Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poets VS Chess Players...Geek City?

So here's a topic for the ages.....

Which culture is more socially retarded?

Poets or Chess enthusiasts?

I am currently drinking the Kool Aid from both cults, so maybe it is hard for me to see the forest through the trees.

Most of you reading this are coming to this site from the poets angle,so you know how "special" your camp can be.

But if you have never entered the world of competitive chess....oh my, how does one go about informing people about this unique brood?

I will quote my dear friend "Kansas City Bob", a Food Service worker.

Bob lived in the Twin Cites for a decade, and during his time here, he took me to my first chess tournament.

I had never played in such a structured setting, and as we walked into the foyer of the Hyatt Hotel, and stared at the castle sized doors that would lead us into the "battle room", Kansas City Bob offered me the following advice.

"OK Dan, the second you walk into that room, you are going to see things you won't believe. You will see hair that hasn't been washed in weeks, bodies that haven't been excersized in years.

Some of these guys will be wearing clothes that your friends older brothers were wearing back when you were in high school.

In your first game, you might sit across from some guy wearing a white "Members Only" jacket.

The following game, your opponent will be dressed in "Zuba's" or a striped rugby shirt.

Most of these guys are twerps and 1/2 your size, but they won't let that intimidate them. Instead they will stare you down and slam their pieces on the board.

Trust me, chess tournament players can smell "regular guys" a mile away, and they love nothing more than playing with these opponents like cats play with mice.

But if these guys start getting too cocky, don't be afraid to slam your fist on the board and then point out that you realize that you may be a weaker player, but at least you're not living in your mothers basement, and you have experienced sex...with a real person."

The scary thing about KC Bobs turned out to be accurate.

With that said, last night I spoke to Finley on the phone and discussed with him my plans for my next poetry book. The theme is Russia, and at one point in the conversation Mike reminissed how years ago his brother played chess against Bobby Fischer.

Fischer VS the Russians is one of my favorite moments in life. I followed the The Fischer / Spassky match in the news paper as a kid.

So when I hung up the phone, I wondered if it was even possibe to write a decent Fischer poem, but i didn't dare ask Finley....I already knew the response.....

"Why not write one about Kennedy while you are at it?" ----(Eyes Rolling Sarcastically).

Just for the fun of it, I went online and Googled Bobby Fischer poems, and there were more than I imagined. Most dealt with his death...imagine that.

Submitted for your enjoyment is the Fischer poem that received the most hits.

“Someone great… has passed…”

Today, today only 64
He made his last move
- the most important -
to the square of “death”

no more breath
or even check!
no more castling
only en passant’ing!

His sword has swung
after years of struggle
ruined by politicians
he moved like a knight

Threatened and powerless
he moved quite swiftly
across the board of
64 squares!

Each square a knightmare
Till he found his “piece”
Iceland, oh Iceland!
Where he rests in peace!


BTW....when your friend tells you that their brother played chess against the former world champion, do you even need to ask who won?


  1. Ouchie, brutal, man, just brutal. I wish I could say it is not honest. Hyperbole, yes, true, sadly, more truth than I'd care to admit in public. Keep that between you and me ;-)

  2. Thank you for posting my poem here about Fischer! and to credit it. :)