Overtom's weblog

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME  (17 january 2007)

I was born on the same day as boxer Cassius Clay, also known as Muhammad Ali.

Cassius Clay

Some may argue this accounts for the fact that I injured three other boys at school when I was young. But don't worry: I'm a rather placid man these days.

Since Cassius Clay was born on 17th January 1942, you can imagine the self-appointed curator of the Overtom Chess Computer Museum had something to celebrate today.

I received many congratulations, for all of which I'm quite grateful.

But there is one card I cannot withhold you, which is this one:

The Turk

For those who wonder what the text in the top left hand corner means, it is a Dutch phrase for congratulations. So if you're invited to the birtday of Queen Beatrix, you'll know what to say.

As to the oriental-looking figure, those who know something about the history of chess will recognize the Turk, an automaton which could play chess (through a dwarf hidden inside the cabinet). In fact, the Turk was a great conjuring trick.

But only very few will know that this Turk's face shows a striking resemblance to the countenance of the self-appointed curator of the Overtom Chess Computer Museum .

So if you want to recognize the curator when you see him in the street, just get a magnifying glass ...

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