Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bitsevsky Maniac

The Bitsevsky Maniac. Sounds like a great name for a chess opening to me, perhaps a 1. d4 system where White throws in an early g2-g4 or something like that, but alas it's nothing of the sort.

On the Daily Telegraph's website I read news of one Alexander Pichuskin who has appeared in a Russian court. They don't make clear when, so if they're following speedy Malcolm Pein's lead it could have been any time since 1917 but no matter, let's have a look at what the DT have to say.

"Officers who raided his flat last year reportedly found a chess board with a coin representing each victim placed on all but two of the 64 squares of a chessboard."

Now people in glass houses shouldn't lob chunks of masonry but that sentence strikes me as rather clumsy - and it might not even be true. The Guardian say Mr. Maniac claims 63 victims and make no mention of coins on a chess board (or 'chessboard' - if the Daily Telegraph can't make up their mind I don't see why I should).

Journalists eh. Don't you just love their tireless search for accuracy?

The Guardian's account does explain our new favourite serial kiler, "played chess under the trees" in Moscow's Bitsevsky Park, hence the nickname he acquired in the Russian tabloid press.

Anyway, chess is back in the news and that can only be a good thing for those of us who contribute to blogs such as this one, especially since I get to point out we at the S&BCC blog scooped The Telegraph by running a story linking chess boards (chessboards) and death some four months ago.

No comments: