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- Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership - 1/41 -


Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership

Complete instructions for the beginner [and] valuable suggestions for the advanced player.

by

Edward Lasker

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS E-TEXT EDITION

INTRODUCTION

THE HISTORY OF CHESS THE HISTORY OF CHECKERS

PART I: THE GAME OF CHESS

I. THE RULES OF THE GAME

Board and men The moves of the men Special terms Symbols for moves Chess laws

II. ELEMENTARY TACTICS

Fundamental endings Relative value of the men How the different men cooperate Sacrificing

III. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CHESS STRATEGY

King's Pawn openings Queen's Pawn openings The middle game

IV. ILLUSTRATIVE GAMES

Game No. 1: Jackson Showalter vs. Edward Lasker, Lexington, Ky., 1917

Game No. 2: Edward Lasker vs. Jose R. Capablanca, New York, 1915

V. PROBLEMS

PART II: THE GAME OF CHECKERS

I. THE RULES OF THE GAME

II. ELEMENTARY TACTICS

III. THE FIVE FUNDAMENTAL POSITIONS

The first position The second position The change of the move The third position The fourth position The fifth position

IV. GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND ILLUSTRATIVE GAMES

V. PROBLEMS

INFORMATION ABOUT THIS E-TEXT EDITION

The following is an e-text of "Chess and Checkers: The Way to Mastership," by Edward Lasker, copyright 1918, printed in New York.

This e-text contains the 118 chess and checkers board game diagrams appearing in the original book, plus an extra chess diagram that appears on the front cover of the book, all in the form of ASCII line drawings. The following is a key to the diagrams:

For chess pieces,

R = Rook Kt = Knight B = Bishop Q = Queen K = King P = Pawn

Black pieces have a # symbol to the left of them, while white pieces have a ^ symbol to the left of them. For example, #B is the Black bishop, while ^B is the white bishop. #Kt is the black knight, while ^Kt is the white knight. This will let the reader instantly tell by sight which pieces in the ASCII chess diagrams are black and which are white.

For Checkers pieces,

* = black single piece o = white single piece

** = black king oo = white king

Those who find these diagrams hard to read should feel free to set up them up on a game board using the actual pieces.

PREFACE

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. The troops are first mobilized and made ready for action with utmost speed, then important positions are occupied which give the troops freedom of action and insure safe lines of retreat and, finally, when the formation of the enemy is known, the strategic plan is made which the generals try to carry out by means of different tactical maneuvers.

Considering this similarity of Chess and war it is not surprising that Chess has gained greatly in popularity among all those whose work or thought is more than superficially influenced by the present war.

No special inducement, however, would be necessary to learn the game, were it more generally known that great advantage is to be derived from the study of Chess, quite apart from the cultivation of strategic ability.

The faculty which is developed by playing Chess is useful wherever logical thinking and concentration are needed, and it cannot be denied that these qualities are most desirable in the every day struggle in which mental work has so largely superseded manual labor.

The thoughtful playing of the game not only cultivates the logical quality and imaginative power of the mind but also tends to develop strength of character. It teaches us not to be hasty in our decisions, but to exercise foresight at all times as we must abide by all consequences of our actions. Moreover, we learn from it circumspection which causes us to survey the whole scene of action and does not allow us to lose ourselves in detail; we also learn not to be discouraged by reverses in our affairs but to hold out and always search for fresh resources.

Thus, Chess serves a good purpose for young and old. The boy will find it a fascinating pastime and, unconsciously sharpening his wits in playing the game, will acquire a fine preparation for his calling in life, no matter what it may be. For the man, and the woman too, Chess is well worth learning, as it will prove the best companion in hours of leisure.

The reason why many people hesitate to learn the game and to teach it to their children is that Chess has been misrepresented as a game which is very difficult to master. This false impression has been created mainly by the wrong methods of


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