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Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Chess Stamp


So, the other day, a friend links me to a chess stamp auction on eBay. It was expensive, but he just wanted to show it to me because he knew I was into chess.

The stamp depicted a chess position.

I was like, “Cool!”

Then I looked closer, and I was like, “Wait just a tic...”

I knew the position. I told my friend so over the IM window, and I got no response; I could tell from knowing him for so long that he didn’t believe a word of that.

Possible thought process: Uh-huh... random position on a stamp and he knows it. Riiiight...

But I did. I knew I did. Here’s a paraphrased rendition of the IM conversation; my friend is in italics:

Hmm, there’s been a queen sacrifice, here. That was a nice mate.

(Silence...)

This is a mate that was brutally forced, and kind of right out of the opening.

(Silence...)

Dude, I’m telling you, I know this game.

Cool! (disbelief pouring out of the IM window...)

Got it! This game was played by the first world champ, Anderssen, in the mid-1800s. It’s known as “The Immortal Game” due to the irrefutable and deep sacrifices.

Wow!

(Silence for another two minutes)

Dude, use the magnifying glass over the stamp and look at the top. That’s a little freaky.

I did so, and it read:

Anderssen-Dufresne, 1852.

I’m officially a chess nerd. My friend couldn’t believe it and honestly, neither could I, despite that game being well-known and recognizable. I guess you know when you are a chess fan, eh?

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