Daily Rome Shot 601

Ite Naves! Caedite Exercitum!


BLACK to move and win material.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Interested in learning?  Try THIS.

Chess pieces originally represented different military units.   Rooks were originally elephants, knights were obviously cavalry, etc.  What would be the analogies now?

A chessy history book:

Birth of the Chess Queen: A History


The author is a feminist, but the book is pretty good history.  It was really interesting.

Support the traditional Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy.  They make great beer.  YOU can have some and so can your friends and loved ones.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    One of my favourite parts of Roman History was when they figured out that they could win naval battles by going full tilt towards the enemy ships, boarding them as quickly as possible, and sending in heavy infantry. Never the best sailors, but the Romans could do amphibious assaults like nobody before.

    One of my fondest university memories was when I read and understood (somehow) the passage in the Gallic wars describing the amphibious assault on Britain:

    “Atque nostris militibus cunctantibus, maxime propter altitudinem maris, qui X legionis aquilam gerebat, obtestatus deos, ut ea res legioni feliciter eveniret, ‘ desilite’, inquit, ‘ milites, nisi vultis aquilam hostibus prodere; ego certe meum rei publicae atque imperatori officium praestitero.’ Hoc cum voce magna dixisset, se ex navi proiecit atque in hostes aquilam ferre coepit. Tum nostri cohortati inter se, ne tantum dedecus admitteretur, universi ex navi desiluerunt. Hos item ex proximis primi navibus cum conspexissent, subsecuti hostibus adpropinquaverunt.”

    Sometimes you just do what needs to be done and hope the others follow.

    [For those whose Latin is shaky, Julius Caesar is invading Britain, but the amphibious landing of the legion from oared ships that can’t reach the shore has the landing stalled. The aquilifer (who carries the prized eagle standard of the legion) takes the initiative to get the men going into the water and toward the shore… “Jump, soldiers! Unless you want to hand over your eagle to the enemy!” and he jumps. The men, desperate to save their eagle, follow and the assault on the shore begins. It was a humiliating disaster for the Romans to lose an eagle standard to the enemy. When Herman the German smashed Varus and three legions in the Teutoburg Forest in one of the biggest defeats in Roman history, they lost they eagles to the barbarians and they no longer had an army to keep their place in Germany. In Robert Graves account in I, Claudius, Augustus rages, “Varus, where are my eagles?” HERE]

  2. FrankWalshingham says:

    Knight to E5, forking the white queen and bishop

  3. VForr says:

    We have a rather impressive chessboard at my workplace and a few of my coworkers have been playing during lunchtime. I think of you, Father Z, every time they pla

  4. Frank: Thanks! That Ne5 fork looks good at first glance, doesn’t it. But it’s a puzzle. The problem with the Ne5 is Qd6 and then, after some checks white slides Kh1 and follows Rg1. The dormant rook is then in g file and white’s pawns start to motor up the board. White is active and the outcome is sketchy for black.

    White’s King is vulnerable. White’s rook is chilling. Black has four active pieces including a rook pair.

    1. Rg8+ Bxg8 (pretty much forced )
    2. Rxg8+ Kh1 (pretty much forced)
    3. Nxf2+! (getting rid of that pesky pawn is critical because it can block the a8-h1 diagonal)
    3. … Rxf2 (forced)
    4. Bx4+ Rg2 (forced)
    5. Bxg2+ Kg1 (forced)
    6. Bh3+!

    At the end, the discovered check simultaneously attacks the white queen. Now black is massively winning and it is time to white to resign.

    If, on the other hand, after the first rook attack the white king runs to the corner, the inevitable follows.

    1… Rg8+
    2. Kh1 Nxf2+
    3. Rxf2 Be4+
    4. Rg2 Bxg2+
    5. Kg1 Bh3+
    6. Kf2 Bxd7 (which should look familiar).

  5. TheCavalierHatherly says: DESILITE MILITES!

    What a great moment in an ancient “D-Day” like amphibious assault.

    Sometimes it’s one guy who makes the difference.

    We should all remember that in all our places and daily battles howeverso humble they may be.

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