who cares about sports when there is a massive black hole in the center of the milky way

January 3, 2009 at 5:36 am | Posted in brian, chess | 2 Comments

what ever happened to bobby fisher?

April 10, 2007 at 8:11 am | Posted in baseball, brian, chess, sports history they never taught you in school | 1 Comment

chess is a lot like baseball. at least that’s why i think. sometimes fight and i have this discussion when we accidentally watch an inning of a baseball game on tv. (last year, we had this idea to make a demo-tape showcasing our baseball-related broadcasting skills. our hook — and it’s a hook that anyone would get snagged in by — was to claim that whoever was up to bat was also related to some famous person, living or dead, with a similar name. we also would snort lines of coke anytime anyone hit a homerun. that or eat tacos. you gotta keep coming up with new material if you want to make it in the world of baseball broadcasting.)

baseball and chess. how did anyone think up those games? according to the limited, casual research i’ve conducted over the last 21 years, no one really knows. baseball maybe grew out of some weird game where you’d try and hit gophers with sticks before they could return to their respective holes that celts used to play in the dark ages. when europeans came to the north american continent, an adaptation of this ancient game merged with a game played by indigenous cultures adapted from that basketball-like games aztecs used to play. in the native american indian game, participants would attempt to throw a gopher through that sideways hoop from various points on the playing field. the place you through the gopher from determined your possible score.

(while checking out sights of historical importance near the federal district of mexico, greg — the same greg who once contributed a piece to this blog — used up 4 of our 7 disposal cameras trying to shoot a panoramic recreation of one of these fields. he pasted all the photos up in his living room. it’s almost like being there.)

naturally, these two games merged with balls, bats, strike-zones and bases replacing gophers, sticks, holes and positions. then thomas edison invented the dh and baseball was born.

or that’s one theory about the origins of baseball. here’s an equally compelling theory:

a guy in the south of france got a job helping in the construction of the statue of liberty. during construction, an angel appeared to this guy in a dream and told him all about this game god thought might be interesting. upon waking, the guy made an outline of the game and hid it in the statue of liberty. when the statue of liberty arrived in the united states, the outline was found and baseball invented.

but chess? i can’t even make up a story about how that game was invented. i am satisfied with jeremy spinrad’s summary:

I am satisfied with the summary
contained in “Capsule History of Chess,” by Chielamangus (a.k.a. C.J.S.
Purdy), in The Fireside Book of Chess: “The conclusion to be drawn is that
the game originated either in India, or not in India, between 10,000 BC and
2000 AD. Practically all the opponents of this view have now been

some say moses invented it and you can still feel his presence when you play.

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