In Honor of the Long Diagonal

by admin on October 15, 2017

I’m back! I’ve finished writing my book, the last files are going off to the editor tomorrow, and at last I can think about chess and my blog again.

For a long time one of my many passwords (Not for this site, though! Don’t get any ideas!) has been “iamtheboss.” The point is that the letters make a nice triangle when you put them on a grid:

I

A

M

T

H

E

B

O

S

S

As a lover of silly word games and long diagonals, I thought this morning, “That’s kind of lame. Only four lines? Surely I can do better than that!”

I

A

M

T

H

E

B

E

S

T

C

H

E

S

S

P

L

A

Y

E

R,

C

E

R

T

A

I

N

P

A

T

H

E

T

I

C,

O

B

V

I

O

U

S

L

Y

D

E

L

U

S

I

O

N

A

L

C

O

M

P

E

T

I

T

O

R

S’

P

R

E

P

O

S

T

E

R

O

U

S,

I

N

S

I

G

N

I

F

I

C

A

N

T

P

R

E

V

A

R

I

C

A

T

I

O

N

S

N

O

T

W

I

T

H

S

T

A

N

D

I

N

G.

Now that’s a really long diagonal!

Obviously this is not a quote from anybody, but who would have been the most plausible player to say it? I think that the best candidate, by virtue of his arrogance and occasionally orotund writing style, would be Alexander Alekhine.

I’ll be back in a couple days with something more serious. I don’t know what yet, but we’ll see. Any comments on the theme of word play, Alexander Alekhine, passwords (be careful) or diagonals are more than welcome!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Larry Smith October 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm

It seems to me that a certain amount of self-assuredness, verging on arrogance, is an attribute of many strong players. And we’ve all met players who, in post-mortems, made no mistake whatsoever, and yet mysteriously lost the game…

Re: word play, I tried to expand upon your word game by creating an ascending chess acrostic. This is not easy to do, obviously, and any results will probably be barely meaningful. Here’s my admittedly lame attempt, spoken I guess by a Cockney:

A
La
‘err
Kant,
Hasty
Insult
Negates
Endgames

For much better chess acrostics, but without the additional letter per line constraint, check out this Edward Winter link: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/poetry.html

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