Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chess Poem by Zilbermintz

Candidate master Lev Zilbermintz may not be John Keats, but I like the way Lev's mind works!


Who is this man who sits at the table/
staring intently at the chessboard/

trying hard to avoid a gambit?
Who desperately tries closed positions/
about which he dreams in his sleep?
Is this player good at chess?
That would be anyone's guess!

Who is it that, with trembling hand, declines the gambit pawn?
Who says that gambits are unsound, with a haughty smile and a frown/
a player who cannot play open positions, and rolls his eyes skyward?
Lo and behold, meet the Yellow Coward!

Yellow, yellow, yellow! Yellow, yellow coward!
This player has not the courage of Morphy or of Anderssen.
He will try to emulate long thinking, like Ludwig Paulsen.
When he sees a gambit arise on the chessboard/
he will often roll his eyes skyward/
muttering a quick prayer/
to find a so-called refutation.
The Yellow Coward is no warrior.
In closed positions he finds his only salvation.

On the board a complicated gambit position has arisen.
The Coward's opponent is a player most brave and brazen.
Bayonets fixed, the pawns march into battle against the enemy King/
supported by the Knights' cavalry, two Bishops and the Queen.
Against them are ranged the Coward's barricaded forces/
full of wiles and sneaky resources!

The battle is joined, and brave pawns fall in battle, creating a breach.
The cavalry gallops in, hoping to get to the enemy King.

They are fired upon from the Rook towers' turrets.
Cavalry retreats from spears, arrows and bullets.

Then the Queen in full battle armor, moves forward to lead the new attack.
She shows courage and decision that the Coward lacks.
One Rook, then the second, are sacrificed to break through,
The Bishops serve a quick battle Mass/
urging the attacking troops to hold fast.
The critical moment arrives.

It is now or never, inasmuch as the attack has sacrificed many brave lives/
else the Coward will regroup his forces, and drive the attackers back.

The last reserves are thrown into battle, three pawns and a Knight.
Even the King comes over to offer what protection he can.
The Queen sacrifices herself to create a mating net.
It is over, the Coward's men are routed, there is no turning back!

With a trembling hand, the Yellow Coward resigns the chess game/
his closed position a shambles, his King a prisoner.
The player leaves the room like a beaten dog.
Gambit play has triumphed this day.
Even if yellow cowardice tried base trickery and cheap tricks/
the gambiteer knows he got in the last licks!

No doubt the bards will sing of a fine victory by the gambit player over a superior foe/
and books will be written about this opening.
The Yellow Coward will, of course, plan revenge.
What! To be beaten by a so-called unorthodox opening? Most strange!

But this day is carried by gambits and dashing, brave play/
which keeps the annals of chess fresh with courage and elan/
while keeping yellow cowardice at bay/
and showing that gambit play is the true way!

Lev D. Zilbermintz