Thursday, December 09, 2004

Pawns in Space

Another chess game last night. I lost (overall score now: Me, 2. S, 4). Yet in the larger picture, my opponent appears to be on the defensive. After feeling threatened by my first entry on this subject, she unleashed a veritable barrage upon me in her own blog. I shall not continue this pawn-for-pawn by countering her use of words such as "shallow", "dumb errors", "strategic oversights", "fool", "lies and misinformation", and, worst of all refering to this page as a "weblog, sort of".

Nay, let it end here. This exchange, however, raises an important question. Can playing a silly game like chess with a friend have deleterious effects on your relationship? Well, the Russians appear to think so, and they should know. I learned recently that cosmonauts on Soyuz were forbidden from challenging each other at chess, due to fears that this would incite conflict among the crew. Instead, each cosmonaut was invited to play via radio with Mission Control. And I bet Mission Control was under orders to "let them win once in a while". The importance of maintaining order on Soviet spacecraft was further emphasized when I learned that vodka is known to find its way aboard. Can you imagine the mix? "Yuri, you have delusion. Is silly idea to say I moved pawn extra space while you go to fridge for fifth shot of Stolichnaya. Please put down hammer before porthole is broken and Nikolai get sucked out of capsule again."

By the way, you can find the recipe for a Cosmonaut here. Mmmm...


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