10 December, 2009

Chess, the Game of War

The present world war has given great impetus to the game of Chess. In the prison camps, in the field hospitals, in the training camps and even in the trenches Chess has become a favorite occupation in hours of leisure, not only because it offers a most fascinating pastime, but mainly because it serves beyond any doubt to develop what is now the most interesting study for every soldier--the grasp of the principles underlying military strategy and the ability to conceive and to carry out military operations on a large scale. Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Moltke, the great scientists of war, had a decided liking for the game of Chess and owed to it many an inspiration which helped them in laying out their military plans. Indeed, no other game exists which offers such complete analogies to war. Two armies oppose each other on the Chess board, composed of different units which may well be compared with infantry, cavalry and artillery. The success of the operations on the board, which represents the battlefield, does not depend upon any element of chance, but solely upon the ingenuity and the skill of the players who are the commanders-in-chief of the forces. Although a Chess game differs from a battle in that the material strength of the opponents is equal, the order of events is the same in Chess as in war.


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