Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pestaño: The deranged legends of chess

Thursday, August 22, 2013

IF YOU Google xylothist or xylothism, you will find out that it is a new word in the English language and was introduced and defined by Chessmoso sometime ago.
A xylothist is a derogatory description of a chess player gone wrong. It comes from the Greek word meaning wood-pusher. It means he is suffering from a disease or psychological disorder because of chess.
There are a lot of them around under varying degrees of disorder. I will just mention the prominent ones, all world champions—Bobby Fischer, Paul Morphy and Wilhem Steinitz.
Fischer drafted a letter to Osama bin Laden, which began: Dear Mr. Osama bin Laden, allow me to introduce myself. I am Bobby Fischer, the World Chess Champion. First of all you should know that I share your hatred of the murderous bandit state of “Israel” and its chief backer the Jew-controlled U.S.A. also known as the “Jewnited States” or “Israel West.” We also have something else in common: We are both fugitives from the U.S. “justice” system.
There are other “weird” actions by Bobby that are well known by almost everybody, even none chess players.
Paul Morphy (June 22, 1837 – July 10, 1884) was an American player considered to have been an unofficial world champion He was called “The Pride and Sorrow of Chess” because he had a brief and brilliant chess career. He is considered by many, including Bobby Fischer, as the greatest chess player who ever lived.
In his later years, he was described as “A trim little man , muttering to himself, swinging his cane at most who dared approach. Sometimes he would take a fancy to a passing woman and following her for hours at a distance. He lived in fear of being poisoned, eating only food prepared by his mother or sister, and he believed that neighborhood barbers were conspiring to slit his throat. His family tried to have him committed to an asylum, but he argued his sanity so convincingly that the authorities declined to admit him.”
Wilhem Steinitz, the first official world champion was making claims in his later years that he could move chess pieces at will by emitting electric currents, that he could phone anyone in the world without wire, and that he was trying to contact God, offering a pawn and move in a match. In 1900 his wife committed him to the insane asylum at Ward’s Island, New York.
I am introducing now another new word, grandmartyrs (masters), which means those who died while playing chess.
The most common cause of death while playing chess is a stroke or heart attack.
Those who died of a heart attack while playing include Vladimir Bagirov (right after time pressure and his flag fell), Efim Bogoljubow, Vladimir Simagin, Ed Edmondson, Ivan the Terrible, Charles Keyser Leonhardt, Gideon Stahlberg, John Purdy , George Steiner, Rainer Wunsch and Howard Staunton.
Those who had a stroke while playing include Jose Capablanca ,Aivar Gipslis, and Johannes Zukertort.
CardosO.I received a text message from good friend Samuel Estimo that Rodolfo Tan Cardoso died of heart failure at the Philippine Heart Center last Wednesday at 3:10 pm.
I remember him well because we invited him to play a simul with my Mobiloil co-employees back in 1974.
“He was a true gentleman over the chessboard. Being the first International Master of Asia, he put our country in the world chess map. And he was the only Filipino to ever beat Bobby Fischer in chess,” said Estimo, a two-time Olympian member and National Master. “Rudy , together with Florencio Campomanes,Carlos Benitez and Glicerio Badilles, composed the first Philippine Team that played

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