World Chess Championship, Game 5: Royal rampage

Posted: November 15, 2018 in chess
Tags: , , ,

There are some weird things about chess. The people who play it, for example. OK, everything about chess is weird, beginning with the game’s raison d’être: the king.

The king was one of the original pieces from the launch of chess in the 6th century. He hasn’t changed a bit, not even during the chess reboot of the 14th century. The king, then as now, is tall but slow. He’s close to helpless. He reminds many women of their ex-husband.

But here’s the weirdness: As the game progresses and the bigger, badder pieces are removed from the board, the king can grow more powerful. This is particularly true once the queens exit. In an endgame where each side has a rook, a bishop, a knight, and a few pawns, the king becomes a berserker. Like today.

Carlsen has been more aggressive while playing black. As soon as the queens left the scene in Game 5, he charged forward with his king, decapitated three pawns, and camped out in Caruana’s kitchen until Fabio figured out how to evict him and force a draw.

After they shook hands, Mag Wheels and Fabio plunged into a discussion of the game using the coded speech of chess and pantomime – rapidly gesturing at squares and the pieces that had stood on those squares two hours before – but I couldn’t follow what they were saying and pointing at even though I paid $20 for a subscription and had four camera angles to choose from, all of them obstructed, PLUS the announcers and analysts WOULD NOT SHUT UP! They probably had a collective meltdown back in Norway.

US $20 is approximately 2.2 million euros.

I thought today’s game was the most entertaining of the match, but the analyst called it “mild-mannered.” He’s not going to settle for anything less than Caruana and Carlsen tossing the caber at each other. Perhaps there will be enough fireworks tomorrow from the weird Royal Game to keep ChessBase happy.

Fun fact: Special guest Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, threw out the ceremonial first pawn.

Music trivia: This is supposed to be a music blog, isn’t it? I’m listening to “The Best of the ’60s” channel and The Miracles just came on, singing “Going to a Go-Go.” I just realized that I always thought they were singing “Going to a Boat Show.”

  1. mikener says:

    Did someone say, musical theatre?
    When you team up the power boys of ABBA with the lyricist of Jesus Christ Superstar, you’re going to go where no man has gone before: Chess – The Musical.

    There are many songs with metaphorical and euphemistic imagery from the game of chess, but none of them are about chess.

  2. Wm Seabrook says:

    Actually there are FOUR loyal readers – but I can’t read!

  3. Wm Seabrook says:

    Aside from the musical, is chess ever the subject of a popular song?

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      Not to my knowledge. That’s why Murray Head singing “One Night in Bangkok” was such a wonder. But perhaps one of my loyal readers could correct me? There are three of them!

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