[lit-ideas] Re: "a huge accomplishment for chess players everywhere"

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 11:32:20 -0800

On Jan 4, 2012, at 10:54 AM, Walter C. Okshevsky wrote:

> Well, P-Q4 and call me Susan! I dunno. Chess is a ruthlesly cerebral game and
> this will only add to the number of head concussions boxers get in a lifetime.
> If boxers really want to risk severe brain injury, they should just take up
> hockey. 
> 

It's probably a trick of my imagination, but I've a feeling I introduced a 
thread about this a few years back.  But today I'm living in a world where 
anything is possible.  This is because I had a conversation between sets of 
tennis yester eve.  Some background: to get to Oxford, J. had to step outside 
her college's year-abroad program and find a way to do what she wished.  Not 
many students do this; an average of one per year goes to Oxford from that very 
small college.  Second piece of background: I have been forging a tennis 
partnership with a fellow about whom I know only that he's an optometrist, five 
years older than me, plays well.  While my wife's tennis chums socialize, guys 
keep conversation to a minimum and focus on tennis.

So this fellow and chatted as follows:
"How long's your father here?"
"Until the end of next week."
"How old is he?"
"High eighties.  Are your parents still alive?"
"Low eighties."
"Still going strong?"
"Doing O.K."
"Same here, but travel this time was helped by the fact that my daughter is 
attending Oxford and so was able to fly with him."
"Oxford?  Which college is she at?"
"Not one of the more famous ones, St. Anne's."
"My daughter went to St. Anne's."
"Really?"
"Junior year abroad."
"What did she study?"
"Chemistry."
"My daughter is also studying Chemistry at St. Anne's.  Where does (or did) 
your daughter go to college?"
"She graduated last year.  From a small college in California..."

Yup, his daughter was two years ahead of mine at a college of 850 women.  They 
know one another.  They both study the same subject.  They both chose to go to 
St. Anne's, Oxford for their Junior Year Abroad.

This is no doubt how Douglas Adams came up with the idea of the Infinite 
Improbability Drive.

David Ritchie,
Portland, 
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