Is Chess Bad for Marriage?

In Shakhmatnaya Goryachka (“Chess Fever”), a silent film made by Vsevolod Pudovkin during the Moscow International Tournament of 1925, a player’s fiancée wants him to quit chess and focus more attention on her. She complains to world champion José Capablanca, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, that she cannot even stand the thought of chess. Capablanca, in keeping with his reputation as a Don Juan, responds: “I understand how you feel. I cannot stand the thought of chess when I am with a lovely lady.”

I’ve posted a YouTube clip of Capablanca’s cameo. Does anyone have an English version I can post?

4 Responses to “Is Chess Bad for Marriage?”

  1. Capablanca in the blogoshere… Says:

    […] Hoffman has just posted a short video of […]

  2. Andy B. Says:

    Surely, you have heard the story of well-known French artist Marcel Duchamp who chose to study chess instead of his bride on his honeymoon.

    While he slept, she glued the pieces to the board.

  3. Derek Slater Says:

    Paul – that’s a rhetorical question, I assume.

    After puzzling over some of the difficulties I created The Chessplayers Pre-Nup:

    A few readers have stated their intention to implement (and post-date) it. Myself, I’m not actually going to bring it up to my wife. 🙂

  4. An Jiaoshi Says:

    Here’s your English version, translated as well as I can from the Russian:

    — Leave me alone! Because of chess, I detest the whole world.

    — I understand; upon meeting a beautiful woman, I hate chess too.

    — Finally, I’ve met an enemy of chess!

    But tell me how you were saved from chess fever . . .

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