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Bartleby
Member since Dec-09-03 · Last seen Nov-30-21
"Bartleby! quick, I am waiting."

I heard a low scrape of his chair legs on the unscraped floor, and soon he appeared standing at the entrance of his hermitage.

"What is wanted?" said he mildly.

"The copies, the copies," said I hurriedly. "We are going to examine them. There"--and I held towards him the fourth quadruplicate.

"I would prefer not to," he said, and gently disappeared behind the screen.

For a few moments I was turned into a pillar of salt, standing at the head of my seated column of clerks. Recovering myself, I advanced towards the screen, and demanded the reason for such extraordinary conduct.

"Why do you refuse?"

"I would prefer not to."

With any other man I should have flown outright into a dreadful passion, scorned all further words, and thrust him ignominiously from my presence. But there was something about Bartleby that not only strangely disarmed me, but in a wonderful manner touched and disconcerted me. I began to reason with him.

"These are your own copies we are about to examine. It is labor saving to you, because one examination will answer for your four papers. It is common usage. Every copyist is bound to help examine his copy. Is it not so? Will you not speak? Answer!"

"I prefer not to," he replied in a flute-like tone. It seemed to me that while I had been addressing him, he carefully revolved every statement that I made; fully comprehended the meaning; could not gainsay the irresistible conclusion; but, at the same time, some paramount consideration prevailed with him to reply as he did.

***

Strangely huddled at the base of the wall, his knees drawn up, and lying on his side, his head touching the cold stones, I saw the wasted Bartleby. But nothing stirred. I paused; then went close up to him; stooped over, and saw that his dim eyes were open; otherwise he seemed profoundly sleeping. Something prompted me to touch him. I felt his hand, when a tingling shiver ran up my arm and down my spine to my feet.

The round face of the grub-man peered upon me now. "His dinner is ready. Won't he dine to-day, either? Or does he live without dining?"

"Lives without dining," said I, and closed the eyes.

"Eh!--He's asleep, aint he?"

"With kings and counsellors," murmured I.

>> Click here to see Bartleby's game collections.

   Bartleby has kibitzed 212 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-19-21 Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) (2021) (replies)
 
Bartleby: <fabelhaft: In 1989, Galliamova played in the same tournament as Reshevsky, who had played guys born in the 1860s like Janowski and Mieses. Here she is facing some opponents born in the 2000s> Reminds me of an anecdote by Bent Larsen before his O Bernstein vs Larsen, 1954 ...
 
   Oct-01-21 Alvis Vitolinsh
 
Bartleby: Alvis Vitolins was called a "Second Tal" by his contemporaries, and it seems there were a number of players that could be called "Second Tals", I'm thinking among them Genrikh Chepukaitis who Genna Sosonko wrote about in a different collection "The Smart Chip from St. Petersburg," ...
 
   Sep-27-21 Peter Biyiasas (replies)
 
Bartleby: <Caissanist: The earliest source that I know of for the story of Biyiasas playing blitz with Fischer is Rene Chun's 2002 article for The Atlantic... Chun doesn't give a primary source for these quotes. The only possible one that I know of is a 1983 article for the Los Angeles ...
 
   Sep-26-21 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978) (replies)
 
Bartleby: <0ZeR0: Either way it’s a great shame the match never took place as it deprived the world of some potentially excellent chess.> True, and Karpov said that it robbed him of an opportunity to become an even better player. Although after winning the title via forfeit he went ...
 
   Sep-24-21 Petrov Defense (C42) (replies)
 
Bartleby: <VerySeriousExpert: First of all, I recommend the main article on 3.Nc3! Nc6 4.Bc4! Nxe4 5.Nxe4! d5 6.Bd3! dxe4 7.Bxe4! Bd6 8.Bxc6+! etc. by Yury V. Bukayev ( https://chessproblem.my-free-games .... )! Thus, White gets the advantage after 7...Bd6 8.Bxc6+!, and 7...Ne7 8.c3!, and
 
   Sep-23-21 A Trefler vs J Kaplan, 1975
 
Bartleby: Intense Saemisch, opposite-sides castling and both sides flinging the kitchen sink at each other in pawn-storm attacks on the enemy King. By move 28 severe time pressure plagued black and he played the lemon 28. ...hxg6? when 28. ...Qxc4! should win. After white's 29. Rxd4! ...
 
   Sep-23-21 Hugh Tobin
 
Bartleby: Andrew Soltis in his work "Karl Marx Plays Chess", a second compilation of his old "Chess to Enjoy" columns, talks about one Hugh Tobin from Connecticut at the 1977 US Open who had a sort of dream cinderella performance as an underdog, a mere Expert-ranked player, who performed way
 
   Sep-17-21 Mikhail Tal (replies)
 
Bartleby: Nice change of Tal picture for his chessgames.com page. I prefer the young, swashbuckling Magician from Riga to the villain from a Roald Dahl story.
 
   Aug-26-21 Four Knights (C47)
 
Bartleby: <GreenArrow: The halloween gambit is definitely underrated. A number of the alleged 'refutations' are pretty much bogus and not the product of any serious thought.> I do love that old Tim Krabbe article, and I play the Four Knights in the open games myself (with an ...
 
   Aug-25-21 Bronstein vs Kholmov, 1963
 
Bartleby: <whiteshark: 'The fight of giants.', as Flohr once said.> Or "Titanic Struggles," another Flohr-ism from the Soviet annotator. The spectators who paid for access to the tournament playing hall in those days doubtless have other names for them.
 
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