Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting the Ish

I've always thought that the "ish" was a recent phenomenon - emerging, say, in the last 10 years. You know what I mean. It is quite common these days to hear people say such phrases as: "meet you around 2'ish"; or "kinda bluish in colour"; or "a bearish market". I'm sure you've heard of even worse examples.

Yet just tonight, I was very surprised to find in an issue of Chess World the following headline: "Only Slightly Botvinnikish". That was way back in 1 January, 1947! The magazine was referring to the following game annotated also by one C.J.S Purdy. (Note that I have deliberately only included a couple of Purdy's remarks and also transformed the notation into the algebraic format).

Sydney Inter-club
Purdy, CJS. (University CC)
Koshnitsy, G. (Bondi CC)

As a sequel to the "Botvinnik Twins" published recently, the following game is not out of place, though played in the Sydney inter-club competition, in which the time limit of 28 moves an hour militates against serious chess. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 c5 8. cxd5 exd5 This is the Botvinnik-Capablanca and Botvinnik-Alexander position. Botvinnik played 9. N-K2, followed by P-QR4 (on move 13 against Capa and on move 10 against Alexander). I thought I would try P-QR4 earlier still. 9. a4 Re8 10. Ne2 c4 11. Bc2 Bg4 12. Rb1 b6 13. O-O Nc6 14. f3 Bd7 15. Ng3 Na5 16. e4 dxe4 17. fxe4 Bg4 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. h3 Nh5 20. Nh1! Bxh3 21. gxh3 Qxh3 22. Qh2! Qxc3 23. Qxh5 Qxc2 24. Qxf7+ Kh8 25. Ng3! An easily calculated Rook sacrifice, but spectacular. The Knight at R1 did not look a killer, but he is. Black could have made some resistance by declining the highly Greek gift, but was in a devil-may-care mood, as the whole game indicates. 25...Qxb1 26. Bh6 Qxf1+ 27. Kxf1 1-0

Also in the same issue, on page 10, was the following ad.

Unobtrusive, attractive, lapel badge; identifies you as a chess player to other players, and brings you new opponents, especially when travelling; passes unnoticed by non-players. Metal, enamel; simple knight design. Price 2/9, postage 3d.


Ryan said...

I had a chess tie once, but I didn't get approached by anyone wanting a game... :)

Anonymous said...

The badge is a great idea. I want one to stick on my Doeberl shirt.

Anonymous said...

Back in the dim and distant past-

a. the ACF had an ACF badge that could be bought but currently the only people I know who have one are Gary Wastell and me.

b. Peter Parr used to sell chess ties tastefully adorned with pieces and I still have one of those too - dark navy blue with White pieces. It could pass as the official tie of the Carlton FC Chess Club, if there was one :-).

As for the "ish" business, it has always been accepted usage but probably got out of hand recently as things tend to do.


The Closet Grandmaster said...

I have a tie, too, which I bought from the London Chess Centre a couple of years ago. But I've never been brave enough to wear it!


Anonymous said...

I have several chess ties (and an ACF lapel badge). Chess ties can still be purchased at www.chessaustralia.com.au

They are very cheapish!!

Brian Jones