Saturday, February 21, 2009

There are more questions than answers II

Here are five more chess-related quotations taken from non-chess centric sources. (Remember the last time we played this game? No, didn't think you would.) Once again you are encouraged to identify the author of each. Some clues: a) is a former Poet Laureate; b)'s best friends get to call him TC; c) was one of Timothy Leary's early psilocybin guinea pigs; d) has a manifesto to his name; and e) has appeared on this blog within the past two weeks.

Have fun. Or take a stroll outside, the sun's lovely.

a) 'I've tended to like figures who were rebellious and extremely competent and sometimes rather arrogant. At the time that Bobby Fischer was having a prominent chess match with Boris Spassky, I was one of the people who rather liked Fischer's impossible attitude toward the rest of the world and his ability to get away with it (up to a point) because he was so good at what he did, so gifted.'

b) 'When they had played a while, the King made a false move; on which the Jarl took a knight from him; but the King set the piece on the board again, and told the Jarl to make another move. But the Jarl flew angry, tumbled the chess-board over, rose, and went away. The King said, "Run thy ways, Ulf the Fearful." The Jarl turned round at the door and said, "Thou wouldst have run farther at Helge river hadst thou been left to battle there. Thou didst not call me Ulf the Fearful when I hastened to thy help while the Swedes were beating thee like a dog." The Jarl then went out, and went to bed.'

c) '
Chess is a game too noble to be left to the chess-players.'

'A simple game of chess which doesn't interest me in the least -- man, whoever he may be, being for me a mediocre opponent. What I cannot bear are those wretched discussions relative to such and such a move, since winning or losing is not in question. And if the game is not worth the candle, if objective reason does a frightful job -- as indeed it does -- of serving him who calls upon it, is it not fitting and proper to avoid all contact with these categories?'

e) 'I understood and yet for a moment was perplexed. After all, it's not always that easy to just slip into a strange name, like a costume. Thousands upon thousands of them are ready at hand; the thought, however trivial, paralyses one's choice, which is even further paralyzed by the feeling, albeit entirely hidden and barely conscious, of how imponderable the choice is and how grave the consequences are. Like a chess player who, having found himself in a dilemma, most wants to leave everything as it had been but feels his hand forced to make a move, I said, "Braunschweiger." I knew neither any person by that name nor the city whence it came.'


Jonathan B said...

a - Pam Ayres

b - our esteemed editor ... after he's been at one of your funny cigarettes

d - Karl Marx

e - Malorie Blackman

How's that lot?

ejh said...

I've been trying some sort of weird Daniels-like logical progression on (b) but try as I might I can't see what it's got to do with Phil Silvers.

Don't suppose (c) is Allen Ginsberg?

(a) is presumably Ted Hughes given that Day-Lewis died in 1972.

Did I mention I was on Fifteen-to-One once?

Jonathan B said...

Top Cat was based on Bilko

ejh said...

Indeed, but even if that's the right direction (which I sincerely doubt) I can't get any further.

ejh said...

Teilhard de Chardin?

ejh said...

André Breton?

ejh said...

I'd like to think (e) was Jim Plaskett but I'll have a go at Walter Benjamin instead.

Morgan Daniels said...

Sorry I've not been around this past day. Justin, you're right about Andre Breton and Walter Benjamin. They were perhaps the easiest (though I would say that) - keep on guessing!

ejh said...

Oh I dunno, Neal Cassdy for (c)?

ejh said...

And don't tell me it was Betjeman...

ejh said...

By the way, (b) is brilliant, isn't it?

Morgan Daniels said...

Tell us about your Fifteen-to-One experience, Justin!

b) is great. It's not Chivers or Top Cat, though. Dry rubbish shot here!

I didn't say a) was neccessarily a *British* Poet Laureate.

The title of one of c)'s books was later adopted by The Police.

ejh said...

Oh, van der Pump. That would explain "noble", I was struggling with that.

I didn't say a) was necessarily a *British* Poet Laureate

I thought of that and I'd have said Robert Frost if he hadn't died almost a decade before that match.

Since you ask, I got both my questions wrong and was the first to have to sit down. This may have been a significant momemnt in my journey back to chess.