Monday, February 4, 2008

Infirmity and Immortality

Whew! That was one of the worst two weeks of illness that I can remember. I'm finally starting to feel like I have extra energy to blog. I postponed my last tournament game to avoid the situation of having an uncontrollable urge to cough in my opponent's face on every move. Life and chess are no fun when you're not healthy. Amos Burn once said, "I have never had the pleasure of beating a completely healthy opponent."

That reminds me, once when I was in large swiss a while back, my opponent more than visibly winced when a player on an adjacent board coughed every five to ten minutes. It was like he was trying to dodge the microbes flying through the air. His head was moving almost as much as a boxer dodging head blows. I figured I might win the psychological battle of the game, but my opponent smoothly beat me.

Two days ago was Groundhog Day and for the occasion, I watched the Groundhog Day movie several times. It's an attractive concept, getting to relive a day over and over, learning whatever you can, and taking the memory of what you learned to the beginning of the day again. In the movie, Bill Murray, having nearly infinite amounts of time on his hands, becomes a virtuoso pianist and also gets good at throwing cards into a hat. The chess angle would clearly be working on your game so that when you finally got out of the loop, you would have attained mastery overnight by the real time line. It might be good if Punxsutawney had a Grandmaster to cut your teeth against.

Wikipedia had even more information than IMDB on Groundhog Day. In the original script, Groundhog Day repeated for 10,000 years. Imagine having 10,000 years to get good at chess. Of course it would be silly to wait for a Groundhog Day time loop to pursue your hobbies. Chessloser wrote about vampires getting good at chess, but I think there might be too many unforeseen disadvantages to becoming undead.

I guess the point of this post was the lament we all feel when we look at our chess books and say, "So much work, so little time."


Robert Pearson said...

Groundhog Day--I remember somebody describing the plot to me and I said it sounded like the most boring and stupid movie ever, ended up watching it and liked it!

ChargingKing said...

I like your 4-game match bracketology idea for the Club Championship. But if I don't qualify, my opinion doesn't matter.

chessboozer said...

If I had 10,000 years I dont think I would spend it on something as narrow as chess