Wednesday, January 24, 2007


So, how did the six-month chess drought end?

It ended with a crushing win on Sunday on the Black side of a Vienna Game, playing top board for Casino Jaque of Huesca against SMS Barbastro in the semi-final of the Copa Delegación. To be honest, I suspect that "semi-final" may be a polite way of saying that only four teams take part, Alto Aragón being a relatively remote region with few towns of any size (think North Wales, perhaps) though some places are more remote than others.

Chess has a rather higher profile in Spain than it does in England, something which may be attributable to a general willingness to regard it as a sport: hence it gets its section in the Deportes section of the local paper, Diario del AltoAragón. The nature of local papers doesn't hurt, either: they're a lot closer to proper journalism than almost anything you'll see in a local paper in England.

Anyway, when was the last time Streatham and Brixton match even made the results section of a local paper? Let alone a full report with photo (curiously enough featuring the gentleman who submitted the report*, a local FM who I shall be playing in the final) and even a report of the game itself:
El primer tablero fue el más rápido en terminar, con victoria de Justin Horton sobre Marcos Sig, que jugó la apertura de alfil de Rey pero enseguida se quedó peor, rematando con un fallo que le costó una pieza.
Go on, practice your Spanish.

[* = Subsequent note: in fact the print edition has three photos, including one of myself, and a much longer report! You don't get this in the South London Press...]


Tom Chivers said...

Making it look easy Justin . . .

The Portsmouth Evening News used to run chess results in the sports small bits on Thursdays, including a game here and there. I remember they stopped doing it to make more space for something insulting. I forget what; perhaps Korfball.

ejh said...

Making it look easy Justin . . .

Up to a point - that point being when the game gets put through Rybka and it tells me I probably shouldn't have farted about taking on e3 with the knight. I didn't blunder or anything, but I saw some shadows and missed some replies he could have made.

Also, the sacrifice 9.d4 (an idea I saw at the time, but underestimated) might be strong. 7...Be6 is normal and good.

Anonymous said...

Not chess related but...

I was just thinking with your blog-photo and general history of moggy affection I'd have thought you'd have taken the opportunity to reference Rigsby's cat from Rising Damp rather than a dodgy song from the 80s.

Harder to make that into a snappy title I suppose.

PS: You also write for a Blog called Lenin's Tomb I believe. Did you know that's the name of the cat that sits in the Quick Stop during Kevin Smith's first (and best) film Clerks?

ejh said...