Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ghost Stories

I don't understand ... I don't see why Bg5 is a threat if the knight moves. What would be wrong with Qxg5? And anyway, what if the knight moves to d2?

Tom was emailing me about this position

which appeared in Swiss Cheese a couple of weeks ago. I'd written of suddenly (well, after several minutes thought actually) deciding to play h2-h4 to stop Black's 'threat' of kicking my knight away then playing ... Bg5 to skewer my queen and rook. What I hadn't explained clearly at the time was that there is no threat; the dangers of Black moving a bishop to my king's knight five square are completely imaginary as aside from anything else Qxg5 would be perfectly legal in reply. I was just seeing ghosts.

Last week I included the trailer for Ghost Stories in my post. Today I've got an interview with writers Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman for you. Nyman, by the way, is not only the creative force behind the Derren Brown show - including the in(?)famous chess simul - but also the man who came up with the moniker "Cynical Tom" for my friend and fellow blogger T.C.

(ignore the stupid voice-over from 0:40 to 1:05)

For those who don't have the time and/or inclination to watch the whole 10 minutes, the important bit for our purposes today comes right at the end (8:50ish onwards) when Jeremy Dyson discusses Dr. Richard Wiseman's theory concerning the evolutionary advantage of "seeing things where there are no things".

I'm certainly no expert but I can grasp the possible benefits for an evolving species to be able to create imaginary dangers out of the shadows. I'm just not entirely sure that it's particularly helpful for a chess player, that's all.

1 comment:

ejh said...

Cat People is marvellous and a great shocker which I saw in the Seventies is Le Boucher. But the greatest of them all is probably Les Diaboliques.