EppsNet Archive: Chess

Man Ray Chess Set

23 Sep 2016 /

Really liked this Man Ray chess set at MOCA . . . white has played e4 and waits forever for a response that’s never coming . . .

Man Ray chess set


This Was the Room I Had to Live In

14 Mar 2016 /
First edition cover

This was the room I had to live in. It was all I had in the way of a home. In it was everything that was mine, that had any association for me, anything that took the place of a family. Not much; a few books, pictures, radio, chessmen, old letters, stuff like that. Nothing. Such as they were they had all my memories.

— Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Greece is Going Out of Business

9 Jul 2015 /

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries.

The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov

What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences?

According to the government debt chart below, the next countries in line for a day of reckoning are two more small countries (Ireland, Portugal) and a medium-sized country (Italy). Further down the chart are two big countries.

The United States, the biggest of the big, is not shown on the chart but is currently at 100 percent debt to GDP.

Government debt


Everyone Was Equal

20 Oct 2013 /

Or as fellow grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi wrote in his autobiography: “The Soviets were very successful: everyone was equal — equally poor.”


Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008

21 Jan 2008 /
Bobby Fischer

Americans like a winner. If you lose, you’re nothing. I’m going to win, though. It’s good for the match that Spassky has a plus score against me. We’ve met five times. He’s won three times and we’ve drawn twice. But I’m a stronger player and a long match favors me.

— Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer died last week in Reykjavik, Iceland, the site of his greatest triumph — the 1972 World Chess Championship. He was 64 years old, one year for each square on a chessboard.

For the first half of his life, his brilliance as a chess player mostly outweighed his irrational judgment and paranoia. For the second half of his life, it was the other way around.

In the middle of the Cold War, he beat the Soviets at their own game. He became as famous as a rock star while playing a game that absolutely no one in this country cares about. I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut that most Americans can’t name one other chess grandmaster, living or dead, such is our apathy for chess and the people who play it — but by god, we do love a winner!


How Could We Lose to These Idiots?

28 Dec 2006 /
USC Trojans

As I sat in Northwood Pizza last night with my son’s roller hockey team, watching the last few minutes of Florida State’s 44-27 drubbing of UCLA, I was reminded of chess grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch, who once, after losing a match, climbed on a table and shouted

Why must I lose to this idiot?

FIGHT ON!


Mom Learns to Play Chess

22 Aug 2004 /

She doesn’t have the patience for a full explanation of the rules, the pieces and how they move . . .

MOM: How do I win? I kill your king?
BOY: Mmmm . . . yes.
MOM: Which one is the king?

Continue reading Mom Learns to Play Chess

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A Lot of My Problems

24 Feb 2004 /

I went over to a floor lamp and pulled the switch, went back to put off the ceiling light, and went across the room again to the chessboard on a card table under the lamp. There was a problem laid out on the board, a six-mover. I couldn’t solve it, like a lot of my problems.

— Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep