Photo by Ed YourdonApparently there is set to be an epic battle soon. It is the stuff of heroes, villains, life and, indeed, death. Kings and Queens will send troops across the abyss to their death or, maybe, glory.
No, I am not talking about a civil war, I am not even talking about a spectacular new film…so what am I talking about? Well, it’s only Kasparov taking on Karpov in the “Battle of the Same Name (less a couple of letters)” AGAIN!.
I don’t know about you, but I am positively moist in anticipation of such a battle taking place. I mean, this time it’s gotta be more interesting right? Surely they have to give them actual weaponry this time. Swords and daggers a’plenty methinks.
Alas not, it would appear that we do have the Rocky 4 of chess battles though. With Karpov starring as Drago and training with both computer assistance, and a positive army of Grandmasters…whereas Kasparov is using only his wits, guile and anything lying around the mountaintop retreat (such as logs and a Teenage chess prodigy…wait, no, that wasn’t supposed to sound like that).
Seriously, I could only care less about this if IBM had trawled out another 20billion pound computer to prove that AI can trump..umm…I (I guess). It will most likely be televised….televised. As Lee Evans once said, if televised chess was to be any slowers….it would go back in time.
Now I realise that there are many people that like chess. Whole groups of young kids come together at school to play against each other (and, presumably, to discuss how they will NEVER get laid)…I get it, to each their own…but epic…really?
If ever there was an abuse of the word epic, a chess match has got to be it. A quick google defines epic thusly:
Very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale); “an epic voyage”; “of heroic proportions”; “heroic sculpture”
Let’s analyse this:-
Very imposing or impressive: It’s a game of chess…albeit between two reknowned players…Very imposing? Very impressive: Result = Fail
Surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale): Chess is two people playing on a standard board. This match will be two people playing on a standard board. There are no razor sharp implements, no move will randomly set off an explosion under the chair. The pieces aren’t actual castles, queens, kings or knights and the contestants will not sit on a platform 200 feet in the air as the giant game below unfolds at their every whim and command: Result = Fail
An epic voyage: The two K (something) ‘ovs will be sat throughout the entire game…trips to the little boys room do not count as a voyage: Result – Fail
Of heroic proportions: There is very little heroic about moving small plastic pieces around a chequered board. And no, if by some chance the board is made of Lithuanian marble and each piece was handmade by blind, mute and deaf Tibetan monks using only their left index finger, a single horsehair and know knowledge of what they are supposed to be making, it is still not heroic (although the actual manufacture in that case might qualify): Result = Fail (except for the Tibetan monk…my god those guys are talented)
Heroic sculpture: Ok if, and only if, the Tibetan did indeed carve the pieces using only his index finger and a single horsehair…I will allow the Chess pieces to be referred to as heroic sculptures. Not, however, the players..although I concede that they look like sculptures until they actually move to make the little horsey knock the prawny thing off the board: Result = Fail (for the game) Win (for the pieces)
Based on this, if you can say that a chess match is epic, where does it end?
Noughts and Crosses – These two sides have been battling for centuries….there has never been a winner – This time, it’s personal
Tiddlywinks – Something that has a world championships…the scope for a marathon epic “get the small disc into a glass” battle is huge
Rock, Paper, Scissors – There is something about the pounding of hands together over and over and over again that just screams “Epic”…don’t you think?
So what about you? Been involved in any epic Kerplunk battles recently? Will you be tuning in to watch chess on TV, or possibly the more interesting “Watching paint dry” channel?