10 October – National Chess Day

I remind the readership that the second Saturday of October is designated as

National Chess Day.

Don’t be board.  Get out there and start mating!  I’ll check on your progress.

Also, en passant, many thanks to the readers who, some time back, sent some chess equipment.  It was my intention to invite the formation of a chess club, but… COVID-1984.   That’s going to have to wait.

An old post on chess and LATIN.  HERE

In honor of the day, here is a story I shared back in 2016:

chess gameFrom the often amusing Eye Of The Tiber:

Society of St. Pius X chess grandmaster Larcel Mafebvre has turned four of his pieces into bishops without approval from the World Chess Federation, officials have confirmed.

“Mr. Mafebvre has, without approval from the Federation, created bishops out of pawn pieces,” said World Chess Federation head Antonio Salamanca. “After speaking with Mr. Mafebvre regarding abiding by the new chess rules, wherein players are given the freedom to concelebrate the match, and to say the words of ‘checkmate’ in the vernacular, he has sadly decided to ignore our requests.”

Salamanca went on to tell reporters that Mafebvre had automatically incurred excheckommunication because of his disobedience.

“I must do what is in my conscience to preserve the dignity of the game,”  Mafebvre told EOTT in an exclusive interview. “Therefore, I have decided to consecrate four of my pieces into bishops to help my depleted side, for, from some Fischer, the smoke of Satan has entered the chessboard of God.”

At press time, one time follower of Larcel Mafebvre’s, Bavid Dawden, told EOTT that he has decided to become head of the World Chess Federation, though he only has three pawns to play with.

BTW… when I get my CW up to scratch, it could be fun to have a game, by sched, with someone out there.  CQ CQ CQ de W9FRZ e4.


And on this day….


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    Father, will there be games at your place of accommodations? Probably not because of COVID. I really enjoyed the photo you shared of the chess boards set up on several tables at your location some months ago.

  2. JakeMC says:

    I’m not really a chess player. I tried to learn at one time, but found I just didn’t have the head for it; my thought processes are too linear. I do, however, have an interest in Latin, so I went back to check out your older post about the chess manual written in Latin. Interestingly, scacci. was clearly a commonly used word, given the phrase ludus scaccorum, yet no dictionary online seems to know of it. There are one or two other piece names that also don’t appear in any dictionary.

  3. JustaSinner says:

    3D chess rules…had built one modelled after the Star Trek-ish one when I was younger with my brothers.

  4. Ivan says:

    Chess-puzzle of the century.
    The position of the pieces follows:
    White pawn: d7, g3
    White Knight: g4
    White Bishop: d1
    White King: d6

    Black pawn: c3, c5, e3, h6
    Black Knight: a6, g5
    Black Bishop: b4
    Black King: h7
    That’s all.

    White wins.
    Kudos to anyone who solves it.

  5. VP says:

    …making us Fischers of men.

  6. Chrysologos says:

    Should the verb at the end of the graphic be ‘stant’ rather than ‘stat’? I think the white and black (pace BLM) queens (pace LBGT) constitute a plural subject of the verb.

  7. acardnal: will there be games at your place

    I think I should get something going, COVID or no COVID.

    From that post HERE

    And, I see that I had spaghetti with colatura back then. Sounds good for tonight!

  8. Chrysologos says: ‘stant’ rather than ‘stat’?

    A singular can do double duty in a situation like this.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    Oh, this story is just playing us for pawns. Well, I guess a man can “castle” in his own home, just don’t let the bishop hear you, en passant. Trying to buy a chess board, you might get rooked, but the check is in the mail. Okay. Knight, knight.

    The Chicken

  10. NOCatholic says:

    Chess is a fascinating game. But it is all-encompassing. During my younger chess-playing days I read a quote from an English pastor to the effect of, “It hath not done with me when I am done with it.” attesting to the addictive allure of the game. Chess pretty much consumed the greatest player of the game, Bobby Fischer.

    When Fischer passed away in 2006 in Iceland, he received a Catholic funeral. How Bobby Fischer, a long time adherent of the heretical Worldwide Church of God, was able to receive a Catholic funeral, I have no idea. I would like to think that Fischer entered the Church and receive some measure of peace on earth at the end of his troubled life, as well as (I pray) eternal beatitude.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Ivan: I think I’ve got it, but the solution requires White to promote its pawns to a Segway and a Trireme.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    On National Chess Day we should honor the greatest chess move of all time.

    “If Orange Man says the military-industrial complex is bad, I’m all for it!” shouted one rioter, laying down his brick and rushing to his local Army Recruitment Center. “Hooah!”

    “The military is bad. Terrible!” Trump said, forcing liberals to take the opposite position, defend the military, and sign up to serve their country. The move is being called “4D chess,” “5D checkers,” and “7D Settlers of Catan.”


  13. Ivan says:

    Semper Gumby: Nice joke, but no, white really wins in this chess-puzzle following normal chess rules. Keep trying.

  14. _Dan_ says:

    Ivan: I assume that it is white to move in the puzzle you presented?

  15. Ivan says:

    Yes, white is on the move.
    Sorry, I forgot to write that.

  16. Jacob says:

    Father, would you be up for a game someday through snail mail or email?

  17. bookworm says:

    The Ace of Spades HQ blog has a weekly Chess Thread on Saturday afternoons, it hasn’t been posted yet today but should be in the next couple of hours. The thread includes chess analysis along with pictures of elegantly (and generally modestly) dressed women, ending with pics of Duchess Kate and First Lady Melania Trump. I’m thinking of cross-posting the Eye of the Tiber item over there when the thread goes up….

  18. Danteewoo says:

    Some time during the Reagan years, I saw a comic in which Gorbachev and Reagan were playing chess. The US Bishops had just issued some sort of generic “War is bad” statement. Gorbachev reached over and moved one of Reagan’s bishops and said, “I move my pawn.” Reagan said: “Wait! That’s my bishop!” Gorbachev responded, “Same thing.”

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