Magnus Carlsen’s highest Elo rating has been 2,882. Apparently, God’s rating — reflective of “perfect play” — would be 3,600. So wonder where Hafiz would land, either in chess per se — or in the “game” this poem describes? But more importantly: what exactly is the “fantastic move” …. that precipitates the Divine Checkmate?
Tripping Over Joy
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I’m afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
— Hafiz (trans. Ladinsky)