King's game in Queer Street?

On October 16th, 2010, in the city of Malaga, Spain, there was held the 1st Gay Chess Open Championship (those who don’t hide their names). The first prize amounted to 1,500 EUR. 81 chess players took part in that tournament won by Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos (07.08.1985, Spain). The second place was taken by Rivas Pastor Manuel (13.07.1960, Spain) and the file of three gay leaders is closed by Munoz Pantoja Miguel (10.10.1975, Peru). The lineup is pretty imposing even for the first time. We’re waiting for continuation…

Recently one of my friends dared to voice quite a “flattering” epithet which characterizes my maidenly essence. I’ve been called a house geranium which is only good for decorating the windowsill at the same time staying away from too susceptible noses. I know that one can hardly get anything useful from me. Mostly I roll words in my fist and throw them at the life table. Sometimes there occur unexpectedly lucky combinations and that surprises me every bit as much as others. So, to expect from me something unimaginable is a forlorn hope. For example, now I want a tangerine or even two. Exactly, it’d be better to have two tangerines because I'll have to share anyway. Besides, I want to marry some guy. It’s going to be fun because I’ve never been married before.

My ornamentality becomes apparent practically in everything except for a choice of books… And now accepting my house designation but not to be completely disappointed in my mental facilities, I stretched my hand not for another issue of Harper's Bazaar or Vogue but for the titanic work by Plato. Don’t get the idea that my bookshelf is notable for abundance of philosophical books. Plato is an echo of my classes in the world literature. And to judge by virgin pages even stuck together in some places, that echo has never been read. My acquaintance with this ancient philosopher started with a slight flirt called Symposium.

Wading across the deep lines, I've caught a very interesting idea, I think. “The original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two…” Androgynes dared to encroached upon Zeus’s power and were severely punished: they were cut in two… Thus there appeared a doctrine about two halves which are scattered throughout the world and looking for their other halves, they are craving for integrity, suffering from nostalgia… But here my wandering look hit on a couple of very interesting sentences: “Men who are a section of that double nature which was once called Androgynous are lovers of women; adulterers are generally of this breed, and also adulterous women who lust after men. The women who are a section of the woman do not care for men, but have female attachments; the female companions are of this sort. But they who are a section of the male follow the male, and while they are young, being slices of the original man, they hang about men and embrace them, and they are themselves the best of boys and youths, because they have the most manly nature. Some indeed assert that they are shameless, but this is not true; for they do not act thus from any want of shame, but because they are valiant and manly, and have a manly countenance, and they embrace that which is like them. And these when they grow up become our statesmen, and these only, which is a great proof of the truth of what I am saying. When they reach manhood they are lovers of youth, and are not naturally inclined to marry or beget children, — if at all, they do so only in obedience to the law; but they are satisfied if they may be allowed to live with one another unwedded.” Thereby, did Plato give us to understand that many state units made of flesh and blood have a weakness for the same sex? That is, failures at the love battlefront, which are inevitable for the community still doesn’t accept same-sex love, affect the professional activity, so to say, leave a stamp that can be easily traced in their proposals submitted for discussion and reforms… Here I can’t help remembering Harvey Milk who avowed about his sexual preferences and stood up for the rights of sexual minorities… though who knows whether they are minorities indeed. As Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie “Lenny” (directed by Bob Fosse, 1974) said: "A lesbian is not easy to recognize. You may ask: “Why”? Because sometimes you’re her husband.” So, concerning the minorities we’d better not jump the gun.

Going on reasoning about politics and state, I came to the conclusion, though, what conclusion could be drawn by a geranium? What am I talking about? I became interested in the course of things at the chess battlefront. Can it really be true that on 64 squares among 32 chessmen there is not a single one that differs from others?

The American actor Jason Bateman (Hancock, Up in the Air, Arthur and the Invisibles, Couples Retreat) said once: “Very rarely met I stupid gays. It takes intellect and intuition to realize their homosexuality…” Intellect and intuition… Does it remind you of anything? Here is a tricky question: can you remember at least one open chess gay? If not from the chess world, here you are: William Shakespeare, Rimbaud, Leonardo, Michelangelo... If Michelangelo had been straight, it appears that the Sistine Chapel would have been papered masterfully. This list can be continued endlessly and it will be replenished mostly by people of art. But chess is an art too, you know. It's the intellectual art. So we got quite equilateral logical triangle…

After long laborious searching I’ve discovered a very interesting magazine “Chess Pride”, issued since 1998 exclusively for the homosexual community. This edition published, for instance, materials about the homosexual chess player Anthony E. Santasiere, about Paul Murphy who didn’t escape rumors concerning its nontraditional sexual preferences, about the obvious queer Weaver Adams who won the US Open Championship in 1948.

Anthony E. Santasiere is the author of the book “The Romantic King’s Gambit” (quite nontraditionally, isn’t it?) and the crazy opening Santasiere’s Folly: 1. Nf3 Nf6 2.b4, named after him. Bobby Fischer believed Paul Murphy to be the best chess player ever and the latter considered that his best company was women’s shoes which he bought up in numbers, placed around the perimeter of the room, and feasted his eyes upon them plunging into nirvana.

Follow the queer pawn…

And then we see the abyss, so to say, the homosexual chasm. It's not that I advocate same-sex relationships but they have been and will be for ever. Therefore, we can’t disown this phenomenon and say that it couldn’t happen in chess. Chess, as literature, is a peculiar reflection of the realities of life, you know. Oscar Wilde wrote: "The love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between , such as made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the of and . It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect... It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it.” It was the 19th century.

“Now many years have passed"...

But nothing has changed. Or?

On October 16th, 2010, in the city of Malaga, Spain, there was held the 1st Gay Chess Open Championship (those who don’t hide their names). The first prize amounted to 1,500 EUR. 81 chess players took part in that tournament won by Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos (07.08.1985, Spain). The second place was taken by Rivas Pastor Manuel (13.07.1960, Spain) and the file of three gay leaders is closed by Munoz Pantoja Miguel (10.10.1975, Peru). The lineup is pretty imposing even for the first time. We’re waiting for continuation…

Nevertheless, improvements happen. We stopped whispering secretively, pointing the finger and saying that he/she stands out in a crowd. Gays openly declare their sexual preferences because they have the right for it. However, the question about how many queers are there in chess is left open… Endless kaleidoscope of tournaments, get-togethers surrounded by males and females – it’s very easy to mingle with the crowd. And what if consider it from the aspect of stereotype set by Zweig and Nabokov (here I by no means impute to them their vision of a player’s portrait). Chess player is a person who has some aberrations. Homosexuality, in majority opinion, is also an aberration. However, here appears a sort of contradiction: how do you usually picture a gay?

A little digression.

Now then, why does it concern only gays? Let it be a little whim of a house geranium who feels some kind of drawn to the oppressed…

So, the portrait of a gay. They look great, pay special attention to their appearance, and take good care of themselves. Trail of nice scent follows them everywhere. They know much about recent trends in fashion, attend club events. They can be flirty, sometimes too mannered. They can become a good girlfriend. I think after that there's no need to picture a chess player. Do you know many boys of that type in our 64-squared world? If at least one tournament gathered several such representatives, chess popularity as a kind of sport would soar up, so would ratings and recognizability… There are such players but they are few. In Europe, as we got to know, there are 81 people – and this is in the chess player’s army of many thousands! Probably, it connects not only with a specific psychology of a chess player and his reluctance to let strange people in his world. It seems to be connected also with the fact that originally chess is a duel, struggle which is not nature of sexual minorities. They fight for their rights and this struggle in life is quite enough for them. They can go on stage and there take a stand on the matter, roll in the audience’s love. They are actors who hide themselves behind the masks because put them on someday at the public insistence, they just can’t reject these masks. So, they keep playing roles and living masked. And chess players are puppeteers who make a performance on the board looking down upon the world… Or am I much mistaken?

Maybe, chess characters put on the impenetrable masks too and conceal themselves by unsociable images looking from their shell and watching or waiting for somebody to unravel their mystery…

I’ve always loved all kinds of mysteries and now I wonder when this masquerade is over and actors putt their masks off.


P.S. “Your conscience is virginal clean because you never use it…”

But I use mine and that’s why my conscience is gnawing me… Girls…

First of all, please, accept this modest bunch of first spring flowers-brackets:

(((()))).You must admit it’s always pleasant to get though small but heartfelt and cute presents. No, not even presents but pressies. And believe you me it’s not just some flowery decorations of the clumsy text. These curved things are but an evidence of the fact that I’m doing my best to get a lucky combination which will surprise both me and you. However I must repeat myself, to expect from me something unimaginable is a forlorn and thankless hope.

And yet, girls... In 2010 for the first time the prizes at the European Women Chess Championship almost attained the men’s level! G-I-R-L-S! Where are our eyes? Guys get together, play, don’t hide, but girls seem to be too scared to get out of the closet. There are some speculations about Beatriz Marinello (USA) but who knows whether they are true or not? Now then, what’s the difference? I think it takes only to issue a call about the lesbian championship for spectators to be on the tiptoe of expectation. Or am I wrong?..



sabia que Manuel Rivas era borracho, pero no gay, bueno que cosas tiene la vida.


Surprised to be the first to leave a comment here.How many REAL gays were participating in ths Championship?