Archive for April, 2008

Chess Tipping

April 28, 2008

My friend Chris sent me this photo of the tip jars in the coffee shop below his office. Judging by the distribution of money, it seems that the shop is frequented by more woodpushers than masters. Or could it be that there are more (self-identified) good players than weak ones but the latter are better tippers?

Political Endgame

April 19, 2008

A chess analogy carried unusually far in The Huffington Post: “At this point the entire endgame is predictable. Clinton, like a good chess player, can easily see that the remaining moves inevitably lead to checkmate; it’s time for her to tip over her King and concede defeat.”

Triple Entendre

April 8, 2008

Mary Roach’s new book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex includes a delightful triple entendre: “Kinsey wanted Dellenback to film his own staff. There are three ways to read that sentence, all of them true.”

(hat tip: The New York Times)

“I’m a Terror to Teachers”

April 7, 2008

In King’s Gambit: A Son, A Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game, I wrote about my losses (expected but painful nonetheless) in simultaneous chess exhibitions to Bent Larsen and Garry Kasparov. On Friday, I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the table when I played 24 kids at once at the chess club in my son’s elementary school. I now appreciate the stamina that simuls require. I was nearly dizzy when it was all over and dropped a bishop in a twenty-fifth game, against the sole adult who crashed the gathering.

Later that evening, the chess club held a bake sale at Poetry Night at the school. A couple hundred people showed up to hear the kids read verse that they had composed. My eight-year-old was one of the readers. He wouldn’t tell me in advance what he was going to read. His classmates recited nice, sentimental ditties about the beauty of sunsets, deer, and swans. Not my kid. He’s a little Jack Nicholson. He brought down the house with a poem that began: “I’m a terror to teachers/ a stingray to substitutes/ I can make the clock hand go to 3:30/ when it’s only been two seconds of math.”


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