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Chess tournament at the National Liberal Club

Last night I played in a lightning chess tournament at the National Liberal Club. In lightning chess you have approximately 10 seconds a move and the move must take place on a third buzzer. I was initially confused and had to be prompted and accordingly lost my first game of the five rounds. [...]

March 22, 2024 // 0 Comments

Chess defeat

Last night I played my second game for the Reform Club which ended in personal and team defeat. This was no disgrace as our opponents – the RAC – are the Manchester City of club chess.  They host the Varsity Match and their chess dinner usually attracts a British Grandmaster. Before my [...]

October 25, 2023 // 0 Comments

Social chess

I was both honoured and enthusiastic to be selected for the Reform Chess Club in the Hamilton Russell trophy competed for by the ‘Gentlemen’s’  clubs. Honoured as I have only recently joined the club and enthused by playing chess across the board rather then on the internet. The main [...]

September 7, 2023 // 0 Comments

Sideways/Radio 4

Yesterday Matthew Syed presented a programme on the chess player Jonathan Nunn. He was something of a prodigy as a mathematician – he was the youngest person to gain admission to Oxford since Cardinal Wolsey. He switched to chess and, although excellent, he was never world grandmaster class. [...]

February 9, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Reunion

The Reunion on Radio 4 is a much admired programme on the Rust and last week it featured and reunited those primarily involved in the May 1997 chess encounter between World Champion Gary Kasparov and a IBM computor called Deep Blue. Kasparov, who won 2-1, was contemptuous of the computer – [...]

August 30, 2022 // 0 Comments

Putin – no grandmaster at chess

David Niven once gave an interview to Michael Parkinson in which he observed that in Russia the national game was chess and in England it was football, meaning to imply that Russians thought better strategically. If so, Vladimir Putin is a weak chess player. In the 3 most defining moments of a [...]

April 27, 2022 // 0 Comments

The invasion of Ukraine – the chess angle

Yesterday was spent in front of the television watching events in Ukraine unfurl. I opted for Sky News. The adverts were irritating – and the photo footage repeated – but they pulled in the important personalities, starting with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, and were across the big [...]

February 26, 2022 // 0 Comments

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

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