, and taste the one sweet of chess-playing, the delight of having the upper hand of a better player.

Then to more complicated positions, and at last back to the formal beginning. George Mivart, who can find happiness in the strangest places, would be at a loss to demonstrate it upon the chess-board.

Before the beginner can understand the beginning of the game he must surely understand the end; how can he commence playing until he knows what he is playing for?

It is like starting athletes on a race, and leaving them to find out where the winning-post is hidden.

Your true teacher of chess, your subtle chess-poisoner, your cunning Comus who changes men to chess-players, begins quite the other way round.

He will, let us say, give you King, Queen, and Pawn placed out in careless possible positions.

You see with more than daylight clearness that it was the Rook you should have moved, and not the Knight. Vast desert boards lie for the chess-player beyond the gates of horn.

Stalwart Rooks ram headlong at one, Knights hop sidelong, one's Pawns are all tied, and a mate hangs threatening and never descends.

Wells writes of playing chess at a hotel until a train arrives.

His essay, "Concerning Chess," published in Certain Personal Matters: A Collection of Material, Mainly Autobiographical in 1897, was first published in the Pall Mall Gazette on February 12, 1895.


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