Thursday, October 09, 2003

Chess – showing its age …..

I was thinking the other day, it’s about time that Chess, the greatest game in the world – ever; should have a makeover. Not a Linda Barker or (God help us) an Anna Ryder Richardson job… "Oooohhh yes Carol, just got to drape this fantastic velour off the Rook, sprinkle some glitter on this gambit – and we’ll be finished".
I was thinking about being a bit more radical…..

It’s been around for thousands of years – unchanged. So how about freshening it up? After all, ‘Monopoly’ has been updated - and that’s only 65 years old.

I don’t mean changing the pawns into wearing Star Wars garb, giving the Bishop a ‘power mitre’ or dressing the Queen in a Quentin Crisp outfit. I was thinking about a whole new team member. A new man or two that would compliment the existing crew.

You’ve got your Bishop, Castley thing and Horsey gee-gee, I though that we could get rid of a couple of pawns and bring in ‘Omega’ and ‘Politician’

Omega would be in the shape of a button and would be in 2 parts. Part 1 would sit on top of the board, the second part would be hidden somewhere underneath the board, known only to each player.

And that second part would consist of a little bit of plastic explosive and have wires connected to part 1 – the button. The explosive would be just enough to take out 10 squares.

Each player would attempt to lure the opposing pieces towards the area that the volatile bit of the Omega piece was hidden. Once the player was satisfied that he had gathered enough opposing pieces into the Omega or ‘Death Zone’ he would reach for his Omega button.
Imagine how a match between Gary Kasparov and our own plucky loser Nigel Short might be really spiced up…

"Oh my God, Kasparov’s about to deploy the Omega gambit"

The ‘Politician’ is an altogether different affair. This piece would be a stiletto shape, cast in 100% Machiavellian ore – with a specially hardened two-faced tip. When a player is in a particularly difficult and tricky situation he very slyly and very coldly picks up ‘The Politician’.

The opposing player, referee and audience all fail to notice.. Everyone is distracted by a manifesto given out by the player holding the ‘Politician’ "Hmmmm lower taxes and better healthcare – sounds good"…

The player with the piece in his hand excuses himself to go to the toilet – as he is passing his opponent, he makes his move and stabs him in the back - with the Politician, right between the shoulder blades.

"Ohh my God, he’s used the ‘spinal tap’ gambit! Brilliant, quite, quite brilliant…"

Talking about Chess……

Ever tried to do the trick where you start at the first square of a chess board with 1 grain of rice? The next square has 2 grains and the one after that 4, and so on, doubling up on every square. Has anyone ever got to the end? I tried once, ended up nearly halfway across with a ton of paper and 86 gazziollion zeros.

And finally…..

On the chess front – My most favourite, chess-related quote from dour, mashed-in Blackpool fighter Brian London. The time – the mid ‘60’s and Brian is bitterly reflecting on the way he has been manipulated throughout his pugilistic career.

Brian declared "Me? I’m just a prawn in the game"……..
‘Nuff said.

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