Monday, August 28, 2006

Franklin and the Morals of Chess

Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Benjamin Franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society, 104 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA
Free entrance

Details: In this special lecture, John McCrary, Past President of the United States Chess Federation, and Past President of the US Chess Trust, will explore Franklin’s significance to modern chess and the diplomatic and moral lessons Franklin learned from the game. Mr. McCrary will also speculate on Franklin’s actual chess-playing abilities, discuss his acceptance of women as able chess players, and introduce his most unusual opponent, the sensational "Turk" – a chess-playing machine that took Paris by storm.

Among his many other "firsts", Benjamin Franklin also managed to author the first piece of writing on chess published in the United States. In 1786, readers of The Columbian Magazine were treated to Franklin’s essay, "The Morals of Chess," which began thus: "The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. (...) For life is a kind of chess ..." McCrary will trace these chess-playing "morals" throughout Franklin’s writings on habits, virtue, keeping things in perspective, good judgment, diplomacy, and more.

The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session, interactive chess diplomacy, a chance to see Franklin’s own original chess set, and refreshments.

The lecture is made possible through the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation. For more information, call 215-545-3870 extension 112. Email

Thanks to Mr Nicola Twilley for sending the prospect.

No comments: