Saturday, August 23, 2014

Matisse Plays Chess

Though not, as far as we can see, with this lady...

Odalisque With a Turkish Chair (1928)
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

(From here)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Short run

Reading Jonathan Rogers' analysis of England's Olympiad performance and the lessons to be learned from it - and the discussion that followed - it seemed to me that there was one obvious question that nobody was asking, even though it sat up and begged to be asked. Should Nigel Short have been selected?

Naturally the question is only being asked in retrospect, since I didn't ask it before the Olympiad and to my knowledge nobody else did either. But Nigel's performance - 1.5 out of 5 - was so glaringly poor that the wisdom of having selected him must surely be in question.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A bit extreme?

As mentioned in yesterday's post, there were a couple of pieces in the Guardian relating to the deaths of two competitors in the Tromsø Olympiad. Neither of these two pieces found much favour in those sections of the internet where I spent the weekend, perhaps justly so. But perhaps not entirely justly so.

The first of the two pieces appeared on Friday and was written by Esther Addley. It starts OK. It finishes OK. And after it starts, it's still OK when it finishes its seventh paragraph, which correctly notes that play was "briefly suspended", unlike the Telegraph report which claimed quite wrongly that "play was delayed for several hours following the incident".

It's in the eighth paragraph that the problems start.
While the causes of the two men's deaths are still unknown, they will raise questions about the mental and physical stress that tournaments place on players.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Death does not become us

a. Leontxo García tweets:

Of the three most read articles in El País, two are about chess. Thank you!
The top piece, one of the two to which he refers:

Another chess player found dead at the Chess Olympiad.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Best of Times

19 Bc1-h6!
Adams - Grandelius, Tromso Olympiad 2014

Choosing my Champagne Moment ((C) TMS) of the Olympiad has not been the most onerous of tasks. Nothing could top seeing Bh6 appear on Mickey Adams’ board in England’s match against Sweden.

In the time it took for Grandelius to reply I got to wondering: if Black lets White play Bxf8 at some point - after something like 19 ... Nd7, 20 Qe4 g6, say - would that count as an ISE?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

War Game 3

The final episode in this series on chess in World War 1 starts at another grim location where the game had a following: the prisoner of war camp.


Naturally in British documentation it is captured Germans who are playing, as here watched by a soldier from the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment...    

At Querrieu, near Amiens, Battle of the Somme, 1916
Photographer: Lt. Ernest Brooks.
© IWM Q1598  Also here 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cynicism or gullibility

Nigel is not happy.

Maybe, Nigel, maybe, but who's this weighing in?

Ah yes, it's Nigel's friend and associate, CJ de Mooi.