Posts Tagged ‘Magnus Carlsen’

The result of the recent presidential election resembles nothing in the history of the United States. It looks more like the final convulsions of the ruling white elites in Rhodesia and South Africa. This resemblance doesn’t help me sleep at night.

his-back-to-the-wall
Lucky has his back to the wall.

Barack Obama, whom I admire, urged the nation to keep an open mind about our new commander-in-chief. Keep an open mind about a man who does not read. A man who has never had a pet. A man who has bragged about not wasting any time raising his own children. Has he ever played with his kids? What music does he like? (I know what he’d say: “Only the best!”) He is the fattest man to hold the office since William Howard Taft got stuck in his bathtub.

Note: William Howard Taft never got stuck in his bathtub; that story was invented years after his death. But he did own a custom-built bathtub that four non-Tafts could sit in.

Each half of our politically divided country voted for a candidate that made the other half want to kick a hole in a stained glass window. From here to eternity, will each side spend its years in power dismantling the work of the other? I am so flabbergasted by this election that I am reduced to quoting Sting, God help me:

“We all sink or we all float. We are all in the same big boat.”

In the alternate universe that has inexplicably ejected me, Hillary Clinton is right now selecting experienced, serious, boring people to help her run the government. In the universe where I’ve landed like Dorothy and Toto in their windblown house, our new leader is picking weirdos with no experience in what they’ve been picked for. That worked well during Hurricane Katrina so I won’t spend another second worrying about it.

“The revolution will not be televised,” Gil Scott-Heron told us. He was wrong. “But it will put you in the driver’s seat.” Maybe. But what is the nature of the man who is now behind the wheel?

No more politics.

Let’s talk about…chess!

Bone-crunching industrial thud machine Magnus Carlsen holds world championship with move so awesome that the planet increased its rotation and now the day is an hour shorter
In case you haven’t been keeping up with current events, Magnus Carlsen won the last game of the championship against Sergey Karjakin by sacrificing his queen, motherfuckers. When has that ever happened in championship chess? How about never! Not in 130 years!

No one has ever won the world championship on the last move in the last game by saying Oh I don’t need this thing anymore and then sacrificing the strongest piece on the board. The 13-year-old Bobby Fischer sacrificed his queen for a rook, two bishops, and a pawn in 1956 in what was later called “The Game of the Century,” and yeah it was stunning but it wasn’t the world championship, was it? It was not!

Are you getting this now? Do you understand that less than a month after reality shifted on November 8, reality shifted AGAIN this week, or do I have to come over there and clap your heads together like chalkboard erasers?

I have to reach into another sport to find something comparable. Travel with me now to the 1960 World Series, when the Pittsburgh Pirates, losing to the New York Yankees in game 7, came back IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH thanks to Bill Mazeroski’s homerun – the only World Series to end with a homerun.

But Carlsen is even more amazing than Maz because Carlsen ONLY NEEDED A DRAW in that game to keep his title. He could’ve played it safe. He chose not to. You can bet your ass and six of your goats that this is why Magnus Carlsen is a champion and Run-DMSteve is an idiot blogger.

doh
A blunder by Emma gives Sailor the win!

I’m back, my friends. Thanks for sticking around, all three of you. I was immersed in an eight-week novel-writing class, faced another emergency in Antique Parent Land, endured my worst Thanksgiving in 36 years, and played with my dog. Details to come, along with more of the forgettable musical opinions you crave.

I hope you’re all well and following your dreams instead of that person who got the restraining order against you. Happy holidays!

Random Pick of the Day
Hillary Clinton.

Sorry.

Random Pick of the Day
Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus (1956)
This milestone in postwar jazz whacks you in the head and throws you up on the roof with the Frisbees. It’s usually seen as a showcase for Rollins and his tenor sax, but the whole quartet is spectacular, particularly Tommy Flanagan on piano and Max Roach on drums. Max Roach must have had a Max Roach clone playing alongside him to lay down all those grooves.

I don’t know how to judge the bass player, Doug Watkins. I can only assume that Sonny, Tommy, and Max wouldn’t have let Doug join in their reindeer games unless he was spectacular, too.

This brilliant set was recorded in one fucking day in Hackensack, New Jersey.