The last post mentioned that Gerry O’Nolan, member of Dublin C.C. for fifty years, was a brother of the journalist/author Brian O’Nolan, better known as Myles na gCopaleen or Flann O’Brien. As Flann O’Brien he wrote several celebrated novels: At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman, and The Dalkey Archive. As Myles na gCopaleen he had a long-running column in the Irish Times, Cruiskeen Lawn, a strange mixture of satire and fantasy covering a wide range of stock characters and topics.
He doesn’t seem to have played chess seriously: J. J. Walsh recalls playing one or two offhand games with him, but that’s about it. However chess crops up occasionally in Cruiskeen Lawn. Here is one example. It’s taken from the Irish Times of Saturday, March 25, 1944. And from an actual copy of the newspaper, mind you, which I bought in San Francisco a couple of years ago. It bears the stamp “Office of Strategic Services”: that’s the precursor to the CIA. I wonder what they made of Myles na gCopaleen.
Anyway, on p. 3 we have:
By Myles na gCopaleen
It has been brought to my attention that an unfortunate misprint occurred in the notation of my chess game with Capablanca, recorded in this column a few weeks ago. I give the game again and thank the many anxious souls who have written to me on the matter, wrung up, sent telegrams, and called personally.
White— Black— M. na gC. Capablanca 1. P-K4 P-QKt3 2. B-B4 B-Kt2 3. P-Q3 P-KB4 4. P x P B x P 5. Q-R5 ch. P-Kt3 6. P x P Kt-KB3 7. B-7 mate
I would again counsel all serious students of the game to study this great game and commit it to memory. It is among the finer things done in the masterplay of yesterday.
That’s followed by a Keats and Chapman item that I’ve seen in anthologies: “On one occasion he [Chapman] dreamt that he had died and gone to heaven”, if you’re familiar with the genre.