Chess Digest (Formerly CALIFORNIA CHESS NEWS), Vol. 3 - No. 10, October 1950

crackpot's corner

By C. M. Capps


   THE OTHER day, coming down Market Street in San Francisco, we met a friend of ours, a well-known chess enthusiast, who was acting rather peculiarly. He was weaving about the sidewalk in a queer, hesitating, but somehow rhythmic, motion.

   He clutched our arm as we approached. "I think I'm going bats!" he croaked hoarsely. "These darned squares on the sidewalk - I keep trying to jump like a knight."

   We tried to reassure him. "It's nothing to worry about. Been concentrating too much on one thing. Just forget about chess for a couple of days - relax, go to a show, or something."

   "But I'm getting worried!" he persisted. "Lately, I'm getting a new feeling. I want to move sideways, like a rook!"

   We talked soothingly to him for a few minutes, then started on. We had gotten a half a block when it happened. A screech of brakes, a thud - and the screams of a couple of women passers-by.

   We have been to the hospital to see him, and he's doing very well. Happier, too. Says he only wants to move one square at a time, now. Like a pawn.


   WE UNDERSTAND that in New York you can buy chess sets piecemeal. A friend who has just returned from there said quite distinctly - it does strike us as rather odd - that one whole block is nothing but pawn shops!


   SPEAKING of piecemeal, that reminds us of a project we have had in mind for some time. You know the crowd who dash into Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco on weekdays, to spend their lunch hours playing "patz?" They complain that they don't have time to eat. Well, we have just the thing for them, if we can find someone to finance it.

   We propose to make chess sets they can eat. The pawns will be peanuts, the bishops, say, hot dogs - and of course kings would be dessert; something like French pastries. When you capture a piece, you eat it. Play the game and eat lunch at the same time!

All gambits would probably be accepted.

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