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  1. 17 Feb '06 22:26
    Ran across this and thought it worthwhile:

    In Chess Season- Alyce Miller

    Massachusetts Review 42, no. 3 (Autumn 2001):

    It hath reached me, 0 auspicious King, that when the damsel was playing chess with the expert. . . whatever move he made was speedily countered by her, till she beat him and he found himself checkmated.... So they placed the pieces a second time, when he said in himself, "Open thine eyes or she will beat thee . . . So he moved ... but behold, she moved on, little by little, till she made one of her pawns a queen and pushing up to him pawns and other pieces, to take off his attention, set one in his way and tempted him to take it. Accordingly, he took it and she said to him, ". . . 0 son of Adam, save thy greed. Knowest thou not that I did but tempt thee, that I might finesse thee? See: this is checkmate!"

    from The 462nd Night of The Arabian Nights translated by Richard Burton

    SOME YEARS AGO when I went through a strange, lonely time, my brother Mark flew out to visit in Berkeley and taught me chess. In fact, now I can't think of chess without remembering the vague unhappinesses preceding his visit that lingered ghostlike at that time over my life.

    As children, we'd learned to move the pieces, and over the years I played erratically, without strategy or design. On the other hand, by his late teens, Mark had become a master. My father once referred to him in a fit of pique as a "chess bum." In between sight-seeing at the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, Mission District, and Chinatown, Mark patiently taught me how to "see," not just a few squares at a time, but the whole board, how to recognize combinations, and what to anticipate. I had all but failed math, with which chess is often associated, but now I yielded-no, submitted-to the dense algebraic puzzle that is chess, an alternate universe so startling in its symmetry that it took my breath away. I was jolted from my doldrums, which had been long in the making.

    We played more games than I can count, none of which I won, of course. But the initiation was similar to my first exposure to jazz at a very early age, falling in love with the force of something I could not comprehend. My response to chess, like jazz, was purely visceral, a fact which will always limit me as a chess player. An international master I hooked up romantically with for a couple months informed me once with great disdain, "Chess is played with the head, not with the heart."

    That visit, Mark and I played game after game after game in my rent-controlled Berkeley apartment with the 51 bus rumbling by at regular intervals. Sometimes we'd amble down to the cafe patio at Bancroft and College, one of the few coffee houses around that permitted chess games. Usually by midafternoon, amid the college crowd, half a dozen tables had been taken over by chess players, mostly locals, and their boards and pieces. Kibitzers made the rounds, faces tensed, murmurs were exchanged, and chess clocks were punched back and forth.

    From age 5 on, Mark had shown prodigious talent at chess and by 7 was playing tournaments. I had always known this, had watched him wandering off with his board and books. He might as well have been going to another planet. Like any good chess player, Mark easily and naturally memorized openings, patterns, sequences, and whole games. He had a gifted mind, a math and logic mind, and went on to major in philosophy, and then law. I, on the other hand, stocked up on literature and foreign language. I was given to dreaming. And so it was that as a distracted, restless child, I fell victim to easy traps in chess, like the vicious fried liver attack, the humiliation of which every beginner will eventually suffer and never forget. I was what is known in chess circles as "chess blind," misreading positions, unable to see the trouncing awaiting me two or three moves ahead. Soon my very smart little brother wearied of my inattention and stupidity, and went off to haunt the college campus in pursuit of more suitable opponents. That was the beginning of our separation and how he got himself into some very deep trouble that lasted well into his twenties.

    But now we were both adults, referring back nostalgically to long-ago childhood intimacy, before we'd each gone our separate ways, to opposite Coasts, to very different lives. The first ten years of my life we'd been like twins: spent hours devising schemes, killing each other at Monopoly, spying on people we determined were crooks, trading deep dark secrets. Now we sat, intimate strangers, on a sunny West Coast afternoon under the dappled light of loquat trees on a coffee house patio, plying ourselves with espressos, and playing chess. Mark always played me with a handicap, allotting himself 3-5 minutes or less on the clock to my 30. Each game brought on me a kind of feverish excitement, the old gulf of loneliness filling now with unexpected purpose and hope. Without realizing it, I was infused with a kind of mad joy, slowly transforming into a born-again chess player. There is nothing like the zeal of the newly-converted. I played until I was wrung out. I didn't want to stop. With Mark's encouragement, I began to play strangers, all men, most of whom won. The occasional win I managed to eke out left me almost delirious with satisfaction. By the end of the day, exhausted, my brain pulp, I fell into bed dreaming of 64 squares and their innumerable possibilities.

    Chess is a logician's game, not one for the flighty-minded, which is why still, in chess circles, women players are treated with suspicion. It has always been a man's game, the territory of the intellect. Sure, I lacked stamina, I lacked discipline, I lacked technique. But my passion for chess had been curiously lit.

    The day of his departure Mark handed me a flexible green and white chess board and the little gray cotton bag of standard plastic pieces. He urged me to consider the Hungarian wunderkind Zsuzsa Polgar as my role model. Oh, generous brother! (Several years later Zsuzsa's younger sister Judit became at age 15 the youngest Grandmaster up to that date, younger, by months, than Fischer when he achieved the same level.)

    As if under a spell, I subscribed immediately to Chess magazine, ordered a battery-operated, hand-held chess computer for $49.99 that arrived within a few days, and discovered an on-line chess club with invisible opponents. I kept records of games I played, pored over them to see where I'd gone wrong, what I might have done differently. Being erratically self-employed at the time, I had days of free time, the perfect life-style for the socalled chess bum. It became pure habit to waken in the mornings and reach for the chess books and board, review a few openings, study an end game, and shake the sleep from my eyes. Armed with Reinfeld's Chess Openings and Winning Chess and Nimsowitsch's My System, and a little magnetic travel board, I headed off, still slightly rumpled in body and mind, for coffee to study in public places buzzing with other people, providing the perfect balance of anonymity and companionship. "The chess board is the world," wrote T.H. Huxley, "the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature." And somewhere in that parallel cosmos, I began to come to life again.

    Openings, middle games, end games. Pins, forks, discovered checks, exchanges, doubled pawns, tempo, control of the center, gambits accepted and declined became the stuff of not just my vocabulary, but my dreams. There is the elegant movement of rooks and knights and pawns and bishops assuming their shapes and positions, a kinetic sculpture, a perfectly balanced jazz riff, a villanelle. Files, diagonals, pure geometry that I had fought so hard against in tenth grade when earnest and spectacled Mr. Petit tried unsuccessfully to ignite a love in me for the isosceles triangle, the right angle, and all the other figures that translated for me into little more than jagged lines on a page.

    I now set forth these words like a naif, an outsider standing on the edges, still in awe of what she will never understand. Any real chess player will read what I've written and scoff. I am the art lover who shamelessly fawns over artists at openings, but couldn't draw a figure to save her life. I am the devotee at the jazz club listening to music I can only lamely pretend to imitate on my flute.

    The chess pieces took on lives of their own, and all I did was follow. There is a post card from Switzerland of a life-size chess board, with human players for pieces, each in costume, walking through whole games. I began to imagine the pieces, like the players who handled them, as characters in a novel. Annotations for games in chess books read like miniature narratives: "Black's knight, having done his work, retreats hastily to the safety of his queenside refuge, giving White's bishop an unexpected advantage," or "White's reply, while positionally well-motivated, offers no protection to his exposed and helpless KP."

    I began studying openings (the way one practices scales in music) bearing poetic names: Ponziano's Opening, The Giuoco Piano, Petroff's Defense, The Queen's Pawn Counter-g42, no. 3 (Autumn 2001): p. 401-412ambit, and The Ruy Lopez, the Colle system, The Dragon and its variations, The Accelerated Fianchetto, and The Sicilian Defense.

    Friday evenings became synonymous with "Berkeley chess club tournaments" at the local YMCA, with pick-up games going on until midnight. It was where the full spectrum of humanity converged strictly for one purpose: to play chess. Scruffy male transients emerged from starkly lit hallways to the large open gymnasium where card tables with chess boards sat in long rows. There was often a stale and musty scent in the air, occasionally overlaid with a sharp bite of urine. Chess players from a...
  2. 17 Feb '06 22:27
    Chess players from all over arrived with gym bags full of their own clocks, boards, books, and other paraphernalia. It was the only church in town, and I, like a faithful fanatic, arrived early for a few pick-up games. In a roomful of 100 people, I was one of at most four women, at any given time. Sometimes I was the only one. There were always a few hard, unwelcoming glares, and the occasional disparaging comment, but for the most part my opponents were generous and friendly, even curious on occasion. Only once, early on, did I have a man react badly on a rare win of mine; it was one of my first nights at the club, and a number of kibitzers had crowded around. Some of them were badgering my opponent, who sat with jaw grimly set, knuckles clenched, about playing with a "girl." He never smiled, never looked at me once. He hadn't chosen me, we'd been assigned. He didn't shake my hand when we were introduced, but looked away. As the game proceeded, the more he silently seethed, and the more the hecklers snickered and elbowed one another. Beginner's luck was with me and I check-mated him in a rather anti-climactic end game, mostly because he'd made a fateful mistake which I quickly took advantage of. My opponent leaped up in a rage, cursing, and tried to turn the table over. Someone caught the edge just in time, as pieces began to slide, and righted it. There were apologies for him all around. But he had disappeared in the crowd. I never saw him again.

    Mostly I found myself tolerated by and even welcomed into a strange subculture of men who would crowd around a board for hours, talking through moves with great passion. The sun could rise and set, the hours could fly by, and nothing mattered but the game. In fact, it does chess a disservice to call it a "game." Worse, "a board game." It's science, math, music, poetry, narrative, metaphor. What resonance in "family check," "repetition of position," and "zugzwang." When I mentioned this once to a grandmaster friend, he looked back stunned, and then sniped, "What are you talking about?" For him, I had the game all wrong. I could see then I was hopelessly in love with the wrong things.

    Chess players cut across all socio-economic, cultural, racial, and ethic lines. I have played gentle ex-cons, stuffy academics, doctors, lawyers, drug dealers, homeless, bookstore clerks, junior high kids, and the insane. It is not uncommon to see some stuffy, slightly mussed mathematician, shirttails hanging out of illfitting pants, leaning shoulder-to-shoulder over a board with a homeless junkie, or a nerdy boy with a bad complexion, foul breath, and unwashed hair, arguing over the moves of computer geeks sporting pocket pen-protectors. There were the street people, who arrived with unwashed dreds and bedrolls, sometimes barefoot, along with the buttoned-down types who'd rushed over straight after 9-5's. Early on, there were small children, including a four-year-old prodigy whose professor father brought him each Friday from 6:30-7:30, like a roadside attraction, for pick-up games before he had to be carted off to bed. The child was other-worldly, with a luminous face, unkempt dark hair, and a beatific expression, who appeared distracted and agitated, a habitual nose-picker, whose indifferent affect belied his talents. He always won, whereupon his father took him home.

    I have played only two other women in my life: one was the opera-singer girlfriend of a grandmaster, the other was a bipolar woman I met at the chess club whom I'll call Sheila. We had evenly matched ratings, though she was the better and more experienced player. We began to get together occasionally to bone up.

    Chess functions easily as a lingua franca. You can go anywhere in the world, I've discovered, and find someone who plays. And I have done just that. In public parks in New York and D.C., in dimly-lit cafes from Asia to Europe, anywhere there are chess players, I have never really been alone. Pull out a chess board and sit on a public bench, and you will have a game going in no time. Walk into a cafe, see someone with a chess board set up and ready to go, and you have an automatic seat, and companionship for the next hour. Existential despair sloughs off into superfluity, shed like dead skin, the second you open pawn to e-4. Like the drawing back of a curtain in a theater, the anticipation of opening credits rolling across a movie screen, the first jolt of a train leaving the station, you bound for a new country. Chess is transportation out of self.

    I have played silent, earnest opponents who dropped wordlessly into a seat across from me and spoke only to remark I was in check (some never spoke the words, just reached over and pointedly tapped my king). I have played businessmen, retired men, the young unemployed, the misfits, the one-eyed, the bespectacled, and winos. I played off and on for a while with an ex-con who talked nonstop to the pieces on the board, urging them on, "Come on, baby, don't let me down," and, inadvertently to me, about his next moves and the progress on his side of the board, sometimes issuing warnings guaranteed to make me snap to-"Aw, baby, watch out now, I'm bringin' out the Bitch."
  3. 17 Feb '06 22:28
    In Thailand, where I was cut off from others by language, I would find myself hungry for two things: the occasional dairy product and spoken words, preferably English, though French or Spanish would have sufficed. A few chance meetings with Thais who spoke English offered sweet relief from the prison of my own head, but those were passing exchanges, and so it was in Chiang Mai that I accidentally discovered the tormented chess-playing Italian expatriate who ran a candlelit pizza restaurant, frequented by members of the displaced foreign community, mostly Europeans. His pizza was lousy, and he was married to a very angry, but very beautiful Thai woman who, unlike the stereotype of the submissive Asian wife, yelled at him in public and ordered him around the restaurant. They shared a blind child she would bring to him at one of the tables where we played chess in the magical candlelight. The wife clearly didn't like me, and would stand over us, arms folded, smoking, staring, and chastising him in Thai. The child would lean against the table, with her sightless eyes staring straight ahead, spinning her hand like plates.

    It was the perfect ex-pat scene, the right quality of moodiness, the patio tables and chairs and umbrellas under the canopy of night sky overhead, continental types languidly smoking Galloises and Export A's and eating bad pizza and drinking bad wine. The Italian didn't speak English, and my Italian at the time was non-existent, so we stumbled along in French andwell, chess. Every night I was in Chiang Mai I slogged through the streets that reeked of sewage, choking on air filled with ash and smoke (it was slash and burn season) to the restaurant. My opponent was tall, gaunt, and blond, with sharp features, and a slightly sad, disappointed affect. Once, in the middle of the game, he started to explain to me he was unhappy, but then his wife appeared in all her beautiful fury and ordered him back into the kitchen. He never mentioned unhappiness again, but when I came the last night, he looked stricken. "Les jeux-me manquent," he confessed. Our last game I won, mostly because he was distracted with hopping up to go check on the pizzas in the kitchen. By way of concession, he simply laid his king on his side. I proposed another game, and he hesitated. We were joined there in that moment in a conspiracy of chess fever, neither wanting to let the other go. A glance at the kitchenno, he couldn't. We shook hands then, he gave me his hastily scrawled address, and we parted company. I made my way back to my little hotel in the dark and the silence in my head.

    Back home in Berkeley I hung around for a while with some very serious and famous chess players, like a chess groupie, I suppose-an international master, a grandmaster, a handful of masters, and some other very highly-rated players. They all tended to be late risers, spending their days and nights in cafes, playing and arguing (no one seemed too gainfully employed except the international master and the grandmaster who lived off their tournaments and the articles they wrote). After chess, when they'd worked up appetites, they liked to descend on pricey Chez Panisse and order meals fit for kings. There was always the painful scramble at the end to see who could cough up enough to cover the bill. I was hungry for chess knowledge, and was happy to sit to the side and listen to the FIDE (Federation Internationale des Acacias) gossip and the politics of the big tournaments and why Kasparov shouldn't have made what move in which game in L.A. the month before, and how Karpov had done in Amsterdam. From the grandmaster's girlfriend, I was introduced to the inside scoop about bad personal behavior on the part of certain chess players, which one she'd almost been seduced by, which one had chased her around a hotel room, which one had bought her lingerie.

    During this time I became devoted to the chess problems published by Koltinowski each day in the San Francisco Chronicle. Occasionally I'd meet Sheila from the chess club for an afternoon of games. I also screwed up my courage and sought out anonymous chess bums at the cafes where we sat unharassed for long hours, nursing the same dollar-twenty-five-cent cup of coffee (free refills) without pressure. Irresistible: the buzz, the talk, the impassioned arguments, the multiple ways of seeing. Me trying to absorb the sheer genius of those for whom chess was not just a hobby, but a raison d'etre. Being there brought me closer to my brother, made the years we had lost collapse between us. Chess was a connection, a parallel universe we both occupied. I made my rounds. There was a cafe in the gourmet ghetto of Berkeley, where you could order falafels and spinakopita, and the like, and stay all day with your chess board, all under the owner's approving gaze. Sometimes Sheila met me there.

    One of my favorites was a cafe in the Mission District in San Francisco around 25th Street, near where I once lived. It was a cafe inhabited by a lot of beret-wearing Che-look-alikes, selfproclaimed poets, who sat around in neck scarves and pea coats and seduced naive gringas with their descriptions of "just how poor the people in my country are." This cafe was appropriately dank and dark, with the requisite "bad-attitude" barista of indeterminate gender, replete with tattoos and piercings, pouring heart-stopping espressos. There were old sofas for lounging, and rickety tables, and wall shelves of old dusty paperbacks, mostly trash novels, and a bathroom that reeked of urine. I would camp out there for hours, especially on rainy afternoons. The speed games went by with frantic clock punching and a flurry of flying pieces. Sometimes players came to fisticuffs. In fact, I witnessed an egghead chess master friend of mine, playing an arch enemy, losing his temper, and casting aspersions on the sexual habits of his opponent's mother. Soon the two of them were hurling racial and ethnic slurs at each other over a misunderstanding on the board. Latino against Jew, black against Latino, then everyone jumped in, and the surly barista arrived threatening to call the police. It was over quickly, with the Latin master, a gorgeous demi-god, flinging himself out the door into the rain in rage, and my friend who would have gotten the worst end of the deal, settling back into his seat with rumpled pride, and fiercely punching the clock with a new opponent. I did play on occasion, but only with apology, self-conscious by the presence of some of the best chess players in the Bay Area.

    I used to meet Sheila, the woman from the chess club, at the Mechanics Institute, where we mostly played each other, because there mostly no one else would play women. The Mechanics Institute was strictly "an old boys' club," but no one could keep us out. My chess master friend had given me the code to punch into the front door. Sheila was a very quiet, small person, somewhere around my age at the time, but with prematurely gray hair, and an androgynous look. She lived in the basement of an old house in Berkeley owned by a very mean and angry old woman who treated Sheila badly. It wasn't clear to me exactly what Sheila did for a living (she changed jobs a lot and seemed perennially discontented with her bosses). She referred only obliquely to anything sexual in her life. All I knew was that something clumsy and unhappy had happened between her and some innocuously genderless pronoun, but that was now over. Her mother, who lived far away, had abused her all her life, was mentally ill herself, and now Sheila rented the dreary basement room of another harridan because she couldn't afford anything else. I picked her up once at the house (Sheila didn't drive and took public transportation), but was not invited in. She had another new job she didn't like, something she was about to be fired from. She told me in general she couldn't trust people. She offered this information like a challenge. I said nothing, but made note of it. I was careful with Sheila, a little afraid of the darkness she carried inside. But she was a good chess player, someone far more disciplined than I. She saw the board in a way I envied.

    Often we took the BART train over to the Mechanics Institute. The building was historic, right in the heart of downtown, dimly lit, with a creaky elevator, reminiscent of grandness, and now verging on funky. The chess room was often filled with thick, throat-choking smoke from cigars and pipes. Sheila and I were regarded with deep suspicion ("chess widows" one man inquired once, assuming we were wives waiting for our husband players), though occasionally one of the men players would approach us and ask for a game. Mostly, though, Sheila and I went because we found camaraderie in our outcast state. And we mutually enjoyed the gruff stares we received for trampling on male turf.
  4. 17 Feb '06 22:28
    One rainy night an old overweight, gout-ridden Russian master showed up at the club in a swirling cape, leaning on his walking stick. He wore thick-lensed glasses, the kind you have to call spectacles, with a black patch over one lens, and a very large, broad-brimmed hat. The room was almost empty. Sheila sat at a table against the wall in the middle of stomping a regular who had sort of befriended us. I was sitting alone working through games from my book. I had no idea who the master was until Sheila's opponent got up and tapped me on the arm. "You know who that is?" Then he whispered a Russian name with an intonation that suggested I should know. Surveying the room, the master suddenly wheeled around, and snatched me up in his piercing gaze. For a moment I thought he was going to banish me. Then he bore down on me like thunder, his limp exaggerated by the intensity of his stride. "Goot evening, yong lady," he said in one long asthmatic wheeze, "how about I will Beef you a problem." Before I could answer, he lifted his cane and swept the board clean in one dramatic move with the rubber tip. Chess pieces tumbled onto the floor and scattered below at my feet. With large gesticulations of the stick toward the white queen he commanded me in a booming voice. "Geef me ze lady!" But there was a tenderness to his stance, a keen interest in his eye.

    I obliged, placing the queen on the square as indicated by the precisely angled tip of his stick. He had me add a pawn and a rook. "Now Beef me ze horsey." I stepped back, still wheezing and announced as if to an auditorium, "White to checkmate in five moves." Or something like that. Then he leaned on his cane and waited.

    I looked at him and then at the setup. What was it he wanted me to see? What was so obvious to him? I wasn't particularly good at solving problems. But I took a chance. Beginner's luck was on my side. In five moves, I managed to do it, at which point he leaned back dramatically as if struck by a huge wind, and popped his one good eye at me. In what came out in a slow hail of wheezes, he murmured with hyperbolic approval, "Ah, yong lady ... you mawst . . . be chee-nious." And for a split second I sat there suspended in the smoky, dim room, among other silhouettes hunched over their boards, briefly taking my place in the subterranean world of chess.

    I rarely play chess now. There was that brief window of opportunity when I could have given myself over completely to it, or so I thought. Perhaps I realized I would never be particularly good at it. I went ahead with my life, Alyce plunging down another rabbit hole, while chess dissolved behind me like a slow fade. Maybe it was in part because I fell in love with someone who was not a chess player. Or because I became a writer. Or because I stopped being lonely. But I moved on. I never saw Sheila again. I occasionally will read about my old chess friends in the paper. Last fall, feeling restless, I took a road trip to D.C. with my cat Titus. It was my turn to visit my brother Mark. When we went off sight-seeing it was no surprise he dragged his chess board along. In early evening, we stopped in a park on the edge of Dupont Circle, and set up the board, with Mark giving himself the customary handicap-5 minutes to my 30. A number of tables were going in the park, with at least half a dozen women playing, including one scrappy young brownskinned woman in her twenties, wearing filthy jeans and tee shirt and run-down sandals. When I went over to watch the progress of her game, she was feverishly pounding the clock and nailing her opponent to the wall. When her opponent lost, he got up fuming, and another instantly took his place. She was so good, this woman, driven, determined, full of passion and stamina, that I felt envy. She looked up when I paused at the board, and a flicker of recognition briefly softened her face. She saw I wanted to play. In that moment I recalled the endless series of games with Sheila on grim, gray afternoons when the world otherwise seemed to hold nothing for me, when the thought of my empty apartment left me filled with dread, my own life stretching out before me like a huge impossible blank. It was something I couldn't explain in words to any of my non-chess friends, what my brief life as a chess player meant, how the seeds of my infatuation with a game that never fully flowered offered me a metaphor for what I couldn't have said was missing then.
  5. 17 Feb '06 22:31
    Way too many words, dude........if ya want to write a book, don't do it on the forums, we have short attention spans.
  6. Standard member Wibble Wobble
    Action barbie
    17 Feb '06 22:50
    Originally posted by Drumbo
    Way too many words, dude........if ya want to write a book, don't do it on the forums, we have short attention spans.
    Ya i read the first sentence and then after though "f that" and scrolled down to end...
  7. Standard member Gatecrasher
    Whale watching
    17 Feb '06 23:00
    Originally posted by runninfiend
    Ran across this and thought it worthwhile:

    In Chess Season- Alyce Miller

    Massachusetts Review 42, no. 3 (Autumn 2001):

    It hath reached me, 0 auspicious King, that when the damsel was playing chess with the expert. . . whatever move he made was speedily countered by her, till she beat him and he found himself checkmated.... So they place ...[text shortened]... id with a sharp bite of urine. Chess players from a...
    Executive summary, please.
  8. Standard member Peakite
    17 Feb '06 23:05
    Originally posted by Gatecrasher
    Executive summary, please.
    The parents decided that the traditional spelling of the name was no good, so felt compelled to insert a random y.
  9. Standard member Wibble Wobble
    Action barbie
    17 Feb '06 23:12
    Originally posted by Peakite
    The parents decided that the traditional spelling of the name was no good, so felt compelled to insert a random y.
    And he took 5000 words to write that?... God you better PRAY Bowmann doesnt see this.
  10. Standard member rhb
    Ginger Scum
    17 Feb '06 23:17
    Originally posted by Wibble Wobble
    And he took 5000 words to write that?... God you better PRAY Bowmann doesnt see this.
    You'd better just pray. Elliot.
  11. Subscriber PK
    surf bum
    17 Feb '06 23:40
    I loved it. Alyce Miller a true chess junkie. Bent over in a coffee shop wheezing and coughing from to many smokes, eyes sunken into jaundiced leathery skin hiding under an unbrushed mop of gray hair…. What a great story and what a great life!!??
  12. 18 Feb '06 01:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Wibble Wobble
    And he took 5000 words to write that?... God you better PRAY Bowmann doesnt see this.
    Did you count the words?
    Maybe if you'd read a little bit instead, you would have seen "he" was a she.
  13. 18 Feb '06 01:58
    Hey, I liked it. Thanks for sharing.
  14. Standard member Freddie2008
    9 Edits
    18 Feb '06 02:12
    You guys should all be ashamed of yourselves for being immature enough to complain about the length of a great article, which was really well written and a great insight into chess. I suggest you all say 50 hail mary's and read the damn article; it's good.