Hey, Snopes–snope this!
The Gamey Game Co. has released its new deluxe version of its computerized chess game, Checkmate, Dude! Described by its maker as “the game you always win,” Checkmate, Dude! is famous for having the player’s opponent resign before the first move is made.
The deluxe version comes with sound. Each time your electronic opponent resigns, it pays you a compliment. “I don’t stand a chance against a genius like you!” “Playing against you is like playing against Chess itself!” “You’re fantastic!” And so on. Plus, you can add compliments to the computer’s repertoire.
Checkmate, Dude! sells for a mere $1,250 and is available at most hovels.
I don’t often review books that don’t exist, but this is one that ought to be: Uncle Leester’s Rhyming Chess Tutor, by yours truly.
No one will publish your chess book unless you’re an official and bona fide chess master. But what chess master knows how to communicate with beginners? What chess master knows how to write?
I stake pre-emptive claim to this idea. I am not a chess master, but if you’re just starting in chess, then I know more than you, so there. And this book is meant for you. Here are a few examples.
The Knight jumps over friend and foe/ His L-shaped move–just watch him go!
The fate of the Pawn is most lamentable:/ It always seems he’s quite expendable./ However, though it’s seldom seen,/Sometimes the Pawn is crowned a Queen.
There will also be a chapter on opening moves.
If you enjoy a wild melee,/ It’s the King’s Gambit you should play…
The under-rated Philidor/ Is guaranteed to raise a snore;/ But with his move of …2.d6,/ Black reaches into a bag of tricks…
I learned chess from other kids, on the playground, on the picnic table in my friends’ back yard across the street. No paid coaches. No computers. It’s a game, for Pete’s sake! Like Sorry or Monopoly. It’s supposed to be fun. It shouldn’t be all about gavones writing in to Bruce Pandolfini, “I have just signed my 4-year-old son to a contract with an expert chess instructor. How long will it take for him to become a Grand Master?”
The Rhyming Chess Tutor is guaranteed not to turn anyone into a Grand Master. Full refund, if it does!
Our crack research staff has unearthed this rare video of a cat playing chess. It’s obvious this cat is a beginner: his handling of Exchange Variation of the French Defense leaves much to be desired.
But as Samuel Johnson said, when asked about a dog that supposedly could walk on its hind legs and talk, “The wonder is not that he does it badly, but that he does it at all.”
Imagine the embarrassment of losing a chess game to a cat.
Behold a miniature model of “The Turk,” the world’s first and most famous chess-playing automaton. The full-size original was destroyed in a museum fire later in the 19th century. It once played a game against Napoleon Bonaparte and wiped up the board with him
The cool thing about The Turk is that it was a hoax. There was a guy inside! On the left you can see a small cabinet full of gears and such: that was only for show. The larger compartment held a human chess player who was better than Napoleon.
And everybody believed it, of course!
Just like they believe in Global Warming and the campus rape culture nowadays.
Standing tall among my boyhood memories is the image of the good teenager on our street, a young man named Peter. Tall, handsome, he had a brilliant smile and he wasn’t stingy with it. My mother and father, and the other mothers and fathers on the street, thought very highly of him; and all the younger kids looked up to him. He was the kind of teen whom it was very easy to imagine with a sword and a plumed hat, always ready to defend the weak.
I don’t know how Peter did it; indeed, he wasn’t actually doing anything: just being himself. There was nothing phony or contrived about him. And he was interesting. He used to do things that nobody else did: like sitting down at one of the picnic benches, in the playground at the end of our street, with a bucket of boiled crabs. These he freely shared with those few of us who were brave enough to eat something that looked so strange.
I learned to play chess from the kids next door, and when they weren’t around, sometimes I would take my chess set to the playground, set it up on a picnic table, and play imaginary games.
One day Peter, twice my size, came along and offered to play with me. He won, of course, but I hardly noticed. I was playing chess with Peter! It made me feel like a million dollars. He gave me some pointers that helped me play better, and from then on he and I would play once a week or so. I never lost that feeling of having been let in on something special.
When Peter came of age, he joined the Air Force. My family moved to another neighborhood, so I never saw him again.
I have no idea where he might be now; but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that he was now a king in Narnia.