Smothered mate

I enjoy solving chess problems, especially studies, retrograde analysis and construction tasks, and have used computers to analyze basic endgames, generate diagrams and find knight's tours. I used to regularly play chess in tournaments and team competitions, and also coach junior players.

Here is a poem I like about chess, written by R. S. Thomas:

Play

Your move I would have
said, but he was not
playing; my game a dilemma
that was without horns.

As though one can sit at table
with God! His mind shines
on the black and the white
squares. We stake our all

on the capture of the one
queen, as though to hold life
to ransom. He, if he plays, plays
unconcernedly among the pawns.