Nostradamus and chess.....

James Randi --- Wizard (
Sun, 22 Feb 1998 09:11:14 -0800 (PST)

Will wonders never cease? Lecturing in Berea, Ohio, I was approached
by Bob Basalla, a dentist by trade and a chess afficianado on the
side. Or, it might be the other way around. He presented me with a
copy of the Cleveland Chess Bulletin, vol. 46, No. 1, October/88. In
there was an article that had hitherto escaped my attention, titled,
"Nostradamus and His Chess Prophecies." It appears that the French
seer's talents were far more varied than we ever suspected, and that
he was able to outline the history of the game of chess from its
beginnings (as we know it) in his own time, all he way forward to the
8th century, when, as Bob notes, "the game is so altered as not to be
called chess any more."

The article (copies of that issue of the Cleveland Chess Bulletin are
available from 35 Sprague Road, Berea, Ohio, 44017, for $3, mailing
included) tells us that the Nostradamian Caissic Connection Committee,
(NCCC, or Nc3 for short, a non-prophet group) has discovered that many
previously misunderstood quatrains of the Seer of Provence become
plain when examined in the light of chess nomenclature and history.
Bob refers to his work as "torturing the quatrains," and he opines
that other specialists (dentists, perhaps?) might also find equal
significance in these verses, should they "torture" them sufficiently.

In a similar vein, an unsigned e-mail posting arrived on my computer
screen announcing that the writer, following guidelines in Drosnin's
silly book on the "Bible Codes," had found that the 1927 Sears Roebuck
Catalogue contains the score of every Chicago Cubs game ever played.
As Bob Basalla commented to me on his Nostradamus research, "you can
find anything you want in any source, if you try hard enough and know
the history of the subject."


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