Friday, 11 February 2022

Bishop or Fool

 The trip to the Lifeline Bookfair was almost incident free* and I picked up a few books while I was there. As usual I came home with some books I already owned, although in this case 2 of the 3 books were deliberate purchases (the third was an American reprint of The Mammoth Book of Chess, under another name). One book which I definitely did not own was "Assess Your Chess Fast" by GM Alberic O'Kelly de Galway. Published in 1976, it followed the tried and true teaching method of devoting a chapter to a specific topic, and then providing test positions at the end.  The topics were pretty mixed up, starting with "The Ferocious Pawns" and ending with "Hidden Strategical Possibilities in the Middlegame".

What was of singular interest was the font used in the diagrams. Everything followed the usual symbols except for the Bishop, which was represented by something more akin to a Jester. At first I thought this was little bit of anti-clericalism, but on further research it was simply a nod to the use of the word "Fou", which is the French word for Bishop (and literally means Jester)

*My only negative observation is if you are campaigning to keep your children safe, teaching them not to ride their bikes and scooters in front of traffic should be part of this.

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