The Battle Of Culloden And Chess Strategy

The beginnings of chess set pieces lie in military folklore and an examination of the modern game of chess shows parallels with the strategy of war.

It seems likely that even a modern senior military officer would easily see how battles often take on the guise of a lethal game of chess. For this reason it seems appropriate that some of the best chess sets for sale have the theme of famous historical battles.

A good example would be the battle of Culloden, fought on 16 April 1746 as the culmination of the Jacobite rebellion of the Highland Scots against the English king.

The Highland army was led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonny Prince Charlie’) who had arrived in Scotland from France the year before with the promise that he could break Scotland away from the union with England. Of course this would involve Prince Charles himself becoming king.

The battle thus took place with a background of two royal houses: that of Hanover and the Stuarts. Two men played out strategy: Prince Charles Stuart and the English commander, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland the son of King George II.

Sadly for the Highland hopes, Cumberland was clearly the better player of his chess set pieces as he was experienced in war having fought with his army on the continent during the previous three years. Although he could be harsh, Cumberland was well liked by his hardened troops and his influence had ensured his men had the best equipment available.

Prince Charles was not at all experienced in strategy, not even that of the best chess set. He did have the use of Lord George Murray however. Murray had been in the army since 1712 and was an experienced rebel having already been a prisoner of the English and then escaping to the continent for a number of years.

The enthusiasm and passion of the rebels had produced results previously. The Highland army had driven deep into England as far as Derby (only 100 miles from London) and had caused panic in the capital. However stretched supply lines and rumours of an advancing army caused the Jacobites to turn for home.

The English army had faced the Jacobites previously, most notably at the Battle of Falkirk in January 1746. This battle finished unsatisfactorily for the English and in a slightly confusing manner for the Jacobites. Following this messy defeat, the English commander, Lieutenant General Henry Hawley, was removed from his position and replaced by the Duke of Cumberland.

This is when the campaign changed direction.

Immediately Cumberland took his army north from its base in Edinburgh to Aberdeen. He took the coastal route in order to ensure his troops could be resupplied from the sea. Arriving unmolested in Aberdeen, the Hanoverian army halted in the town for some weeks, taking advantage of the rest for some intensive training, particularly in the use of the bayonet. This is the first recorded instance of such formal training taking place.

At this point it is worth pointing out that although the romantic telling of the Jacobite rebellion story (originating with the Victorians) has the armies neatly divided into the English and the Scots and Catholic versus Protestant, this was not the case. The English army contained a large number of lowland Scots who were happy to pursue their own long-running feuds against the highlanders and this partly explains the ferocity of the battle and the aftermath. Equally there were some Presbyterian Scots in the Highland army. Some regular Scots, Irish and French soldiers completed the Highland army’s numbers.

However his army was comprised, Prince Charles had them scurrying around Scotland while the English were in Aberdeen, making raids on key targets and harrying the enemy.

Sadly the Highland army was not as well founded as their opposition. Many of the highlanders missed their homes and had been slipping away since the battle of Falkirk and the army that remained suffered from poor organisation and internal feuds. Supplies were short and so rations were restricted.

Dissent between senior officers was a constant feature and Prince Charles was not able to resolve disputes. Charles’ adjutant chose the battlefield on a stretch of open moorland despite protests from Lord George Murray and others.

The Hanoverian army arrived in Nairn to the northeast of the Highlanders and on 15 April 1746 they celebrated the Duke of Cumberland’s birthday. The Highland army attempted an attack on their opponents that night to catch them unawares.

Once again bad planning thwarted the Highlanders and they got lost in the bogs and darkness. At no stage did they get near to Nairn and finally had to retreat to Culloden as dawn broke, hungry and exhausted.

By contrast the Hanoverian army was well fed and rested and awoke early the next day and set off for Culloden. An advance party including Campbell highlanders found the Highland army and the alarm was raised.

The Highland army numbering some 5000 men lined up across the moor with the few guns they had in the centre and on the flanks.

At around noon, the Duke’s army of 8000 appeared on the moor. They had marched ten miles and arrived in perfect formation to halt 300 metres from the rebel lines. One regiment of foot took up position behind a wall set at right angles to the field of battle and prepared to fire into the flanks of the advancing Jacobites. It was yet another failure of rebels’ senior officers that they did not heed Lord George Murray’s warning about the strategic role of this wall.

The Hanoverian guns, placed among and behind the front lines, began to bombard the Jacobite army. Charles expected Cumberland to order a charge but this did not happen. Charles dithered as the guns ripped holes in his army and their morale.

At last he ordered his army to charge and most did, although the MacDonald clan on the left flank refused. The brave highlanders presented a fearsome sight as they ran but they were undone by the choice of battlefield. The Clan Chattan encountered boggy ground and had to veer right to avoid it. This made them cross in front of their compatriots and forced them all towards the wall running alongside. The Hanoverian regiment behind the wall duly fired into the charging rebels and inflicted terrible casualties.

Many of the Highlanders reached the enemy positions and terrible hand-to-hand fighting took place. In a strategy worthy of the best player of chess set pieces, Cumberland had kept back reserves and he now committed these to shooting the rebels who made it through the lines of redcoats. Dragoons finally chased off the Jacobites who retreated past the guns behind the wall again.

Prince Charles had seen enough and rode away.

Around 200 Hanoverian soldiers lost their lives, compared to around 1000 of the Jacobites.

The battle of Culloden was played out as if using chess set pieces and the better strategist won. The battle had a major effect on the history of Scotland thereafter.

Next time you pick up your chess set pieces, you might reflect on how great strategy has changed history.

How to Find Good Denver Colorado Real Estate

With Denver’s lively and pulsating area filled with entertainment, cultural wonders and vast outdoor activities for recreation not forgetting about 300 days full of sunshine, Denver real estate presents something everyone would want to own. Recognized world wide as ‘Miles High City’ Denver city has been rated consistently as one of the excellent places to work and live. Formerly built just around the junction of the Cherry Creek River and the Platte River, Denver’s terrific lifestyle and excellent climate integrated with a broad array of increasing employment opportunities are good characteristics of the city. Obtain a home in Denver and enjoy the view of magnificent Rocky Mountains.

Majority of the home owners residing in Denver feel very fortunate to be living in the attractive ‘Mile High City’.
Denver has for decades been a centre of attraction for many large corporations and outdoor enthusiasts. The city boasts of many public parks, never-ending activities and trouble-free travel times. The variety of Denver real estate locations and options in Metro Denver makes it easy for one to find an excellent place to call home. From the city centre all through the various suburbs available, the Denver housing features comprise of luxury and family homes. To find good Denver Colorado homes for sale, it is first necessary to identify the perfect locations to own or build a home in Denver. Real Estate areas in Denver include Ridge Gate, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, Centennial, and Castle Rock among others. For more established and classic areas to live in, Denver presents Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village, Ken Caryl, Parker, Aurora, Eaglewood and Littleton. If one is not familiar with the location of a given area, interactive subdivision maps will come in handy.

If relocating to Denver is one of your future plans, then check out for Denver Colorado homes for sale. Review the various relocation services available in Denver and select the ones matching your needs. To feel very confident in relation to a move, it is necessary to be aware of some facts concerning one’s destination. Since the needs of people differ, it is best to express the needs clearly to someone capable of responding to them. Get a general idea of the many neighborhoods in the large Denver geographic area to assist in locating a perfect place that can fit one’s budget, comfort zone and lifestyle. If in need of automated reports concerning homes for sale in Denver, worry no more.

It is now possible to make searches, save and even track latest Denver real estate listings online. All one is required to do is to put in place automatic email notifications and this way one will always be up-to-date with new listings. With the listings, searching for a home, condo, land or investment property has never been easier.

If searching for good Denver real estate, it is necessary to hire an agent. Get a buyer broker or representative to add value to the buying transaction as a communicator, analyst, advocate and counselor to offer the skill and knowledge necessary to coordinate the buying process and interpret information regarding to real estate. A buyer’s agent or broker will save one’s money and time and assist one in focusing on properties that will fit a selected criterion. When a right home is located, a buyer representative comes in handy in packaging the client’s offer to obtain a perfect home that the client wants. Obtain a good home in Denver today and enjoy the thriving outdoor recreational activities and pulsating life Denver has to offer.

Illinois New Home Prices Near Historic Lows

Back in 2005, the new construction scene in the Fox Valley was looking bright. New home starts were riding an all-time high and new subdivisions were popping up everywhere to provide for the seemingly endless stream of buyers. In early 2006 it all came crashing down. Buyers disappeared like fog in the morning and builders were left to deal with half-finished communities, a glut of inventory and a ton of unfulfilled expectations. Since then, builders have had to respond and deal with the housing crisis. This has created some great deals for home buyers but there have also been some casualties.

In October 2007, the real estate world was shocked with the announcement of bankruptcy filed by Warrenville-based Neumann Homes. One of the area’s largest builders, Neumann Homes had constructed 15 subdivisions including the popular Tanner Trails subdivision in North Aurora. Due to lagging home sales in our area and even worse conditions in Michigan and Florida, two other areas where the builder had developments, the builder was forced to seek bankruptcy protection.

Later, in April of 2008, a second large Chicagoland builder – Kimball Hill Homes – announced that it was also seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to restructure debt. The company is continuing normal business operations for the time being but it’s unknown how this will affect new subdivisions such as Settler’s Ridge in Sugar Grove in the future.

What buyers are finding in today’s market are builders that are stretched as thin as possible on profit margins. This, right now, represents a high mark in new construction affordability. Over the last year, builders have been falling over themselves to offer incentives enough to spur buyers into action. Right now represents perhaps the best time over the last 50 years for home buyers to get into a new home. According to many experts, the housing market, especially in the new construction arena, has hit bottom. While we might not recover quickly, we’re not expected to get much worse. This means that if you are in the position to buy, now is your chance to get in on historic low prices.

Buyers with homes to sell must make sure that their homes are priced aggressively right from the start. If you must put down a deposit on a new home before yours is sold, you need to be aggressive in selling your home right from the beginning. Contact your local real estate agent for information on how to price your home correctly in today’s market. If you are not aggressive enough with your home pricing, you run the risk of not getting your home sold before your new home is built. Some builders will offer a home-sale contingency that allows buyers to get out of the deal and get their deposit back if their home doesn’t sell, but many builders are also not allowing this due to the bad market conditions.