But wait! There’s more! Another recap for a Tuesday night game!! This one comes from the Rooks vs Whiskey Discs game with a recap from Jim Comeau. It’s a bit hefty, so I’ll let you get right to it.
I’ve never been good at chess. I get the basic rules, but the strategy and nuance are beyond my comprehension. Like most things in my life, I compensate for my lack of skill with obsessive research which is probably a sign of some mental disorder. I’ve developed a keen interest in history and etymology as a result. I did some research on chess and came up with a whole lot of interesting tidbits, some related, and some completely out of left field. That’s just how my brain works. You have been warned.
As you all know, chess was derived from chaturanga, an ancient Indian strategy game. I won’t bother with how it moved from India to Persia, then after the Arab Muslims conquered Persia, it moved into Europe, likely by the Moores during the Medieval era.
So we know most of the pieces, but the name “rook” has always intrigued me. So I went down the old Wikipedia rabbit hole and came up with a whole lot of interesting stuff. The word rukh means chariot, hence the rook was symbolized as a chariot. The chariots of yore often look like little fortresses with all the armor-clad adornment and the chess piece evolved to an elephant with a castle on its back. Over time, the elephant disappeared but the castle/turret/tower remained. Modern translations of the word rook are: castle, tower, fortress, ship, boat, chariot, and elephant. An odd thing is that elephant is a common translation for the bishop piece too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Ben Franklin was an avid chess player. He wrote “The Morals of Chess” and it was supposed to apply to life, but more importantly I think it could very much be applied to Ultimate:
The Game of Chess Ultimate is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of ChessUltimate, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at ChessUltimate then, we may learn:
I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action
II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-boardUltimate field, or scene of action: – the relation of the several PiecesPlayers, and their situations
III. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily
Onto the actual recap:
First off for the Whiskey Discs, who played their behinds off. A chessboard has 64 squares, which can be noted by 8^2 or even more appropriately 4^3, as they had 4 guys and 3 ladies. You couldn’t tell they were savage. They kept getting on the line and came out of all their timeouts with an intensity of a berserker. Berserker comes from berserkr, which likely means “bear shirt”and they were likely members of a bear worshipping cult also called arctolatry. They only had 2 ladies plus Buster (see below) and the two I didn’t know hustled and flowed as best as anyone can without subs. The only guy I knew was Eric aka Tiger, as in 2022 is the Year of the Tiger and the Cincinnati Bengals who are in the Super Bowl. My old Tarmac teammate balled it up and did it all. Their other guys played hard, smart, and kept going no matter what happened. The whole team has hands and legs. As with most inexperienced teams, their throws were their weakness, but they kept trying. That mental toughness is a huge asset that will help them as they play more about ultimate. This team is tough!
Plato wrote of the Allegory of the Chariot, which depicted a chariot drawn by two horses, one well behaved and the other troublesome, representing opposite impulses of human nature; the task of the charioteer, representing reason, was to stop the horses from going different ways and to guide them towards enlightenment. Colin is our charioteer. He was reluctant to play due to some bogus injury but did get out there for a few points and played great D and got a few sweet throws in.
Speaking of allegories, Jesus of Nazareth said “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”
Well, Buster, the perennial super sub, threaded the needle many times last night, most of them for scores, but that isn’t newsworthy, that’s what she just does. Funny enough, camel is often what represents the bishop in historical sets and is a common translation for the piece in Hindi, Marathi, and Mongolia. Also, camels can completely close their nostrils during a sandstorm. I saw that on Kalle’s fun fact of the day that she has on her desk.
Elaine, whose surname means Crab, made a lot of crab catches tonight. Most people call them lobster catches but our local spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) lack claws so I’m sticking with crab catch. I wanted to go into the etymology of Crab and Cancer, but y’all probably already know all if it anyway.
Jenny. There are approximately 4×10^44 legal chess positions. That’s almost as many turnovers as I threw to Jenny in a single point. She kept getting open and I kept throwing her crap. I finally connected with her a few points later, but it was still a terrible throw. I gotta stop handling.
Kalle, playing her first non-beach league in some time, hit the turf running and put up some big marks that forced some high stall counts and bad throws that went rogue. I’ve been trying to shoehorn a Queen’s Gambit reference in here, but I’ll just settle on calling her the Rogue to my Gambit. Maybe it is because both Gambit and I are French, but it’s just lazy recap writing.
Kalle is usually the tallest woman on any team, but she gets outranked by Alana and Butters. Butters got a sweet D that definitely wasn’t first macked by our mark. Alana had her signature high release flick that is impossible to defend no matter how many pawns you have in the way.
Niles was more a knight than a rook with her sharp L shaped cuts. She took off a few seasons but is back to outrunning her defenders no matter how hard they try to cover her.
Taylor, my other Tarmac teammate, got open way too often and sometimes we actually threw it to her. She kept cutting and sticking to her person and never let up.
Like in Plato’s allegory, most chariots in historical art were pulled by two horses. Aaron and Eok were those two horses, but both the well behaved kind. They cut on O and marked hard on D. I know Aaron D’ed a sweet huck at the last second. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eok ran the most mileage of all the Rooks.
Eddie might have been our king, if the king moved like the queen. He pulled far, handled, cut, marked, D’ed, and was very handsome while doing it all.
Hamilton Lewis and his lineage might be from the Isle of Lewis off of Scotland, where one of the most complete, surviving chess sets was discovered. It is on display at the British Museum and in this set, the rook is represented by a berserker biting its shield.
Josh was doing the bulk of the handling and kept the game going like there was a chess clock and he was battling Deep Blue, which I believe was a summer league team in 2011.
Luigi was throwing deep bombs all night we should call him cannon, the rook equivalent in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia.
Zach won our green shirt. In chess terms I think that means grandmaster but I don’t follow the sport much, I’m more of a cheskers guy. Cheskers was invented 10+ years ago by David Reed, Eric Benedict, Sean Ferguson, Kalle Tompros and me. It is legit terrible and hasn’t been played since that fateful night.
I do have to acknowledge our two absences as they are very much related to all this: Kale, who I don’t believe I have met, has an interesting name. It LITERALLY means rook in Turkish. Presumably this comes from Qal’a in Arabic which translates to fortress (see above). Kale might be of Turkish descent. If so, neat! If not, then his name is probably derived from Greek. Kale (or Cale) is one of the Graces, a group of goddesses that represent charm, beauty, creativity, goodwill, etc. Individually, they were called a Grace or a Charis. From that name, we get the name Carissa, who was also absent, probably filming something amazing. Everything is connected!
In the end, I think we won 12-9? We got an announcement that lights were going off in 2 minutes during a turnover. I think we scored the final point and decided to call it before anyone got hurt. Even with 1 total sub, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game would have otherwise ended in a stalemate had time not ran out.
Have you ever heard the phrase – There’s things you know, things you know you don’t know, and then things you don’t know you don’t know? I guess I knew I didn’t know a lot about chess, but I certainly didn’t know I didn’t know that much about chess, ya know?
Thank you Jim, for the enlightening history! I’m voting for a logo update of an elephant with a tower on it’s back in 2023! And I know you said you did a lot of deep dives in etymology but I really wasn’t expecting all of this. I should have know better.
Even though there was a sever lack of GIFs, this is definitely an excellent themed recap. I love the themed ones! SEND ME MORE!
Rooks are now 1-1 for the season with their third game set to take place next Thursday against Retro.
Whiskey Discs are 0-2 but that was a SOLID showing for a team with only one male-matching sub and no female-matching subs at all! Yowzers! I’m feeling out of breath just thinking about it. Whiskey’s next game will be on Monday against Sky Life.