Monday 31 October 2016

Falta de credibilidad

Leontxo GarcĂ­a is displeased!

What's he displeased about? Well if you can read Spanish, you don't need me to tell you, but if you can't, it consists of an extended assault on a study by the Education Endowment Foundation, relating to chess in schools as well as the reporting of that study in the Daily Telegraph.

If that sounds like surprisingly old news, that's because it is: the study was published months ago (you may have seen Richard James' comment in August) and the offending Telegraph piece appeared in the middle of July.

Friday 28 October 2016

So. Farewell Then...

...Phil Chess (27 March 1921 - 18 October 2016) co-founder of Chess Records.

Mr Chess, with Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Bo Diddley.
Michael Ochs Archives

Memorable sounds. Memorable name. Easily confused with Chess Records.

Guardian obit here

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Spot The Difference with Nigel Short

People have said to me that rules are rules. It’s nonsense! When the laws make no sense they can go and fuck themselves!

You can't just ignore regulations just for the hell of it. There's a reason why they are there.

Irrelevant to this piece, but here Nigel appears to be wearing a suit out of Reggie Perrin


Tuesday 18 October 2016

Hundreds of millions again

Ilya Merenzon has a message for us!

Mostly a threatening message, as it goes, and perhaps this blog will get back to the less savoury aspects of Mr Merenzon's communication. Just for now, though, it was hard to miss the little passage at the end of this paragraph:

Ah yes...
...the hundreds of millions of chess fans round the world.
Well, here we go again. I don't suppose it's the last time we'll hear this claim (or similar claims) connected to the world championship match and come to that, it's not the first time Merezon himself has come out with this nonsense.

Actually that short exchange is more revealing now than it seemed at the time, at least as an insight into Ilya Merezon's general approach ("how did you get access to raw data?", he demands, referring to data the public had been invited to access) but it also means we know that when Ilya Merenzon makes claims like this, he knows very well that he's making it up.

Monday 17 October 2016

h7 is a place

White to play and fail to win.

Jones-Swiercz, Millionaire Monday final, first game: White is winning after 66. Re8 though after 66...f4+ 67. Kf2 Rd2+ he needed to play either of the two moves that won rather than selecting the only one (and hence the Worst Move On The Board) which did not.

I'm not sure what ghosts he saw after 68. Kf1 - it's perhaps easier to see where they might appear after 68. Ke1 Rxg2, though they're just ghosts all the same - but anyway Gawain chose 68. Kg1??

which in setting White up for a check on g2 gives Black just enough time to come round with 68...Kh4 69. e7 Kg3. Now, having selected the only move that drew rather than won, Gawain had to select the only move that drew rather than lost. Unhappily he preferred 70. Rd8?? to 70. Kf1.

Subsequently losing the two game mini-match cost him half the $30,000 prize that he would have got for winning.

Friday 14 October 2016

Played on Squares (Bloomsbury and Chess) 9: Forster, part 2

This is the second part of an exploration of Edward Morgan Forster's chess - one of the Bloomsbury Group whose chess playing activities we have been documenting in a series of posts beginning here.

From here

We have been trying to keep a chronological grip on our subject - so before we return to the period of the 14-18 War, we'll highlight some passing chess references in his earlier novels...

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Not all that famous then

Paul Doyle at the Guardian unaccountably leaves someone out.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Demonstrably wrong

Oh dear.

What is Tim Farron up to?

Readers of this blog will be already familiar with Mike Basman's bankruptcy and his subsequent activities, but as Tim Farron MP patently is not - and hasn't apparently made any effort to check - let's just reiterate for the benefit of the prevously underinformed:
  • HMRC aren't "seeking" to do anything, since VAT on chess entry fees is nothing new
  • There has been no "tax hike"
  • There has been no "recent change to its tax status".
  • Mike Basman has been made bankrupt as a result of evading his legal obligations at a net loss to public funds of several hundred thousand pounds.

Monday 3 October 2016

Short memories

Funny old week, last week. A commentor on last Wednesday's piece drew our attention to this remarkable statement by Susan Polgar.
Using the biggest sexist in the world of chess who has nothing to do with this issue to mouth off this sensitive topic on Twitter is not the way to resolve anything. Some are clearly using this to advance their own personal and political agenda.
Why "remarkable"? Well, remarkable because it's true, which is not necessarily Susan Polgar's style. So we had the simultaneous spectacle of the biggest sexist in the world of chess posing as a defender of women's rights and the biggest fibber in the world of chess calling him out for it. Calling him out for it, when practically nobody else would do so.

Especially not our mainstream journalists, who seemed to have a collective attack of memory loss1 where Nigel's past statements and conduct are concerned.

Short, wrote Julian Barnes in 1994, "has a history of graceless behaviour". So he does, but it's not as if you have to remember back to 1994, or even to have been alive in 1994, to know about that.

You don't even have to go back to 2012 and his piece delighting in sex tourism and the "totty" you could find.

You only have to go back to last year.