Chess. The most consistent strategy i have for distracting my mind from how bleak it is out there.
Interestingly, most of the names for chess in the Germanic languages — for example, the Dutch schaak — relate to the terminology of assault and victory, resembling English check: the penultimate threat to the King’s life and the ensuing possibility of defeat.
Welsh etymology, however, feels quite different in connotation:
gwyddbwyll (pronunciation) indicates the presence of several lexical roots:
– gwydd (wood)
– but see also gwydd / gwybod: to know; as in the older Welsh form gwyddaf i (I know), in contrast to the modern Welsh dw i’n gwybod;
– gwydd, knowledge, is thus also present in words such as gwyddoniaeth (science);
– bwyll, the soft mutated form of pwyll, means to do something carefully, prudently, and without rushing.
Therefore, the Welsh word for chess — gwyddbwyll — implies some really lovely nuances:
be patient with this knowledge;
employ the movement of the wood(en pieces) with discretion and care;
do not rush the board.
Similarly, the Old Irish word for Celtic variants of chess — fidchell, the cognate to gwyddbwyll — also translates as “wood sense” or “wooden wisdom”.
Wnei di ddysgu fi sut i chwarae gwyddbwyll?