Friday 29 December 2017

Seeing Chess in BD

"In the course of a sea-voyage, Czentovic, world chess champion, finds himself playing an unknown: who beats him. This stranger had learnt chess, from a manual, during a long incarceration in Nazi prisons. The  novel, written in 1941, is testimony against dehumanisation wrought by the Nazis.  

The masterpiece by Stefan Zweig is raised to a new level by the talent of David Sala." 

Friday 15 December 2017

Dali 0 - 1 Duchamp

There's just time left to catch the Dali/Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy - but hurry, it closes on January 3rd.

The exhibition explores the "surprising" (says the RA) personal and artistic relationship between the two artists during their roughly synchronous lives: Duchamp 1887 to 1968; Dali 1904 to 1989. Duchamp fans won't be disappointed in what they find. I can't speak for Dali fans.

Thursday 14 December 2017

Another blast from the past

From the latest Private Eye:

[Thanks to Michael]
[Ray Keene plagiarism index]

Friday 8 December 2017

Blast from the past

Well this seems to have have attracted a fair bit of attention

but this is the bit that caught my eye.

Good Lord, it's Dharshan Kumaran, who was nearly British Chess Champion: he lost a play-off to Michael Hennigan in Dundee in 1993, the first year I ever went to the championships. I'm not 100% sure I'd come across his name since that kind of time, until he turned up as one of Demis's team just this week, though had I been paying attention I'd have noticed this a few years back.

No Wikipedia page though, even though his achievement included not just the grandmaster title

but world championships at under sixteen level

and under twelve.

Actually that's not quite right: he does have a page in Russian and another in Polish. But not in English.

I don't know who in the chess community tends to put together these things (it isn't me) but if two world championships and the grandmaster title isn't enough, he might, on top of that, be changing our world.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Here we go again II

"An expected worldwide audience of 1.5 billion."

This is bollocks, of course, and Mark Blunden of the Standard ought to know this. But why not just repeat whatever the organisers have put in front of you?

There'll be more of this, I'm sure. Much nore.

Friday 1 December 2017

Les Chesseurs Britanniques de Paris: Part 8 Initial Confusion. Final Conclusion?

In the course of several episodes (of a series beginning here) we have been trying to reconstruct the life, and maybe something of the times, of the British Chess Club of Paris. It provided a chess umbrella for les anglaises of various stripes hanging out in the City of Light: ex-pats, businessmen, diplomats, drop-ins (perhaps even spies). It made its impact on Parisian chess-life from 1926 to 1938/9.

In the course of telling the story we have been building up a list of BCCP members. All this with the considerable, and generous, help of Dominique Thimognier, who runs the brilliant Heritage des Echecs Francais website, to whom much thanks. In the previous episode we were able to add a Mr Wechsler to our list: he played in a match in early 1929 when the BCCP took on Fou du Roi. Mr Wechsler was accorded the honour of playing on Board 1 on that occasion, suggesting that the team managers had some respect for his strength (though he lost). We gave a brief thumb-nail sketch of Mr. Wechsler, taking him to have been T.M.Wechsler who was active in Kentish chess in the late 1920s to the 40s. In this episode we will say more about him, and his chess-playing brother. And his chess-playing father.