Monday, July 30, 2007

What Is Not Chess?

Putting aside the various answers to the question What is Chess?, it turns out it's hard to be sure quite what chess is not as well. Or at least what chess is not like, according to Ryan Emmett, who put in some research into bad chess similes in order to infuriate himself. Do check out that link for the whole of his very entertaining post, but here are a few of my favourites that he found:
* Federation Cup Tennis lineups are like a game of chess
* 'Cold Reading' by psychics is like a game of chess
* Search Engine Optimisation is like a game of chess
Confused? I guess it just goes to show that nothing is black and white in chess.

8 comments:

ejh said...

See comments.

Jonathan B said...

Fox & James' Addicts Corner in Chess Magazine used (and may still do for all I know) to have a regular feature called IAGOCOT - It's A Game Of Chess Out There - full of bizarre and unlikely references to chess.

Usually something was referred to as being like a game of chess if the activity was cautious, cagey and frankly downright boring.

Ryan Emmett said...

Wow. Now my blog posts are getting quoted! Is this my 15 minutes of fame? I haven't even had a haircut for the occasion. :D

The inappropriate chess simile has always bugged me. Most of the time I hear/read one I just roll my eyes, but sometimes they are so bad it's actually funny...

Anonymous said...

It annoys me too. Because of course what they always mean is "it's like a highly strategic game of chess, characterised by slow manoevring and little tactics or direct engagement between the two sets of pieces". Which is hardly chess as most of us know it.

ejh said...

Resembles my style fairly closely though.

Ryan Emmett said...

As if to prove my point, the BBC website has a current news report which compares Microsoft's battles with open source software as a game of corporate chess.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6922507.stm

Tom Chivers said...

Still, at least it doesn't make chess sound bad. At least, for the most part not.

For comparison, I wonder what might inspire the phrase "It's like a game of draughts out there..."? Leap-frog in a school playground?

ejh said...

Which is the only coverage of chess you're like to see on there.