Thursday, November 20, 2008

Famous Last Words - Need Your Help.

Famous last words - need your help.

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist. . . .
Killed in battle during US Civil War.
~~ General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, d. 1864

Famous last words fill many archives and comprise a very large and popular body of human knowledge. It seems mankind has recorded and remembered many of these sayings for thousands of years; indicating a special fascination for one's final communicated reflection.

Each of us has only one opportunity to go down in history for creating their remarkably special last words. My appeal is that some of you more creative types be at the ready to promote chess at that time. Chess needs all the help you can give. As it stands, we chess players have had two memorable moments that I know of:

The world's first Correspondence Chess Champion and author CJS Purdy was one of the best chess writers of all time. Both Bobby Fischer and I are great Purdy fans. One of the more interesting lessons some of his books describe are what to do in situations when strategy is not clear. Catchy sayings like: it's equally important to look around as it is to follow a plan. But the last thing Purdy said was: "I have a win, but it will take some time". Time Cecil didn't have, as he died at the chess board mid game.

Legend has it that Dean of New England Chess Harry Lyman, in a coma for some time, awoke asking: "Shelby, do you have a good move?" Which was the last thing Harry ever said.

Myself, getting on in years and presented with a few chronic situations, realize that time is gaining on me. So I'm working on a catchy turn of phrase upon my egress en passant.

If I have my druthers I would go down in a time scramble, board surrounded by chess comrades, time running out for my last time, at the ready to turn THE PHRASE: hope I'm prepared. Hope some one hears. People will say he went in a way he wanted to go: winning.

Do you know of any other famous last words by chess players (or non players)?

Or have any suggestions?

Please Comment Mike Griffin 11/18/2008

No comments: