The Immortal Game

The Immortal Game was a chess game played by Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky on 21 June 1851 in London, during a break of the first international tournament. The bold sacrifices made by Anderssen to secure victory have made it one of the most famous chess games of all time. Anderssen gave up both rooks and a bishop, then his queen, checkmating his opponent with his three remaining minor pieces. In 1996, Bill Hartston called the game an achievement “perhaps unparalleled in chess literature”. [Wikipedia]

Played in 1851 as an informal match between two European math professors, Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, this game has become a true showcase of classic 19th century chess where startling attacks and sacrifices were all the rage. []

Kasparov’s Immortal

“Kasparov’s Immortal” features a rook sacrifice with a sacrificial combination lasting over 15 moves. One of the most commented chess games ever, with extensive press coverage.[Wikipedia]

You are about to witness one of the most extraordinary king-hunts in the history of chess. The opening and early middlegame are relatively quiet: Kasparov adopts an aggressive stance, but Topalov plays flexibly and obtains a fully acceptable position. Indeed, Kasparov is fighting not to be worse from move 14 to move 24, but as so often when a great champion’s back is against the wall, he gives his opponent plenty of chances to go horribly wrong. In a moment of inspiration, an amazing idea pops into Kasparov’s mind, and he embarks upon a sacrificial sequence. Topalov bravely decides to play down the main line when he had a perfectly safe alternative, but it turns out that Kasparov had been right: his pieces and pawns work in perfect harmony to hunt down the errant black king. [Burgess, Nunn, Emms]

Kasparov is playing the white pieces, and Topalov is playing the black pieces. After the final move, Topalov resigns the game. It does not actually end in checkmate.

Saga Of The Blackout Nurse

Being the most notable section of the ER epic, in which it took me seven attempts at a quadruple bypass to get one stent. Where I wrestled with schizoaffective while demanding I be sedated, then blacked out from said sedation and … went apeshit? Seeing as I would always walk home the two miles, it must have been some truly crazy shit.

On the second attempt, though, I had the great fortune to run across S, who knew how to talk to a crazy person. I felt like I were the human embodiment of a warm dinner roll. Some people make you feel cozy. I do fall in love easily, but I certainly had never thought I’d find someone like that. I just had no idea what was … exactly happening, as I was blacked out. I couldn’t see her, for instance. She looked like a glowing blur. We talked about all the mental torture of living near home, and how extreme it gets. It led to tears, and big sincere smiles, and in the morning … I thought she was leaning in from the sunlight, but it wasn’t her. My face fell so quickly the first-shift nurse had to say, “It’s okay. I’m good, too.” I believe I just shook my head at that.

A few attempts at a bypass later, I came to from a very long blackout in the middle of my mom goading me into violently bizarre behavior. I remember looking up at the white board where the nurses write their names, and there was S’s name. I remember closing my eyes slowly, in that way people do when they aren’t going to do a facepalm. S was there, in some capacity. I couldn’t see her this time, either, but I recognized her voice. She was laughing bitterly, in a high voice.

I … (sometime) later … said to “her” — because now I’m not sure it was really her — “I’ve been thinking about you every day since I last saw you.” The nurse laughed at me. I suddenly was … that was it. I had to get the IV out, and I somehow made my way back home, to my apartment.

I did get a stent, finally, but however many times I’d been back, she’d managed to not be there. No one asks to be thought of by people they themselves aren’t thinking of.

A Simple Solution For Overpopulation That Doesn’t Work

The more we all make a point of sleeping in, the more personal space that gives everyone else who’s awake. It’s unworkable, of course. No one works together on important things, but technically all you’d need do to help cool the world down emotionally is encourage everyone to stay asleep longer than they normally do.