Moscow Fantasy Travel Episode Played Out in Chess Quotes

Chess is a great game, not that I’ve played much, or acquired much skill in it. The World Championship was dominated by the Soviet Union during its existence. So, what better way was there for the greenYgrey to get to grips with Moscow’s hectic big city lifestyle, with lots of exciting attractions to see, a big business district and great amounts of greenery, than to fall into a chess world of stalemate time and pieces of imaginative helpers.

English: The Cathedral of Intercession of the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi, it’s G.G. Howling, satirical comedy fiction correspondent at the greenYgrey inspired by Harry Potter wizard writer J.K. Rowling. Get your thinking hats on, and chess quotes conundrums countdown clock ticking, as Moscow provides quite an exciting day for the greenYgrey:

Chapter 1 Episode 22

You must forget you ever knew me, but remember what I said.
I am the Moscow jellyfish, concentric circles on Russia’s seabed.
Now you are ready to pass through, be careful where you tread.

Inside the Moscow Jellyfish


Those who say they understand Chess, understand nothing.  – Robert Huebner

I walked for miles around Moscow, passing the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, Tretyakov Gallery and Gorky Park.

By the time I reached Red Square my feet and paws were sore, so I sat down  on a paving slab. The Kremlin looked like a king; St. Basil’s a bishop; the trees resembled pawns.

The arts centres named after Russian writers and artists reminded me of my epic Russian journey, and Dreams of My Russian Summer returned to mind.

According to such great attacking players as Bronstein and Tal, most combinations are inspired by the player’s memories of earlier games.  –  Pal Benko

Red Square Horse Knight

Inexperienced players have a fear of this piece, which seems to them enigmatic, mysterious, and astonishing in its power. We must admit that it has remarkable characteristics which compel respect and occasionally surprise the most wary players.  –  Eugene Znosko-Borowski

I was feeling like a werey player in a great game, when a great horse appeared, beckoning me aboard.

It seemed an ideal way to see the city, so I jumped on. It galloped two strides forward, and one to the side. I thought it was a little strange at first, but got used to it as it continued to move like that, or sometimes took one stride forward and two to the side.

We moved effortlessly from grey squares to green parks, and vice versa.

Combination Move 1: Trouble

Every move creates a weakness.  –  Siegbert Tarrasch

However, after some time, the horse began to tire and weaken. It lay down on the edge of one of the fantastic forests I’d noticed around Moscow, lay down on the grass, and went to sleep.

In chess, as in life, a man is his own most dangerous opponent.  – Vasily Smyslov

Although the forest looked wonderful, I felt lost. My green side told the grey it might have been a mistake accepting the ride off the horse. The grey said that it was the green’s turn to be a-were. The green said it thought it was grey’s turn.

You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.  –  Mikhail Tal

A page from a 1935 Calendar (USSR), illustrati...

A page from a 1935 Calendar (USSR), illustrating the concept of шестидневка (sixday). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Green told Grey that they should enter the forest, to take some time out, and try to resolve their dilemma, decide on a unanimous decision, so that they could continue as one.

I/we entered the forest and travelled deep into what seemed like a neverending woodland.

The worst enemy of the strategist is the clock. Time trouble … Reduces us all to pure reflex and reaction, tactical play. Emotion and instinct cloud our strategic vision when there is no time for proper evaluation.  –   Garry Kasparov

I/we continued to walk, but didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

Although my/our feet and paws had recovered while on horseback, they were now back to square one; metaphorically that is, rather than the sleep-inducing one on Red Square.

It is a profound mistake to imagine that the art of combination depends only on natural talent, and that it cannot be learned. Every player knows that all (or almost all) combinations arise from a recollection of familiar elements.  –  Richard Reti

Combination Move 2: Resolution

English: Grave of Alexander Alekhine, Montparn...

English: Grave of Alexander Alekhine, Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During a chess tournament a master must envisage himself as a cross between an ascetic monk and a beast of prey.  –  Alexander Alekhine

Green wanted to become human, Grey a wolf. They shapeshifted against each other, becoming neither wolf nor human.

Green accused Grey of wanting to eat it, Grey howled that Green wanted to skin it.

My/our body was twisting itself into turmoil, threatening to break itself apart.

…sound strategy often demands that you submit to the opponent’s will so as to strengthen your weaknesses and get rid of defects in your game.  –  Emanuel Lasker

Yellow decided it had to intervene, saying it had seen enough; adding that Green and Grey should submit to each other, as together they were much stronger and wiser than separate and fighting.

How vain are our fears! I thought to myself. Sometimes we fear that which our opponent (or fate) had never even considered! After this, then, is it any longer worthwhile to rack one’s brain to find new ghosts to fear? –  Aaron Nimzowitsch

I returned to being the greenYgrey all of a sudden, awakening out of the inner frenzy I’d induced. Green saw Grey did not want to eat it, and Grey realised Green had never wanted to skin it. It was lucky we now knew Y.

The forest once again looked like it really is: a natural environment for lots of forms of life, with some natural dangers for humans, wolves and werewolves, but no more than in civilised human society.

The Forest of Countess Mordvinova (1891) Oil o...

The Forest of Countess Mordvinova (1891), The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Play on both sides of the board is my favourite strategy. – Alexander Alekhine

I walked and ran the last shreds of stress out, reaching a stream with clear water. I sat and drank, resting and refreshing.

I could see where I had been, and I could see where I had not been.

From somewhere in-between I saw our Red Square horse galloping towards me.

It was recognisable from afar, with its distinctive two forward strides and one to the side, or one forward and two to the side running style.


Chess quotes from
Dreams of My Russian Summers is a novel by Andrei Makine.

Link for Amazon book and kindle.
Link for multiple Ereaders at Smashwords.

Link for multiple Ereaders at Smashwords.


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