Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bill Hartston Speaks II: Chess on the Telly

After Monday’s ‘Chess on TV’ chat with Bill Hartston it seemed fitting that we should follow up with a couple of examples of his work today. Happily, through some kind of technological witchcraft that is completely beyond my comprehension, a couple of guys have managed to get some of their ‘videos taped off the telly’ collection uploaded to YouTube so there’s quite a few programmes to choose from.

FIDE TV World Cup 1982: Dr. John Nunn does Big Hair.

At first I was tempted to go with Seirawan–Nunn from 1982, although, if I'm honest, that was more to do with the youthful Doctor’s barnet than the chess. In the end I went for JN of a later, and considerably less bouffant, vintage. Game 6 of the Kasparov–Short '93 World Championship match is a fine battle and, moreover, the newest of the S&BC Blog’s close personal friends appears in the BBC's coverage in the role of lead commentator.

Great stuff. I couldn’t quite resist the lure of TV Chess '80s style, though, so here’s Spassky-Karpov, the final of the tournament that featured the aforementioned Seirawan-Nunn encounter. Got to love Boris lighting up before he moves so much as a pawn. Truly, it was a different age.

If you listen closely about two minutes into this clip you can hear Spassky referring to Karpov having a chance to "sacrifice the quality".

So, that's how it used to be in the '80s and '90s. These days, in contrast, there's no chess on the TV and Hartston's kind of disappeared too. Did you ever wonder what happened to him? Come back Friday to find out.


ejh said...

I didn't like the Short-Kasparov programme as much as the Short-Miles one on Monday, perhaps because it was shorter. They should have been getting really excited when Nigel was on top but by the time it's clear that he was, the game and programme were about to end.

Mind you, perhaps it's just as well, since I can remember RDKOBE embarrassing himself on Channel Four when it looked like Nosher was going to win that game where he missed several wins. (Was it Rule Britannia he started humming?)

Re: Spassky-Karpov, I do like the bishops, with the characteristic little opposite-coloured dots on top. But for some reason, I can't recall this being on telly at all.

ejh said...

Also, what's this business about Spassky winning one pawn back with a chance to win the second, when winning the first one actually brought the material balance equal?

Jonathan B said...

RE: End of the Spassky-Karpov game.

That young woman deserves a medal for services to board operators.

ejh said...

That's what I thought. Fantastic effort.

I also thought - I wonder who she was? Presumably the demo boards were operated by promising juniors, so did she go on to be somebody we've heard of?

Martin Smith said...

Fascinating stuff.

I hope you won't mind me going off message, but I wanted to mention that today is the 100th birthday of Surrealist artist and writer Dorothea Tanning. She was married to Max Ernst, a friend of Duchamp, and an enthusiastic social chess player. She was the Queen in this.

I'll be doing an appreciation of her chess interest in a post on 4th September.

Happy Birthday, Dorothea.

Anonymous said...

I think the Staunton Memorial should sign up the demo board operator.

Martin Smith said...

I love the "Gothca" look he gives Karpov at 8:34.

Jonathan B said...

Meant to say earlier: the chessboard graphics were so much better in the '80s. The ones the BBC used for the Short-Gazza match look really cheap and amateurish