My Muse

My Muse, please be obedient to God,
Fear no persecution, seek no crown,
Treat with indifference both slender and acceptance nod,
And never argue with a clown.

A. Pushkin

(translated by Albert Glozman)


How to Lose at Chess. Part 2

Greetings, chess enthusiasts, both adept and inept! We continue our adventure on the road to failure. Today we are moving on to

Rule 5. Let your pieces go!

You need to remember that chessmen are not people. They are vermin that has no right to walk the chessboard. They are the reason that keeps you away from your armchair in front of a big screen TV. No mercy! It normally takes to let go of a few useless pawns and may be a knight without proper compensation to ruin your chances for success. Salute! You have done it again.

Rule 6. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin!

The dude from the painting knew what he was talking about. The preparation is for suckers who want to achieve something. We, on contrary, need not spend hours and hours of hard work learning openings and preparing for new adversary. Come to the game with clean hair and empty brain. Play Pork Chop OpeningWhen your opponent announces in a few moves “Well done!”, do take it as a compliment.

Rule 7. Time is on your side!

Do you remember the times when the game of chess for 16 hours without an end? If you do, you must be really old. Welcome to the modern time of fast shoes. You have got your timelines and stay focused… Well, in our case unfocused. Daydreaming is essential. Let your mind wander. Think of a beach, palm trees, seagulls and a glass of something cold and delightful in your hand… “Sir, your time is up!” Well, that was time well spent. Now your way is open for new and exciting failures.

See you soon for new Rules.

How to Lose at Chess

Do you play Chess? No?! No worries! You are already half-way there, as today I will be talking about how to lose at Chess!

Rule 1. Never learn rules!

This is true and tried. All you need to do is show up. Not showing up works just as well but is much less fun. Just imaging, sitting down at the board, enthusiastically greeting your opponent and asking him if he could advice you how the horsey thing moves. Be careful, however not to get into heated conversation with your opponent about pawns being able to take backwards as later may go into cardiac arrest and you will win by default. Otherwise, that is the easy road to failure, as even your slightest advances will be crashed almost instantaneously.

Rule 2. Pieces Development

If you were unfortunate to learn how to play, you cannot fake it. So, there are other ways. Do rely on moving your most senior pieces out early, while keeping knights and bishops well behind. It is important to give your strong and powerful figures full exposure to the all ranks of the enemy lines without necessary support from those who normally do all the leg work (as well as arm work and nifty handy work). Very soon, your chief operating officer (a.k.a. Queen) will succumb to heavy blows, resign off the chessboard, while your untrained undeveloped pieces will watch opposing army march in to your territory, and rip everything apart like after hostile acquisition. Congratulations, you have lost!

Rule 3. Pawn Promotion

If your pawns managed to reach the last rank, the rule require promoting them. It is very unfortunate rule. It would be so much simpler and chipper to keep them as pawns. It would also make them very inefficient on their last rank with nowhere to go and highly demotivated, thus simplifying our task to loose. Oh, well. There are ways around this little problem. Under-promote! Or better yet, mispromote. No one is forcing your hand. Why do you need to make your star excelsior into a queen? Make him a bishop! Let him go through the ranks. Yeah, it does not work this way in chess, but he does not need to know! If it was warranted to turn a pawn into a knight, make it a queen. Throw all the money at it and watch it fail. Then say: ”I gave you all the opportunity!” Then snigger quietly and collect another loss.

Rule 4. Even More Rules

Sure there is more ways to lose at chess. However, this is not a book but a small article. And perhaps, later I will feel that there are more of ways that are clear winners losers. Then I will definitely take the cover off my typewriter and share them with you.

Albert Glozman 1/20/2015