Wednesday 17 October 2007

The Road Frequently Travelled

To Be or Not To Be.

Or rather "To Chess or Not To Chess"
with due apologies to the Bard.

To chess or not to chess, that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...
the reversals, the blunders, the oversights,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by
quitting (chess), end them.

To resign, to adjourn;
No
more; and by an adjournment to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural
mates
That flesh is heir to — 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

To resign, to adjourn;
To
adjourn, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that
sleep of resignation what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal
chessboard,
Must give us pause.

There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long
a chess career,
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time-trouble,
Th'oppressor's
smirk, the proud King's contumely,
The pangs of
stolen victory, Fischer's delay,
The insolence of
experts, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
When he himself might his
exit make
With a bare
Zwischenzug?

who would
Zugzwangs bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary
game,
But that the dread of something after
Chess,
The undiscovered country from whose
boundary
No
player returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of
chess-free action

By an unfortunate victim of the game

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