Athletics

h4>Learn about our TrendTopper College Ranking and Branding Services

The Medal Round

Final GLM TrendTopper MediaBuzz Rankings:

.

Olympic Global Sponsors: GLM TrendTopper Medal Round

.

Lenovo Takes the Gold Pulling Away,

.

J&J Finishes Strong Edging McDonald’s,

.

Coca-Cola Leaps Over Rivals

.

Austin, Texas, USA. August 29, 2008.   The final week of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors at the Beijing Olympics, Lenovo (OTC: LNVGY) takes the Gold pulling away from the pack, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) finishes strong edging McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) for the Silver, while Coca-Cola (NYSE: K), in a bold move leaps five spots to No. 4.  On the downside, Samsung (OTC: SSNFL) and Kodak (NYSE: K) each fell three spots to No. 6 and 7 respectively.

Over the last two weeks Lenovo has completed its remarkable climb from No. 10 to the Top Spot. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.

.

Global Sponsors

Last

Change

Rank

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

9

5

5

Visa

6

1

6

Samsung

3

-3

7

Kodak

4

-3

8

Panasonic

7

-1

9

Omega

8

-1

10

GE

10

0

11

Atos Origin

11

0

12

Manulife

12

0

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “In medal round of our competition, Lenovo performed a Phelpsian move pulling away from the crowd. In fact its media awareness grew over 2100% since our baseline ‘snapshot’ on the last day of 2007. The strength of the Johnson & Johnson brand was also remarkable at No. 2. McDonald’s brand equity was leveraged in clever and interesting ways, especially with their spectacular kick-off event. And, once again, Coca-Cola proved itself in the distance events, placing at or near the top for another Olympiad.”

Media Awareness

Since 12/31/07

1

Lenovo

2

Panasonic

3

Kodak

4

Samsung

5

McDonald’s

.

When the ‘ambush marketers’ are are included with the Global Sponsors, the DreamWorks Animation studio, makers of “Kung Fu Panda”, rose to an unprecedented No. 5, while Nike (NYSE: NKE) just did it and finished at No.9. Pepsi (NYSE: PEP), which owns the Gatorade brand, was up slightly, while American Express (NYSE: AMX) fell five spots.


Ambushers Included

Last

Change

Rank

1

Lenovo

1

0

2

J&J

5

3

3

McDonald’s

2

-1

4

Coca-Cola

12

8

5

Kung fu Panda

8

3

6

Visa

6

0

7

Samsung

3

-4

8

Nike

9

1

9

Kodak

4

-5

10

Panasonic

10

0

11

Omega

11

0

12

Amex

7

-5

13

Pepsi

14

1

14

GE

13

-1

15

Atos Origin

15

0

16

Manulife

16

0

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenovo, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin. The ambush marketers being tracked include American Express, Nike, DreamWorks and their hit movie “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns the Gatorade brand.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs.

Olympic MediaBuzz Medal Round:  ATHLETES

Phelps Takes Gold,

Newly-coined Media Star Lin Miaoke takes the Silver,

Nastia Liunkin Edges Shawn Johnson for Bronze

Yang Peiyi and Cheng Fei Finish Strong, Yao Ming slips.

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 28, 2008.   In the medal round of the TrendTopper MediaBuzzTM analysis of the Beijing Olympics, GLM measured how the global media buzz surrounding key athletes changed during the course of the Games.  In the MediaBuzz Medal Round, Michael Phelps took the gold as he pulled away from the pack. The silver belongs to Lin Miaoke, the newly-coined media star. And in a mild surprise, Nastia Liunkin bolted from No. 11 to No. 3 edging out Shawn Johnson for the bronze.

Both Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, the Jamaican sprinters, fared poorly evidencing little staying power, while Guo Jing Jing, apparently having had her moment in the sun, faded.

And, in yet another compelling twist, Lin Miaoke’s counterpart, Yang Peiyi, the little girl who did, indeed, sing the song the whole world sings moved up ten spots to No. 5. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), the internet and media tracking agency.

Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and Chief Word Analyst, said “The media story for the Beijing Olympics was much larger than Michael Phelps. The plots and subplots, twists and entanglements were compelling at almost every level – from the Opening ceremony to the very end. Each of these was well reflected in the TrendTopper MediaBuzz analysis.” 

The ranking follows and includes rank, name, last week’s rank, and change.

Rank

Athlete

Last

Change

1

Michael Phelps (US)

1

0

2

Lin Miaoke (CHI)

2

0

3

Nastia Liukin (US)

11

8

4

Shawn Johnson (US)

9

5

5

Yang Peiyi (Chi)

15

10

6

Cheng Fei (Chi)

17

11

7

Yao ming (CHI)

3

-4

8

Tyson Gay (US)

10

2

9

Cate Campbell (AUS)

12

3

10

Dara Torres (US)

5

-5

11

Leisel Jones (AUS)

13

2

12

Usain Bolt (JAM)

4

-8

13

Grant Hackett (AUS)

20

7

14

Liu Xiang (CHI)

18

4

15

Paula Radcliffe (UK)

19

4

16

Asafa Powell (JAM)

6

-10

17

Allyson Felix (US)

16

-1

18

Sanya Richards (US)

24

6

19

Ben Ainslie (UK)

14

-5

20

Paul Hamm (US)

7

-13

21

Jeremy Wariner (US)

22

1

22

Jana Rawlinson (AUS)

21

-1

23

Jo Pavey (UK)

23

0

24

Libby Lenton (AUS)

25

1

25

Guo Jing Jing (CHI)

8

-17

(For more information and other metrics, call 1.925.367.7557.)

Olympian Media Buzz:  The Athletes Ranked, Midway Point

Bolts’ Phelpsian Surge; Guo Jing Jing as in Bling Bling; Shawn Johnson’s Golden Buzz; Cate Campbell Does Swimmingly.

Liu Xiang, Tyson Gay and Paula Radcliffe Plummet.

Austin, Texas, USA.   August 21, 2008.   In its latest TrendTopperTM analysis of the Beijing Olympics, GLM measured how the media buzz surrounding key athletes has changed during the course of the

Games.  As expected Michael Phelps remains a strong No.1 on the TrendTopper BuzzMeter.

The surprise No. 2, however, belongs to Lin Miaoke, the little girl who didn’t sing the song the whole word sings at the Opening Ceremony.  Miaoke knocked NBA star Yao Ming down to No. 3.

Lin Miaoke est devenue une célébrité internationale (PeoplesDaily en francais, 8.26.2008)

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt moved up five spots to No. 4.  Forty-one year-old Dara Torres moved up three spots to No. 5, American elite gynmast Shawn Johnson

was up to No. 9 and 16-year-old Cate Campbell jumped eleven spots to No. 12.

See Lip Syncher Gets Her 15 Minutes of Fame on Reuters

.

See The View from China: The Mirror’s Front Page Headline — Lin Miaoke defeats the “little giant

On the downside, Tyson Gay, with a shocking loss in semi-final of 100M, Liu Xiang, China’s first track gold medalist back in Athens, and the UK’s Paula Radcliffe saw their rankings plummet six, eleven and sixteen spots respectively.  The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the internet and media tracking agency.

Paul JJ Payack, GLM’s President and Chief Word Analyst, said “Michael Phelps has joined the athletic Pantheon of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pele and Ali, Usain Bolt (No. 4) may be well on the way to becoming the next Michael Phelps, and if lip-syncer Lin Miaoke (No. 2) and Yang Peiyi (No. 15), her singing counterpart, were in the US, they’d be making the rounds of the morning talk shows.”

See Analysis by Brent Hunsberger of the Oregonian

See Analysis by Howard Bloom of Sports Business News

.

Rank Athlete Last Change Comment
1 Michael Phelps (US) 1 0 A new word: Phelpsian?
2 Lin Miaoke (CHI) 25 23 Didn’t sing the song the whole world sings
3 Yao ming (CHI) 2 -1 Got China to the Medal Round
4 Usain Bolt (JAM) 9 5 Bolts to WR in 100M; the next Michael Phelps?
5 Dara Torres (US) 8 3 41-years old with 3 silvers
6 Asafa Powell (JAM) 5 -1 Fifth to Bolt in 100M
7 Paul Hamm (US) 6 -1 Reigning Gold Medalist pulls out but still media favorite
8 Guo Jing Jing (CHI) 18 10 Most successful female diver in Olympic history
9 Shawn Johnson (US) 15 6 Three silvers and a gold; multiple near-misses
10 Tyson Gay (US) 4 -6 Shocking loss in semi of 100M
11 Nastia Liukin (US) 14 3 Moving up with steadily with her Gold, Silver and Bronze
12 Cate Campbell (AUS) 23 11 Australian wunderkind up 11 spots
13 Leisel Jones (AUS) 17 4 Sets Olympic record in 100M breaststroke
14 Ben Ainslie (UK) 16 2 Three golds for sailing
15 Yang Peiyi (Chi) 22 7 Pulled from Ode to the Nation just 15 minutes beforehand
16 Allyson Felix (US) 12 -4 Didn’t make through the 100M trials
17 Cheng Fei (Chi) 21 4 90 pounds and the heaviest Chinese gymnast
18 Liu Xiang (CHI) 7 -11 China’s first track gold medalist in 110M hurdles in Athens
19 Paula Radcliffe (UK) 3 -16 Disappointed UK fans for 2nd Olympic marathon
20 Grant Hackett (AUS) 10 -10 Narrowly missed out on 3rd straight 1500M freestyle
21 Jana Rawlinson (AUS) 20 -1 World 400m hurdles champion withdraw due to injury
22 Jeremy Wariner (US) 11 -11 On track to 400m final
23 Jo Pavey (UK) 24 1 Unable to run  into medal contention in the 10000m final
24 Sanya Richards (US) 13 -11 Fastest qualifying time in the 400M
25 Libby Lenton (AUS) 19 -6 One of the Aussie Golden Girls

Olympic Global Sponsors vs. Ambush Marketers

GLM TrendTopper™ Analysis: Olympics Week 2


Mickey D surges to Top,

J&J a strong No. 2,

Visa up to No.3

Lenovo strong, but Coke & Kodak fall

.

Austin, Texas, USA. August 13, 2008.   In Week 2 of the GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors of the Beijing Summer Games McDonald’s (nyse:  MCD) topped the field, while Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ) moved up three notches to No. 2, while Visa (nyse: V) was up one at No.3. Lenovo (LNVGY), the PC maker, had a very strong performance, moving up six spots to No. 4.

.

Forbes: Sponsors step up pace to get Olympic mileage

Olympic Global Sponsors vs. Ambush Marketers

On the negative side, Samsung (SSNFL) plunged from the top spot to No. 5; Coke (nyse: KO) fell from No.2 to No.7, while Kodak (nyse:  EK) settled in at No. 10, losing three. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), the media tracking agency.

Global Sponsors
Last
Rank
Change
With Ambushers
Last
Change
Survey
Survey
Rank
Rank
1
McDonald’s
3
3
2
1
McDonald’s
3
2
2
J&J
5
5
3
2
J&J
7
5
3
Visa
4
1
1
3
Amex
6
3
4
Lenovo
10
10
6
4
Visa
4
0
5
Samsung
1
1
-4
5
Nike
5
0
6
Panasonic
9
9
3
6
Lenovo
14
8
7
Coca-Cola
2
2
-5
7
Samsung
1
-6
8
GE
6
6
-2
8
Panasonic
13
5
9
Omega
8
8
-1
9
Coca-Cola
2
-7
10
Kodak
7
7
-3
10
GE
9
-1
11
Atos Origin
12
12
1
11
Kung fu Panda
8
-3
12
Manulife
11
11
-1
12
Pepsi
10
-2
13
Omega
12
-1
14
Kodak
11
-3
15
Atos Origin
16
1
16
Manulife
15
-1

When included in the Survey with the Global Sponsors, American Express (nyse: AXP) and Nike (NKE) both stayed in the Top Five, with Amex moving up three positions to No. 3. The DreamWorks Animation studio, which made “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi (nyse: PEP), which owns Gatorade fell three and two spots respectively.

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “The TrendTopper analysis suggests that McDonald’s has successfully capitalized on its blow-out kickoff event last week, while Samsung’s huge marketing push seems to have faltered in Week Two. Johnson&Johnson was apparently correct in their analysis of their Olympic-themed ads having significantly greater recall. And Lenovo seems to have done everything right this week, with a 50%+ increase in visibility. At the same time, Kodak declined some 20%. On the ‘ambush marketing’ side, Amex’ visibility increased significantly and Nike remained quite strong besting nine of the twelve global sponsors.”

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenova, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin. The ambush marketers being tracked include American express, Nike, DreamWorks and their hit movie “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns the Gatorade brand.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs. GLM will update the TrendTopper ranking each week during the Games.

GLM TrendTopper™ Analysis: Olympics Week 1

  • Samsung Vaults to Top,

  • Coke Close Second,

  • McDonald’s Moves Up to No. 3

Ambush Marketers Move into Top Ten:  Nike, AMEX, Kung Fu Panda & Pepsi

Austin, Texas, USA. August 10, 2008.   (Updated) In an exclusive GLM TrendTopper™ analysis of the performance of the Global Sponsors of the Beijing Summer Games found Samsung vaulting to the lead position of Beijing Field, Coca-Cola a close second, with McDonald’s moving up to the third position. It also found that Visa stumbled out of the gate losing three positions, while Johnson & Johnson held steady at No. 5. General Electric (and its NBC Universal division) rebounded after losing the early lead position. The analysis was performed by the Global Language Monitor (www.LanguageMonitor.com), a media tracking agency.


In a related finding, GLM found that four companies were perceived as Global Sponsors though they are not: Nike, American Express, the DreamWorks Animation studio, which made “Kung Fu Panda”, and Pepsi, which owns Gatorade. When added into the analysis, Nike moves to No.5, American Express at No.6, Kung Fu Panda (No. 8), and Pepsi (No.10) in the expanded field.

According to Paul JJ Payack, President, “The TrendTopper analysis suggests that Samsung’s huge marketing push seems to be paying off, and though GE is very strong, and started the year at the top of the survey, it has very little marketing momentum as the games unfold. Also, the non-global sponsor companies appear to be doing quite well off their ‘ties’ to the Beijing Games.”

The Global Sponsors for the Beijing Games are: General Electric (NBC Universal), Coca-Cola, Kodak, Samsung, Lenova, McDonalds, Omega, Visa, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, Manulife and Atos Origin.

GLM uses proprietary algorithms to analyze how words and phrases (in this case brand names) are used globally in relationship to other words and phrases (in this case related to the Beijing Olympics) and how they perform against one another in order to determine rankings and other relevant outputs. GLM will update the TrendTopper ranking each week during the Games.

The GLM TrendTopper Analysis with Non-sponsors included follows.

Rank

Change in Week

1

Samsung

3

2

Coca-Cola

0

3

McDonald’s

0

4

Visa

-3

NS

Nike

NS

NS

American Express

NS

5

J&J

0

NS

Kung fu Panda

NS

6

GE

4

NS

Pepsi

NS

7

Kodak

+2

8

Omega

-2

9

Panasonic

-1

10

Lenova

-3

11

Manulife

0

12

Atos Origin

0

For more information on the methodology, go here.

For analysis details (including historical data and momentum), call 1.925.367.7557.

The Glory that was Greece Vs. the Media!


Athens Olympics:

Greek Symbols Can Be a Trojan Horse for Reporters

Journalists go gaga over Greek words

Writing about the Olympics in the land of Oedipus can be a complex business.  The world’s journalists are finding inspiration in classical Greek drama and myth. After all, Nike is not just a running shoe in these parts.

It is not every day that you can have the sword of Damocles hovering, athletes suffering from Achilles heels and teams enduring Pyrrhic victories.  Herculean efforts abound in the land of Marathon races.
Homer, the poet and not the Simpson family patriarch, hovers over every baseball game.

With all this rich symbolism available, it is not hard for a journalist to enjoy a Eureka moment and declare that Greek sailors are on a Poseidon adventure in the sailing regatta.

NBC sports commentator Bob Costas won hoots back home when during opening night ceremonies he told co-host Katie Couric, ”Oedipus, as you know, Katie, was the tragic king who killed his father and married his mother — a sequence of events that rarely turns out well.” He topped that line moments later when he noted that Alexander the Great had competed indifferently in the Olympics.
”As an athlete, he might have been Alexander the so-so.” Thanks to a doping scandal involving two Greek sprinters, one of the most overused phrases of the Games for the last 48 hours has been ”Greek tragedy”.

As the Ottawa Citizen noted: ”On the night that Greece dared to dance with the gods of Olympia, a sentimental journey to antiquity was jolted by a modern reality.  ”Doping. A scandal involving two Greek athletic stars has stunned and shamed the host nation … Afairy tale becomes a Greek tragedy, or is it a farce? It’s hard to tell.” The Citizen was not alone as he began his Olympic Odyssey.

Legions of reporters (present company included), waxed lyrical about the dangers of Hubris. Drawing on the references of ancient Greece is to be expected, says language expert Paul JJ Payack.  Payack, the president of the Global Language Monitor, said: ”There were more than 3,000 references to Classic Greek history and mythology in the media and on the Internet this morning versus virtually none only 30 days ago.

”There is an almost desperate attempt in the worldwide media frenzy to link any news story to the Athens Olympics and classical Greek history, with the overuse of such terms as sword of Damocles, Trojan horse and Achilles heel.

The Olympics in Land of Oedipus (Persian Gulf News)

The King Isn’t Dead After All!

The Tangles of Time: A Brief History of Chess

By Paul JJ Payack

Chess yields us,
when we need them most,
companions in our loneliness.
—Mu’ Tazz

As masterful a player as Emmanuel Lasker regarded chess as neither an art nor a science but rather a war in which the pieces served as troops and the players the generals. This stemmed from the notion that chess was invented as a war game and so, that is the manner in which it should executed. Undoubtedly reality is reflected in the idea that chess originated either as an aid or substitute for warfare.

Lasker maintained that to understand its creation all that is needed is an understanding of the method of classical warfare. Lasker explained that opposing armies would take their positions in nearly straight lines separated by a nearly level plain. The generals, in order to make their plans comprehensible to their commanders, would sketch the original position and later movements of their pawns and men. Lasker was fond of using the Battle of Cannae, 216 BC, as an illustration. At Cannae, the Carthaginians under the command of Hannibal defeated a Roman force nearly twice their number with superior strategy.

Lasker thought that it was entirely possible that Hannibal not only drew lines and placed stones on a board to explain his stratagems, but did so on what would one day be called a chequer-board. This was given the now familiar shape of a square divided into sixty-four smaller squares, colored black and white alternately. Though Lasker’s contention that chess was invented as a game of war is undoubtedly true, he seems to have postdated its conception by some eight centuries and misplaced it by several worlds.

After a millennium passed in the Buddhist era, various references occur to a game that seems the direct forbear of present-day chess. According to Sanskrit literature, apart from the central king and counselor, the pieces represented the quadrants of the ancient Indian army: war chariots, cavalry, elephants, and foot soldiers. The Upper Basin of the Ganges, or thereabouts, was the locale where this game first appeared. Since the area was a Buddhist stronghold, it is not unreasonable to assume that their monks had a hand in its inception. Since Buddhists oppose the killing of any form of life, it can be hypothesized that the game was invented as a bloodless substitute for war (by allowing men to engage in a combat of a higher sort).

In this version the infantrymen moved as pawns of all times and places, excepting the modern two-square debut. The cavalrymen were placed and manipulated in the same manner as the knight. The elephants’ movements were diagonal and limited to two squares, therefore they were inherently weaker than the bishops into which they were later transformed. The chariots were equal in every respect to the castles which through some ripple in history came to be called rooks. And the counselor, beside the king, moved diagonally also and only one square per move; as time passed its powers were increased to that of the bishop, thereby considerably enhancing the complexity of the game.

Chess spread rapidly (in historical terms) from the Subcontinent to the curiously diverse cultures further west, each leaving ineradicable traces of their time and culture. Persia bestowed the name to the game. Words, unlike mathematical formulae, both lose and gain in their sojourn through time and place. Aside from the usual etymological eddies, the development of the name flowed as follows. The Persian shah “king” came through the Arabic and the tangles of time to Europe as, among other variations, the Old French (e)sches, plural of (e)schek “check” derived from “shah.” From there it was but a minor simplification to the Saxon and Modern English word “chess.”

The culmination of this bloodless substitute for bloodletting is the murder of the enemy king, although the modern game ends euphemistically with the checkmate. This term, too, can be traced through a millennium to Persia. Shah mat “checkmate” means ‘the king (shah) is dead,’ where “mat” is related to the Latin stem mort- “death” found in “mortuary.”

Within a generation of the Hegira, the Arabs conquered Persia in the sacred name of Mohammed. As is usually the case, the two cultures became inextricably entwined and from that time forward it was the Islamic culture that became the primary vehicle of chess. As the game was carried from land to land it underwent a series of transmutations, some surprising and some not so surprising at all.

The Elephant was reduced to its ears. That is it was simplified (for reasons of convenience and religion) to a lump of wood, with a cut extracted from its center. An item of far more interest concerns the Arab rukh which predates the English rook for crow. It is still a matter of some controversy whether the rook was actually a chariot, a bird, or even a ship. It is highly probable that in differing cultures in differing centuries it was each.

In Arabia there seems little doubt that the chariot was replaced by a moderately prominent member the then-current mythology. In Arabian Nights the rukh was an enormous bird of gigantic girth which was inordinately wide of wing; a vast magnification of the eagle or condor. In most variations, the bird had the ability to carry an elephant, and sometimes several, in its talons. The thread of interest that lies about and through all variations of the rukh myth is that it was, whatever else, a deadly enemy of the elephant. (Later, with the aristocratization of chess, the elephant would be transformed into an ecclesiastic.)

Soon chess was a commonplace throughout the world of Islam, from Andalus in the West to the Indus in the East. The Moors carried chess to the Iberian Peninsula during the eighth century of the Christian era, and the Eastern Empire in Byzantium also learned of the game before the century had waned. From Iberia it spread to the north of Europe, while Russia seems to have acquired the game directly from India. (In Russian chess bears its original name, shakh-maty.)

During the High Middle Ages chess became a leisure time activity of the feudal lords, and the pieces began to resemble the aristocracy. (The rukh became, curiously enough, a castle.) A knowledge of ‘Nights and Days’ was considered a social grace for every genteel and parfait knight. Obviously, one reason for this was the connection between chess and war. Soon the powers of certain pieces were increased,making the game much more lively or, if you prefer, deadly.

That lump of wood with the split was not recognized in Europe as an elephant. This was understandably so, since to the folks of medieval Europe an elephant was just as much a mythological creature as the rukh, and possibly more so. To those who were unaware of its esoteric meaning, the elephant, also suggested a bishop’s mitre, an old man, a count or a fool. To this day in French the man is called Le Fou “the fool” and it is diagramed as a cap and bells.

The English, however, were the first to introduce chess diagrams to printing and since the piece remained a bishop there (and in Iceland) the bishop’s mitre would soon become the worldwide standard. However, Germans use this now universal symbol for their laufer “runner” while Russians use the mitre for their slon “the elephant.”

The evolution of the king’s counselor into the queen has been attributed to the similarity of the Arabic word fere “advisor,” to the French vierge “maiden” but probably can be more simply attributed to the make-up of the feudal court. A parallel between the historical liberation of women and the glorification of Mary by the Church could also have been factors in the metamorphosis.

And finally, a mention should be made of pawns; those so adequately named pieces which are even denied the status of chess ‘men’. They are, without exception in all cultures, represented by conveniently small and humble objects. For these there seems a universal need. History: read it and weep.

There are some 1.7 x 10 to the 29th methods of playing the first ten moves of this ancient and storied game. (The Greeks, clever as they were, didn’t even possess a symbol or number for any number larger than ten to the fourth, a myriad.) This being so, it becomes comprehensible why, while chess has ebbed and flowed through history, it has never been successful as a method of channeling the human mind to that combat of a higher sort.

To be sure, there have been wars of every possible description since its inception some thirteen hundred years ago, and when the number of possible permutations is envisioned even in this relatively simple game, it becomes obvious why there is more than adequate room for that phenomenon, war, in the universal scheme of things. This nightmare, even when contained by a square of sixty-four smaller squares, has the potential to continue in a million billion varying guises for eons on end (and still there would remain variations untried).

When one of the first Caliphs, Omar b. Al-Khattab, was asked if chess were lawful he replied, “There is nothing wrong in it; it has to do with war.”

The Names of Chess Pieces in Some Seventy Languages



unexpected T_ENDIF in /nfs/c01/h12/mnt/44840/domains/languagemonitor.com/html/wp-content/themes/website/footer.php on line 23