A Lesson in Sportsmanship

As chess24 reports, (the brilliant) Alexander “Sacha” Grischuk has voiced that he was ready to play in a “garage, basement, zoo or station”. What has been left out, however, were his subsequent comments, to our reporters, that he would also be happy to play in “a sewer, a coal mine, a tree house or a chicken farm”.

When pressed on the issue of whether he would be willing to play in a telephone box, he concurred:

“Oh yes, like Houdini, with locks – without my socks – and even with my pockets filled with rocks.” It is hard to imagine, of course, what combination of circumstances might cause the players to endure such bizarre ordeals. “If push comes to shove, you know what I mean?” Grischuk added.

In any case, we were curious—

In a milking shed? Our reporter enquired.

“Or by a smithy’s kiln”

On a factory floor? We pressed on, just to be sure—

“Or a mountaintop! Look, just to be clear – I would also be glad to participate in a submarine, behind a tavern, under a ladder, or inside a cavern.”

But he was not done—

“Or in the crawlspace in the attic of a spinster! Or – ”

At that point, we attempted thanking the Grandmaster for his comment and bringing the interview to a close, but to no avail—

“Or in a field of cabbages…” the Grandmaster began, sitting down now, a faraway, dreamy look settling over his eyes. He seemed to be momentarily disturbed by our reporter’s continued interruptions, before going on.

“Or how about this: we give either player a baby chicken, both from the same mother. Starting at a very young age, the birds would be trained to – ”

At this point, our reporter very brusquely informed Mr. Grischuk of his upcoming game, at which point the Grandmaster had no choice but to abandon his line of thought, and rush to the tournament.