About Red Tales

Here's an evolving electronic collection of short prose pieces, with a poem contributed occasionally. Brevity guides. Although sometimes a piece will run to 900 words, most pieces are much shorter. Here one may find erotica, flash fiction, brief observations, and modest improvisations. Another rule is that each piece must have something to do with"red"; at least the word has to appear in each piece functionally. . . . All pieces are numbered and titled, so there's a de facto table of contents running down the rail below, under "Labels" (scroll down a bit). Browse for titles that look interesting, if you like. Thank you for stopping by. Look for some red today, tonight.

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

Monday, March 7, 2016

250. The Art of Losing at Chess

I'm partial to the droll yet revolutionary third (and last?) book published by the mysterious Mervlov: Losing at Chest (first edition, hardcover, red binding). Listen to me: many ways of losing he describes are bold, others intricate, not a few comical, and at least two, absurd. There is, argued Mervlov, an art to losing when and how one chooses, and losing thusly provides a sustained excitement far more satisfying than that experienced when winning.

Of course, with this book Mervlov enraged the chess community, and he disappeared--last seen in a corner of a bar, trapped by a figure garbed in Catholic vestments and an exquisitely dressed, alluring Turkish woman, whose gaze is described in accounts I've read as "poised and menacing."

Never heard from or seen again, was Mervlov, a genius to many of us who've grown accomplished at losing the grand game.

hans ostrom 2016

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