Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fly Like Iceman

The year: 1986. The movie: Top Gun.

Hollywood talking about Iceman: “It's the way he flies - Ice cold. No mistakes. Wears you down. After enough time, you just get bored and frustrated, you do something stupid, and he's got you.”

The summer of 1986 was between my junior and senior year in high school. A friend had access to a small fitness club that didn’t have much attendance yet. We went there and played game after game of ping-pong, starting at 9pm and often not finishing until midnight. My strategy was to just get the ball over the net and wait until my friend hit it off the table or into the net. Every time he made a mistake, I would shout “Ice!”

Game 1 of the Western States Open was my encounter with the Iceman.

Perhaps I need to put Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" on my earphones while I'm playing chess to make me play like Iceman. That reminds me, I need to take a survey on the most awesome songs to listen to while playing chess. "Danger Zone" will be my vote. Any takers?

I leave with a small collection of sayings about chess and error.

“What would chess be without silly mistakes?” -- Kurt Richter
“Chess is the struggle against error.” -- Johannes Zukertort
”One bad move nullifies forty good ones.” -- I.A. Horowitz
”Without error, there can be no brilliancy.” -- Emanuel Lasker
“Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders.” -- Emanuel Lasker
“The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made.” -- Savielly Tartakover
”The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.” -- Savielly Tartakover
”Heaven knows, we all make mistakes. That's life - and chess.” -- Woody Allen


Unknown said...

Hi Ernie, I'll take that! The song I most often like to hear in my head when I'm playing is: Beck's "Nausea" or "New Pollution."


Robert Pearson said...

Tough loss, great notes--I notice that stronger players than me give more variations in their annotations, something I'm going to concentrate on!