Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I've often wondered why chess isn't more photogenic: geeky practioners with an interest in technology, the parallel lines of tournament tables meeting at infinity, the basic black and whiteness of the game, the pseudo-symmetries on the board building and breaking, not to mention the thousand micro-expressions of shock and heart-ache that each overlooked move makes; surely the sheer visual richness the game unintentionally generates should be splashed on the front pages every day, with technically superb photographs the norm in the specialist circles.

But, no. Take Pinterest - a nice newish website dedicated to sharing photographs. Very few chess photographs, and even the good ones don't really capture much about the game. As evidence here's two of the better photographs:

Source: via Ali on Pinterest
Source: None via Alyson on Pinterest

Lovely photos.

But would the top one be any of the worse if the chess board was replaced by a rice bowl? The basic point of the image - old ethnicy faces are sad and interesting - would be preserved. And the bottom one, any worse if they were playing, say, shove ha'penny?

Well, seemingly I'm in a grumpy mood today.

Still I must confess if nothing else, this one last photograph did perk me up a touch:

Because, no doubt, . . . the board is the right way around.

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