The excerpt below taken from The Luton News and Bedfordshire Advertiser, Thursday Jan 20th 1939 depicts what the general public (and its journalists) still consider chess to be, that being a genteel affair played by the patriarchs of society, as the misinformed BBC recently confirmed:


It is no longer 1939: this is how chess is presented by those within the game in 2015.

What a contrast indeed. Unfortunately for you younger guys, the cute Sopiko Gurumishvili is coupled to Dutch hipster and superstar GM Anish Giri. She’s also rated around the 2400 mark, so you’ll have trouble impressing her over the board also.

That aside offers the most interactive chess platform on-line and is so far ahead of everything else that endless hours of entertainment await you, a far cry from our bygone days indeed… .

In 1944, the newly formed Bedford Castle Chess Club played a match against the BBC Symphony Orchestra and beat them, see below for details: bedsv4 bedsv3 Next up ISIS, or should I say ‘The ISIS’, an old rival. What is interesting to note from the following excerpt is that more information is provided about the mystery chess player who spent time in a concentration camp where he used bread to make his pieces and pawns according to a previous report:bedsv2bedsv1Here is another account of our mystery man. (

The old 'ISIS' Chess Club, Bedford.

The old ‘ISIS’ Chess Club, Bedford.


The following letter can be found on pg. 334 of ‘The Bobby Fischer I knew And Other Stories’ by Arnold Denker & Larry Parr (Hypermodern Press 1995). As you may know Fischer’s mother was named Regina, a charming reply indeed.


Any ideas on who this is?

Any ideas on who this is?

Unsure? Here’s some video action please click on the following link It is of course Russian GM Peter Svidler, who as you may know is a genuinely nice guy. I have known for some time that he is a fan of cricket but he doesn’t talk about it much. With that said I have found an interview from the Yorkshire Chess Association. It’s worth a read for fans of both games, here it is:

How to describe the knight

The following pages are taken from Donner’s The King (New In Chess 2006). For those who don’t know Donner is a great writer with a style all his own, of which the following passage is typical in many respects.

don1 don2 don3


Diagram from Rowson’s very good book ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins’ (Gambit 2000), pg. 122. Question, if the knight is on the edge of a board, does it still move in a circle?

More on Donner here,

How not to describe the knight

William Ward (more on him to come soon) once wrote a much maligned Laws of Chess, here is his account of the knight:

‘The Knight may be moved in any direction from the square on which it stands to the next square but one of a different colour, passing over the intermediate square, whether such square be occupied or not.’ ( more information can be found in Edward Winter’s good site here (

We experienced players can probably guess what Ward wants to say but would someone new to chess understand Ward’s concept of the ‘intermediate square’?




Oops, that’s Donner.

Most of us play through the opening on auto-pilot, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing provided we are prepared. But when your opponent plays something unfamiliar and we continue to play what seem like natural developing moves, mistakes can be easily made. Take the following game for example, yet another howler from The quickest victories of all time by Burgess, pg 8.

M.Vokac – P.Bazant Czech ch (Turnov) 1996

1. b4 d5

2. Bb2 Nd7

3. Nf3 Ngf6

4. e3 g6

5. c4 cxd4

6. Bxc4 Bg7??


A reasonable set-up for black if it weren’t for the bishop on c4!

7. Bxf7! RESIGNS (with Ng5 and Qb3 to come)