Celestial Chess by Joyce Jillson

May 26, 2010, 2:35 PM |



The TAURUS Chess Player (Apr.20-May 20). Tempted by the great pleasures of life, the Taurus is a bon vivant whose greatest gratification comes from pricking the egos of others. Picture a confectioner handing out free habit-forming, spiked candy to a chocoholic. That’s the way the Taurus slyly embeds his games with his own distinctive playing style: one of seduction. Taurus is an earth sign and these people tend to play life, and chess, close to the vest. They have their own standards for playing and don’t exhibit the die-hard need to vanquish an opponent... openly. Lulling an opponent with solid, well-known opening lines he’ll often choose variations popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Around moves 13, 14 and/or 15 though, his lullaby turns into a death march as he rolls out a new move for his opening, considered in the past to be unplayable. He is a used bookstore devotee, collecting rare and antiquated chess material with a knowledgeable eye. Obscure, but superb Taurean preparation, often using very old variations challenges his foes to put aside their study and use up precious minutes as the opponent tries to find over the board moves to refute this novelty. A Taurean uses time as if they had a 17th piece on the chessboard. Hoarding, then rushing; dilly-dallying, then slamming the clock with the ferocity he’d like to pummel his opponent with, the Taurus is most inventive when he is in time pressure. Threaten him with just seconds to go and the Taurean’s personal chess muse subconsciously helps him choose the winning move. Taureans have the ability to pull last minute victories from what look like drawn positions. When the sword of Damocles hangs over them they automatically move into an intellectually superior zone and this tension gives them a second wind. They then play with masterly skill, relishing last-minute complications and sacking material as they suck their foes into a deadly, mating whirlpool.