Man of astute moves
Benjamin Franklin linked diplomatic strategy to chess

May 7, 2007

Benjamin Franklin is well known for his success as a statesman, inventor, diplomat, publisher, scientist, and civic leader.

Less commonly known: Franklin was an avid chess enthusiast who was inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame in 1999.

In the 1779 essay The Morals of Chess, he suggests playing chess develops foresight, circumspection, perseverance, and sportsmanship.

His most frequently published quote from the essay is that chess “is not merely an idle amusement (since) life is a kind of chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and evil events that are in some degree the effects of prudence or the want of it.”

Franklin’s chess set is a part of the Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Here is the full article.

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