Nuggets and Aphorisms

Food for thought. These first appeared in Amit Varma's blog, India Uncut

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Both mental game and contact sport

Chess is savagely and remorselessly interactive: it is both mental game and contact sport. What's it like? All-in wrestling between octopuses? Centipedal kickboxing? In its apparent languor, its stealthy equipoise, as each player wallows in horrified fascination, waiting to see what his opponent has seen, or has not seen, one may call to mind a certain punitive ritual of the Yanomani. Only one blow at a time is delivered by the long stave. The deliverer of the blow spends many minutes aiming; the receiver of the blow spends many minutes waiting.
Martin Amis, from a review collected in The War Against Cliché.
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