Sunday, July 08, 2007

An Alekhine versus Capablanca moment

What sort of a person talks on the phone during a game of chess? It's like watching television at the Sydney Opera House, or reading a book at the football game.

Yes, yes, I'm playing chess again. I was at a place on Smith Street on Thursday night, where they have an unofficial chess competition happening. I'm into the third game against this guy when he pulls out a mobile phone and starts yakking into it:

"Yes. I'm at the chess club, man. Do you want to come?"
"No. I'm playing a game at the moment. I'll be another twenty minutes."
"Okay. I'll see you here then. Tomorrow. Yeah, the chess club. It's on Smith Street."

Not that I'm knowledgeable about these things or anything, but I couldn't help pointing out to him after he put the phone down that we weren't at the chess club, and that they only had a chess competition here on Thursday nights.

"Oh," he said. "That was just my drummer."

But naturally.

One minute later he started furiously texting into his phone again, and I airily announced mate in one move. Not that I was being ostentatious, or anything. I mean, chess is just a game, you shouldn't get that obsessed with it, or anything.

Incidentally, some people prefer Anderssen's Immortal versus Kiesekeritsky, while for others Nimzowitch's famous zugzwang game is really what floats their boat, or one of Alekhine's come back games against Capablanca, but I'm more of a Lasker versus Napier man myself. I mean, the Sicilian Defence! Can you get any whackier than that?


alexis said...

I went all the way to Europe to find a Czech mate.

TimT said...

I pawned a game off the baker the other day, but it turned out to be a Stale Mate.

alexis said...

It all just feels so black and white.

TimT said...

Back in the days at Synny Uni I was a total chess geek. I'd rock up to the chess club and shout out 'Good day, Chesspians!' Penned an ode to Alekhine once for UR. Had a plan for a while to write a book called 'The Mystical Significance of Chess', as well, but that was more of a joke.

alexis said...

I'm more scrabble these days, myself, but I did a brief stint as captain of the year 9 chess team. I was, as you can imagine, the coolest kid in school.

nailpolishblues said...

I spent most of school, and some of university, up the back of the class flirting with boys. You guys are starting to make me feel like my time was not entirely wasted. Mostly wasted, but not entirely.

Anonymous said...

God! I had to pawn a few of my belongings to the Bishop to get back online. It rook me a while, but here I am, back, if you will, in the game. The ambit of my gambit is stunning indeed, Mrs Kasparov.

TimT said...


Stewed Hamm said...

The Sicilian defense? Is that where you sacrifice your kinght, so that his king wakes up with a horse's head in his bed?
Or do you just shoot the guy?

TimT said...

Only if the horse is Sicilian. Otherwise it rather defeats the purpose.

Email: timhtrain - at -

eXTReMe Tracker

Blog Archive