NABOKV-L post 0017263, Mon, 3 Nov 2008 11:58:10 +0000

Re: THOUGHTS: Pale Fire timeline and Kinbote's commentary
Jerry/Jansy: also note that chess-problemists of VN¹s vintage (i.e.,
pre-computer graphics systems!) would certainly own a set of
chess-piece-logo printing blocks and an inked pad. Using these on a blank 8
x 8 grid, you could quickly record any chess position. Each block would
print a square with a piece shape. NOTE: not just the piece-logo, but the
piece AND its square. There¹s 24 blocks In the set, four for each of the six
pieces (P, R, N, B, Q, K), e.g., white pawn on white square; white pawn on
black square; black pawn on white square; black pawn on black square. Great
fun! (The alternative menthod of representing chess positions in print was
with 8 text strings, one for each row, e.g., P2QpnR1 = white pawn, 2 empty
squares, white Queen, black pawn, black night, white rook, empty square.
Less fun!).

You can see that this expands the notion of ³signing² a letter with a
stamped chess emblem. Four choices for a King, as the mood dictates! But,
I¹m left wondering why Sebastian doesn¹t sign with his eponymous piece? And
why not a White Knight?
Incidentally, VN would exploit in problems the amazing fact that a pawn can
be promoted (on reaching the 8th row) to any piece other than King (or
Pawn)! Under-informed players assume that pawns always promote to Queens. In
the ³artificial² world of Chess Problems (oft disdained by ³real² players)
Pa8 = N (pawn promoted to Knight) can be the key move.

Enough of these idle symbolic convolutions. Today we have a NEW WORLD CHESS
CHAMPION. The Indian Vishy Anand has beaten the Russian Kramnik.

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 02/11/2008 20:10, "NABOKV-L" <NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU> wrote:

> Jerry Friedman responds:
> --- On Sat, 11/1/08, jansymello <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:
>> JM [ to JF and MR}: Charles Kinbote used the same emblem as
>> did Sebastian Knight in VN's former novel.
>> How do you ( JF anbd MR) interpret this?
> Chess was one of Nabokov's main interests, and provides
> convenient "logos" for the surname Knight and for a
> delusional king (if the signers are good at drawing and, if
> you want to know my opinion, a bit affected). I'm afraid I
> don't see any more than that.
> ...

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