The Meaning of Life
(Beat Reporter: Mark LaRocca)
In preparation for this match the Blitz had trained in the Himalayas. Understandably, being a philosophical bunch, they thought they would combine their usual fastidious preparation with their ongoing search for the “Meaning of Life”. (Daaa… Daaa… Daaa… Dah, Daahhhh!... please imagine the theme from 2001, A Space Odyssey whenever this phrase appears). This match was the result of that search.
New Jersey Knockouts
vs Boston Blitz (2 - 2) - Draw
The Himalayas are quite cold this time of year, or any time for that matter, but, Blitz management had heard of a great wise-man, a guru if you will, who lived high in the mountains near Nepal. In fact, they had purchased a letter of introduction from a homeless street vendor in Boston… “To Professor Sig Sakowitz… this is the Blitz.” Thus, filled with enthusiasm, they convened in the shadow of Everest at the foot of Sam Hill near the old temple of the Monks of New Jersey… From here their journey began.
Their first day would be a long one to the foot of the legendary Lake… then two days to base camp… and finally, a steep climb in the bitter wind to the Cave of Sig where they would meet and retrieve their wisdom. Each in turn, would ask their question (only one was allowed) and receive the truth of Sig.
And so, with this knowledge, dear reader, you can better understand the games I am about to present. Let the Wisdom of Sig be our guide, and the questions?... yes, you can decide if the question that each asked helped our heroes… or cost them precious brain cells… as our first contest, and first to receive the knowledge of the ancients, was definitely a bit nervous… for Kazim had naively asked about the future… Now, we all know that never works…
As the game began, Kazim recalled their first day’s respite at the Legendary Lake. One of the Sherpa related the story of how the lake got its name. Evidently, a young sherpa back in the days before boats felt compelled to swim across the icy waters to visit his girlfriend… of course, he got about 10 feet and froze to death… and so, the legend of Lake “Stupid” survives to this day.
Kazim: “Can you tell me, Oh wise one, what you see of my fortune?”
Sig: “Beware an Omen”, came the squeaky voice of Sig from under his hood. “a Captain… in a lifeboat.”
FM Kazim Gulamali (BOS) vs GM Joel Benjamin (NJ) 0-1
As I watched this game, I had thought that Kazim was simply outplayed. But, in the opening and into the middlegame, I think he held an advantage. Alas, it only takes one bad move to lose an advantage... and then the ship starts to take on water.
As Kazim's game ended, we all felt a bit down. Was it because of the omen... I didn't see any Captain... nor a lifeboat for that matter. But, the ship went down all the same.
Boston (0 - 1)
And I remember... what Jorge asked when it was his turn was no less obscure. What fate would this bring to our top board... for a while, we were a bit nervous...
Jorge: “Great sage… How can I fix my life?”
Sig: His head rose a bit… “Find a Watermelon repair man… preferably, one who is not hungry.”
GM Alex Stripunsky (NJ) vs SM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (BOS) 0-1
Talk about a nail-biter, this game could make you eat your fingers... or at least some sort of snack... Hey, maybe even a Watermelon... Sig was right, it all makes sense now...
And now we interrupt this story for a very important puzzle... You will need to think like Jorge to get this one... Good luck.
After the game, I had asked Jorge if he had seen 27...Bh4! when he had begun his combination at move 24... His simple answer, "No"... which just proves that the advice Sig gave was correct... those Watermelon repairmen can fix anything.
Boston (1 - 1)
But, still our third board was struggling in the opening... would his advice matter at all?
Vadim: “Guru, What do I need to find my soul mate?”
Sig: “ A nickname...” came the squeaky reply… “Attila… No, Zorba… No… Ahhh!... Mr. Wonderful.”
NM Christopher Wu (NJ) vs NM Vadim Martirosov (BOS) 1/2-1/2
Now this game looked a bit shaky out of the opening, but, as we all know, first the God's have placed the middlegame... and then the endgame... and Mr. Wonderful is no slouch in either.
Thank you, Mr. Wonderful for that Wonderful draw... hey, this Sig is really something.
Boston (1.5 - 1.5)
But, now Andrew was straining his brain since he won a pawn on move 28. This is the second straight match that came down to our fourth board result. If only Ilya hadn't suggested such a silly question for Andrew.
Andrew: “Oh great Swami… Can you give me any advice on meeting girls?”
Sig: “When you talk to a girl in a nudist camp… Look her straight in the eyes.”
Andrew Liu (BOS) vs John Michael Burke (NJ) 1/2-1/2
Ask a silly question... Oh Well, still I think somehow this affected Andrew's game... there were several clear wins... and he never looked one of them straight in the eyes.
Oh well, that's what girls will do to you... you just can't concentrate, know what I mean? Especially, in a nudist camp.
Boston (2 - 2)
Each in turn had asked a question and each of our valient team members received the wisdom of Sig. Did it affect their play? You shall be the judge of that... I only pointed out some eerie facts that could have been... coincidence?
However, as Sig was in a, more or less, jovial mood on that cold day, he did allow Ilya to ask one final question for the team... unfortunately, Ilya had given his best question to Andrew... So, after a long and deep think, Sig called a clock on him, he came up with...
Blitz: “What is the meaning of life?”
Sig: “A wet bird never flies at night.”
Blitz: “You mean we came thousands of miles… climbed this rotten Sam Hill for days… Froze our @#$%& off… and you tell us that a wet bird never flies at night.”
Sig: “You mean…”, he arose sounding incredulous…. “A wet bird does fly at night?”…
and with that he turned, shaking his head, and wandered into the deep blackness of the cave’s passages… the echoes of his mumbling a blur as the Blitz sat there for a few moments… stunned.
There you have it... a true account if ever there was one. Can the Blitz put this last bit of Sig wisdom to work for them? You'll just need to show up for next week's match to find out. Monday, 7:10 PM. vs the Applesauce, 59 Shepherd st., Cambridge, MA.
Oh, and if you figure out what the heck Sig meant, be sure and let us know.
My apologies to the late, great Jackie Vernon.