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The Queen’s Gambit /Walter Tevis

Chess fiction is something of a rarity. Stefan Zweig wrote rather a good one (Chess) about a prodigy on a liner. Walter Tevis was seemingly more interested in pool. He wrote The Hustler which became a superb film with Paul Newman. The Queen’s  Gambit is about Beth Harman, an orphaned child who [...]

January 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

Chess matters

Magnus Carlsen recently held his crown as world chess champion defeating the American 25 year old Fabiana Caruana. The first 12 games were draws, largely because every grandmaster game is on line and current ones merely replicate the opening 15 moves from another game. This practice extends to club [...]

December 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Gary Kasparov

For a varety of reasons I was delighted to hear the podcast of Gary Kasparov on Desert Island Discs. Firstly the castaway is normally some high achieving woman of whom I have never heard. Secondly, whereas you don’t have to listen to the BBC radio too long for a critique of Donald Trump, [...]

February 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Chess matters

Very few chess players are household names, perhaps only Bobby Fischer and Gary Kasparov in my time. In terms of records as he was world champion for 20 years, Kasparov might be regarded as the greater player but Fischer, odd that he indubitably was, broke the hegemony of Soviet chess. Kasparov is [...]

June 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

The fascination of chess

I am often asked why chess is such an intriguing game. The trite response is that it is a game of infinite possibilities, there are more chess moves than atoms in the universe. Most people are taught chess at a young age by the teacher who happens to be most proficient but unless the player shows [...]

December 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

Chess: macro and micro

The news that the organiser of the schools chess competition, Mike Basman, is the subject of a bankruptcy demand from HMRC is of serious  concern. HMRC are pursuing him for the VAT on the subs that schools play to allow their pupils to compete. Technically though absurdly the HMRC are correct as [...]

August 30, 2016 // 0 Comments

A visit to the chess club

Last night I made a rare visit to the local chess club to where I have moved. Almost all chess I play is on the internet for reasons of practicality and anonymity. Sometimes I miss the game played over the board where one sees one’s oppoent so I presented myself at a house in an affluent [...]

October 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

A great game

When I joined the Rust, I explained to the editor that chess is a hard game to describe and animate, he said write in terms of your personal experiences. Chess is not a sport and a chess article is hidden away in the recesses of a newspaper – normally with a bridge and countryside column. [...]

February 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

Football and chess

In an article yesterday in the Game section of The Times, Matthew Syed defended footballers from the accusation of being thick and draws a comparison with chess. He says that the same intelligence of pattern recognition – choosing the right option – is common to both. Developing the [...]

September 2, 2014 // 0 Comments

Enjoying chess

Yesterday I had lunch with a good friend of mine who is, amongst other talents, an enthusiastic amateur chess player of senior club level. We discussed our different styles. Chess, like boxing, is the game of the supreme individulist. There are no team members, no clubs, balls, horses, or cars. [...]

January 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

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