Benjamin Franklin was also obsessed with the game. His essay “The Morals of Chess” asserted that it improved basic human qualities such as foresight, caution and perseverance.
At a game in France during the American struggle for independence, Franklin ignored his opponent’s check because he refused to defend his tyrannical king. “Take him, if you please,” he told his opponent. “I can do without him, and will fight out the rest of the battle en republicain.”