Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harry Brown

Last weekend I nearly went to the cinema. I ended up having a quiet night in instead which was just dandy but if I had gone I'd have seen Harry Brown which had just started playing at our local picture house.

Part of the aforementioned QNI was spent fielding accusations from She-who-believes-writing-a-chess-blog-is-not-a-hugely-productive-way-to-spend-your-time that I only wanted to go because there was a chess scene in the film. I pleaded not guilty and said I'd thought a dose of vigilante violence and Michael Caine running around saying things like "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" would end the week just nicely. As it happens this was even true as I hadn't known that chess got a mention in the film until She told me.

Perhaps we'll go this week instead.

Still, since we're here, let's get chess geek medieval on its ass.

- "In the seventh match"?

- "black concedes the centre of the board in expectations of a counterplay"?

- "rook to knight up"?

and finally

- "Fischer won"

Not the seventh game he didn't, that was a draw. So, incidentally, was the seventeenth game which was the one where Fischer played the Pirc.

I always find it curious that films will go to so much trouble to try to get things right then bugger it up with really elementary mistakes. Mind you, now I think about it, that sounds a bit like actually playing chess I suppose.


Tom Chivers said...

Is that really how you pronounce 'Pirc'? Was Fischer up the exchange in any other openings with black? (That Alekhine one?) And: what makes you think the script-writers made a mistake ---- as opposed to the script writers didn't want to imbue their character with good powers of memory recall? He seems doddery!

Jonathan B said...

Your reasoning is too subtle for the film methinks T.C.

oh and re: Pirc - I believe that's correct yes (but I could possibly be wrong)

John Saunders said...

Yes, the plus point is that Caine does indeed pronounce Pirc correctly (as only about 1 in 50 competition chess players seems to manage). So the language coach did a good job. I get sick of hearing 'Peerk' and 'Purk'. Mind you, we all get 'fianchetto' wrong (it should be pronounced 'fianketto') - I've only ever heard one UK player get it right in 40 years! And, not wanting to be different from everybody else, I carry on getting it wrong myself...

Comment Moderator said...

On a similar point presumably Lopez (as in Ruy) is not pronounced the chess way by anybody else.

damien redmond - LLCM said...

I enjoyed the movie. And always thought this game used "hyper-modern" strategy?
I felt the movie had a lot of strategy to it. from the calculations of the opening, making toast to the endgame that relied on more intuition.