First off, how does the horsey move again? And also on the subject of rules being rules - or perhaps not - there was this far more serious post over at Boylston Chess Club.
Meanwhile back in Blighty, the ECF promises change and improvement in our chess scene - whilst the Guardian innumerates reasons to fear terminal decline:
The active chess population is ageing and numerically in slow decline. Chess has not been regularly on national television since Channel 4 covered the 1993 Garry Kasparov v Nigel Short world title match and junior chess, which led the English advance in the 1970s, has become a potential disaster area.
Thirty years ago it was possible to look at the grading list, spot talents who were far advanced for their age or making quantum strength jumps and invite them to training groups or to the Lloyds Bank Masters. Many became GMs or IMs. Now the GMs Gawain Jones, 19, and David Howell, 16, may be the last of the line. Looking at the current junior grades it is hard to see any under-14 who is better than a long shot for IM. On this subject the ECF still seems in denial.
And finally on the subject of Nigel Short, here's an interesting recent interview, and snippet:
First and foremost I consider myself to be a chess player. However the economic situation was so dire as recently as 2005 that I only played one tournament (Corus), despite the fact I had contacted numerous organisers pleading (unsuccessfully) for invitations. For reasons I do not fully understand, I now very much in demand and have a very full schedule of events up until Spring 2008.
Well, I suppose at least one English chess player aside from Michael Adams is still doing comfortably well then. And as for the mysterious recent spate of invitations, any one want to hazard a guess in the comments?