CIPC extra: The best and worst of 2021

I almost forgot about it, but in exactly one week this blog will celebrate its fifth birthday! Well, it will be its fifth birthday, at least. In those five years, it has featured over two hundred fifty instances of chess in popular culture. At the beginning of each year, baring the first one for obvious reasons, there was a list of the best and worst posts of the past year according to my authoritative opinion.1 Since it is again the beginning of a year, there naturally is again such a list. In fact, you’re reading it right now.

The worst of 2021

CIPC #250: John Bull 16-12-1950

Due to a confluence of circumstances — the ideal excuse for the civilised gentleman — I was not spending a lot of time on these blog posts about a month ago. It shows. There’s just very little content here, and I’m not contented with it.

CIPC #215: The Tempest

An appearance by Shakespeare should be something special. But it shouldn’t be something especially bad. Again, there’s too little content here, and quite a few of the jokes are shipwrecked.

CIPC #251: Vogue cover

I didn’t think this post through well enough. I decided I’d talk about this cover and only later realised I couldn’t actually talk about any chess at all. Drat, indeed.

CIPC#219: The da Vinci code

For compiling this list, I had to read through all the blog posts I have written in 2021 again. One thing caught my eye in doing so: these posts have sometimes really awful language errors that some decent proofreading should have caught. This post was the worst offender: it becomes entirely unintelligible at a certain point because there’s a whole sentence missing! I need to do better.

The best of 2021

CIPC #207: Norwich union ad

It is rare that a simple ad gives one so much material to work with. It is also rare that a big company allows the message “sacrifice your wife to prolong your miserable existence” into their advertisement campaigns.

CIPC #242: Lego chess sets cover art

I got to look at Lego! Yay! This post was a nice change of pace after all the tv series and movies I watch. Plus it allowed me to discover the existence of these Lego chess sets, which before had been entirely unknown to me.

CIPC #249: Ogroff

Who doesn’t love insane lumberjacks killing folk? Okay, maybe you can think of some people. Okay, maybe I’m one of them. But at least it gives a lot of material to work with. And it turns out that some buffoon bumbling about gets more plausible positions in his z-grade movie than many big productions. Take note Hollywood!

CIPC #212: Cheerleaders in the chess club, Season 1

Avid readers of this blog may have noticed that my comedy style does not rely on clever wit or sharp observational skills. Instead, it consist of a barrage of vaguely humorous turns of phrases, of which hopefully one or to elicit a chuckle. In longer texts, therefore, there is a better chance that at least a couple of them land. This was the longest post this year, it was also the best.2

1. [Wink wink, nudge nudge, did you see that pun?]
2. [I’m still unsure whether that’s an argument for or against discussing the second season too. On the one hand it will probably be a long post, which by the reasoning here should mean it’s good, but on the other hand it will be a sequel, and they are almost never as good as the original.]