It’s incredibly difficult topic. Mental efforts resulted in a headache but the idea about how to begin the discourse starting out from the meaningful phrase "Why is there no sex in chess?" had never come to my mind. I decided to lay down my cards right away and say the truth: there will be neither beautiful preface nor virtuosic exercices. The whole idea is diabolically simple and with the declarative intonation: there is no sex in chess. Sometimes it seems to me the word combination “chess and sex” is a striking example of oxymoron – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. But why is it so?
Since olden times this type of intellectual activities has been extremely popular among the population of many countries: people admire chess, follow the course of struggle between the strongest representatives of a chess world, empathize, learn from their mistakes.
But cherished 64 squares were not merely a field of battle for keen minds but also a peculiar place of love meetings… Yes, suffice it to remember the Arabian Nights:
"...I brought the chess-board and my liefest lover plays me
Being defeated by his lady-love, Sharrkann says: “…Oh my lady, how should one playing with the like of thee avoid being beaten?..”
Lensky can’t resist the beauty of his beloved either:
As far removed as they were able
So the "kings’ war” becomes the love game, some kind of a foreplay. I seem to have heard something like that: Natalia Pogonina wanted to share the story about the opening which is akin to a love play and about the absolute “orgasmic” endgame. “Chess Kamasutra” had a lot of promise as a bestseller. You must admit it would be interesting to learn intricate analogies between sexual positions and chess positions. However, this abandoned hit would have been only an analogy to sex: so to say, having decided that his failed combination is richly deserving of a sacrificial stimulation, she rushed to the attack. Analogies are good but “fun and games” cannot be based on parallel lines.
“Yea, were there men when I was young / Whose songs your tribe is not to 've sung…” (c)
Jose Raul Capablanka… Tall, stately, athletic, handsome, complaisant with women and, according to some of them, sometimes even too much – here is the portrait of a sex symbol. Let's say, a sex symbol of the 1930’s, somewhere between Douglas Fairbanks and Robert Taylor. His love affairs and amourettes added zest to the image of diplomat and chess player popular with the ladies who literally flung themselves at his head. And what about his love of ballet? Isn’t it an excellent way to combine 2 types of arts: choreographic and intellectual? Actually, there was sex in chess.
“Now many years have passed / I’m not so young today…” (c)
The best years have apparently flown past. Now other characters are on the stage whom you can hardly imagine as lovers. It’s not that Vladimir Kramnik doesn’t turn me on… It takes him only to work on the image, preen his feathers – and here we go – he’s ready for conquering the sex Olympus. But does he really need it? Does he want this role?
Oh, forget it! What for?!
On the official website kramnik.com I was rambling in the maze of the games trying to find something spicy. As a result, I’ve found only 2 lines about his private life: after the well-deserved victory in Elista he found time to get married in 2006 and shared his happiness with friends in 2007. The curtain drops. But what about details, circumstances, the course of events? After all he is a public person people interested in. But this interest is only heated by chess information; however, all human beings have human feelings and physiology still rules… or am I mistaken?
I can’t help but remember the character from the novel Arch of Triumph by Remark, 80-year-old Richter suffering from severe tuberculosis: "Chess turns our thoughts into absolutely other direction. Chess has so little to do with all human stuff… with doubts and melancholy… it’s so abstract game that it calms down. The game of chess is an extramunden, the world without vanity or… death”... And I would add the world that is inconversant with sex, love, and joy of life. So, chess players seem to be robots, all they’re good for is to move the pieces and hypnotize the board. No wonder the portrait of a typical representative of the chess world in the estimation of the public is horn-rimmed spectacles, shabby sweater, old bedraggled jeans, and sullen look. Thing-in-itself. What sex are we talking about?!
And what about girls?
The fair sex is in the same street as the sterner one.
Marina Manakova tried to change the world and started from herself. She has stripped for Russian magazine Skorost (Speed), showed her charms to the magazine Maxim and appeared nude in the Russian issue of Playboy magazine. Hereupon the sexual enthusiasm has withered away. No more information, naked photo shoots – audience is waiting but actors got tired.
There has been also attempts made by Alexandra Kostenyuk who is pompously referred to as the model, I rather think, the model of chess achievements not the top-model. It was too sluggish her efforts to transfigure the chess world with her natural beauties which she obviously has. For all that, Manakova's bid for leadership was way more serious and successful though she stuck in second gear.
Yet who knows… After all, Bobby Fischer did want the young Kostenyuk… and that’s worth a lot.
In search of sex in chess I've come across the article “Beautiful and sexy chess players” (chessmoso.blogspot.com). Here we can see Carmen Kaas and the heroine of the “Bermuda Nights” Arianne Caoili, and Kinga Harsanyi who cannot be beaten cold by any man chess player, and many others. The author is torn apart, he cannot decide who in this list is a pure sexuality, combination of intellect and beauty, the picture of a perfect lady. The only question is if these ideals are aware of their sexuality, whether they consider themselves to be desirable by the menfolk. Do they use their native inborn talents? Should I give you the possible variants of the answer? Probably, seldom, unlikely, no…
Are sexuality and chess incompatible? They are probably parallel but according to the laws of geometry never intersect. So, what’s the matter? We should hook them up someday…
Why is there no sex in chess?