Thursday, 18 January 2018

Past and present

Jon Manley has something that raised an eyebrow, from Inside Chess in 1991.

Actually there's a fair few eyebrows you could let loose on this one, not least the ones that ask "where's Kasparov?", but I found myself looking less for the absences and more at the presences, of which there were a lot bearing the letters ENG, not least Mark Hebden at an intriguingly high world number thirteen. (Miles, at four, was in his USA-representing period.)

After him in the top fifty come Hodgson, Nunn, Speelman, Chandler, Norwood and Mestel. And then, in the right-hand column, the first English player to appear is....


Who's Saleo?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Chess and war

Goya's cycle The Disasters of War has been on display round my way. It's great, if not greatly cheerful - perhaps my favourite in the series, Yo Lo VĂ­ (I Saw It!) is a little unusual in that the atrocity is outside the frame of the picture.

I went more than once, my last visit yesterday morning, and on my way out I saw there was another exhibition in the building, and one advertised with a portrait of chessplayers. So here's Ricardo Delgado's Jugadores de Ajedrez.

As far as I know nobody was harmed in the making of this picture, and after a couple of hours of Goya, that's a start at any rate.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Merenzon and on and on

Would you believe that Ilya Merenzon has been telling enormous lies about chess again?

Course you would.

No, that's not one of them. It's cobblers, obviously, but not a lie as such.

This is a lie though.

This is a whole series of quite important and dangerous lies.

And this is more than one lie at once.

This is fair comment.

But of course it's worse than nonsense, it's a whole collection of very familiar lies.

I imagine we're going to be hearing them all year.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Back story

Sorry for the long radio silence. Hope you caught Martin on David Sala's Zweig. Fresh piece by me tomorrow. But here I am this morning on the London Review of Books blog.