Chess Aphorisms by Savo Martinović (Montenegro)

An aphorism is an original thought in a concise and memorable form. It can hardly be translated sometimes, as the punch may be escaping. I gave it my best shot here to bring you these aphorisms from Serbo-Croatian as punchy as I could.


Pacer prvi vidi šah, a posljednji sazna da je dao mat.

The patzer is the first to see a check, but is also the last one to figure out he has actually checkmated his opponent.

* * *

Paceru teško pada mat koji je dao protivniku, jer ne može više da ga šahira.

It’s hard for a patzer to take calmly the checkmate he just delivered to the opponent, as he is now unable to keep checking him any more.

* * *

Kad pacer odigra dobar potez, prvo što mu padne na pamet je kako da ga vrati.

After he has just made a good move, the first thought of a patzer is how to take it back.


How many patzers here? Cartoon by Julijan Pena-Pai (Romania)


Dok brzo vuče poteze, pacer se nekako i drži. Čim se zamisli, upropasti sve.

As long as the patzer makes his moves fast, everything is still in order. The moment he begins thinking, everything goes to ruins.

* * *

Pacer najduže razmišlja nad primljenim matom.
Patzer is thinking for the longest time after he got checkmated.

* * *

Pacer gubi od svakoga jer mu ne odgovaraju protivnici.

Patzer loses to everyone, as they all don’t suit him.

* * *

Svakoga dana pacer ima isti izgovor: Ne znam što mi je danas!

The patzer has the same excuse all the time: I’m not quite sure what’s up with me today?


Batman and Wolverine at the chess board

Batman and Wolverine playing chess: The Anti-hero is giving check. A patzer?


Samo paceri naprave poziciju u kojoj su obojica izgubljeni.

Only two patzers can come up with a position where both are actually lost.

* * *

Lošem potezu pacer ne može da odoli.

The patzer simply can’t resist a bad move.

* * *

Pacer nepogrješivo vuče najgore poteze.

The patzer makes the worst moves unmistakably.

* * *

Paceru – vikne neko u šah klubu i svi se okrenu!

“You patzer!” someone screamed in the Chess Club and everybody turned around.

* * *

Poslije dvostrukog šaha pacer može mirno da umre.

After a double check the patzer can go and die peacefully.

About the author:

Savo Martinović (1935, Danilovgrad, Yugoslavia) is a Montenegrin satirist, humorist and journalist who lives in Belgrade, Serbia. He is also a candidate master in chess.

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