Check-Mate!

Regency 1Cara/Andrea here, Today I’m talking about craft—on both an both abstract and physical level. Part of the fun of starting a new book is thinking up how to weave in the small details that give color and texture to the main plot and characters. In Scandalously Yours, which releases next week in paperback, I decided to have the opening scene Scandalously Yours-CElliottrevolve around a midnight chess game. I’m only a neophyte player, but the complex strategies of thrust and parry seemed to suit my cerebral heroine and soldier-hero. So naturally, being intrigued by the game, I needed to do some basic research . . .

ChristianAndMuslimPlayingChessThe origins of chess are said to lie in a game called chaturanga, which developed in India during the sixth century. It quickly spread into Persia and became popular with the nobility. After the Muslim conquest of the empire, it spread west, reaching Europe by the late 900s. The Moors brought the game to Spain, and from there it made its way to the farthest reaches of the known world. The cerebral challenge, and the complex strategies of attack and defend played apparently played well across cultural divides, for chess was adopted with great enthusiasm wherever it was carried.



Lewis 1Its universal appeal is richly illustrated by the most famous chess pieces in the world—the Lewis Chessmen are 12th century figures carved out of walrus ivory, and were discovered in 1831 on the remote Isle of Lewis off the coast of Scotland. That’s about as far as one could go in those days, without out sailing off into the unknown, with maps warning “Here be Dragons.”

Lewis 2The way the pieces could move on the checkered board varied widely from culture to culture, by the end of the 15th century, the modern rules for the basic moves had been adopted from the rules that governed play in Italy. It was there that the bishops were given their modern diagonal moves, and the queen became the most powerful piece. (The subsequent “modern” style was often referred to "Queen's Chess" The game we play today is pretty much the same as one developed during the early Renaissance, and the basic rules were finalized in the early 19th century.

Medieval 1Very early chess pieces were simply stylized shapes, as depicting the human form is taboo in Muslim culture. But once chess came to Europe, creativity took full flight, and the design of sets became an art in itself, with abstract forms morphing into all sorts of imaginative figures. Today they run the gamut from elegantly simple to fancifully elaborate, with everything in between. Whatever your interest, be it medieval knights or Star Trek characters, you can find a set to match your passion. However, the most popular standard design is the "Staunton" set, created by Nathaniel Cook in 1849 and endorsed by Howard Staunton, a leading player of the time.

120px-JaquesCookStaunton Medieval warriorThe materials for the figures can also vary greatly. Wood, marble, semi-precious stone, gold, silver, ceramic—the list is endless, and includes whimsical fabrications as well as rare and exotic elements. That tactile quality appeals to me and I had some fun using the sensual feel of different elements as a plot device in several scenes between Olivia and Lord Wrexham in Scandalously Yours:

Lifting a whimsical papier-maché rook from the nearby board, John slowly twirled it between his fingers. “This is rather charming. Do you think my sister might like it?”
     “I—I don’t know her tastes well enough to offer an opinion.”
     John put it down. “What materials do you favor for a chess set, Miss Sloane? Wood? Stone? Precious metal? Or some other exotic substance?” A subtle smile played on his lips. “Spun sugar? Molten moonbeams?”
Courier-chess-selenus-1616     Olivia felt a tiny tickle of amusement tease at the back of her throat. “So that one could eat any mistake?” For a gentleman whose expression was normally so solemn, he was showing a very serendipitous sense of humor this morning. “Or only sit down to a game at midnight?”
     The smile became more pronounced. “That could be an impediment. One never knows when one will be in a playful mood.”
     Don’t look at his mouth. Wrenching her gaze away, she quickly crossed to the other side of the display table and feigned an interest in an elaborate set of burnished gold warriors, one side with shields made of garnets, one side with shields made of peridots.
     “I would not have guessed that glitter and sparkle would appeal to your sensibility,” he murmured.
      “I can admire the craftsmanship without yearning to possess them,” she replied tightly.
     Napoleon chess 2John surveyed the tables. “All jesting aside, what is your favorite material?”
     He would probably think her half-mad if she tried to explain.
     Ah, but most people think me eccentric, so what does it matter?
     In answer, Olivia picked up a jade knight. “Shut your eyes and hold out your hand, sir. Palm up, if you please."
     John hesitated for a fraction and then did as she asked.
     “Describe what you feel,” she said, circling the stone in the center of his hand.
     “A rock,” he quipped.
     “Oh, never mind,” she muttered, stopping in mid-stroke. “You are making sport of me.”
     “No, wait. Please do it once more.”
     Olivia warily touched the jade to his skin.
     “Hard. Cold,” he announced. “Smooth.”
     FrenchTurnedHornRegencePatternChessSet“How about this?” She took up an ebony King and ran it across his fingertips.
     His mouth pursed in thought.
     She waited, and as she watched his face, a strangely intimate awareness suddenly stirred inside her head. John. His given name is John. Olivia decided it fit him. There was a strong, steadfast, sensible ring to the sound.
     John cleared his throat, interrupting her musing. “It somehow feels…more alive.”
     The answer took her by surprise. She hadn’t really expected a hardened soldier to have such a sensitive touch.
     “That’s very good, Lord Wrexham.” I must not think of him as John. “Wood was once a living, growing organism, so for me it has more soul than stone.”

LiederhandschriftBoth Olivia and John love the challenges of chess—what about you? Do you play it? Or do you have any other game that tickles your fancy? I’ll be giving away a copy of Scandalously Yours to one reader who leaves a comment here between now and Wednesday.

200 thoughts on “Check-Mate!”

  1. I am a total failure at chess! I know the basic moves, but the strategy of the game always trips me up. My brain can’t/doesn’t think in long range terms to plan at attack. Give me good old solitaire any day!

    Reply
  2. I am a total failure at chess! I know the basic moves, but the strategy of the game always trips me up. My brain can’t/doesn’t think in long range terms to plan at attack. Give me good old solitaire any day!

    Reply
  3. I am a total failure at chess! I know the basic moves, but the strategy of the game always trips me up. My brain can’t/doesn’t think in long range terms to plan at attack. Give me good old solitaire any day!

    Reply
  4. I am a total failure at chess! I know the basic moves, but the strategy of the game always trips me up. My brain can’t/doesn’t think in long range terms to plan at attack. Give me good old solitaire any day!

    Reply
  5. I am a total failure at chess! I know the basic moves, but the strategy of the game always trips me up. My brain can’t/doesn’t think in long range terms to plan at attack. Give me good old solitaire any day!

    Reply
  6. I learned the moves but even as a kid, my memory failed me too often to be good at strategy. But boy, do I love the artwork of some of the gorgeous chess pieces I’ve seen over the years. Makes me wish I was good at it.

    Reply
  7. I learned the moves but even as a kid, my memory failed me too often to be good at strategy. But boy, do I love the artwork of some of the gorgeous chess pieces I’ve seen over the years. Makes me wish I was good at it.

    Reply
  8. I learned the moves but even as a kid, my memory failed me too often to be good at strategy. But boy, do I love the artwork of some of the gorgeous chess pieces I’ve seen over the years. Makes me wish I was good at it.

    Reply
  9. I learned the moves but even as a kid, my memory failed me too often to be good at strategy. But boy, do I love the artwork of some of the gorgeous chess pieces I’ve seen over the years. Makes me wish I was good at it.

    Reply
  10. I learned the moves but even as a kid, my memory failed me too often to be good at strategy. But boy, do I love the artwork of some of the gorgeous chess pieces I’ve seen over the years. Makes me wish I was good at it.

    Reply
  11. Fascinating game to me, considering that I have three players in the family.
    Chess is a witty pastime that mirrors both war games and love games (in case players are mutually attracted).
    An example of how erotic playing chess can be is the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). Do you remember that wonderful scene?

    Reply
  12. Fascinating game to me, considering that I have three players in the family.
    Chess is a witty pastime that mirrors both war games and love games (in case players are mutually attracted).
    An example of how erotic playing chess can be is the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). Do you remember that wonderful scene?

    Reply
  13. Fascinating game to me, considering that I have three players in the family.
    Chess is a witty pastime that mirrors both war games and love games (in case players are mutually attracted).
    An example of how erotic playing chess can be is the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). Do you remember that wonderful scene?

    Reply
  14. Fascinating game to me, considering that I have three players in the family.
    Chess is a witty pastime that mirrors both war games and love games (in case players are mutually attracted).
    An example of how erotic playing chess can be is the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). Do you remember that wonderful scene?

    Reply
  15. Fascinating game to me, considering that I have three players in the family.
    Chess is a witty pastime that mirrors both war games and love games (in case players are mutually attracted).
    An example of how erotic playing chess can be is the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). Do you remember that wonderful scene?

    Reply
  16. We brought back from our trip to England several copies of the Lewis Chessmen. They were so fantastical. I use them as decorative objects along with the British Museum catalog!

    Reply
  17. We brought back from our trip to England several copies of the Lewis Chessmen. They were so fantastical. I use them as decorative objects along with the British Museum catalog!

    Reply
  18. We brought back from our trip to England several copies of the Lewis Chessmen. They were so fantastical. I use them as decorative objects along with the British Museum catalog!

    Reply
  19. We brought back from our trip to England several copies of the Lewis Chessmen. They were so fantastical. I use them as decorative objects along with the British Museum catalog!

    Reply
  20. We brought back from our trip to England several copies of the Lewis Chessmen. They were so fantastical. I use them as decorative objects along with the British Museum catalog!

    Reply
  21. Chess. Hmm. Brings back a lot of memories. Too bad world leaders are too dumb to sit down together and settle matters with a game or two of chess. In fiction, the tensions between sexual attraction and intellect and power are always compelling.

    Reply
  22. Chess. Hmm. Brings back a lot of memories. Too bad world leaders are too dumb to sit down together and settle matters with a game or two of chess. In fiction, the tensions between sexual attraction and intellect and power are always compelling.

    Reply
  23. Chess. Hmm. Brings back a lot of memories. Too bad world leaders are too dumb to sit down together and settle matters with a game or two of chess. In fiction, the tensions between sexual attraction and intellect and power are always compelling.

    Reply
  24. Chess. Hmm. Brings back a lot of memories. Too bad world leaders are too dumb to sit down together and settle matters with a game or two of chess. In fiction, the tensions between sexual attraction and intellect and power are always compelling.

    Reply
  25. Chess. Hmm. Brings back a lot of memories. Too bad world leaders are too dumb to sit down together and settle matters with a game or two of chess. In fiction, the tensions between sexual attraction and intellect and power are always compelling.

    Reply
  26. Lovely, Cara!
    I developed a basic ability to play chess in junior high school when my brother came home from his freshman year of college with a chessboard and he wanted an opponent. My sister eluded his teaching, but I had fun with it and wasn’t bad for a beginner. And I see that the set he brought home was the Staunton design! Good memories.

    Reply
  27. Lovely, Cara!
    I developed a basic ability to play chess in junior high school when my brother came home from his freshman year of college with a chessboard and he wanted an opponent. My sister eluded his teaching, but I had fun with it and wasn’t bad for a beginner. And I see that the set he brought home was the Staunton design! Good memories.

    Reply
  28. Lovely, Cara!
    I developed a basic ability to play chess in junior high school when my brother came home from his freshman year of college with a chessboard and he wanted an opponent. My sister eluded his teaching, but I had fun with it and wasn’t bad for a beginner. And I see that the set he brought home was the Staunton design! Good memories.

    Reply
  29. Lovely, Cara!
    I developed a basic ability to play chess in junior high school when my brother came home from his freshman year of college with a chessboard and he wanted an opponent. My sister eluded his teaching, but I had fun with it and wasn’t bad for a beginner. And I see that the set he brought home was the Staunton design! Good memories.

    Reply
  30. Lovely, Cara!
    I developed a basic ability to play chess in junior high school when my brother came home from his freshman year of college with a chessboard and he wanted an opponent. My sister eluded his teaching, but I had fun with it and wasn’t bad for a beginner. And I see that the set he brought home was the Staunton design! Good memories.

    Reply
  31. I learned to play chess when my 5 year old learned and wanted an opponent. Embarrassingly, he beat me pretty frequently! But in my defense, he had lots of time to read chess strategy books while my time was taken up with work and mommy work. I’ve always coveted the chess set that is shaped like the Alice in Wonderland figures.

    Reply
  32. I learned to play chess when my 5 year old learned and wanted an opponent. Embarrassingly, he beat me pretty frequently! But in my defense, he had lots of time to read chess strategy books while my time was taken up with work and mommy work. I’ve always coveted the chess set that is shaped like the Alice in Wonderland figures.

    Reply
  33. I learned to play chess when my 5 year old learned and wanted an opponent. Embarrassingly, he beat me pretty frequently! But in my defense, he had lots of time to read chess strategy books while my time was taken up with work and mommy work. I’ve always coveted the chess set that is shaped like the Alice in Wonderland figures.

    Reply
  34. I learned to play chess when my 5 year old learned and wanted an opponent. Embarrassingly, he beat me pretty frequently! But in my defense, he had lots of time to read chess strategy books while my time was taken up with work and mommy work. I’ve always coveted the chess set that is shaped like the Alice in Wonderland figures.

    Reply
  35. I learned to play chess when my 5 year old learned and wanted an opponent. Embarrassingly, he beat me pretty frequently! But in my defense, he had lots of time to read chess strategy books while my time was taken up with work and mommy work. I’ve always coveted the chess set that is shaped like the Alice in Wonderland figures.

    Reply
  36. I learnt the basic moves when I was a child but am rubbish at strategy. My husband played chess for his school, he does not play much now, he does play bridge, another game involving strategy. Politically the Lewis Chessman and, in my area, the Lindisfary Gospels, are viewed as examples of London centric views, why are such items not kept in their original areas, in these two examples Edinburgh and Durham Cathedral.

    Reply
  37. I learnt the basic moves when I was a child but am rubbish at strategy. My husband played chess for his school, he does not play much now, he does play bridge, another game involving strategy. Politically the Lewis Chessman and, in my area, the Lindisfary Gospels, are viewed as examples of London centric views, why are such items not kept in their original areas, in these two examples Edinburgh and Durham Cathedral.

    Reply
  38. I learnt the basic moves when I was a child but am rubbish at strategy. My husband played chess for his school, he does not play much now, he does play bridge, another game involving strategy. Politically the Lewis Chessman and, in my area, the Lindisfary Gospels, are viewed as examples of London centric views, why are such items not kept in their original areas, in these two examples Edinburgh and Durham Cathedral.

    Reply
  39. I learnt the basic moves when I was a child but am rubbish at strategy. My husband played chess for his school, he does not play much now, he does play bridge, another game involving strategy. Politically the Lewis Chessman and, in my area, the Lindisfary Gospels, are viewed as examples of London centric views, why are such items not kept in their original areas, in these two examples Edinburgh and Durham Cathedral.

    Reply
  40. I learnt the basic moves when I was a child but am rubbish at strategy. My husband played chess for his school, he does not play much now, he does play bridge, another game involving strategy. Politically the Lewis Chessman and, in my area, the Lindisfary Gospels, are viewed as examples of London centric views, why are such items not kept in their original areas, in these two examples Edinburgh and Durham Cathedral.

    Reply
  41. I remember fondly visiting a shop that only carried games. The chess sets were diverse. I was impressed with a chess board that was shallow steps up and down in marquetry. It also had the Star Trek three level chess game with a set of rules so that it could be played.

    Reply
  42. I remember fondly visiting a shop that only carried games. The chess sets were diverse. I was impressed with a chess board that was shallow steps up and down in marquetry. It also had the Star Trek three level chess game with a set of rules so that it could be played.

    Reply
  43. I remember fondly visiting a shop that only carried games. The chess sets were diverse. I was impressed with a chess board that was shallow steps up and down in marquetry. It also had the Star Trek three level chess game with a set of rules so that it could be played.

    Reply
  44. I remember fondly visiting a shop that only carried games. The chess sets were diverse. I was impressed with a chess board that was shallow steps up and down in marquetry. It also had the Star Trek three level chess game with a set of rules so that it could be played.

    Reply
  45. I remember fondly visiting a shop that only carried games. The chess sets were diverse. I was impressed with a chess board that was shallow steps up and down in marquetry. It also had the Star Trek three level chess game with a set of rules so that it could be played.

    Reply
  46. I do like the various chess sets I have seen. Some are very imaginative. One has the opposing armies of Waterloo and others have different wards. They can also represent fantastical creatures. I don’t own any though I like to look at them when I see them. The only set I could afford would be one with mundane plastic figures. A child could beat me at playing the game.
    I wish I could see the set described in the book.

    Reply
  47. I do like the various chess sets I have seen. Some are very imaginative. One has the opposing armies of Waterloo and others have different wards. They can also represent fantastical creatures. I don’t own any though I like to look at them when I see them. The only set I could afford would be one with mundane plastic figures. A child could beat me at playing the game.
    I wish I could see the set described in the book.

    Reply
  48. I do like the various chess sets I have seen. Some are very imaginative. One has the opposing armies of Waterloo and others have different wards. They can also represent fantastical creatures. I don’t own any though I like to look at them when I see them. The only set I could afford would be one with mundane plastic figures. A child could beat me at playing the game.
    I wish I could see the set described in the book.

    Reply
  49. I do like the various chess sets I have seen. Some are very imaginative. One has the opposing armies of Waterloo and others have different wards. They can also represent fantastical creatures. I don’t own any though I like to look at them when I see them. The only set I could afford would be one with mundane plastic figures. A child could beat me at playing the game.
    I wish I could see the set described in the book.

    Reply
  50. I do like the various chess sets I have seen. Some are very imaginative. One has the opposing armies of Waterloo and others have different wards. They can also represent fantastical creatures. I don’t own any though I like to look at them when I see them. The only set I could afford would be one with mundane plastic figures. A child could beat me at playing the game.
    I wish I could see the set described in the book.

    Reply
  51. I love Chess. I know its a strategy game more than anything else but I always play with my heart. I win sometimes and lose others 🙂 Now waiting to teach it to my son

    Reply
  52. I love Chess. I know its a strategy game more than anything else but I always play with my heart. I win sometimes and lose others 🙂 Now waiting to teach it to my son

    Reply
  53. I love Chess. I know its a strategy game more than anything else but I always play with my heart. I win sometimes and lose others 🙂 Now waiting to teach it to my son

    Reply
  54. I love Chess. I know its a strategy game more than anything else but I always play with my heart. I win sometimes and lose others 🙂 Now waiting to teach it to my son

    Reply
  55. I love Chess. I know its a strategy game more than anything else but I always play with my heart. I win sometimes and lose others 🙂 Now waiting to teach it to my son

    Reply
  56. Tha scene makes me want to read the book! I have played chess, but such a long time ago….ahhhh. I was never proficient, I just enjoyed. But the quiet unspoken dialogue that transpires between people who are concentrating on the game can be very intriguing. Beautiful vehicle for a getting-to-know-you-better scene between intelligent, maybe lonely people. Love it Cara.

    Reply
  57. Tha scene makes me want to read the book! I have played chess, but such a long time ago….ahhhh. I was never proficient, I just enjoyed. But the quiet unspoken dialogue that transpires between people who are concentrating on the game can be very intriguing. Beautiful vehicle for a getting-to-know-you-better scene between intelligent, maybe lonely people. Love it Cara.

    Reply
  58. Tha scene makes me want to read the book! I have played chess, but such a long time ago….ahhhh. I was never proficient, I just enjoyed. But the quiet unspoken dialogue that transpires between people who are concentrating on the game can be very intriguing. Beautiful vehicle for a getting-to-know-you-better scene between intelligent, maybe lonely people. Love it Cara.

    Reply
  59. Tha scene makes me want to read the book! I have played chess, but such a long time ago….ahhhh. I was never proficient, I just enjoyed. But the quiet unspoken dialogue that transpires between people who are concentrating on the game can be very intriguing. Beautiful vehicle for a getting-to-know-you-better scene between intelligent, maybe lonely people. Love it Cara.

    Reply
  60. Tha scene makes me want to read the book! I have played chess, but such a long time ago….ahhhh. I was never proficient, I just enjoyed. But the quiet unspoken dialogue that transpires between people who are concentrating on the game can be very intriguing. Beautiful vehicle for a getting-to-know-you-better scene between intelligent, maybe lonely people. Love it Cara.

    Reply
  61. Whoa! Your excerpt left me not only wanting to read more, but wanting to go home and find some chess pieces to touch with my eyes closed! That’s about as far as I’d go, because I’m an abominable player, but the scene was never the less fascinating.

    Reply
  62. Whoa! Your excerpt left me not only wanting to read more, but wanting to go home and find some chess pieces to touch with my eyes closed! That’s about as far as I’d go, because I’m an abominable player, but the scene was never the less fascinating.

    Reply
  63. Whoa! Your excerpt left me not only wanting to read more, but wanting to go home and find some chess pieces to touch with my eyes closed! That’s about as far as I’d go, because I’m an abominable player, but the scene was never the less fascinating.

    Reply
  64. Whoa! Your excerpt left me not only wanting to read more, but wanting to go home and find some chess pieces to touch with my eyes closed! That’s about as far as I’d go, because I’m an abominable player, but the scene was never the less fascinating.

    Reply
  65. Whoa! Your excerpt left me not only wanting to read more, but wanting to go home and find some chess pieces to touch with my eyes closed! That’s about as far as I’d go, because I’m an abominable player, but the scene was never the less fascinating.

    Reply
  66. Thanks, Margaret! I wish I could claim to be a good player. But, no, I am not. However I do love the feel and look of sets, so it was fun to use them in the story. THankfully I could use artistic license and make John and Olivia good players!

    Reply
  67. Thanks, Margaret! I wish I could claim to be a good player. But, no, I am not. However I do love the feel and look of sets, so it was fun to use them in the story. THankfully I could use artistic license and make John and Olivia good players!

    Reply
  68. Thanks, Margaret! I wish I could claim to be a good player. But, no, I am not. However I do love the feel and look of sets, so it was fun to use them in the story. THankfully I could use artistic license and make John and Olivia good players!

    Reply
  69. Thanks, Margaret! I wish I could claim to be a good player. But, no, I am not. However I do love the feel and look of sets, so it was fun to use them in the story. THankfully I could use artistic license and make John and Olivia good players!

    Reply
  70. Thanks, Margaret! I wish I could claim to be a good player. But, no, I am not. However I do love the feel and look of sets, so it was fun to use them in the story. THankfully I could use artistic license and make John and Olivia good players!

    Reply
  71. I have tried to learn chess, but have had to give it up. I literally cannot “See” the knight’s move. I understand it and can trace it out on a chess board or on squared paper, but unless I trace it out I cannot see it. This is a fatal flaw for this game. Image an opponent waiting while I trace out each move to the two opposing knights before I make any move on my side, then telegraphing any potential moves from my side by tracing out all the available move for my knights and then (before making any move) tracing out if each of my available moves would put my knights in danger! It is hilarious to contemplate, but a disaster for a game!
    My husband and I once bought a mass-produced Chinese set because we love the figures. We can’t play, but we do like having the set on display from time to time.

    Reply
  72. I have tried to learn chess, but have had to give it up. I literally cannot “See” the knight’s move. I understand it and can trace it out on a chess board or on squared paper, but unless I trace it out I cannot see it. This is a fatal flaw for this game. Image an opponent waiting while I trace out each move to the two opposing knights before I make any move on my side, then telegraphing any potential moves from my side by tracing out all the available move for my knights and then (before making any move) tracing out if each of my available moves would put my knights in danger! It is hilarious to contemplate, but a disaster for a game!
    My husband and I once bought a mass-produced Chinese set because we love the figures. We can’t play, but we do like having the set on display from time to time.

    Reply
  73. I have tried to learn chess, but have had to give it up. I literally cannot “See” the knight’s move. I understand it and can trace it out on a chess board or on squared paper, but unless I trace it out I cannot see it. This is a fatal flaw for this game. Image an opponent waiting while I trace out each move to the two opposing knights before I make any move on my side, then telegraphing any potential moves from my side by tracing out all the available move for my knights and then (before making any move) tracing out if each of my available moves would put my knights in danger! It is hilarious to contemplate, but a disaster for a game!
    My husband and I once bought a mass-produced Chinese set because we love the figures. We can’t play, but we do like having the set on display from time to time.

    Reply
  74. I have tried to learn chess, but have had to give it up. I literally cannot “See” the knight’s move. I understand it and can trace it out on a chess board or on squared paper, but unless I trace it out I cannot see it. This is a fatal flaw for this game. Image an opponent waiting while I trace out each move to the two opposing knights before I make any move on my side, then telegraphing any potential moves from my side by tracing out all the available move for my knights and then (before making any move) tracing out if each of my available moves would put my knights in danger! It is hilarious to contemplate, but a disaster for a game!
    My husband and I once bought a mass-produced Chinese set because we love the figures. We can’t play, but we do like having the set on display from time to time.

    Reply
  75. I have tried to learn chess, but have had to give it up. I literally cannot “See” the knight’s move. I understand it and can trace it out on a chess board or on squared paper, but unless I trace it out I cannot see it. This is a fatal flaw for this game. Image an opponent waiting while I trace out each move to the two opposing knights before I make any move on my side, then telegraphing any potential moves from my side by tracing out all the available move for my knights and then (before making any move) tracing out if each of my available moves would put my knights in danger! It is hilarious to contemplate, but a disaster for a game!
    My husband and I once bought a mass-produced Chinese set because we love the figures. We can’t play, but we do like having the set on display from time to time.

    Reply
  76. Like many others here, I know how to play but was never much good at it and never fell in love with the game. I have no problem strategizing moves in advance, but I don’t have the aggressive killer instinct which I think you also need to win at chess. I remember a chess set played a big part in “Gaudy Night”, I believe Lord Peter gave it to Harriet as a gift.

    Reply
  77. Like many others here, I know how to play but was never much good at it and never fell in love with the game. I have no problem strategizing moves in advance, but I don’t have the aggressive killer instinct which I think you also need to win at chess. I remember a chess set played a big part in “Gaudy Night”, I believe Lord Peter gave it to Harriet as a gift.

    Reply
  78. Like many others here, I know how to play but was never much good at it and never fell in love with the game. I have no problem strategizing moves in advance, but I don’t have the aggressive killer instinct which I think you also need to win at chess. I remember a chess set played a big part in “Gaudy Night”, I believe Lord Peter gave it to Harriet as a gift.

    Reply
  79. Like many others here, I know how to play but was never much good at it and never fell in love with the game. I have no problem strategizing moves in advance, but I don’t have the aggressive killer instinct which I think you also need to win at chess. I remember a chess set played a big part in “Gaudy Night”, I believe Lord Peter gave it to Harriet as a gift.

    Reply
  80. Like many others here, I know how to play but was never much good at it and never fell in love with the game. I have no problem strategizing moves in advance, but I don’t have the aggressive killer instinct which I think you also need to win at chess. I remember a chess set played a big part in “Gaudy Night”, I believe Lord Peter gave it to Harriet as a gift.

    Reply
  81. Sue, totally understand how the knight drives you crazy! I wonder how they ever came up with that combination.
    And I don’t blame you for displaying a chess set. I’ve seen some I was very tempted to buy, just to look at. They really are wonderfully artistic.

    Reply
  82. Sue, totally understand how the knight drives you crazy! I wonder how they ever came up with that combination.
    And I don’t blame you for displaying a chess set. I’ve seen some I was very tempted to buy, just to look at. They really are wonderfully artistic.

    Reply
  83. Sue, totally understand how the knight drives you crazy! I wonder how they ever came up with that combination.
    And I don’t blame you for displaying a chess set. I’ve seen some I was very tempted to buy, just to look at. They really are wonderfully artistic.

    Reply
  84. Sue, totally understand how the knight drives you crazy! I wonder how they ever came up with that combination.
    And I don’t blame you for displaying a chess set. I’ve seen some I was very tempted to buy, just to look at. They really are wonderfully artistic.

    Reply
  85. Sue, totally understand how the knight drives you crazy! I wonder how they ever came up with that combination.
    And I don’t blame you for displaying a chess set. I’ve seen some I was very tempted to buy, just to look at. They really are wonderfully artistic.

    Reply
  86. I haven’t played since I was a teenager – I enjoyed it, but couldn’t immerse myself in the all the techniques to get really good at it.

    Reply
  87. I haven’t played since I was a teenager – I enjoyed it, but couldn’t immerse myself in the all the techniques to get really good at it.

    Reply
  88. I haven’t played since I was a teenager – I enjoyed it, but couldn’t immerse myself in the all the techniques to get really good at it.

    Reply
  89. I haven’t played since I was a teenager – I enjoyed it, but couldn’t immerse myself in the all the techniques to get really good at it.

    Reply
  90. I haven’t played since I was a teenager – I enjoyed it, but couldn’t immerse myself in the all the techniques to get really good at it.

    Reply
  91. I’ve never been good at chess, sadly. My kids got interested in the game thanks to Wizard’s Chess in Harry Potter and joined the school chess club that had record high enrollments for several years. Never underestimate the power of a book! 🙂

    Reply
  92. I’ve never been good at chess, sadly. My kids got interested in the game thanks to Wizard’s Chess in Harry Potter and joined the school chess club that had record high enrollments for several years. Never underestimate the power of a book! 🙂

    Reply
  93. I’ve never been good at chess, sadly. My kids got interested in the game thanks to Wizard’s Chess in Harry Potter and joined the school chess club that had record high enrollments for several years. Never underestimate the power of a book! 🙂

    Reply
  94. I’ve never been good at chess, sadly. My kids got interested in the game thanks to Wizard’s Chess in Harry Potter and joined the school chess club that had record high enrollments for several years. Never underestimate the power of a book! 🙂

    Reply
  95. I’ve never been good at chess, sadly. My kids got interested in the game thanks to Wizard’s Chess in Harry Potter and joined the school chess club that had record high enrollments for several years. Never underestimate the power of a book! 🙂

    Reply

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