Archive for the stiefel Category

25 May: Lucky man

Posted in cartoon, stiefel on May 25, 2012 by Chessurfer

Only two more games to go in the 2012 FIDE world chess championship…the factor “luck” will possibly play an important role in the last regular games and maybe in the tie-break. Our cartoonist Frank Stiefel created this new cartoon of the “lucky man“. How many symbols of luck do you discover?

Explanation of the symbols. 

The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leaved clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

The tradition that pigs bring good luck — especially at the New Year — is apparently Teutonic in origin; it certainly did not originate in Jewish or Arabic cultures where pig flesh was a forbidden food. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the image of a white pig (almost never a spotted, belted, or brown breed) is used as a lucky charm in Germany, Austria, England, and Ireland, as well as among Anglo-Americans.

And what about our “lucky man in the cartoon, the Chimney Sweep?  This custom started about two hundred years ago, when a London Chimney Sweep saved the life of King George 11. The Sweep had been the only person brave enough to step forward when the King’s coach and horse’s bolted, the Chimney Sweeper pulled up the horses and saved the monarch. The King was so pleased that he made an announcement by Royal Decree declaring that all Chimney Sweeps are good luck bearers and must be treated with respect. The folklore was established and to this day Chimney Sweeps are still considered Lucky and are invited to attend Weddings to kiss the Bride.


24 May: Vishy’s fortress

Posted in Anand, cartoon, stiefel with tags , , on May 24, 2012 by Chessurfer

Game 9 was like watching a Barcelona-Chelsea game. A new cartoon by Frank Stiefel.

Vishy Anand, dressed in a Chess Tigers T-shirt is building a fortress in game 9.

22 May: The tactic monster from Chennai

Posted in Anand, cartoon, Gelfand, stiefel with tags , , , on May 21, 2012 by Chessurfer

A new cartoon by Frank Stiefel. After his decisive miniature in  less than 20 moves, the tactic monster from Chennai is back  in business.

Press conference

Bonus for today: a few pictures of the press conference after game 8. Gelfand disappointed, but not broken, Anand happy but realistic.

18 May: Drumming another draw

Posted in Anand, cartoon, stiefel on May 18, 2012 by Chessurfer

Half-time in Moscow: Vishy Anand easily drums to another draw. Cartoon by Frank Stiefel.

15 May: Caught in the maze of a rook ending

Posted in Anand, cartoon, stiefel on May 15, 2012 by Chessurfer

The third game ended in a really interesting textbook rook ending, but Vishy Anand could not find a win in the rook ending maze. Frank Stiefel illustrates the dilemma of the world champion in a wonderful new cartoon.

13 May: Shadowboxing

Posted in boxing, cartoon, Gelfand, Moscow, stiefel, The match 2012 with tags , , , on May 13, 2012 by Chessurfer

A new cartoon by Frank Stiefel.

Anand and Gelfand are still in the shadowboxing phase of the early rounds. No early knock out in Moscow.

Boxing phrases

You might be surprised to learn how many boxing phrases have entered into our everyday lexicon, and to a certain extent, some of them are applicabe in chess, too. Here a a few examples:

Good Chin – A boxer with a good chin is somebody who can take a hard punch without being hurt or knocked down.

Glass Jaw – A boxer with a glass jaw is the opposite of a one with a good chin. They are easily hurt and knocked down or out. Since glass shatters with hard impact having a glass jaw means that you can’t stand up to a hard punch. Using this outside of boxing, a person or thing with a glass jaw would not be able to stand up to intense pressure or difficult challenges.

Puncher’s Chance – If you have the ability to really hit hard, you always have a chance at winning a fight. Even if the other boxer is technically superior or has been beating you decisively for 11 rounds and 2:30 into the 12th, you always have that punch that can save the day. Therefore, somebody with a big punch that is otherwise outmatched or losing has a puncher’s chance to win a fight. Out of the boxing realm, the phrase generally means having a small chance at success; it’s not impossible, but it’s not likely.

I think everybody chessplayer has had the unpleasant experience that he or she got mated or blundered  in a completely winning position. It also happens in world championship matches. 61 years ago, on 26 March 1951 David Bronstein produced a fatal blunder in his 6th game in the world championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik.

Bronstein-Botvinnik, Moscow 1951, game 6.

In this position, after 45 minutes of deep thinking, Bronstein made the famous blunder-move 57.Kc2?? Botvinnik replied 57… Kg3! (not Kf3?) and his e-pawn could reach e1. What was Bronstein thinking about, and what happened?

Years later, in 1976, he told that he was very aware of the right move 57. Ne6+ and the draw is no problem. But he started thinking about the opening of the game, his mind went astray, and suddenly he had touched his King by accident…. so he had to move it somewhere! There goes the game, the match and the title….knock out.
Fist fighting
The evening service in our hotel is very attentive and every day the maid puts a small card with some historical facts about Moscow in the room. One of the cards provides information about “fist fighting” on “Wild Thursday”in the Butter Week. I like the last sentence. Imagine, Vishy, Boris, the arbiters and the audience in a big free-for-all!

11 May: Rowing through Grünfeld waters

Posted in Anand, cartoon, stiefel with tags , , , on May 12, 2012 by Chessurfer

Here is a cartoon by German artist Frank Stiefel, who draws many cartoons for the Chess Tigers. He also did some great work during the Chess Classic Mainz events. He will draw a cartoon after every game for the Chess Tigers website and this blog.