Entries in humor (3)
It certainly took them long enough (Mikhail Tal was world champion in 1960 and died in 1992), but it's better late than never for the Riga City Council, which has decided to name a street in his honor. (HT: Brian Karen.) In addition to being a nice bit of news, this should also offer a rich opportunity for light jokes.
Here are some quick (and lame) offerings to get you started:
(1) Brits could say "Big deal, you should see how we honor GMs Adams and Jones here!"
(2) Sticking to a Tal theme, chess fans can only capture the road signs one at a time.
(3) There are two kinds of way to drive down this street: the correct way and mine.
A good opening book will discuss move order finesses. It's important to know that in a certain variation it's better to play A first and only then B, because in that way you cut out certain of the opponent's options. Well and good, but what about this, from Victor Bologan's new book on the King's Indian?
[After the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Qc2, Bologan writes]
White's position is slightly better after 7...c5 8.d5 h6 9.Bf4.
Or 8.Bf4 c5 9.d5 [further analysis ensues, all of which is supposed to be fine for Black]
Of course, the position is exactly the same in the two cases. Both times Black plays h6 and c5, and both times White plays Bf4 and d5. But if Black plays ...h6 first, then White is better, and if he plays ...c5 first, then White's not! It's for subtleties like this that I get opening books, and Bologan's ability to suss out such fine points makes it clear what a vast gulf there is between super-GMs and the rest of us.
(Seriously, though: this gaffe notwithstanding, I'm a fan of Bologan's writings in general and the book in particular. But I do wonder what he was thinking when he wrote that.)