Just what this blog has been missing…

by admin on November 30, 2011

Chess LOL kitties!

“That Black’s position was in ruins was obvious to the veriest tyro.”

One of my favorite chess quotes of all time! Who said it, and what game was he talking about? (The position may help, although Sassy the kitty has introduced certain, shall we say, inaccuracies.)

I can’t believe that I have had fifty gazillion foster kittens in my house over the last two years, and this is the first time that I have thought to pose one with a chess board. If the number of hits on my blog suddenly goes way up, you can expect to see some more chess LOL-kitties…

For any of you in the Santa Cruz area, Sassy is a rambunctious little tortoiseshell, fine-boned, quite gentle (she never hissed or got upset when we brought another kitten into the household, even though that kitten hissed at her), and she likes to perch on my shoulder, where she is right now. She should be ready to go up for adoption in about a week or two. A kitten this cute is sure to be adopted quickly, so come on down to the shelter if you’re interested!

P.S. Here’s a close-up. I can’t believe I took the picture at the very instant Sassy knocked down the bishop!

“But you said the biship moovs in a diagonull!”

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Schmidt November 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

Sounds like the kind of thing Irving Chernev would say. I grew up on Logical Chess: Move By Move and am currently having fun going through Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings. They don’t write the way they used to! (Silman tries sometimes, but I’m not a fan of his style.)

If it’s not Chernev, I’m betting it’s some other olde-tyme scribe like Horowitz or Reinfeld.


Ashish November 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

Does she play the PAWnzioni?


admin November 30, 2011 at 10:23 am

You’re close! I actually got this out of an Irving Chernev book, but he says that he is quoting someone else. I wouldn’t be surprised if he translated the quote in his own inimitable style.

She’s more into the PIERCE Defense.
By the way, I added the closeup and the second caption at 10:00. Sorry, the inspiration hit after I had already posted.


Mike Splane December 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

The “veriest tyro” quote refers to Lasker’s win over Capablanca at Saint Petersburg in 1914. Not sure who wrote it.


admin December 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

We have a winner! The quote is from Irving Chernev’s “Golden Dozen” (it may have appeared in other places). Chernev attributes the quote to Lasker, but as noted above I think we should probably give an assist to Chernev for an imaginative English translation.

The complete quote runs as follows:

“The spectators had followed the final moves breathlessly. That Black’s position was in ruins was obvious to the veriest tyro. And now Capablanca turned over his king. From the several hundred spectators there came such applause as I have never experienced in all my life as a chess player. It was like the wholly spontaneous applause which thunders forth in the theatre, of which the individual is almost unconscious.”

But of course, “veriest tyro” is the best part.


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