- Chris de Burgh über seine schachlichen Aktivitäten -
Der Meister beantwortet Frage eines Holthuser Schachspielers :-)

Fast genau vor drei Jahren, nämlich am 27.11.2000, hatten wir auf dieser Homepage ein kleines Special über den irischen Singer und Songwriter Chris de Burgh und sein Album "Best Moves" mit einem Schachmotivcover. Hierzu gibt es Aktuelles zu vermelden! Auf seiner offiziellen Homepage führt de Burgh eine Rubrik, in welcher er regelmäßig per Mail an die Redaktion eingesandte Fragen persönlich beantwortet. Was also lag näher, als zwei meiner Vorlieben zu verbinden, und den besten Musiker der Welt direkt nach dem Cover zu befragen!? Ich murkste mir also mit meinen alten Schulenglischkenntnissen eine Frage zusammen und tatsächlich: am 04.10. wurde sie - mit entsprechender Antwort - veröffentlicht. Anbei noch eine zweite schachliche Frage eines anderen de Burgh-Fans an den Iren v. 15.08., welche eher allgemein auf Chris' Schachkenntnisse abzielt. Ich habe lediglich den englischen Originaltext wiedergegeben (Link zur Quelle). Der Vollständigkeit halber ist am Ende dieser Seite der englische Text des Liedes "Spanish Train" (1975) aufgeführt, auf welches im Folgenden Bezug genommen wird.

Einleitende Bilder zum Text: (zur Vergrößerung anklicken)

Cover "Best Moves", 1981
Stellung vom Cover,
Kaplan vs. Bronstein
October 4, 2003
Frank Modder (29) from Bunde, Germany:
Dear Chris! Iím a fan of you and your music since 1982. I was an eight-year-old boy then who listened to your Getaway-LP,
and this album is still a favourite of mine. But my question is on behalf of your Best Moves-album. As a big chess
enthusiast I wonder not only why you chose a chess cover (okay, Best MOVES), but why you chose just that position. This
is the final position of the game Kaplan vs. Bronstein, played in Hastings 1975/76. White has more material, but will lose
the game, because he has no good moves in the long run. Is there any meaning in it and do you have any connections to
chess in general (I also think about the last words of the song "Spanish Train", where the Lord and the devil are playing
chess)? Thank you and I wish you good luck for the future and Iím really looking forward to listen to your next album!
Chris de Burgh:
When we decided on the cover of ďBest MovesĒ I wanted to do the picture and have a genuine game of chess going on that
occasionally somebody somewhere sometime would spot. And it appears to be that Frank Modder has spotted whatís
going on here! Yes, it is very much based on the Spanish Train story about black and white, good and evil. And white will
lose the game as you may have noticed. As I said earlier, I play chess but not particularly well. But this one, the Lord and
the Devil are playing chess, and that is exactly what is happening on the front cover of the ďBest MovesĒ album, and that
particular game, the Kaplan vs. Bronstein, was one that we found in a book and replicated on the cover.

August 15, 2003
Bas van Nunen (35) from Alkmaar, The Netherlands:
Chris, thank you for so many years of beautiful music. I was one of those people who couldn't attend your concert last year.
Maybe this summer I'll go to one of the German ones. Anyway, on the cover of the album "Best Moves" you are playing
chess, as all chess players know, you're playing your biggest opponent, yourself. Do you really play chess?
Chris de Burgh:
The cover of ďBest MovesĒ was put together with genuine chess moves. I do play chess, not very often. My two sons play
together quite a bit, and itís great watching them learning the game. Itís a very complicated game. And if we are on holidays
and they are on one of those big areas where you have chess pieces that you can walk around and move around, itís great
to see that. And in chess, I think in virtually everything, your biggest opponent is yourself. It certainly applies to games like
golf where one day you can go and play golf brilliantly and really exceed your abilities, and the next days for absolutely no
other reason except itís another time and another day, you can hit terrible shots. So it is very much a game of concentration
and self-belief.

Spanish Train

There's a Spanish train that runs between 
Quadalquivir and old Saville,
And at dead of night the whistle blows, 
and people hear she's running still...

And then they hush their children back to sleep,
Lock the doors, upstairs they creep,
For it is said that the souls of the dead 
Fill that train ten thousand deep!!

Well a railwayman lay dying with his people by his side,
His family were crying, knelt in prayer before he died,
But above his head just a-waiting for the dead,
Was the Devil with a twinkle in his eye,
"Well God's not around and look what I've found,
this one's mine!!"

Just then the Lord himself appeared in a blinding flash of light,
And shouted at the devil, "Get thee hence to endless night!!"
But the Devil just grinned and said "I may have sinned,
But there's no need to push me around,
I got him first so you can do your worst,
He's going underground!!"

"But I think I'll give you one more chance"
said the Devil with a smile,
"So throw away that stupid lance, 
It's really not your style",
"Joker is the name, Poker is the game, 
we'll play right here on this bed,
And then we'll bet for the biggest stakes yet,
the souls of the dead!!"

And I said "Look out, Lord, he's going to win,
The sun is down and the night is riding in,
That train is dead on time, many souls are on the line,
Oh Lord, he's going to win!.."

Well the railwayman he cut the cards 
and he dealt them each a hand of five
And for the Lord he was praying hard 
or that train he'd have to drive...
Well the Devil he had three aces and a king,
and the Lord, he was running for a straight,
he had the queen and the knave and the nine and ten of spades,
All he needed was the eight...

And then the Lord he called for one more card,
but he drew the diamond eight,
And the Devil said to the son of God, 
"I believe you've got it straight,
So deal me one for the time has come 
to see who'll be the king of this place,
But as he spoke, from beneath his cloak,
he slipped another ace...

Ten thousand souls was the opening bid, 
and it soon went up to fifty-nine,
but the Lord didn't see what the Devil did,
and he said "that suits me fine",
"I'll raise you high to hundred and five,
and forever put an end to your sin",
But the Devil let out a mighty shout, "My hand wins!!"

And I said "Lord, oh Lord, you let him win,
The sun is down and the night is riding in,
That train is dead on time, many souls are on the line, 
Oh Lord, don't let him win..."

Well that Spanish train still runs between,
Quadalquivir and old Saville,
And at dead of night the whistle blows,
And people hear she's running still...
And far away in some recess 
The Lord and the Devil are now playing chess,
The Devil still cheats and wins more souls,
And as for the Lord, well, he's just doing his best...

And i said "Lord, oh Lord, you've got to win,
The Sun is down and the night is riding in,
That train is still on time, Oh my soul is on the line, 
Oh Lord, you've got to win..."