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contented soldiery; to employ their vacant hours in lessons on the military art, and to cherish the spirit of conquest in the bosom of winter quarters. Its age is traced by them on record near two centuries before the Christian æra; and among the numerous claims for this noble invention, that of the Chinese, who call it, by way of distinction, Chong Ke, or the Royal Game, "ppears alone to be indisputable.

"I have the honour to remain,

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Translation of an Extract from the Concum, or Chinese Annals, respecting the Invention of the Game of Chess, delivered to me by Tinqua, a Soldier Mandarin, of the province of Fokein.

"THREE hundred and seventy-nine years after the time of Confucius, or 1965 years ago, Hung Cochu, King of Kiangnan, sent an expedition into the Shensi country, under the command of a Mandarin, called Hansing, to conquer it. After one successful campaign, the soldiers were put into winter quarters; where, finding the weather much colder than what they had been accustomed to, and being also deprived of their wives and families, the army, in general, became im

patient of their situation, and clamorous to return home. Hansing, upon this, revolved in his mind the bad consequences of complying with their wishes. The necessity of soothing his troops, and reconciling them to their position, appeared urgent, in order to finish his operations in the ensuing year. He was a man of genius, as well as a good soldier ; and having contemplated some time on the subject, he invented the Game of Chess, as well for an amusement to his men in their vacant hours, as to inflame their military ardour, the Game being wholly founded on the principles of war. The stratagem succeeded to his wish. The soldiery were delighted with the Game; and forgot, in their daily contests for victory, the inconveniencies of their post. In the spring, the general took the field again; and, in a few months, added the rich country of Shensi to the kingdom of Kiangnan, by the defeat and capture of its king, Choupayuen, a famous warrior among the Chinese. On this conquest Hung Cochu assumed the title of Emperor, and Choupayuen put an end to his own life in despair."

N. B. The above letter is accompanied with plates of the Chinese Chess Board, and an explanation of the positions, powers, and moves of the Pieces.




Of the Theoretical Principles.

To which is added,




On the Nature of the Game, the Arrangement, and various Movements of the Pieces.

THE present Chapter will be found of service to those who may be deficient in the knowledge of the first elements of Chess: in it is demonstrated the nature of the Game, the arrangement of the Pieces, and their various movements, the whole explained in such a manner, that, while it serves as necessary instruction to beginners, it may not be displeasing to others.


The Game of Chess is a battle of fictitious combatants, who seek to imprison the adverse King, constituted in actual attack, without remedy, which is explained by the term of “Checkmate." As in this mimic war, proof is made of the industry of him, who conducts, and moderates the combatants; thus justice requires that both the adverse armies should be perfectly equal, in the number, order, and power of the pieces, as Vida says:

“Agmina bina pari, numeroque, et viribus æquis.”

The field of battle is the Chess Board, which is a square table, composed of sixty-four smaller squares, called houses, black and white alternately, divided into eight files, each of which therefore is of eight houses in a right line, arranging the Chess-board in such a manner, that the square of the angle, to the right of the Player, may be white; this however, not absolutely affecting the intrinsic nature of the game; but the authority of writers is founded on the most ancient invariable practice, and observance of the Players.

There are eight Pieces, and eight Pawns on each side, one set black, and the other white: the eight Pieces are the King, the Queen, two,

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