Sunday, May 15, 2005

Blog on the Run: Jude the Magnificent

Out here in New Orleans, the blogging convention had been going on all day, and the gang was kind of tired, so we decided to skip Colin Powell's closing speech "Defending America from Anonymous Flamers: Blogging in the Post-9/11 World."

On the way back to the hotel, we came across an elderly gentleman seated at a table with 2 chess boards and a sign that said: "Jude Acers, U.S. Chessmaster, $5/game." Since none of us had less than a $100 bill, I offered the least valuable thing I had on me, the deed to this blog.

He quickly accepted and the game was on. We (to clarify, we being Tom, al, Dan, Dan's assistant Rich, and Rich's assistant Jenevieve) soon found out that this was no ordinary bum. Rather, he was "The Man in the Red Beret".

Some highlights of the game and ensuing conversation:

* Multiple times, Jude cited the fact that he appears in the Guinness Book of World Records, presumably for the world's lowest number-of-homes-to-number-of-chess-victories ratio, which now bears his name.

* Jude was obsessed with the amazing ability of computers to teach even the slowest of learners the subtleties of the game. Take a hypothetical mental midget, say, any girl, for instance, Jenevieve. With careful study and extensive work, even Jenevieve could beat the most accomplished of chess prodigies, say, any man, how about Rich?

* Jude also predicted that chess had nowhere to go but up. Soon, online chess would easily eclipse online poker in both popularity and profitability, and would one day even challenge the silver tuna of online skill games, Literati. Jude was hazy on the logistics of all this happening, but there was one thing he knew for sure: "I think it will be Google. Yeah, Google. Yeah, I think it will be Google." When I asked "What about Yahoo, or MSN, I mean they already have networks built--," he cut me off abruptly: "Google. Definitely Google."

* Dan, Tom, and Dan's assistant were able to read the newspaper clippings taped to Jude's table. Two points of note here. In the general biographical article, we learned that Jude, after being orphaned at 6, "lived like a wolf on the streets--a chess-playing wolf." In another article, we learned that Jude, once played 24 prisoners simultaneously, only to lose to a convicted murderer. "I attacked him where it hurt the most," the winner explained. So it turns out that his strengths as a murderer were also his strengths as a chess player. Fun fact: to add insult to injury, the murderer's victim was Jude's mother, Gertrude.

* Don't get me wrong: while Jude was slightly (read: fucking) insane, when it came to chess, as far as I could tell he had the goods. However, he was a bit arrogant. After it was clear I was going to lose, I made a slightly sub-optimal move. Jude exploded. "Wow, I never imagined in my wildest dreams any one playing Kg2 there. That shows you have imagination. Wow, Kg2. Imagination, that's great, kid. Anyway, checkmate."

* While the Jude experience was humbling, it gave us a great idea. Later that day, Tom and I were set up on Bourbon St. with the following sign: "U.S. Taboomasters, $5/game, Accepting all Challengers". A quote from later that day:

Tom (to street urchin): "The Three ______" as a clue for "ninja"? Wow kid, you got imagination. Checkmate.

al and Jude going at it.


Anonymous said...

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Nb6 6. Bb3 Bg7 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. h3 a5 9. a4 dxe5 10. dxe5 Na6 11. O-O Nc5 12. Qe2 Qe8 13. Ne4 Nbxa4 14. Bxa4 Nxa4 15. Re1 Nb6 16. Bd2 a4 17. Bg5 h6 18. Bh4 Bf5 19. g4 Be6 20. Nd4 Bc4 21. Qd2 Qd7 22. Rad1 Rfd8 23. f4 Bd5 24. Nc5 Qc8 25. Qc3 e6 26. Kh2 Nd7 27. Nd3 c5 28. Nb5 Qc6 29. Nd6 Qxd6 30. exd6 Bxc3 31. bxc3 f6 32. g5 hxg5 33. fxg5 f5 34. Bg3 Kf7 35. Ne5+ Nxe5 36. Bxe5 b5 37. Rf1 Rh8 38. Bf6 a3 39. Rf4 a2 40. c4 Bxc4 41. d7 Bd5 42. Kg3 Ra3+ 43. c3 Rha8 44. Rh4 e5 45. Rh7+ Ke6 46. Re7+ Kd6 47. Rxe5 Rxc3+ 48. Kf2 Rc2+ 49. Ke1 Kxd7 50. Rexd5+ Kc6 51. Rd6+ Kb7 52. Rd7+ Ka6 53. R7d2 Rxd2 54. Kxd2 b4 55. h4 Kb5 56. h5 c4 57. Ra1 gxh5 58. g6 h4 59. g7 h3 60. Be7 Rg8 61. Bf8 (diagram) h2 62. Kc2 Kc6 63. Rd1 b3+ 64. Kc3 h1=Q 65. Rxh1 Kd5 66. Kb2 f4 67. Rd1+ Ke4 68. Rc1 Kd3 69. Rd1+ Ke2 70. Rc1 f3 71. Bc5 Rxg7 72. Rxc4 Rd7 73. Re4+ Kf1 74. Bd4 f2 0-1 !!

Anonymous said...

Searching for Jude the Magnificent (2005)

Tagline: A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Jude Acers.

Memorable Quotes from
Searching for Jude the Magnificent:

Jude Acers: I held the world in contempt.
Alex "Al" Benjamin "Benji" Jacob: Well, I'm not you.
Jude Acers: You're telling me.

Jude: You have no idea what I want. What is chess, do you think? Those who play for fun or not at all dismiss it as a game. The ones who devote their lives to it for the most part insist that it's a science. It's neither. I got underneath it like no one before and found at its center, art. I spent my life trying to play like me. Most of these guys have. But we're like forgers. We're competent fakes. His successor wasn't here tonight. He wasn't here. He is asleep in his room in your house. Your son creates like me. He sees like me, inside.
Al's Dad, Fred Jacob: You can tell this by watching him play some drunks in the park?
Jude: Yes. You want to know what I want. I'll tell you what I want. I want back what I took with me when I disappeared.

Al's Dad: He's better at this than I've ever been at anything in my life. He's better at this than you'll ever be, at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift, and when you acknowledge that, then maybe we will have something to talk about.

Al: Maybe it's better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it's OK.

Al's Mom, Bonnie Jacob: He's not afraid of losing. He's afraid of losing your love. How many ball players grow up afraid of losing their fathers' love every time they come up to the plate?

Fred Jacob: All of them!
Bonnie Jacob: He knows you disapprove of him. He knows you think he's weak. But he's not weak. He's decent. And if you or Jude or anyone else tries to beat that out of him, I swear to God I'll take him away.

Jude: Do you know what it means to have "contempt" for your opponent?
Al: No.
Jude: It means to hate them. You have to hate them Al, they hate you.
Al: But I don't hate them.
Jude: Well you'd better start.

Fred Jacob: You know you could give up the game, and that would be alright with me. In fact, I want you to give it up.
Al: But I can't.
Fred: Why not?
Al: Because I have to play. *I* have to.

Al: You've lost, you just don't know it yet.

Al: Can we get some brochures now?
Fred: Sure, pee and get your coat.

Al: Can we go to the dealerships now?
Fred: But the game's not over, yet.
Al: Yes, it is.

Jude Acers: Look deep, Al. It's there. It's twelve moves away, but it's there. You've got him.

Al Jacob: [talking to a friend on the phone] I'm playing chess with my dad.
Al Jacob: Chess. It's a game, like Monopoly.

Jude Acers: To put your son in a position to care about winning and not to prepare him is wrong!


Anonymous said...

The attempted murderer that defeated Jude valued his "patience and lack of aggression." The same traits that ensured he was only an "attempted" murderer and couldn't seal the deal.