Novelty Chess Sets
On a drunken evening a few years ago a friend and I thought we’d play a game with his recently acquired Napoleonic chess set.
My friend, (who incidentally is a none chess player), neglected to buy a board as he already had one, a tatty old cardboard effort which was three times too small for the fancy pieces he bought! The last time he'd used the board was nearly 20 years ago at junior’s school and “it seemed much bigger then”.
My explanation of perspective and of things being relative fell upon deaf inebriated ears. The miniscule board left the knight’s feet resting on the pawns shoulders, the rooks were halfway off the board, and the bishop’s were indecently exposing themselves to the King and Queen.
The game was abandoned after twenty moves or so, as both of us had no idea what was happening on or off the board, and have you ever tried to explain the finer points of the en passant rule to a drunkard?
A drunkard who barely knows how to play the game to start with!
Here is the great man in action, just managing to beat a lass!
Napoleon I - Madame de Remusat [C41]
Malmaison Castle, 1804
1.Nc3 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.e4 f5 4.h3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nc6 6.Nfg5 d5 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qf3 Nh6?
[8...Bf5] was much, better 9.Nf6+ Ke7 10.Nxd5+ Kd6 11.Ne4+ Kxd5 12.Bc4+ Kxc4 13.Qb3+ Kd4 14.Qd3#
I’ve seen a few of Napoleon’s games on various databases and as far as I can see, he was a better military strategist than a chess player, although it was a chivalrous time, and he may have taken it easy on the lady, giving her the opportunity of a piece, on move 8, which she refused, opting for the loss instead!