Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Chess, Art, Vodka and things Russian

After beginning with Napoleon’s ill-fated 1812 end in Russia, I am entering a reading phase that is combining my passions of travel, Art, mystery, Chess, Russia and vodka.

The first is a mystery novel of sorts with hints of “The DaVinci Code” but not quite as earthshaking. It’s by a Spanish writer, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and titled “The Flanders Panel”. Essentially it is about a young woman who is restoring a 500 year old painting in which clues of a murder are found. As she seeks to solve this 500 year old murder, people in the art world around her begin to be mysteriously murdered, adding an extra thrill and urgency to the situation. In addition to presenting several Chess problems as part of the sleuthing, one can enjoy a good read while developing a better knowledge of symbolism in Art and about the game of Chess. At the very least, you’ll want to buy yourself a beret, turtleneck and take up smoking!

The other book on my palette at present is called “The Chess Artist” by J.C. Hallman. Essentially this is non-fiction and about the author travelling to the Russian province of Kalmykia from New York with a Chess Master, wherein he “transforms an obsessive quest for obscure things into a compulsively readable and entertaining weaving of travelogue, journalism and Chess history.” This book might appeal more to those who have an interest in Chess, but is a good read that might entice the non-chess player into taking up the game.

Finally, if you are into cycling at all, go to . I went there and bought a way cool “Red Army Vodka” jersey. Just think, you could be the first kid on your block to own one!

Happy Summer reading, relaxing and rolling!


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