Chess as rape

Posted by – November 21, 2008

I was actually saving that title for my cultural studies (yes, this really exists) thesis but the cover of the newly released Deep Fritz 11 (a computer chess program) was just too evocative for me:

Is it just me or is this a gang rape?

Is it just me or is this a gang rape?

Also, Nigel Short:

Ample evidence of [Short’s lack of subtlety] is on the record, not the least of which was his response to a question posed by a French journalist that “France represents everything I detest most in life. Your country’s only useful products are porn films.”

In addition, and as many other Grandmasters seem to, Short has a tendency to describe this apparently (to us patzers) docile, if cerebral, game in largely sexual language. And it’s rough sex Nigel seems to be looking for.

Dominic Lawson’s book The Inner Game has the slight, rather imp-ish Short quoted as saying about a particular opponent: “I’m going to give it to him good and hard. I’m going to give the guy a good rogering. I’m going to give it to him good and hard, right up him. I want to rape and mate him.” Tyson language in spectacles.

Lawson also reports that in Barcelona in 1987 he first heard Short use the acronym TDF, which he imagined to be a contraction of some arcane chess strategy. Short and the American Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan kept using the expression while poring over a board and discussing tactics. Finally Lawson asked them what it meant. In unison, and with evident pleasure, they growled back:

“Trap. Dominate. Fuck.”

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