The Grandmaster Gentleman


When I was a student (during the ’40s I studied mathematics and natural philosophy) I was an intellectual piranha.  In fact, I once single-handedly won a debate against a team consisting of Margarat Thatcher, Robert Oppenheimer and Douglas Haig regarding a topic fusing deregulation of the British economy, quantum electrodynamics and (bad) Great War military tactics.

Robert Oppenheimer during his unsuccessful rebuttal. That's what you get for trying to poison your tutor.

Once leaving the world of academia for exploits in banking, opening up trade routes and building Griffith Manor, opportunities to keep the mind sharp dissipated. To combat this happening to you, we here at The Gentleman suggest you start honing your chess skills.

Humphrey Bogart makes a move while playing against Charles Boyer (who is sitting on two phonebooks).

Chess is the perfect past-time for the intelligent gentleman. It teaches you critical skills of foresight, good-sportsmanship, strategy and the difference between black and white. It also may buy you a crucial few more days when your time comes.

A pre-make of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey shows Bill playing chess with the Grim Reaper.

One of the beautiful things about chess is its simplicity. This lends itself to many variations to keep you sharp.

Charlie Chaplin referees a game of tag-team chess between Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren & Jerry Epstein and Sydney Chaplin. The game ended prematurely when Brando accused Loren of cheating, to which Loren accused Brandon of being Italian.

Captain Kirk also invented a variety of chess on the Starship Enterprise.

Kirk and Spock play a variation of space-chess. It involves an extra dimension and three extra pieces. The winner of this game plays Chekov in the final.

You may have noticed that the Russians are particularly adept at chess. I can only conclude that this is for two reasons. The first of which is that they enjoy overthrowing monarchs. The second of which is that liquor increases your ability to play and win games of chess.

Michael Caine demonstrates that a water-drinking "gentleman" will never conquer a liquor-drinking gentleman.

If you would like to start out and learn the rules of chess, I suggest you do a few things. First of all, get yourself a chess board and chess pieces. These can range from only a few dollars to thousands. Especially if you get your pieces custom-made.

Frank Sinatra enjoyed chess so much that he got his own pieces made for him.

The other thing you should do is purchase Griffith and Brixley’s Introduction to the Wonderful World of Chess. It goes through the history of chess, basic rules, key strategies and the best liquor to consume while playing chess. With these two critical ingredients, you are well on your way to becoming a grandmaster.

Bobby Fischer, chess prodigy, had a career as a chess grandmaster so successful that he could plaster his walls with the finest art known to man (pictured).

So we suggest that you take every opportunity to challenge your friends to a game of chess. It will keep you mentally sharp, drunk and entertained for hours. It may also help you out if you find yourself in the middle of World War II some time in the future.

A little-known fact about World War II was that it was settled by a game of chess between two oriental gentlemen (who, despite their uniforms, were not involved in the war).

Until next time,

H.L. Griffith