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Henry Bird vs Joseph W Shaw
"Rook! There It Is!" (game of the day Mar-08-2013)
Montreal (1877) (unorthodox), Quebec, Canada, Jan-29
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I ran into this game a couple of days ago by serendipity, and immediately submitted it with a pun that was probably better off replaced.

The game is simply ... well, Bird. I just wish that after <45...Qe2>:

click for larger view

He would have found <46.Kf8!!>, which triumphantly completes the jaunt from h2.

Note that White is giving odds of the ♘g1. That makes it weird from the start.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: One of the most bizarre games I've ever seen.
Mar-08-13  newzild: The pun would make more sense if the players were east Asian.
Mar-08-13  morfishine: Its hard to comment on such a game. One gets the feeling they were playing 3-D chess, lost the game-score, and so merged the notes and moves from memory to get this.

I think <25...Qxe5> improves for Black, but then we would've been deprived of two King walks: (1) The first one being the Black Kings dance around his own rook from g8 to h8/g7/f6/e7/e8...Swing your partner, Do Si Do! & (2) The White Kings travel from <e1> to <g7>

I cannot improve on describing this game as 'bizarre' (as <FSR> so accurately noted)

Mar-08-13  thomastonk: 17.. f5 followed by 18.Ba1, that's not only bizarre, that's irrational.
Mar-08-13  Abdel Irada: <newzild: The pun would make more sense if the players were east Asian.>

That would apply only if they were speakers of Japanese, since that language lacks an /l/ phoneme. (I'm not certain, but it might also apply to Korean.)

The confounding of /l/ and /r/ does not come up in Chinese, although the Chinese /r/ is very short, which can be confusing to Western ears.

In any case, I'm tempted to reply to the pun with a variation of something an old blitz opponent (now deceased) always used to say: "I *am* rooking. My head hurts."

Mar-08-13  eaglewing: 19... Rxa1 20. Qxa1 Qf2 looks good for Black
Mar-08-13  Abdel Irada: "Bizarre" ain't the half of it. Some of both players' moves make so little sense that one questions the accuracy of the scoresheet.

(One thing not in question, though: Bird was not going to open this game with the Réti System.)

Mar-08-13  RookFile: Seems like they both played like a couple of rookies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: An account of Bird's visit to Montreal, including this game and a rather more conventional one vs. Shaw giving odds of the ♘b1:

Mar-08-13  morfishine: <Phony Benoni> This great article makes up for the pun! :)
Mar-08-13  Expendable Asset: Looks like <Knight13> missed this one. ;)
Mar-08-13  TheTamale: Starting at move 32, this game reminds me of the old joke: the masochist is someone who says, "hurt me!" and the sadist is someone who says, "no." Here, instead of saying "hurt me," Bird is saying, "Take my bishop."
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This game is a circus-beginning with Bird giving a rook away in a "gambit". It gets funnier thereafter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Angry Bird that went on a rampage!
Mar-08-13  Expendable Asset: Needless to say, this game is popcorn entertainment!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Odds of KN make this a journey into a strange land at the start, then the protagonists carried on with the game itself.

Rather a surrealistic affair all round; White was stone-dead until his opponent decided to give him some chances.

Mar-08-13  drnooo: probably the dual play revolves around
the rook being a bird noted for their
sociability , and all in all this is a
very happygolucky game, though cg puns
often get stretched to the breaking point
here's rooking at you, kids
Mar-08-13  bischopper: When be leave only a piece or it is a trap because to take adventage but somebody has to lost. Where is to draw?
Mar-08-13  Jambow: Interesting lesson on linguistics/phonics, yet that leaves me confused because when Maxwell Smart was up against his nemesis the Claw it was "The Craw, no the Craw, right the Craw..." Certainly the attire he wore was of Chinese origin, not due to quality of which I can't judge but based on the stylistic motif.

What a game this was, maybe "Queen around the rosey" would have spared us all this. Sighhh

Mar-08-13  andrewjsacks: Game apparently played at Montreal, Mars.
Mar-09-13  akatombo: The thing is, Japanese transcribe "look" and "rook" with no differentiation between the two, neither pronounced as in English.
Mar-18-13  newzild: <<newzild: The pun would make more sense if the players were east Asian.>>

<That would apply only if they were speakers of Japanese, since that language lacks an /l/ phoneme. (I'm not certain, but it might also apply to Korean.)>

Korean also lacks an /l/ phoneme and also an /r/ phoneme. They do have a phoneme which lies somewhere between the two. To western ears, it tends to sound like /l/ when a Korean intends /r/, and to sound like an /r/ when a Korean intends /l/.

I lived in Korea for four years and have travelled extensively through east Asia, including China and Japan.

<The confounding of /l/ and /r/ does not come up in Chinese, although the Chinese /r/ is very short, which can be confusing to Western ears.>

I think this might depend on the dialect.

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