Archive for January 5th, 2014

In general I consider that in chess everything rests on tactics. If one thinks of strategy as a block of marble, then tactics are the chisel with which a master operates, in creating works of chess art.  –  Tigran Petrosian

If like myself you are a bit of a cynic when it comes to journalism in chess, you may have developed an eye for that worthy of attention. If so, perhaps you noticed the BBC Radio 4 production Across the Board by Dominic Lawson?

The caliber of the journalism is high as you would expect. In each episode a game is played between Dominic and his interlocutor, during which discussion is held about chess and how it has changed the lives of his opponents. There are five episodes in total, with opponents ranging from Politicians to Boxers, Political Prisoners, and even a certain Women’s World Champion.

I found Across the Board to be engaging, carefully researched and deft in touch. Dominic’s style is to converse by expanding on a series on well-chosen questions. The first episode in particular was handled very sensitively and with great dexterity. It was interesting to hear Mr.Healy’s side of his treatment by Faber and Faber, and for me, completely believable. Perhaps a minor criticism may concern the suitability of Hou Yifan. As lovely as she is, I thought she was, perhaps, too young and inexperienced for such a thing -was her inclusion a tip of the hat to chess fans?

The link to all episodes is below in case you missed it. If you are reading this from Jan 2015 onwards, I’m afraid you’ll have to root them out elsewhere. I hope we see Dominic at next year’s Thai Open. Apologies if my daughter’s screaming put him off his pasta during lunch that time last year…hopefully Ms. Trouble won’t cause so much commotion if I can make it this time.

The tactician must know what to do whenever something needs doing;the strategist must know what to do when nothing needs doing.  –  Savielly Tartakower

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