Pawn to King 4, Sicilian Defence,
The Dragon builds as symmetry is lost,
Polerio rules while Black stays on the fence—
White knight to bishop 3, and damn the cost,
But Black conserves his dark material
And opts for sanity and P-Q3,
White sacrifices— magisterial —
And pawn takes pawn; Black’s bishop now is free!
Of all the harmless joys our minds invent,
The simulated madness of this quest
(Where gods of chance, for once, are impotent)
Is patterned bliss. Come, let it be confessed
That though in many things we fall far short,
In chess, at least, we reach for Euclid’s thought.
‘If life is too short to play chess, that is the fault of life — not of chess.’
— Mikhail Tal, Soviet-Latvian Grandmaster
Polerio: Giulio Cesare Polerio (1548 - 1612) was an Italian chess player. He is reputed to have introduced the Sicilian Defence into chess. The ‘Dragon’ is a pattern that results on the board from the implementation of this (somewhat risky) technique.
Euclid (323 BC-283 BC): ‘The Father of Geometry’ was a Greek mathematician who flourished in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I.
Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace...
-- Edna St. Vincent Millay