CIPC #145: Chess book cover galore

It was a long time ago. It was a simpler time then and there was a certain sincerity to the world, born of simplicity more than of innocence. There was still a glimmer of optimism alive in your servant. Yes, in my previous blog post about book covers, I made a footnote that chess book were ‘obviously’ excluded. My reasoning was that chess books are usually written by people who are knowledgable about chess and therefore pick a reasonable position for their cover. In fact, most chess books are about openings and then you can just stick some tabiya on the front and be done with it. Alas, once again, I overestimated the care people put into their work.

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CIPC #144: Rivron, Het caravan kookboek

It’s a — it’s a cookbook! When I started this blog, I was expecting many things. I knew there would be films, comic books, and TV-series. I expected there would be music videos, some book covers, the odd painting perhaps. What I most definitely did not expect was a cookbook. A cookbook! Cookbooks contain recipes, not chess scenes; pictures of cheesecakes, not chess boards. At least, that is what I thought, until Het caravan kookboek [originally titled Caravan cookbook]1 was brought to my attention. There, on page 110, to the left of a recipe for olives with garlic, chilli, and parsley, we see two pictures of some guys at a chessboard.

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CIPC #143: Stone, Impending mate & Mated

Some twenty years ago, there was a regular contributor to the magazine Chess writing under the name C. P. Ravilious. He mainly wrote a column called Collectors’ corner, which had all sorts of interesting stories and pictures from the early history of chess, but sometimes he contributed standalone articles about similar topics and it is via one of those that I first encountered today’s subject: two engravings after pictures by Frank Stone. Apparently, these engravings were highly popular in chess circles somewhere around 1840. Why, I don’t know, because the art is nothing special and the pun is cheesier than a giant wheel of Gouda, but perhaps people were just so starved for anything chess-themed to hang on the wall of their club that they were willing to take anything.1

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CIPC #142: Nero Vol.143, De dood van Bompa

Nero is, or was at least, incredibly famous in Flanders and completely unknown outside of it. It is a comic with a cast of colourful characters, like Adhemar, the baby who lectures at Oxford, Abraham Tuizentfloot, the long-bearded pirate who fought at Trafalgar and Abukir, Petoetje, an adopted Papuan prince who became a pop star after dancing on his head, and many, many more. It was the brainchild of Marc Sleen who wrote and mostly drew the series for over fifty years and for more than 160 (one hundred sixty!) volumes: enough to gain a place in the Guinness world record book for longest running comic series drawn by the same person. Volume 143, De dood van Bompa [Bompa’s death], is the last instalment of a trilogy about Nero’s grandfather. It deals with his dead and the war between good and evil for his soul. In strip 28 we see him stuck in limbo:1

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CIPC #141: La Bayadère (bis)

‘Wait!’ I hear you exclaim, ‘La Bayadère? Didn’t you talk about that before?’ I did! In fact, it is the same Makarova adaptation of Petipa’s choreography that I’ll be talking about today – but this time it’s the Royal Opera House, with Ovsyanikov conducting and Rojo, Acosta, and Nuñez doing the dancing. Since the choreography is the same, there is also some chess but, of course, a different production means a different chess scene.1 This is what the second scene of the first act looks like this time:

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CIPC #140: Final move

One thing I haven’t done yet this year, is commenting on a chess-themed movie. More than a hundred blog posts ago, I commented on Lang leve de koningin and shortly before that on Knight moves. And for today, I found another one! It’s called Final move, the tag-line is ‘your next move may be your last’ and the ‘i’ in ‘final’ is a white queen which has been shot in the head, as you can see below. There’s going to be murder, action, suspense, and most of all chess. The cover promises us David Carradine, of Kill Bill fame, and Matt Schulze, from The fast and the furious. Let’s do this!

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CIPC #139: Miller advertisement

The image below can be found easily on the net. It is apparently from an advertisement campaign for Miller beer from, I think, the end of the fifties. The slogan of the campaign, not just this particular ad, was apparently the champagne of bottle beer. Obviously, their beer is ridiculously expensive, fizzy, and made from grapes. The other lines aren’t any better:

Ad: Distinctive in taste…

That’s probably also true of potatoes marinated in banana juice.

Ad: Accepted and appreciated by those who demand and expect the very best.

That’s the most clunky thing I have read in a long, long time. Also, those people probably ‘accept and appreciate’ pigs, but they sure as hell aren’t going to drink them.

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CIPC #138: Blackadder II E4, Money

Blackadder is a serious contender for the title of best TV-series in history. The first season was perhaps not great, but from season two to season six it is top-notch comedy, with Rowan Atkinson giving a consistently amazing performance as the sarcastic eponymic nobleman and Tony Robinson as his filthy and stupid sidekick Baldrick. Throughout the series, people like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie join the cast as supporting actors. In fact, in the fourth episode of the second series, we can see Stephen Fry as lord Melchett in a game of chess against none other than Queen Elizabeth I (Miranda Richardson).

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CIPC #137: Coca cola advertisement

The greatest rivalries of history and literature – the Montagues and the Capulets, the Hatfields and the McCoys, Barça and Real- pale in comparison to the rivalry between Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. Since a long, long time ago, I spotlighted an old advertisement for Pepsi cola, I’d better do the same for a Coca Cola advertisement, lest I provoke fearful retribution from whichever company considers this as an unacceptable advantage for the other one. So here is a picture of some Coca Cola advertisement which appeared in Ebony, volume twenty-three number eleven from September 1968:1

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CIPC #136: Gode Geass S1 E1, The day a new demon was born

Lelouch. Lamperouge. That’s seriously the name of the protagonist in this anime. No, really, you can look it up: he is actually called ‘the fishy red lamp’. Or ‘the ladle red lamp’, if the ‘louche’ is a noun instead of an adjective, but that somehow manages to make less sense. But I guess sense is far too high an expectation for an anime based on the premise that, in 2010, the empire of Britannia(!) invaded Japan(!) from their homeland in America(!!) using giant mechs(!!) and that one angsty high school student gets supernatural powers(!!!) called ‘geass’ from some girl who prefers to die instead of using it herself, because that’s perfectly logical. Also, judging from the title of the episode, getting this power apparently means that you turn into a demon, but that’s not so strange for an anime. The shady lamp1 uses his newfound power to lead a guerilla campaign against his native land of Britannia and for the freedom of Japan. Sometimes he plays chess.

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