The Case of the Cover Mystery

The Case of the Cover Mystery

| 114 | Fun & Trivia

The cover of my new book, How to Reassess Your Chess 4th Edition, contains a secret that might take the skills of a Sherlock Holmes to unearth. The first that notices this anomaly and sends the correct answer to David Pruess (at will win a free, signed copy of the book. The answer and winner will be announced around November 24th!

Best of luck, you’ll need it!

WE HAVE A WINNER: Mr. Buddy Dacote from Belgium figured it out and will receive a free signed copy of How to Reassess Your Chess 4th Edition plus the adoration of females throughout the known universe.

In my book, I often refer to an all-powerful Knight which reaches in every direction as an Octopus. At one point, I (almost) even go so far as to create a new form of notation -- instead of writing something like Nf6, I wanted to write Of6.

I decided to use a real octopus eye for the Knight's eye in the cover (the yellow is its real color, but the artist made a couple of color adjustments so it would blend in with the overall cover design), thus signifying a hybrid Octo-Knight.

Let's see what buddy wrote:

The cover represents an octopus!
The eye of the Knight looks exactly like an octopus' eye and the different chapters are laid out like octopus' arms (well there are 10 of them instead of 8, but it's close enough).
If I had to give a meaning for this, I would say that octopuses are well known for being exceptionally intelligent (they can complete mazes or other problem solving experiments [maybe not chess, but who knows?]). They are able to adapt to many different situations thanks to squeezable body.

Their arms are their main weapon (or defensive tool), as they can use them individually or as a whole to achieve many purposes. Just like a chess player can use all its knowledge (represented by the chapters of Silman's book) to achieve a winning position.

Another hint might be Silman's avatar on the blob fish, another deep sea creature...

After further research, I would like to complete my previous answer by invoking the octopus knight, which is a term (that I never heard before) that describes a dominating knight on the board... It is also the name of a famous game between Karpov and Kasparov in which such a dominating knight appears. This is typically the kind of imbalance that we can find in Silman's book.

Well done, Buddy!

And here is the cover:


Reassess Chess 4th 300ppi.jpg
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