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The upsurge in chess

There has been an upsurge in chess for 2 reasons; the success of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit and more playing on chess sites like chess.com on the internet during the pandemic. A few years ago I played in the RAC chess club and on our board one courteous banker launched, as a whim and [...]

September 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

The fascination of chess

There are three distinct phases to a chess game: the opening, middle and end game. I say “distinct” as in separate: however, a weak opening positionally will set you back in the middle game and many an end game is already lost in the middle game. The Grandmasters will study the openings for [...]

December 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Queen’s Gambit/Netflix

I have previously and favourably reviewed Walter Tevis novel The Queen’s Gambit in the Rust.   It tells the story of the rise of Kentucky born Beth Norman from orphan to world chess champion. You cannot make chess a watchable game as it’s far too static and technical but this film of seven [...]

October 30, 2020 // 0 Comments

Chess in lockdown

We all have our pastimes to pass the lockdown time and mine is chess. An Austrian opponent Motzmarkus who has the beating of me invited me to join his 15 player tournament on the internet chess site. I duly accepted. You had to move every two days which is normally too frequent for me but in [...]

May 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

Chess and Casablanca

One of the features of chess is that it mirrors life. How long have we hung onto a relationship, job or even credo when it is hopeless?  Same in chess. In an internet game my opponent had a weak central pawn which I pressurised. He committed more and more pieces to its defence.  I saw an elegant [...]

April 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

A satisfying chess win

One of the most interesting aspects of this fascinating game of chess is the sacrifice. If you try and solve a chess puzzle there is normally a forced mate through sacrifice. However you can sacrifice early on in a game for positional advantage. This happened to me recently in a game against Start [...]

March 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

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

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