May 10, 2001

chess chess

The Ancient Sphinx Order

Most people believe the game of chess originated in India, but there are those who favor other countries as the land of its birth, such as Persia or China. There is no definitive proof yet. We can only wait and hope the secret is one day revealed to us.

But there is still one other country that may one day claim chess as its own child. That is, of course, Egypt, land of so many of the world's ancient treasures.

In 1997, John and Helen Kletcho founded the Ancient Sphinx Order (or Cult as some would have it). The Order venerated the Sphinx at Giza as the oldest artificial structure on the earth. This was based on growing evidence that the man/lion creation shows evidence of rain erosion, which would make it thousands of years older than most think. It is generally believed the Sphinx was created around 2500 B.C. in the image of the pharaoh Khafre, or Chephren. But if it really is rain-weathered, it could be as much as 10,000 years old. Robert Schoch, associate professor of science and mathematics at Boston University, has written a book stating the case for a rain-weathered Sphinx: Voices of the Rocks. Alas, John Kletcho didn't live to read it.

The American "Sleeping Prophet" Edgar Cayce was the first to suggest the existence of a secret chamber under the front paws of the Sphinx. That chamber is said to house ancient documents explaining the Earth's early history. There is some suggestion of extraterrestrial intervention.

Helen Kletcho was a "remote viewer" and during one of her sessions "looked" into the secret chamber. Among the items she "saw" in the room were a chessboard and pieces. These she drew in her notebook and showed them to John. They decided that this was the original chess set as it was invented (or brought here from another planet) many thousands of years ago.

The two of them joined a tourist group traveling to Egypt in November, 1997. The purpose was to bribe some local workers at Giza into showing them the secret underground passageway from the Great Pyramid to the secret chamber under the Sphinx. The locals knew about it, they were sure, but were under strict instructions to keep quiet.

They joined the tourist group at Luxor, some 300 miles south of Cairo. After viewing the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and other ancient monuments, they would all head for Giza and the Great Sphinx and pyramids.

Egypt, as everyone knows, was the victim of fanatical religious terror campaigns in 1997. Probably funded by neighboring Arab governments, the idea was to scare away tourists (and their hard currency) and undermine the government of Hosni Mubarak and create a new Islamic Republic.

On November 17, 1997, about 70 tourists were killed by religious fanatics at Luxor. They shot as many as they could, spattering the Queen's Temple with fresh blood. Among those killed was John Kletcho. He never made it to the Sphinx. Helen escaped harm, and later returned to Europe.

John Kletcho had always wanted his ashes left in the Great Pyramid. Helen made a special urn for him with his name engraved in hieroglyphics on its gilded outerside. She said she would one day take it to Egypt and hide it in the pyramid. No one has seen Helen Kletcho since 1997 (a friend said she no longer believed the Sphinx was really so old), and the Ancient Sphinx Order is apparently defunct.


Chess Horoscope

Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Time to pick up the pieces and start a new game. Don't allow previous disappointments to linger and darken your mindset. The first half of July will be rainy, on the chessboard and off. Be sure you have your umbrella. Each loss is something learned. Remember: "What does not kill me only makes me stronger." Ride out the storm until the second half of the month. By the 17th, you've turned the corner, and by the 22nd, you're riding high on a silver cloud. Victory awaits your arrival. Reap the spoils of war while you can, the last days of July may be too late.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
The first week of July, avoid tournaments, chess clubs, chess friends. Discretion is the better part of valor. Then, emerge from the shadows and bask in the glory of your sunny day. Address money issues now and all will be well. Good judgement will be rewarded. Look around you at the middle of the month and see if you can find anyone. Where have they all gone and why? Have your King and Queen deserted you as well? Your chess pieces don't want to be your marionettes? The last week of July brings an end to turbulence, isolation, despair. Welcome your guests into your home, forget the past, turn the page. Your chess pieces are your friends again.

Gemini (May 21 - June 21)
Hit the ground running at the beginning of July. Blitz chess is your game now! No one can keep up with you, lots of poor sports left in the dust. Toward the middle of the month, victories are tempered by several defeats as well. Can you stay one move ahead of the rest? After the 15th, let someone else have the initiative. You don't need to set the game's pace. The last week of July writes your name in the sky. Great chess, great results, great girls, great parties all around. New openings, tournaments are within your grasp. You can feel the energy, can't you?

Cancer (June 22 - July 22)
Until the 7th, checkmate any befuddled, weaker opponents. Pile up the points while you can. But keep the leash on your dog, don't run wild. After the middle of July, change your style. From positional to tactical or visa versa, enter a new skin. What you were is not what you are. Avoid disaster after the 19th. The sound of the wind and trees is off-key, your pieces don't hit the right notes on the board, either. Now you become the befuddled, weaker opponent trying to stave off checkmate. But the last week of July, open yourself to a new friend and dismiss your enemies. You have your second wind and your wings take you higher.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Even though you're crushing all who dare challenge you at the chessboard, overconfidence must be defeated as well. If you're playing on a team the first part of July, be the leader and smash the opposition. Inspire confidence in those who need it. Ignore jealous idiots. Bask in your recent triumphs. By the middle of the month, deliberation and concentration are needed to avoid the fools and incompetence raining down on you from every corner. Not everyone likes a winner. Don't let them unseat you from your throne. By the last week of the month, you've disposed of the pretenders, you're the leader again. Pick your teammates and your tournaments. Move forward with your ambitions.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
If someone asks you to join in a game, go ahead, you're full of power at the start of July. You're open to new adventures, nothing to worry about. Play new openings, you seem to have a natural flair for unfamiliar positions. Toward the middle of the month, you're getting tired of it all, return to your previous ways. In the middle of the month, your friends desert you, so be ready for it, expect disappointment. Forget tournaments right now. It's best to avoid the people at the silly club even if you don't really want to. The last week of July, things are looking better. You're playing better, meeting better girls, feeling better about everything.

Libra (September 23 - October 23)
You're playing like a grandmaster the first part of July. Your research and determination are paying huge dividends. Your friends can hardly believe it. Are you heading for the big time? When the middle of July arrives, if you haven't reaped your harvest yet, forget it. Too late. You had your chance. Don't cry when the hostile pieces come crashing around your king. Your second chance comes the last week of July, but don't try to overplay your position. Don't spread your pieces all over the board. Welcome some positive feedback about your playing habits.

Scorpio (October 24 - November 21)
Wake up and smell the coffee! July opens like a smelly garbage dump. Control your attitude, dude, things will pick up after the first week. Then, find your bÍte noire opponent wherever he is and give him a whipping! Around the middle of the month, things turn sour again. Keep your depression in check, keep your hatred abated. Confusion isn't always a negative. The last part of July, watch out as enemies take a few swings at you. After a few defeats, you find a way to turn the tables and checkmate a few foes. It would be helpful in the future if you remembered how you won during difficult times.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Play familiar openings the first week of July. When friends ask you to come to the club, your response is in the affirmative, you enjoy their company. Around the middle of the month, play chess for money and pile up the cash. Give the woodpushers a few lessons. The last part of July, your mood darkens, the club isn't so hospitable anymore. Your novelties are transformed into winning possibilities for your opponents. Keep your boat afloat until the last days of the month when you sing your song in a major key again.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Talk is cheap. You won some games last time around, but that was yesterday. Someone will backstab you at the beginning of the second week of July. Discard an old friend if necessary, no loss really. At the middle of the month, cruise at 3/4 throttle. Hold a bit in reserve. No all-out attacks against the enemy king, play judiciously and pluck opportunities when they arise. The last week, extend an olive branch to someone you need; a "political" draw on the chessboard might be just the thing. The final days of July, keep away from other people's fights. Don't be a kibitzer. Retreat from the carnival. Regroup for the next time.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Guess who gets to bring order to all the chaos at the club? You're the only reliable one and you know it. Save the day, then accept the accolades. Around the middle of the month, you find a new source of energy. Is it the source? Try new openings, new clubs, new friends, new environments. Find what you want for the long term, then keep it as part of you. Near the end of the month, romance falls into your arms. A chessboard fight that seemed impossible to win suddenly turns to equality; you've saved yourself from disaster.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Don't follow the book the first week of July, play something unusual. Your energy level increases markedly after the first week. You can juggle several chess pieces at once, don't hesitate to do it. The middle of the month, you observe something at the club that will become an important part of you from now on. Nothing will be the same. Jerks surround you the last week of July. People you thought you could trust give you bad advice, club members try to steal your rewards, woodpushers try to stick their little thorns in you. But it's like water off a duck's back, isn't it?

We are grateful to MSO Worldwide for their kind permisson to reprint the horoscope and to publish here the original together with the translation into Russian.

  Visit MSO Worldwide - Bringing Brains Together!


"Always try to keep the three pawns in front of your castled king on their original squares as long as possible"

Alexander Alekhin

"As much choice as possible in intervening on one or on the other wing - a discussion on thecentre."

Euwe, Strategy and Tactics in Chess.

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