Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marry The Bosses Daughter

Allow me a brief digression but, yes, yes, we will get to the harsh combat of chess tactics in a second... Despite having boundless energy, my mother was a slight woman, all 86 pounds of her when she had me, so that my reasonable 5'-10" stature and decidedly endurance type build is a work of gratitude. When she gave birth to me, she was told not to expect to live, for her frame could not take another cesarian section, her third. She did live, and the very old world jewish Doctor Pearlman (we are not Jewish but were surrounded at my birthplace) had tears in his eyes when he delivered me.

It was this same Doctor Pearlman, who upon telling my mother in reply to her certainty that she 'could NOT be pregnant' (my dad had a vasectomy, and my mom for sure only 'knew my father') in heavy Yiddish accent: 'Vhat do you vmean to tellm me, hez Jesus Christ??' But so it was, and here I stand today, four weeks from my fiftieth birthday.

Much latter, as he was in his last days, this dear man, who was so tough that he REPEATED MEDICAL school here (for they wouldn't recognize his credentials from Europe), summoned me to his home right before my freshman year of college. He told me a few things, none of which I remember except one in particular: "Always David. Always Marry the Bosses Daughter".

Now what the heck does that mean? Is it a spiritual thing, or is it concrete?? One thing is for sure, I never did marry her (in either sense of it), and have suffered for it ever since. How prescient of him! Fast forward.

Every Karateka gets a new white belt, and one of the first things you notice is not only are there few black belts, but the really senior students have them in tatters. Just threadbare from battle, sweat, and arduous training. At my Dojo with Sensei Vic Coffin, the former Special Forces guy, there was a guy named Mr. Dempsey. Every dojo always has somebody who not only has all the teaching, but from long ago, a fixture, but Dempsey-San was young, so he had been there from the start! His Gi or Karate Uniform was tattered and falling to pieces. His belt was worn to threads from all his tumbles and scrapes.

Today, kind readers, I am almost done with Reinfeld's 1001 Winning Sacrifices and Combinations. The binding is wrecked, and it is beyond taping. I have taped, and retaped. I yearn for completion, so that when I go to the beach, as I am want to do, studying tactics, always, I need not fear for half the loose pages blowing away, as happened to a few pages in the front, so that I must put an apple on top!

I met a man once, who was an aspiring chess master. He told me, in 2002 that I needed 'to sleep with that book;, and that, I have done, literally for more than two years--not in a mad rush, not like some classic novel you rush through, but like the book you never rush at, taking in every word like a gold button.

I did this with Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji in 1982 [1] and I did this with E.M. Cioran's Temptation to Exist in 1978 particularly. If he mentioned Tacitus or Montaigne, I would look it up, every single citation. Now you, have any of you taken a chess book and so used it, that you would destroy it, pulverize it? I cannot recommend it enough, as GM Seirawan calls it, 'burning it into the circuitry of your brain'.

warmest, dk

[1] Reputed to be among the world oldest novels. It might be suggested that it almost makes either Tolstoy's War and Peace or Prousts Remembrance of Things Past but short vignettes or of limited complexity, in comparison. I would read only a paragraph and then sometimes have to stop, so beautiful was its artistry of thought or touching the emotion. And--yes--it was writen by a woman.


OpenID chesstiger said...

Words, it takes nanoseconds to read but years to grasp their true meaning.

Never have read a chessbook that way. Heck, i even think the dust on some of them knows more about chess then i do. :-)

Tue Sep 16, 10:04:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Hiddenleaf said...

(Almost) congratulations! ;-)

Thu Sep 18, 07:27:00 AM PDT  
Blogger RT Solo said...

I am really digging your new and more frequent posts! Ahh there's nothing like connecting with a great book in a way that leaves an impression on the rest of your life!

Fri Sep 19, 10:33:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous reassembler said...

dk - a good thought beautifully expressed.

Sun Sep 21, 08:54:00 AM PDT  

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