St. Petersburg Once Hosted A Massive Game Of Human Chess
It's fair to say that even the most anti-sports among us like it when sporting events go big -- the Superbowl, the FA Cup, the World Polo Championship, etc. There's just something about spectacle and frenzied crowds that makes the hateful, cynical part of our brains switch off, although that's also a common side effect of drinking so much beer that your bar tab can be measured in kegs.
It was the same in the old-timey days, although the events were ... a little different.
Russian Federation37 people died when one player got upset and flipped the board.
Take this gigantic chess match played in St. Petersburg's Palace Square between the mightiest nerds of 1924, Peter Romanovsky and Ilya Rabinovich, who called their moves in via telephone. This wasn't just some geek shit, either. It was part of a huge government push to get more young people interested in chess than Russia's other popular youth activity of the day, shooting aristocrats in basements. As a result, the pieces were cosplayed by the military, with the Red Army representing the black pieces and the Soviet Navy representing the white ones. There's no word on who won the match, but we can bet that both players duked it out relentlessly for the grand prize of coming in second place and not having their lunch money stolen by Lenin.
Here Are The Photos That The Supreme Court Doesn't Want You To See (For Some Reason)
The Supreme Court is possibly the most important court in the land, after those of the "food," "basketball," and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's" variety. It's where gavels are banged, arguments are settled, and bitterly sarcastic judgments are made. In other words, it's as boring as any other non-TV courtroom ... except for the bizarre rule that photography is completely banned, to the extent that all electronic devices are confiscated, no less in an age where even our shoes are hardwired.
Of course, if you tell a mouse that cookies aren't allowed, that mouse is going to chew through your walls and eat cookies right in front of your stupid face. Behold, the forbidden sight:
Erich SalmonHoly crap! It's a court!
The only two photos in existence of the Supreme Court come courtesy of 1932 and 1937, back when Judge Scalia hadn't yet watched his parents be gunned down in an alleyway by progressivism. The first photo, daringly reprinted above, was taken by Erich Salmon, who faked a broken arm and hid a camera inside the sling, showing a degree of inventiveness only matched by horny teenagers in '80s sex comedies.
The second was taken by an anonymous woman who cut out a hole in her purse, slipped a camera inside, and mastered shooting from the hip so as to avoid suspicion.
As far as video goes, there's also this tantalizing piece shot by Citizens United protesters in 2014, after they interrupted deliberations to rally against big money in politics, but got served a hearty dose of security boot heels inside their bungholes.
But don't worry, no one's gonna come arrest you just for watch- hold up, someone's at the door.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter about depressing history that you should definitely subscribe to.
Did you know they're still making Polaroid-style cameras? The printed photo, making a comeback!
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