Thursday, January 17, 2008

Disinformator 37

I had a lousy last weekend: flew in for the 4NCL only to find I'd contracted flu (real flu, not "manflu") thus forcing me to arrange a very swift draw with White on the Saturday, while on the Sunday, I never came to the venue at all - indeed, I couldn't actually get up from my bed in Brixton until the players in Berkshire were already midway through their second session. (Thanks to my captain, Julien, for finding a sub and congratulations on the result: amazing how much better teams do without me, as meanwhile, my Casino Jaque team in Huesca was getting through a knockout match "despite" my absence.)

Still, at least I was presented on the Saturday with the latest issue of Disinformator, my favourite club magazine, the intermittent house journal of the Oxford City club. There's a lot of good chess in it. But even more importantly, there's a lot of bad chess: a lot of very bad chess indeed. Good chess may, in theory, be instructive, but in practice we rarely seem to improve our chess by studying it: but bad chess is always entertaining and we inevitably improve our mood by playing through it.

Disinformator doesn't disrespect the people whose games it carries: it merely enjoys the struggle all of us have, to hold on to our balance when confronting the impossiblity of chess.

I have many favourites already in the magazine, but here's one example, from a game Hale-Wang, that I found particularly charming.

Having got, at the very worst, perpetual or the exchange of queens a pawn up, White, thinking it better to deal with Black's counterplay, meets the threat of 1...Qc1 mate with 1.Kd1.

Don't laugh. Everybody's done worse.

The magazine is available from Sean Terry on

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