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  1. Joined
    22 Sep '20
    Moves
    2987
    27 Nov '20 19:51
    I was looking for a picture for my profile and found this interesting poem and the Master who originally posted it at another website is releasing a new book about Smyslov 🤗


    In February 1947 "CHESS" journal published a column entitled "On the Difference between Chess and Cheese". It was well-intended but rather heavy attempt at humor. However, it triggered a remarkable poetic response, which appeared in the "Letters to the Editor" section of "CHESS" later the same year, in October 1947.

    I hope you are going to enjoy it as much as I did!

    Sir,

    Your timely article on the difference between Chess and cheese will, it is to be hoped, clear up much of the dangerous confusion hitherto existing on this subject.

    The enclosed clipping (thought, from internal evidence, to have been written by Lord Tennyson), relates to a case in point. Had the article been published earlier, a life might have been saved.

    I am, Sir,

    Your obedient servant,
    (Signature illegible).

    Stilton, Jan., 1947

    This is the tale of Gussy Lees,
    who got confused with Chess and cheese:
    though normally a man of sense,
    he could not tell the difference.

    With Chess and cheese placed side by side,
    his father and his mother tried
    his dis-resemblance to impress;
    but still he mixed up cheese with Chess.

    His father pointed out: "But, Gus,
    the cheese is so homogeneous,
    and Chess is all so carved and knobbly."
    But Gus was yet exceeding wobbly.

    He'd pick the Chess up, and say "Please...
    is this – I think it is – the cheese?"
    They tried to teach him by the whiff
    of cheese and chess to tell the diff. –

    alas! he said it wasn't easy
    to say which of the two smelt cheesy;
    and just to get in a worse mess,
    he thought that some cheese smelt of chess.

    One day he went off to the store.
    Some Cheshire cheese they'd sent him for;
    but Gus got mixed up, more or less,
    and asked the man for cheesier Chess!

    His home was over-run with mice,
    vermin he never could entice
    to take the death-bait – this, perhaps,
    because he used Chess in his traps.

    (Though Znosko-B., I think, once named
    a Chess-book "Traps," he never claimed
    that they'd catch mice. His learned pen
    concerned itself with catching men.)

    Now, at poor Gussy, please don't laugh;
    you haven't heard the worst by half;
    for this strange weakness was to send
    Gus prematurely to his end.

    As at a Chessboard Gussy looked,
    the solver said: "This problem's cooked."
    "This must be cheese," though Gus, and wide
    his mouth he opened, ate – and died.

    * * * *

    So those who teach the very young
    the difference 'tween right and wrong,
    'twixt left and right, and good and bad,
    and black and white, should surely add
    one most important thing to these:
    HOW TO DISTINGUISH CHESS FROM CHEESE.

    "DESPERDAN."
  2. Joined
    22 Sep '20
    Moves
    2987
    27 Nov '20 19:54
    The original poster and info on his new book about Smyslov.
    Apparently he had access to Smyslov's private archives.

    https://en.chessbase.com/author/andrey-terekhov
  3. Joined
    22 Sep '20
    Moves
    2987
    27 Nov '20 20:00
    I stole the Chess and Cheese picture for my profile 😏
  4. e4
    Joined
    06 May '08
    Moves
    35797
    28 Nov '20 01:392 edits
    Hi Cheesemaster,

    These old CHESS and BCM's and American Mags are a good source for material.

    Not a great fan of poetry. I dive for the 'off' switch when I hear on Radio 4, which
    is usually have on all day, 'and now a working class poet..."
    But this poem was not too bad.

    Smyslov.
    I think all the great players were a wee bit crazy, except Smyslov. He seemed
    'normal.' Then one day I read.

    "...interested in all things paranormal. He [Smyslov] seemed to believe in astrology
    and the prophecies of Nostradamus, and was convinced that chess originated on Atlantis. "

    Good. ALL the great players are a wee bit crazy.

    http://britishchessnews.com/2020/04/16/smyslov-on-the-couch/
  5. Joined
    22 Sep '20
    Moves
    2987
    28 Nov '20 03:47
    LoL

    All strong players are crazy.

    I would happily take that craziness to.play at that level 🤔
  6. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    28 Nov '20 06:24
    @greenpawn34 said
    Hi Cheesemaster,

    These old CHESS and BCM's and American Mags are a good source for material.

    Not a great fan of poetry. I dive for the 'off' switch when I hear on Radio 4, which
    is usually have on all day, 'and now a working class poet..."
    But this poem was not too bad.

    Smyslov.
    I think all the great players were a wee bit crazy, except Smyslov. He seemed
    ' ...[text shortened]... e great players are a wee bit crazy.

    http://britishchessnews.com/2020/04/16/smyslov-on-the-couch/
    Smyslov was very religious, which entails a belief in supernatural beings and powers.
    In contrast, Botvinnik was an atheist and a Marxist until the end of his life.
  7. e4
    Joined
    06 May '08
    Moves
    35797
    28 Nov '20 11:363 edits
    Hi Duchess64,

    Averbach relates he visited Botvinnik with some cake bought from a bakers in Moscow.

    Botvinnik waited till others tried it to make sure they were OK till he himself would try it.
    They were all mad. Stark raving bonkers.

    See page 9

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ccNLAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
  8. Joined
    27 Apr '20
    Moves
    357
    29 Nov '20 02:30
    I am the same way with food and accusing everyone of poisoning me and i am no good at chess.
  9. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    29 Nov '20 04:05
    @greenpawn34 said
    Hi Duchess64,

    Averbach relates he visited Botvinnik with some cake bought from a bakers in Moscow.

    Botvinnik waited till others tried it to make sure they were OK till he himself would try it.
    They were all mad. Stark raving bonkers.

    See page 9

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ccNLAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Botvinnik lived through Stalin's purges, where many intellectuals were suddenly
    taken away to prison, forced labor camps, or execution.

    Some people were betrayed by friends who informed upon them to the secret police.
    It's quite understandable that survivors would tend to be suspicious of other people.
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