The League Of Extraordinary Chess Players
Nov 25 2002 Retrograde People Reported
Strange News from the Jax Chess News
The Queens Gambit Declined Slav Defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
End Game Lesson
Opening Lesson 1
Opening Lesson 2
Opening Lesson 3
Opening Lesson 4
Opening Lesson 5
Opening Lesson 6
Opening Lesson 7
Jacques Meises Dutch defence 1. d4 f5 2. g3 b6
The Staunton Gambit 1.d4 f5 2.e4
Scholastic pictures and crosstables

Charles Brooke

Retrograde People Reported

Strange Chess News by Bradley Zang

Retrograde people reported?

Retrograde Chess Analysis is a variety of chess problems where the legality of the position is a key factor.

 You start from the end and work backward through the game.

 With this background let Ewe Ghee tell you his story. "First let me thank you for hearing my story as no othe reputable chess news letter would.

As president of the Sarawak Retrograde Chess Society (Borneo Island) I directed various contests to see who was best at solving retrograde chess problems. This type of chess attracts all sorts of people. Ten years ago a man barely twenty, wearing an eye patch, came to our club house escorted by his attractive nurse.

 She wore a short black skirt and a skimpy low cut black blouse. Nurse Li always spoke for her patient. She explained he was autistic, sat him down at the chess board and asked us to set up the retrograde problem for him.

 The first was not that hard and he solved it in some minutes. I wasn't surprised and went over to the younger scholastic sections to help arbitrate a dispute. When I returned, I noticed the patient playing a game of solitaire chess in reverse.

When he finished the game, all the pieces were set up in the correct starting position. I just thought he was going through a game he had played (in the past) moving in reverse. Some autistics are savants with great memories and talents.

 I placed before him the second problem. It was much more difficult and a game I had played myself. He solved it instantly. I looked away to get the next problem. When I glanced back at him, he was still retrograding, going through my whole game backwards until he reached starting position. I figured that he had seen my game before so we tried other problems.

 In every case, he could reverse construct the game to the beginning. He always chose the correct line even though others, by transposition, would have done just as well.

Needless to say, he won the tournament. I invited him back but his nurses always politely responded to my calls by saying he wasn't interested.

Just last month, a fellow chess enthuiast invited me to a party he was throwing at the Sabah estate in nearby Pontianak. I was surprised to see the Nurse Li again, this time with a 10 year old boy wearing dark glasses. I reintroduced myself and she made it clear that she didn't want a conversation.

 I thought "She's hot! She could have anyone. Why should she be polite?" So I left the ball room and retired to the study with the host for a game of chess.

After a while their was a disturbance so we went to see what happened. Apparently, some drunk had decided to jump in the pool and some of us had to keep him from drowning.

When we returned to the study, the ten year old was hovering over the chess board reconstructing our game. I thought he had the same talent his older brother had. So I set up some retrograde puzzles for him to do.

 Puzzles do not come from real games. They are made-up problems. He couldn't do puzzles but he could do problems from real games. The nurse finally came to the study and without a word left with him.

 She did not returned my calls, so I went to see her at her house in Pontianak. She wouldn't answer the door bell. Most Malaysians are afraid of Pontianaks, who are known to look very young for their age. Perhaps that explains why Pontianak translates to english as Vampire.

I am not superstitious so I spoke to Nurse Li's neighbors by going door to door.

 I found the neighbors were quite concerned over what went on in her house. They all told me Nurse Li has only one patient (a Charles Johnson) in her house, and that Nurse Li, has looked has the same for the past thirty years.

 They also claim Charles Johnson is aging backwards. (Getting younger!) . The neighbors call him the vortex. The closer you live to him, the slower you age.

Everyone I spoke to in Pontianak fears when Charles Johnson becomes an embryo and disappears they will rapidly become their real age and die.

Then I met a middle aged looking man (a local chess expert) who claimed that, he remembered Sarawak's King a Charles Brooke lost an eye in an accident.

The King had one great wish. To be buried secretly with a prosthetic eye fashoned from a sacred stone, a small meteorite he owned.

It was a meteorite that once belonged to the legendary founder of the Malaysian empire, Prince Pulavarman. The empu (artisan) who crafted it told the chess expert that the meteorite contained a metal with strange properties.

Perhaps it contained dark mater. Two week later he claims a man appeared suffering from Time Reversal Syndrome. Maybe his stream of consciousness runs backwards too, enabling him to see chess games backwards. Please investigate."

 Our editor Bradley Zang refused to form an investigastion committee saying, "It is our policy not to investigate Men in Black or Women in Black. It is a ridiculous idea based on a movie."