The perils of chess


Chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body. Chess has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises — not this sort of mental gladiatorship.


Scientific American, July 1859

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3 thoughts on “The perils of chess

  1. […] was said in the Scientific American in 1859 about […]

  2. Dave Donaghy says:

    So many apparently-mundane sitcoms and cartoons have used this line, which fits in quite nicely here:

    “It can be two things!”

    I’ve never been good at chess, and my appreciation of it has varied massively over the years, but to be so judgmental over one of many things in life that can improve it and make it enjoyable is pretty harsh: there’s plenty of time (ideally) in life for chess, rugby, chatting, running, cycling, reading, watching mind-numbing television and a hundred other things for which one might be judged harshly.

    Maybe I’m being too serious, though. :)

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