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  1. 29 Mar '13 18:39
    I've noticed that chess analysts and players sometimes use terminology and vocabulary in a slightly strange way. The term 'unpleasant', for example, is used with an incredibly high frequency compared with normal usage in English. I wonder if anyone can think of any reasons for this: if this is some kind of linguistic influence from Russian or something like that.
  2. 29 Mar '13 21:45 / 2 edits
    I suspect that it was used by a very popular early writer, e.g. Fred Reidfeld, and other writers have picked up the expression from there.

    The earliest reference I can find for "unpleasant position" being used in a chessic way is from 1862 in volume 6 of The Chess Player's Chronicle:
    "White is already in an unpleasant position; but the move in the text, though it creates two weak spots at White's QB3 and K3, seems to have been necessary, as he could no longer delay the development of his piece on the Q side. "
  3. 30 Mar '13 13:44 / 1 edit
    It could well come from that I suppose. For some reason I always hear this word in my head with a Russian accent.

    Other strange ones: "to make a draw" seems ungrammatical in any other context. Also, even though it's pleasantly descriptive, it's weird to calll a move 'quiet'. 'Brilliancy' is not normally used countably and, as an award in real life, would surely only be given to the sun.
  4. 30 Mar '13 23:35
    Originally posted by pootstick
    It could well come from that I suppose. For some reason I always hear this word in my head with a Russian accent.

    Other strange ones: "to make a draw" seems ungrammatical in any other context. Also, even though it's pleasantly descriptive, it's weird to calll a move 'quiet'. 'Brilliancy' is not normally used countably and, as an award in real life, would surely only be given to the sun.
    I can confirm that all 3 terms - 'unpleasant position", "to make a draw" and "a quiet move" have direct analogs in Russian chess terminology and are, probably, literal translations into English. "Brilliancy", though, is not in that category.