Archive for July, 2010

To Win At Chess

July 30, 2010

Following up on yesterday’s chess post, here is possibly the worst bit of psychologising I’ve ever heard:

“To checkmate the opponent’s King in chess is equivalent to castrating him and devouring him, becoming one with him in a ritual of symbolic homosexualism and cannibalistic communion, thus responding to the remnants of the infantile Oedipus complex” Dr Felix Marti Ibanez (1960)**

A bit over the top, but we know what he means.

**Cited by Fox and James, The Complete Chess Addict, pp. 146-147.

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Stomach-Churning Blunder

July 29, 2010

Maciol-Gormally (July 2010)

This position is taken from a game in the 1st round of the British Chess Championships currently in progress. The player with White, Ryszard Maciol, is winning and is rated some 240 points below his GM opponent Danny Gormally. Then he somehow managed to find what has been described as the “worst move on the board”. Can you find it and Black’s follow-up?

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‘Bronson’ and the Search for Meaning

July 28, 2010

I’ve just watched the ferocious film ‘Bronson’ which is a take on the life of Michael Peterson a.k.a. ‘Charlie Bronson’ – whom the newspapers styled as Britain’s most violent prisoner. Tom Hardy gives a searing performance as the rather unhinged Peterson who, as the film continues, increasingly descends into virtual insanity. At various times in the film several characters ask ‘Charlie’ what he wants – whether immediately or for his life. As we near the finish it has become clear that whatever he longed for he wasn’t going to get it. In fact, the film leaves us with a desperate, lonely, distraught, pitiable creature clinging to an utterly futile existence. Without hope; a wasted life with some 26 of his 30 years imprisonment spent in solitary confinement.

I couldn’t help but reflect on this overwhelmingly tragic tale. However warped his perception, Peterson sought after a meaningful life. Instead, he is caged and abandoned to his deranged ravings and the unfulfilled fantasies of what his life might have been. Although this was an extreme example, many people live similarly wasted lives, limping through their days, broken and without hope or aspiration, crying out for meaning. This is why it is incumbent, no, morally imperative for us to bring the good news that the Creator God has broken into our world through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and by his Spirit. Nothing is the same anymore, all wrongs will be righted, all sorrows comforted, and all wounds healed. This God has made it possible for us, as deeply flawed as we are, to live authentically, to discover our true humanity, who this God intended for us to be – both to him, to ourselves, and to one another.

Not all of us are gifted evangelists, I wish I was but I’m not. Nonetheless, as wounded healers, we followers of Jesus can be there for others, give our personal presence, and demonstrate love in word and deed. This broken world of broken people needs comfort, compassion, restoration, and to know and feel the loving presence of the triune God. A life without the God known in the face of Jesus and by his Spirit is a half-life, wasted, and ultimately meaningless. What a needless tragedy.

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10 Golden Rules for Commenting and Interacting on this Blog

July 27, 2010

These are the Blog rules and no comment will be permitted that:

1. Uses profanity.
2. Is racist, morally offensive or otherwise inappropriate.
3. Contains commentary or questions that are significantly off topic.
4. Makes no sense, and/or;
5. Is blatant trolling.
6. Is inappropriately long. Long rambling rants are subject to immediate deletion. I’m keen on nicely articulated comments, not diatribes.
7. Contains threats of any kind.
8. Contains name calling (particularly if I am the recipient!).
9. Contains any nasty, snide, or snarcky tone. Essentially, let’s be Ladies and Gentlemen. Passionate discussion is possible for adults without wallowing in mire. Hence, there is a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy.
10. Does not include a name and valid email address. No anonymous comments which are without accountability please.

I reserve the right to moderate comments before they appear. Comments that do not comply with the above rules are simply deleted.

I’d like my blogging to be an enjoyable experience, so please know that I very much appreciate your understanding and co-operation.