In these tight times the US Chess Federation http://www.uschess.org is seeking to economize. As part of the belt-tightening its flagship magazine (Chess Life) is shrinking, with fewer and shorter feature articles. How to do that and still have fun, reach out to new audiences, and re-energize a graying population of caissic aficionados?

I suggest Poetic Annotations --- explanatory game comments in the form of ultra-short verse. It doesn't have to be 17-syllables, but let's start with that. Consider the classic game between de la Bourdonnais and McDonnell (1834, from Tartakower & du Mont, 500 Master Games of Chess, 1952):

1 e4 e5
    The peasants butt heads
    Quarreling over nothing ---
    Not unlike their kings.
2 Nf3 Nc6
3 Bc4 Bc5
4 c3 d6
    Chrysanthemum buds
    Tantalize a dreamer's nose
    Until the bee stings.
(4 ... Nc6 would have been more active)
5 d4 exd4
6 cxd4 Bb6
    Sunlight through raindrops,
    Chill breezes, open windows:
    Prepare for the night.
(not 6 ... Bb4+)

and so forth ....

(see ChessChow for other ideas on adding levity to the Queen of Games)

TopicPoetry - TopicHumor - TopicRecreation - 2002-01-04

(correlates: ChessCrisis, HowDoYouDo, GraffitiZone, ...)