Thursday, 28 January 2016

Computer sonnets

How can the purple yeti be so red,
Or chestnuts, like a widgeon, calmly groan?
No sheep is quite as crooked as a bed,
Though chickens ever try to hide a bone.
I grieve that greasy turnips slowly march:
Indeed, inflated is the icy pig:
For as the alligator strikes the larch,
So sighs the grazing goldfish for a wig.
Oh, has the pilchard argued with a top?
Say never that the parsnip is too weird!
I tell thee that a wolf-man will not hop
And no man ever praised the convex beard.
Effulgent is the day when bishops turn:
So let not then the doctor wake the urn!

Shall I compare thee to a noxious bed?
Thou art more like a graceful squalid egg:
For none will ever warmly call thee red
Until, my elk, they see us choke a leg.
My heart is crimson, likewise is it blue,
When e'er I see the hopeless maidens growl;
I stunned the reckless butler - for a gnu
Had crudely whistled as it found a fowl.
Alas! the days of android, blob and pine
Are gone, and now the stainless scarecrows fume;
Icelandic was the reindeer, now so fine
And vermin cannot heat the chuckling broom.
But thou, my falling gorgon, shalt not write
Until we firmly stand at Heaven's light.

Oh major-general, tell me why the crane
Should be delinquent when the chickens melt:
A rotting goldfish never oils a brain,
Although 'tis true that urchins mend a pelt.
My heart is verdant, likewise is it shy,
When e'er I see the crippled onions talk;
I maimed the foolish bedpan - for a fly
Had quickly waddled as it lost a stork.
I saw a bus-conductor bravely mope
With mice as half-baked as a rattling spleen:
I revelled with a claymore and a rope,
But had a dream of poodles and felt green.
Consumptive is the day when felons run:
So let not then the butcher jab the nun!

Chess match special

Brian Johnston: Welcome back to Chess Match Special, where the players are just coming back onstage after the tea interval and Short is preparing his move. And I must say that this cake is absolutely splendid... it's been sent by a Mrs Capablanca who is a regular fan of our broadcasts.

Trevor Bailey: I wonder if she's any relation of old Boko Capablanca who once took 8 pawns in a game for Derbyshire.

[Muttering in background.]

BJ: Thanks, Bill. Well the bearded wonder says that none of Boko's surviving relatives have ever made edible cakes, though his aunt Matilda was well known for seedcake. And Short has moved! That's King to King's Bishop's Square, or Kf1 if you prefer. Any comments, Trevor?

TB: Well the board may be a bit damp where Short spilt his lemonade, so one would imagine that this would help the fast movers. Rather a quiet move really but often seen in world championships.

[Muttering in background.]

TB: Oh, Bill Frindall says that in fact it's only been seen in 17% of world championship matches.

BJ: I see there's also a patch of biscuit-crumbs at the striker's end. Do you think Kasparov will be able to make use of this when he comes to move?

TB: Oh I should imagine so. Biscuit crumbs, cigarette-ash, sawdust, ... the true professional is going to extract the maximum advantage out of the state of the pitch, if he can.

BJ: And I see that umpire Dickie Bird is adjusting one of the pawns. I think a gust of wind must have caught it. Anyway I'm off for a pooh-pooh now, so to take you through the next few minutes, it's Aggers.

Jonathan Agnew: Great to be here, Johnners. Now I think old Shorty must be feeling as sick as a rook, as the saying goes, because he was relying on that pawn being slightly crooked, wasn't he Trevor?

TB: Z-z-z-z-z-z.

JA: Thank you Trevor. Well we're still waiting for Kasparov to move his men into position and there's no sign of any time trouble yet. I'm not so sure about these chess clocks though... they've already given trouble in this game: Bill, remember when the alarm went off, and woke up Trevor?

[Sounds of violence in the background followed by a sharp slap.]

TB: Eh? What? Oh, thank you Bill. Well as I was just saying, we really have seen some magnificent pawn-work in this game.

[Meanwhile on Channel 4 Carol Vorderman is asking 3 leading grandmasters whether they ever have any trouble remembering how a knight moves, and what would happen if Kasparov moved a piece of the wrong colour by mistake.]

J.R.P. 1993