Eye of Newt,  BOS over NE

Eye of Newt, BOS over NE

BostonBlitz
BostonBlitz
Oct 21, 2013, 7:35 PM |
2

(Beat Reporter: Mark LaRocca)

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog…”

The voice grew louder as I approached the Au Bon Pain in Harvard square… the favorite hangout of many good chess players…   Night had fallen early as it seems to do in the New England Fall.. As I moved closer, I could make out IM Steven Zierk warming up for his week 9 appearance on top board against  NE’s GM Ivanov.  His opponent… some nameless street urchin… but, nevertheless,   games at “the coffee shop” are serious business.  

Denys, Ilya, and Jake, this week’s Board 2,3,4 Blitz participants were there as well… huddled around a rather old, and homely looking lady… stirring her coffee wildly…

“Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing… “

Hmmm!  I thought, as I stumbled over what seemed a homeless beggar… his cup at his feet… He was holding a sign… “Live”… is all it said.    I looked down as I passed and noticed his Black cape with red inner lining… odd for a street person… he was humming… no singing… in a mumbling sort of way…  “I'm a man of wealth and taste”… or, something like that. 

I had a hard time ignoring him as I walked toward Steven, who was, of course, winning. 

But, that odd man was watching him closely, peering through his bushy hair… Steven caught his glance, then quickly averted his own.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team was entranced… staring into, of all things, a coffee cup… as it whirled… and swirled… the old woman tossing in bits of hair…

“For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

The beggar was up… and now sitting opposite Steven… He spoke raspily…

“Pleased to meet you… Hope you guess my name…”

Again… no normal greeting…but, what else to expect from the crazies I saw around us.

He threw a plain piece of what I can only call… parchment… in front of Steven and asked… “Who sign’s for the team?”…

The old woman abruptly stopped her rant… Ilya broke loose from her spell… turned and said… “I do”.    As I edged closer, I could see that the paper was blank… nothing at all on it… nothing.

The man reached into his cape and pulled out an ancient looking fountain pen… one of those dip it in the ink type things… and he placed it on the paper.  He rose slowly to what I thought was an unusual height…  at least 6’ 4”… he was now more imposing than his first feeble appearance.

I hadn’t noticed at first,  but, now, I saw clearly the writing on the back of his cape… as he turned to face Ilya.  It said… “LIVE’… yes, in all caps… but the “E” was backwards…  just as I was about to ask him what planet he was from… Ilya spoke…

“There’s nothing on it…”, he paused… and from the bushy haired man’s raised eyebrow… he knew it was still his turn… “… on the paper… it’s… blank.”

With that… the tall… old… bushy haired… caped… man... broke into song… but this time much clearer… “Ah, what's puzzling you…Is the nature of my game, oh yeah.”…

He dropped down quickly into a full split… as agile a move as I’ve ever seen… and he stopped… barely moving… until the old lady came over to him… wrapped the edges of his flailing cape around him… and together they rose and slowly moved to Steven’s table and the paper… where he sat staring deeply into its blankness.

I remember thinking at the time… such strange things seem to happen to the Blitz around Halloween… always… but, this takes the cake. 

Suddenly, he grabbed the pen in his fist… like a stick… waved his hand around, over his head, and plunged the pen’s pointed metal deeply into his neck…  I was shocked… no stunned… as were the players.   I tried to call 911, but my phone only dialed 666.   The rich, almost black blood was ever spurting… as he pulled out the sharp metal and began writing.  His right hand scribbled as his left tried to quell the flow with pressure.

As he wrote… he sang… “So if you meet me…Have some courtesy”…

He stopped… blew lightly on the still wet paper… placed them both on the table… shoved them toward Ilya,  and said… “Please… sign.”… “and hurry…”  he looked at his bloody left hand as the blood resumed its spurt… “I don’t think I have much time.”

As Ilya reached for the paper… this crazy man grabbed his wrist… picked up the pen and jabbed it into the back of his hand.  Ilya let out a slightly strong…”Ouch!” as the nut withdrew the nib and handed it to him.

Ilya didn’t even read the paper… he just signed and walked… no… ran away… with Jake, and the others following rapidly.   

The old fellow now looked old again and smaller… as he turned toward me, he smiled and removed his cape… handing it to the old, very old, woman.  She inverted it… the red side out… the black in… put it over his shoulders… and helped him to hobble away.

The letters on the cape, now reversed, were now faintly aglow… “EVIL”…  The old man was mumbling again… turning just slightly back to me… “Tell me baby, what's my name… I tell you one time, you're to blame…Ooo, who…”

Well, I tell you… I needed no more of this… no sir… now I knew… knew beyond all doubt who would win this match.  Yes sir, the Blitz were ready… indeed.

IM Steven Zierk (BOS) vs GM Alexznder Ivanov (NE)

I thought Steven had the win in hand in week 1, but, he let it slip… not this time… 1.e4 g6 and some kind of weird Modern, Pirc, new-Grunfeld… (0.5-0.5)

FM Charles Riordan (NE) vs SM Denys Shmelov (BOS)

Now that Denys is used to playing White… he has another Black…how about a 1.d4 NF3 and a mainline Nimzo?  (0-1)

NM Ilya Krasik (BOS) vs NM Mika Brattain (NE)

Ilya is due… really, really, due to win… and win the match.  1.d4 d5

NM Lawyer Times (NE) vs NM Jake Miller (NE)

This one I must give to NE… reluctantly… NM Times is too hot… and Jake may be a bit rusty… and he plays the damned Benoni… (1-0)

Boston (2.5 - 1.5)

Bring your candles and cauldrons to Harvard SOCH, 59 Shepard st., Cambridge, MA.  Wednesday, 7:30

GO Blitz!!