Nothing, no matter how permanent it may seem, lasts for ever.
Take the FA Cup for example. These days the big clubs can barely bother their arses to field their reserves for cup ties let alone full strength sides. It's not like, picking a year entirely at random, 1976 say, when The Cup Final (the capitalisation being appropriate back then) was very much the pinnacle of the season.
Francis Benali wishes the players
and supporters of Portsmouth Football Club
all the best for today's game
In those days, of course, the cup final was probably the only game you could see live on TV all year - World Cups and the odd appearance of an English club in a European final being the exceptions. It's not easy to get worked up about it today when there are any number of games shown in their entirety every weekend. As hard as it is for my generation to believe, the FA Cup just isn't important anymore.
If the cup final has already drifted into irrelevance then it seems chess adjournments are going the same way. Over recent weeks there's been a debate as to whether or not quick-play finishes should become the default option in the London League and I think it was Justin who suggested that regardless of the outcome of the current discussion the change was probably inevitable in the long run.
It certainly seems to be the case that in this computer age adjournments are more and more likely to be be seen as a 'bad thing' but it was not ever thus. Polugayevsky's book Grandmaster Preparation (Pergamon Press, 1981) contains a lengthy chapter devoted entirely to adjournments during which he makes clear his belief that the analysis of adjourned positions is essential for the development of a strong chess player. Even back then, however, the old Russian was bemoaning was the increasing pace of chess life,
"... in recent years international tournaments have been run more and more frequently on a severe schedule, whereby between the main session and the adjournment session one and a half hours to two hours are allotted 'for everything': eating, relaxation and analysis. It hardly needs to be said that frequently one doesn't even have time to remember about the first two components...."
I wonder how he'd find the modern game circa 2008 as compared to that of thirty years ago.
She'll grow up never knowing chess games used to have adjournments
and that the FA Cup was once considered worth winning
So perhaps we must bow to the inevitable and prepare ourselves to bid farewell to the chess adjournment. In the meantime we can at least remind ourselves that it was once thought fundamental to the game. In my favourite example from his book Polugayevsky writes of the many hours of adjournment analysis he devoted to a curious queen against two bishops ending. Once he returned to the board his work allowed him to spend just a couple of minutes on the 24 moves it took to wrap up the game.
Yes indeed. However rubbish modern life might get books will always be there to take us back to a time when things were fab. Well, books and YouTube.