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Helene Mira vs Jovanka Houska
"Mira Mira on the Wall, Houska Fairest of Them All" (game of the day May-06-2012)
European Championship (Women) (2007), Dresden GER, rd 1, Apr-03
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-06-12  sfm: Fair indeed - too fair?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Today’s is truly a thrice wince-worthy pun!

GOL (Groaning out loud).

As for the game, I found it very interesting, albeit certainly flawed. I am not very familiar with the line of the Meran with <8. … Bd6>, although in the ChessBase BigDatabase 2012 it is Black’s 4th most popular choice and scores 51% for Black!

The line with <8. ... Bd6> has been used by Anand, Aronian, Gelfand, Grischuk and Lékó. Still, the position Houska had through the early part of this middlegame is hardly a recommendation for <8. ... Bd6>, to my way of thinking. She never did get in <... c6-c5>, which seems an important move for Black to include when playing the Meran.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Limpin Kt: Greatest of the puns ever! Genius! *** anybody keeping up a collection for games with great pun? :) :)>

Here are two I would suggest for inclusion in any such compilation:

Chigorin vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1903

J Nogueiras vs M Gongora, 2001

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Apropos my earlier comment (“[Houska] never did get in <... c6-c5>, which seems an important move for Black to include when playing the Meran.”), in Anand’s win using this line against the 16-year-old Carlsen in the 2007 Morelia-Linares tournament, I note that he got in the … c5 advance at move 14: Carlsen vs Anand, 2007.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Finally, here is Lékó winning in this line against Gelfand: Gelfand vs Leko, 2007. Although he did not develop his LSB to b7, Lékó included <13. ... c5> to attack the White center.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I groaned when I read this pun. But somehow I cannot stop thinking about. Pun hell!!
May-06-12  offramp: 'Tis not my favourite pun but 'tis fairly clever.
May-06-12  drpoundsign: Un Stella Mira
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <FSR: OK, this has to be the ghastliest pun of all time. We have to remember this one when the Caissars roll around. >

This pun is simply horrible. It's not so horrible it's great, it's only horrible. I am amazed anyone likes it.

I disagree in that what you thought should have won the Caissars, since it was an obvious pun, and had been kibitzed on many times before.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <OhioChessFan: <FSR ...>

I disagree in that what you thought should have won the Caissars, since it was an obvious pun, and had been kibitzed on many times before.>

Are you referring to "I Am Not a Rook" for R Nixon vs A Anselmo, 1973? I thought it was a great pun - R. Nixon, a sacrifice of rook for knight, played in the same year as Nixon's "I am not a crook" speech. You must be cleverer than I am. There were no kibitzes to the game before the date that it was made GOTD, although I'm sure someone had noted the pun elsewhere. (Phony Benoni said that the president of the Michigan Chess Association had been named Nixon and liked to use the line, so it was old hat to him.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <OCF> Probably the pun that <really> should have won was <I Play the Fred>'s "Knaak is OK!" (CG omitted the exclam that should have been in there.) I thought that one was an immortal - Knaak wins a miniature <as White> against Adorjan (who always insisted "Black is OK!"), mating him off the board. But neither I nor anyone else remembered it to nominate it by the time the Caissars came around.
May-06-12  schnarre: ...Obviously a fan of Snow White was involved in today's pun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: The conversation was on this game page:
T Nixon vs S Williams, 2002

I recall thinking I had come up with a couple originals, one involving "Pelikan Brief" and was discouraged to see someone had already gone there. And on Odd Lie, I thought "First!" was quite clever but someone else pointed out he'd done it hundreds of pages earlier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <OCF> Indeed, this is pretty close:

<Jul-23-06 Open Defence: he probably said "I have not a Rook" in this game hehehehe>

As you've noticed, it's hard to come up with a pun that no one else has thought of. There have been lots of puns I've tried to submit, only to find that someone beat me to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Great pun, nice squeeze with that killer passed pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The interesting question to me is how White <should> have played. I like 24.Qb2 (instead of 24.e5?!) threatening g7. Then 24...f6?? 25.Ba2 wins for White, and 24...Qg6 25.Re3 also looks strong. 24...Nf6 is possible, but then Black has no counterplay and is just suffering after 25.Bd4, clamping down on c5. I would think that after 24.Qb2 the evaluation is somewhere between "large advantage White" and .
May-06-12  weisyschwarz: Thanks, everyone!

I think some of the best puns try to incorporate both players' names.

May-06-12  weisyschwarz: Another one of mine...

Yifan Hou vs Short, 2008

May-06-12  Blunderdome: The reason the pun doesn't work is that there is no second meaning. You can insert the players' names into a known sentence, sure, but it's just gibberish.
May-06-12  Blunderdome: Cf. the Hou - Short game, where you not only get the play on "Who wears short shorts?" but can also imagine some kind of wardrobe change taking place during or after the game.
May-06-12  Blunderdome: Actually (and sorry for the triple post), "doesn't work" isn't really what I mean. It's a good pun, but I don't think it will rank among the best of the year.
May-06-12  Shams: I think we should be loose about what "puns" are but strict about what "zugzwang" is.
May-06-12  weisyschwarz: <Blunder> this pun is so much better than some of what is called "pun" here.
May-06-12  weisyschwarz: <Blunder>

King Sacrificer: For the guys not understanding the pun; it's a reference to the fairy tale "Snow White" in which the vain Queen asks her magic mirror "Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest of them all?". Really a great pun but it took me a while to understand the meaning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I like how black's knight gobbled up the rooks one by one.
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