Archive for the ‘My own warped humour’ Category

If you were to gaze into your run of the mill abyss, you’ll become snagged on it gazing back into you I promise.

Before it became too perplexing, the purpose of your average politician was to improve the quality of life for Joe Public. Now of course they try to preserve it instead, or alternatively, elongate its longevity; both being by far an easier option than enrichment overall: they once protected us against the odd terrorist popping up every once in a while here and there but now its germs they save our souls from…well, personally I prefer to come under fire from terrorists than germs but that’s just me being me!

Germs?
Terrorists?

Although there is little if anything to fear, along comes drastic social remeasurement coinciding with the daylight robbery of numerous civil liberties, all aimed towards the war on softer targets germs; namely, Covid-19 (19, pronounced na-na-na-na-na-na-na nineteen: representing the average age of a US soldier in the Vietnam war). With your freedom and income taken away too, the fabricated, emplotted pandemic enemy looks set for certain defeat not to mention Joe Public of course. The only incoming hammer blow being that you can’t play chess in public anymore, forcing chess players to play on-line more than usual.

To make matters worse, even I got swindled into it all after becoming bored by just having my computer to play against. I wanted different opponents. Then disaster struck. And strike hard and firm it most certainly did. I rejoined my hometown team on-line and played old friends, playing partners from a bygone era over ye olde fibre optics. Then things got messy. Real messy. The ever curious on-line extraordinaire and former Nigel Mansell-esque speedster on county match days H.Mirza only went and crafted an on-line tournament in my name, honouring my undying love of my hometown chess scene.

Named after myself, naturally it had disaster written all over it. The concept was complimentary: myself bashful beyond words. Then there was this time zone thing which came into play, what with me being six hours ahead and cream-crackered at the best of times. On medication that can literally blow your head off, enter I did and play on did I. I daren’t tell you that I have to take Solian for life otherwise you’ll instantly guess what the result of a diagnosis in February was, and how the virtuoso hyper mania had to suddenly take to the back seat, along with everything else bicycle accident related.

Yeah I do drugs, I have to. So what of it?
It ain’t nofin’ like mine init. Mine bigger and busted up by bike bezerkery. It got koshed twice but ain’t got no kibosh coming anytime soon. Just remember you never saw nofin’, you never read nofin’.

Rusty and rightly suspicious of on-line chess assuming it always pales into comparison to the real mccoy, and cream-crackered too, on I did play prone to error and mostly pathetic I was. My play woeful by my own low standards so say I. Too tired to concentrate before it began, buggered I was. Twas midnight which drew oh-so-near when it was all over and sighs of relief bellowed across my empty room. A friend who was only rated 203 when last playing in Bedfordshire -and yes that’s 203 not 103-joined, provoking a mild euphoria underpinned by a more prolonged pride. Just like the old days it simultaneously was and wasn’t. I did win one game, missed wins in another along with countless perpetual checks, then fell to pieces in yet another game whilst floored by fatigue, the ability to calculate intermittent at best.

I felt both honoured and embarrassed but above all else cream-crackered. I slumped into a heavy sleep where a strange dream appeared; in which I spent my entire life studying chess, and then upon realizing it was a waste of a life, I turned towards fruit machines, then blew myself up with dynamite when that failed to assuage guilt and support my pension for if anything it only drained what little life was left in me. A colourless and kaleidoscopic life of chess flitted through my sleeping brain before the bright bang of dynamite which naturally followed my misspent adulthood.

The future?

On I limp, knowing myself to be shit at chess because I was always shit and am destined to remain shit, and there that be thy moral of this fine tale. Only written because I feel lonely and have no one to talk to.

To conclude, I will assume you, unlike I, weren’t blown away by the dynamite gag, but like I, wonder what you are doing reading this rubbish. I end as I begun: ashamed of my low-hung head, bad behaviour on-line and mysterious manoeuvres which transgressed the off-line life I seldom lead auspiciously but always inconspicuously… .

Drat and double drat!

A bored Mark signs off… .

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Thought for the day: unfortunately, its quite unlikely I shall be playing chess 2000 years from now but some people will be, well maybe millions. Or will they be? Will chess outlast Covid-19 or will it be ‘done in’ by it? We don’t know, I know. All we can do is guess, I guess.

Because it’s quite unlikely I will be playing chess in the year 4020, if I do pick up this malicious and moody bacteria they call Covid-19, it’s also quite unlikely I’ll still have it in the year 4020 as well. Although I see myself as immortal, I haven’t had a check up on that for a while now and may have to see myself differently if I prolong those check ups much longer (Note to self: stop pissing the staff off by flirting with all the nurses from now on. Don’t forget you nearly got kicked out last time).

So what’s your money on? Chess outlasting Covid-19 or Covid-19 outlasting chess. It’s a two horse race and right now it’s neck and lung neck. If I were to bet, I would bet on myself never giving a fuck. Probably get low odds on that though, okay, so I bet chess. You?

Mark

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Everytime you play chess you risk being killed. Not instantly, it would be a slow death, what with a pandemic lurking about, looking for anti-social chess players. You could catch Covid-19 from a team mate, your opponent, the club secretary or even the chess set you play with. Someone may have sneezed on it prior to you using it, or a sneeze from a passer-by may blow in the breeze to settle on your set. Pawns are more likely to be susceptible than minor or major pieces but which pawn the most I am unsure of. Probably the c-pawn because contagion begins with the letter C. In sum, by going to your chess club or a tournament you are killing yourself to live in a roundabout sort of way. That’s not good. It’s not good because it’s better to live than to die. Mark’s modest advice is act out a mass-media driven lifestyle and avoid contact with fellow chess players OR get up out of your armchair, boot in the tv whilst repeating the phrase ‘THIS IS ALL BOLLOCKS’.

Stick to Youtube but beware. It’s no killer but pernicious is the impact upon your soul, I kid you not. Ask yourself what happens when I view chess online? What is it I am actually learning or am I learning anything at all? Ask yourself what the difference between playing through a game with a set and just watching it and following the narration is. How large is the gulf in difference between yourself and the elite? Large is it? If so, and you want to understand their games, does descending into on-line viewing really help despite its entertainment value?

Take the game below. Highly fascinating, well-delivered. But in viewing the sheer multitude of variations abound are by-passed. As I followed I kept thinking ‘this is so far above my head it’s ridiculous’. Even Danny King admitted the theory was about him. Great video, great reminder of how deeply complex chess is.

To end, let’s ask ourselves, how do I want to die? Clubbed to death by endless hours of on-line viewing and thin, malnourishing Youtube dinners peppered with GM food? How about a virus which targets the young & old and anti-social chess players, especially those who are untitled, since they carry more germs than titled players.

How would I like to die? Oh that’s easy, it’s already set up in place and has been for some time now. A large amount of alcohol followed by approximately three times the level of an average fix of heroin. That is better described as a nice, painless, long-overdue sleep from which I will never have to wake from.

Enjoy the video, and remember what Aristotle told us so long ago, because you cannot know how or when your life will end, you are not able to judge it. A great life can be cut short tragically at anytime, then all is forever lost.

So those who dwell within mass-media driven society rest assured you always listen to someone announcing death has come in some shape or form, and there’s nothing you can do about it…good luck in your next game.

Right that’s me done, I’m off to have a massive piss.

Mark

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You may have noticed I recently deleted two posts documenting the rivalry between clubs in the Bedfordshire League in the late 70s and early 80s. 54 emails later and additional help has clarified what contributor Nick McBride told me. I’m now in a position to tackle the issue courtesy of the additional contact second contact -who shall remain nameless.

I am not naming names nor naming clubs. All I will do is list the clubs and list the tactics employed. You can decide which club did what if you don’t already know. It should give you an overview of what a difficult league the Beds. Chess league once was back when punk was trendy, strikes were nationwide and mods hated rockers. Okay, clubs first:

  1. Vauxhall
  2. Luton
  3. Kents
  4. Scion
  5. B.M.S
  6. Bedford
  7. Leighton Buzzard
  8. Dunstable
  9. Milton Keynes
  10. Northampton

I shall now list the tactics employed. you can decide the answers yourself.

  1. Brought a sub for every match who’s real job was to sneak out and let down all the tires on all cars for the opposing teams.
  2. Chanted loudly outside the premise ‘hit him on the head, hit him on the head, hit him on the head with a baseball bat oh yeah’, and would then enter swinging baseball bats about.
  3. Threatened to firebomb their portacabin during the match if they didn’t let us win every time.
  4. Would announce three Siberian Women Grandmasters were joining their team tonight if they had made their connecting flight. But instead three prostitutes would turn up and lose their games quickly but wait to leave together with the three male members.
  5. Would bang down clocks with fists, standing up to do it, then start delivering quotes from ‘Rocky’, usually about ‘bustin’ ass’ whilst shadow boxing in front of his opponent.
  6. Would hit your neck with paper aeroplanes or scrunched paper balls which flew around the playing venue every few minutes or so. Occasionally your ear was pinged by an elastic band moving at high speed.
  7. Put in a very heavy drinking session before the match began then all sang the same songs in the opening, and always out of synch and badly sung, sometimes with some air guitar also.
  8. Smashed a car window every time a player from their team lost and spray painted opening suggestions on opposing team members cars.
  9. Brought in Karate experts from the hall next door to point out which boards we were losing on and persuade him to chop the board in half to get the game cancelled.
  10. Smoked copious amounts of marijuana during matches and stunk out the place knowing opponents would become so fed up they would resign and leave.

Okay that is as far as I go with this. I’d prefer to portray my own chess league in a more positive light since I am so proud of it but if these things went on and two witnesses are assuring me of it, well I have to go with it. I’ve known them both for thirty years, they are both honest men so who am I to say none of this can be true. Once again, I’m not naming names and will not do so if asked. The more established members of the Beds chess league will know the answers anyway…

That’s all for now. I prefer to promote not discourage so please bear in mind, the content above didn’t go past 1986. You won’t see any such business like that nowadays. It’s all safe and sound. If there’s any funny business going on just message me about it and I’ll fly in and start kicking some arse.

Do enjoy your evening.

Mark

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The number of visitors which have mostly visited this site over the years went into the tens of thousands a long time ago. Mostly they find it amusing and informative but the last request made was very different to all others preceding -simply put I was stumped. I thought about calling the old bill for advice even ,anfd perhaps I should. An team captain e-mailed me asking if they could join next season, they call themselves the ‘Clophill Killers’ Some feedback required here, as agreeing to their wishes may not be for the best. Have a look and decide yourself.

The ‘Clophill Killers’ club captain was arrested and detained during a match against Leighton Buzzard for banging the clocks off the table during matches, and letting tires down in the car park after he lost his game.
Studied the Catalan extensively, throws a solid right-hook.
A Caro-Kann King. Will put his head on you in the corridor before the game. if he gets the chance
Will play the St. Georges defense, will try to break into your car when its your turn to move.
Nasty fucker in time-trouble, likes to turn tables over in the end-game.
Usually plays the English Opening. Rating below 100. Never does much during matches. Often looks edgy.
Looks like a young Peter Svidler. Strong tactically, works out at the gym a lot.
No real interest in chess. Rating less than 70. Doesn’t usually make it out of the opening. Good to chat to.
Likes the Benko Gambit. Always gets hammered during play. Always in court.
The team reserve drafted in away to Northampton. Opened with The Grob and got a dart in the head for it on move two by the team captain: the match had to be cancelled, then there was a right rumpus.
Aftermath of the abandoned match. A Northampton player had his jaw broken as a result.

They want to enter Division two next season and call themselves ‘The Clophill Killers’ as mentioned. I smell danger here: they look like a right roudy bunch to me. But as they say, the more the merrier. A new club with more members may improve the league no end. Their inclusion may give them a psychological edge over other clubs in the league so strong they will take Div 1 by storm even though I do know they are all steaming before 9pm….perhaps many opposing teams will default,

I should add for the last 18 months I have been fully engaged with two writing projects, one of which is well over the 30,000 word mark. The reading list accompanying both is far more voluminous than when I wrote my dissertation on early 19th century German Philosopy. It’s broad and makes me read content for characterization I am unfamiliar with. A day without 6 hours of research and writing is a blessing…sometimes something lighthearted like this helps alleviate the tension. I doubt whether the aforementioned posts will remain as posts only. The proof reader is pushing towards publication but vanity aside, saying ‘I’m an author means fuck all, for myself, vanity refers only to appearance: humble brags over how I wrote this and that mean fuck all much because I write for myself and myself only. I prefer not to be read: if I am read so be it, if not so be it, comment so be it, don;t comment so be it…I just don;t care. I am an artist I write only for myself and no one else.

Mark.J.McCready

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I thought it best to honour the life of Geoffrey Diggle in whatever way I could. 4 years ago I found a second hand book store that sold his extremely rare publications, so I bought them.

In case you don’t know who he is, he was a columnist for the British Chess Magazine for many years and made many people laugh courtesy of his way with words and immaculate sense of humour in his column ‘Newsflash’.

I took particular interest in him when I discovered passages of his on Edward Winter’s site http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/index.html

He spoke about my home town and I was soon to learn that he played for both Luton and Bedfordshire in the 1930’s -and was the manager of my bank as well. But more importantly I learnt that the venue for the Luton chess club at that time was The George Hotel on George street, which was the exact venue where my grandmother and grandfather met for the first time during ‘an evening of dance’. This I learnt through researching the post I hope to complete very soon: I wasn’t expecting it to go beyond 25,000 words but the care and effort put into I am deeply proud of, but more importantly, writing it has been more therapeutic than I can put into words.

Attached below are Diggle’s works. I apologize that some corners of some papers are slightly blurred. They were scanned 2 months back where use of my right arm was limited indeed, and there was no strength left to hold the cover down to my scanner. Anyway, enjoy Diggle, his sense of humour is second to none and the publications below are extremely rare. Now they are all yours…

Diggle Vol1Diggle Vol2

 

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During what became a rather bumpy flight for both myself and my -soon to become slightly damaged- bicycle, I reverted to one of my favourite books, that being The Soviet Championships by Bernard Cafferty and Mark Taimanov.

In the late 1940’s Alexander Tolush won several brilliancy prizes in his quests to become the Soviet Champion. Whether he was, as so often described ‘cavalier’ or ‘gung ho’, it is difficult to be sure without a formative study of his career. But one thing we can be sure of is that he did not mess about over the board…oh and in case you didn’t know, he went on to be Spassky’s trainer and played a decisive role in him becoming world champion.

So, 1947 it is. Tolush plays with white, his victim on this occasion was Vladimir Alatortsev, the result being another brilliancy prize for what was a brutal kingside attack. I won’t show the whole game, just a few diagramatic motives with the linked game to follow…oh and before I forget, Tolush finished a mere fifth that year with a ‘rehabilitated’ Keres back in the fold and finishing first.

1

Looks like a fairly standard slav from the 1940’s to me. Tolush just played 8. Qc2 which is followed by 8. … dxc4

 

2

Both players have placed their better bishop on its best diagonal but as ridiculous as it may seem, where the queen’s knights are placed respectively, makes a more crucial difference in the position. Black has just played 10. …Qe7, and here white now plays 11. Ne2!? Anticipating black’s e-pawn break, the knight wants to go to f5 via g3. To stop that black must make a concession which will cost him dearly.

3

Both players pushed their e-pawns but black had to play g6 too, to stop that knight hoping into f5. White plays 15. Rae1!, threating to push his e-pawn on again, black replies with 15. …Ne5.

4

After 15. …Ne5, 16. Nxe5 Bxe5, 17. f4 was played with 17. …Bc7 to follow. I will stop here and suggest you play through the game linked below. Rest assured, Tolush won the brilliancy prize for a reason (his next four moves are all pawn-moves!).

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1240184

IMG_20170723_104220

As I was to soon learn, my wheels won’t look quite like that once they got off that plane.  😦

Enjoy.

MJM

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For humour look at TrollChess on facebook and www.9gag.com. I last visited both about one year ago and have thus found a few things since, the first two are from TrollChess, the second two are from 9gag.

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To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.

Emile Cioran

Hello my good friends. Please help avert a crisis of epic proportions. Assiduous as they were, my inescapably meticulous efforts to catalogue all my videos so neatly have been hit hard by a solitary remaining avi.

I cannot tell whether the video I took was at a chess tournament or a heavy metal concert I went to long, long ago. That might sound incredulous, however, the sound is lost and the action does not appear…all that can be seen is the audience, nothing more.

I once went to a tournament with a huge gathering which, upon seeing the Berlin Defence unleashed, went wild, thus I cannot tell which folder this video belongs to.

Please assist here, is it chess or heavy metal?

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The image below comes courtesy of MemoryChess, found of facebook.

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