Friday, September 26, 2008
Dog eat doggerel
The new chess season has arrived, and shortly most of us shall be playing our first meaningful games for several months. But if, like myself, you have barely seen a chessboard over the summer, it is entirely feasible that you will have completely forgotten the rules of the game. Fear not! For those who can no longer tell a passed pawn from a frog's pawn, as Bill Hartston put it, below is a comprehensive and not at all convoluted aide memoire courtesy of the great D.B. Pritchard (right):
The KING may move a single square in any free direction;
Should he succumb the game is lost, so play with circumspection!
To crossword clues a ROOK may take - it moves across and down;
If lines are clear he changes gear and really goes to town.
The BISHOP travels cornerwise if ways are unrestricted,
His diocese but half the board - the rest is interdicted.
The QUEEN may radiate at will if she is not obstructed;
Like rook or bishop, as required, her journeys are conducted.
The KNIGHT, a problem child, extends (according to decree)
To the diametric corner of a figure two by three.
The PAWN moves only forward, and but a single square;
Is promoted on the eighth rank (assume it reaches there).
Initially, however, its functions to enhance,
The pawn retains the option of a double-square advance.
- D.B. Pritchard, The Right Way To Play Chess. (Kingswood: Right Way Books, 1950), p.19.
Never let it be said that the S&BCC blog fails to provide a public service. The challenge today, dear readers, is to extend this verse: in the comments box, please provide additional couplets in the Pritchard style explaining a) the en passant rule and b) how to castle. The most imaginative entrant wins Tom's cats, or something.