Fernando Arrabal - Hymn to Chess

by Fernando Arrabal
1/1/2017 – Fernando Arrabal, born August 11, 1932, in Melilla, Spain, is a writer, director, poet and passionate about chess. He has published more than 100 plays, 14 novels, 800 poetry collections, numerous essays and for over 30 years has written a chess column for the French weekly "L'Express". To greet the new year Arrabal sends ChessBase readers a chess poem, a hymn to chess.

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Hymn to Chess

by Fernando Arrabal

… With a macadam deity and streetwalker cowpoke. [1]

With my frail chrysalis boasting Mandarin spurs. [2]

With a jubilant Spanish opening that changed the game. [3]

With my man-eating amity dexterous with electroshock. [4]

With my fjord-like coolness and leonine jaws. [5]

With my pawn, pedestal, and Castilian flag. [6]

With the torrent and ivoryless tower of my grip. [7]

With a vengeful cat meowing on my borderline. [8]

With the truth and translucency of our lilies and sheaves. [9]

With the apple of science and the deathless snake. [10]

With the King guillotined by the peons of my soul. [11]

With the Fury and Gorgon of the psyche and psalm. [12]

With the seven long leagues of my birthright and idiom. [13]

With the rocky mountains of my Renaissance risk-taking. [14]

With the gift of the Magi and phantasmagoric horses. [15]

With the conflagration of gambling and my skin, red and gold. [16]

With the monarch trimmed and my seagull in flight. [17]

[1] Steinitz. [2] Hou Yifan. [3] Ruy López. [4] Fischer. [5] Magnus Carlsen. [6] Morphy. [7] Tal. [8] Alekhine. [9] Robert Hübner and Hölderlin. [10] Almira Skripchenko. [11] Philidor. [12] Lasker. [13] Capablanca. [14] Gata Kamsky. [15] Spassky. [16] Alexei Shirov. [17] Judit Polgar.



Fernando Arrabal Terán (born August 11, 1932) is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist, and poet. He was born in Ceuta and settled in France in 1955. Arrabal has directed seven full-length feature films and has published over 100 plays; 14 novels; 800 poetry collections, chapbooks, and artists' books; several essays; and his notorious “Letter to General Franco” during the dictator's lifetime.


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