More Than a Chess Game

Most of my friends know I love to play chess. And I actually do play a (very) good game.

 

But there are other aspects of chess that one can enjoy that go way beyond than just moving the white and black pieces.

 

It is a pursuit into the unknown, and possibly the unknowable.

 

It can be a discipline, even a definition. For the egotist, it is a way demonstrate (or at least to brag about) their own, self-proclaimed, intelligence.

 

Governments have used it as a propaganda tool to push forward their agenda, with various degrees of success.

 

In art, literature, and music, it is often used a metaphor; something to celebrate, wonder, or ponder. It can expand the mind, making a work of art something even better.

 

The last area is one I love to indulge myself.

 

Three of the most popular songs recorded in the numerous decades since the beginning of the pop culture (circa 1950’s) are the following:

 

[Chess to further illustrate a literacy piece (or as some suggested, a drug experience)]

 

“White Rabbit”

By The Jefferson Airplane

 

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head

 

 

[Chess as a metaphor for the complexities of loving relationship]

 

“I’ve Seen All Good People”

by Yes

 

(Part I – Your Move)

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way
I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way

Take a straight and stronger course
to the corner of your life
Make the white queen run so fast
she hasn’t got time to make you a wife

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!
Move me on to any black square
Use me anytime you want
Just remember that the goal
Is for us all to capture all we want
(Move me on to any black square)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself
Move on back two squares
Send an instant karma to me
Initial it with loving care
(Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda
(Don’t surround yourself with yourself)

Don’t surround yourself with yourself
(Don’t surround yourself)
Move on back two squares
Send an instant karma to me
(Send an instant karma to me)
Initial it with loving care
(Don’t surround yourself)

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and its news is captured
for the queen to use!

Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (All we are saying)
Diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit diddit didda (Is give peace a chance

‘Cause it’s time, it’s time in time with your time
and it’s news is captured…

 

(Part II – All Good People)

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way

I’ve seen all good people turn their heads each day
So satisfied I’m on my way…

 

[Chess as a metaphor for the internal conflict of an individual or the conflicts between an individual and society. This song has both.]

 

“One Night in Bangkok”

by Murray Head

 

Bangkok!, Oriental setting.
And the city don’t know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner

Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change, don’t you know that when you
Play at this level there’s no ordinary venue
It’s Iceland or the Philippines or Hastings or, or this place!

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
And if you’re lucky then the god’s a she
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One town’s very like another
When your head’s down over your pieces, brother
It’s a drag, it’s a bore, it’s really such a pity
To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town
Tea, girls, warm and sweet
Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite

Get Thai’d! You’re talking to a tourist
Whose every move’s among the purest
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me

Siam’s gonna be the witness
To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
This grips me more than would a
Muddy old river or reclining Buddha
And thank God I’m only watching the game, controlling it

I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
So you better go back to your bars
Your temples, your massage parlors

One night in Bangkok and the world’s your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain’t free
You’ll find a god in every golden cloister
A little flesh, a little history
I can feel an angel sliding up to me

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can’t be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me.

 

blinky

Do you know of any more? I would love to hear from you! =)

 

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