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Between a Rook and a Hard Place

20 Jan

“Chess is mental torture” – Garry Kasparov

“Checkers is for tramps” – Paul Morphy

Chess art 9

The noble art of Chess, is one I haven’t indulged in for many a year, until recently when I found I had it on the laptop all along,  I’m a bit slow like that.  These last few days I have been satiating a long forgotten love for the game and reminding myself of the ridiculous amount of complexities surrounding it.

There are many reasons why I adore this pastime, the rules that are simple to master hiding the detailed intricacies and endlessly fascinating nature of it, its graceful flow and brutal takings of the various pieces.  There is risk involved of course, the press makes a big thing of a few of the grand masters going insane, so I like to think I am on the threshold of madness.  I like the drama.

To combine psychology, logic, intuition and creativity into a simple game is probably something that won’t happen much in this age of fast thrills and non stop, wall to wall repetitive noise, so it’s nice to kick back with those 64 squares, a board you have to control knowing that any mistakes are all your own doing and adapting your game plan as you go is key to success.

In my mind, I like to think this is how battles were fought in olden times, the sacrificing of pieces for the greater good, surrendering  ground where necessary and second guessing your own judgement as well as your opponents.  Striking a fine balance between offensive and defensive moves. This way there is no bloodshed either which is nice.

Black Vs White, a simple battle, a fair game where everyone has the same information.  It’s educational and also allows a kind of artistry that anyone can acquire (with hard work, of course), not to mention it spans the generations and is a basis for a more civilised world.

Apart from emphasising control to curb those quick fire instincts, it also has been referenced in more work than you can shake a cat tied to a stick at,  Everything from Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Tempest, From Russia With Love, Lord of the Flies, Love in the Time of Cholera and not forgetting Chess by Stefan Zweig, which I will review when I find it.

Poets do not go mad; but chess players do.  mathematicians go mad and cashiers but creative artists very seldom.  I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination – G.K. Chesterton

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24 Comments

Posted by on 20/01/2013 in Art, Lists/Ephemera

 

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24 responses to “Between a Rook and a Hard Place

  1. 최다해 gongjumonica

    20/01/2013 at 23:15

    I haven’t played chess for a long time and I’m afraid I don’t know how to win now. It is an interesting game and I hope that people in this generation (including me – I am not yet old!) will give time practicing this mind game instead of those “entertaining” ones where one must kill zombies or shoot fruits in top of animals’ heads.

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    • StetotheJ

      23/01/2013 at 14:54

      If you ever fancy an email game let me know!!!

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  2. 최다해 gongjumonica

    20/01/2013 at 23:16

    By the way, what is your favorite chess piece?

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    • StetotheJ

      23/01/2013 at 14:55

      The Queen is very versatile but I prefer the Knight as he moves oddly, like the way that I think,

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  3. gargoylebruce

    21/01/2013 at 02:36

    Funny…just the other day the two house fleshlings were arguing about the viability and logistics of a four-way chess game….whether the board would need to be exponentially bigger to accomodate adequate movement; what colours the extra two sides would be, etc etc. The thing about being stone is that I can’t close my ears to such inanity…and I’m never getting those precious minutes back.

    I must say though, I would be much more inclined to play regularly if the board looked more like the one in your picture 😀

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    • StetotheJ

      23/01/2013 at 15:03

      It is a mental board, beats that Star Trek three tier board hands down. I have seen a four way chess game, it has the 64 squares and outside that has the four armies pieces around. I haven’t ever played it but imagine it must be a game of carnage and survival, rather than planning and tactics.

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  4. evilnymphstuff

    22/01/2013 at 18:33

    I’m still a beginner at that game but I totally love it. I used to practice in an app in my phone during the holidays. It’s genius!

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  5. pennycoho

    31/01/2013 at 05:16

    I was honestly not going to comment until the end because it had been awhile since I’d been here (hectic life schedule etc.) didn’t want to fill up all your comment sections but felt the need to here. Chess is great. I love the photo also. I have a favorite piece too. Not the one everyone thinks either lol!

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    • StetotheJ

      01/02/2013 at 14:33

      The photo is a Penny special, I thought of you when when it came up on the screen and thought that it would give my blog even more layers, you know for when they study it for degrees and stuff. If I have to second guess your fave chess piece, I would maybe go to pieces.

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      • pennycoho

        01/02/2013 at 20:12

        HA HA! it’s the lowly undervalued rook! To me their first few moves are quite important to the game!

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        • StetotheJ

          01/02/2013 at 21:29

          I always worry about those pieces, they get hemmed in in favour of the other ‘big’ pieces, rooks are the deadly assassins of the game, just waiting in plain sight to smite the unwary. Good choice of piece.

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          • pennycoho

            01/02/2013 at 21:31

            🙂 yeah, I’m not too bad at playing the game!

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            • StetotheJ

              01/02/2013 at 21:34

              You seem the cerebral type who would smite me. and then we would play Chess.

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  6. aidandarrall

    05/02/2013 at 21:21

    I’m quite a dab hand at Chess, you know!

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    • StetotheJ

      07/02/2013 at 16:05

      I did not, perhaps a game is afoot as Sherlock Holmes might have said…

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  7. writersideup

    17/08/2015 at 17:21

    I LOVE this!!! 😀 😀 😀 If you decide to join Chess.com, be sure to let me know your user name (DM me) ’cause I keep my “friend requests” shut off. I get too many and like to keep most of my friends on there for “business” stuff with the staff and hosts.

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    • writersideup

      17/08/2015 at 17:30

      I was going to post this in the TV group notes on the site, but we try not to use the Notes that way in that group, so if you join, I’d love to see you post this exact blog on your Chess.com blog 🙂 I hope you join!

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      • Ste J

        18/08/2015 at 20:31

        I sure will let you know my username otherwise I will look like a lonely bear lol. There are blogs on the site, well I thought I had enough on with one but I will give two a go lol!

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        • writersideup

          19/08/2015 at 03:23

          You most definitely don’t have to blog either! But if you want to, the feature’s there 🙂 They’ve actually been working on a huge upgrade for the whole site. Not sure when they’ll implement it. It’s just a great site if you enjoy chess 🙂 But either way, let me know your username when you get around to it. It’s not a big process. From what I remember (maybe 5+ years ago) it was simple and fast.

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          • Ste J

            19/08/2015 at 17:19

            My user name is StetotheJ, SteJ was taken, I suspect by me in another life. I will probably blog the post anyway to let people know what sort of chappie I am and if it gives me an edge then I would be happy with that, not that I am competitive or anything.

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            • writersideup

              19/08/2015 at 20:30

              Oh, I LOVE that you joined! 😀 I feel lousy today, physically, but Danny has a Bullet Brawl show today, 9pm London time. You would LOVE this show! I’ll be friending you on there in a minute 😀

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  8. writersideup

    19/08/2015 at 20:34

    If you get this in time, here’s the link to the TV page: http://www.chess.com/tv

    I sent a friend request 😀

    Like

     

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