A Tough Task

Sep 25, 2009, 9:28 PM |

Recently, Rod Edwards, who developed the EDO historical rating system, and who supplied my readers with the awesome games and problems of the enigmatic "Judy,"  informed me of the access to the historic archives of the Victoria, British Columbia newspaper, The Daily Colonist.  Furthermore, he included this small but fascinating article he had extracted from those archives:

        A rather ill-advised experiment made some years 
      ago at Presburg has been lately repeated at Pesth. 
      Two young Hungarians of the "gilded youth" type 
      recently undertook to play a game of chess under 
      the following extraordinary conditions. Sixty-four 
      squares having been chalked out upon a billiard table
      the chess men were represented by pint bottles of 
      wine of various vintages. Thus, champagne was the 
       king, claret the queen, Burgundy the bishops, port the
       castles, Madeira the knights, and flasks of a Hungarian
       "vin du pays" the pawns. A number of special rules 
       wore ordained for the game, of which the most
       important was one prescribing that each player who
       made a move should empty the "piece" moved by him 
       at a draught. Need I add that the game was never
       finished? In fact, after two hours or so of eccentric 
       play, both players were stretched out on the floor. 
       The combination of chess and "draughts" as a local 
       wag remarked, had proved too much for them."

                                      Victoria Daily Colonist, 13 May 1890