Saturday, May 2, 2015

Amusements in Chess

Charles Tomlinson - Amusements in Chess (1845)

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As a kid I was fascinated by chess though typically for me I read about it far more than played - there were several books about Bobby Fischer at the time, the perennial collections of problems and even a monthly column in Boy's Life magazine.  Since then I've only dabbled from time to time with computer chess and read Marilyn Yalom's haphazardly researched and weakly argued Birth of the Chess Queen (2002).

Amusements in Chess is also based on a column - in this case one that ran in Saturday Magazine for four years.  The author re-worked and expanded them so that you now get a history of the game, introduction to how it's played and assorted problems.  Same basic idea you could get from books today but they probably don't have the sidetrips to automated players, Latin poems about the chess, variations with extra pieces and even a chapter on the geometry of the knight's moves.