If I May

If I May

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If I May  by A. A. Milne

Published:

1921

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If I May

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Book Excerpt

--if you insist on exercise--for the last hoop and the stick of a full-sized croquet-lawn.

The Game of Kings

I do not claim to be an authority on either the history or the practice of chess, but, as the poet Gray observed when he saw his old school from a long way off, it is sometimes an advantage not to know too much of one's subject. The imagination can then be exercised more effectively. So when I am playing Capablanca (or old Robinson) for the championship of the home pastures, my thoughts are not fixed exclusively upon the "mate" which is threatening; they wander off into those enchanted lands of long ago, when flesh-and-blood knights rode at stone-built castles, and thin-lipped bishops, all smiles and side-long glances, plotted against the kings who ventured to oppose them. This is the real fascination of chess.

You observe that I speak of castles, not of rooks. I do not know whence came this custom of calling the most romantic piece on the board by the name of a very ordi

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