As some of you may know the incredibly beautiful Arriane Caoili has passed away at a young age. I met her once in London and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. So much so I walked over to her game to see if she was, in fact, a chess player -and yes of course she was.

Condolences go to her family, Lev and all her friends;

Farewell and may you rest in peace.

Mark.J.McCready

To have matches cancelled, leagues, tournaments, and much more…what to do? Risk death just for a hobby? I hardly play so no effect here but I do pity those actively engaged in what must be trying times.

All the best. Pandemic aside, I hope it makes you stronger.

I have my writing projects to give me some, but not much joy.

MJM

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

34621

I could say I can’t keep my hands out of the cookie jar or I could say tidying up the writing project with pics, a video or two and a realization that a well-chosen quote at the end each part helps strengthen it further.

Is there really nothing left now,

Left to sit so I can forget about it temporarily,

So that I no longer sigh when I look through it,

I won’t do that more than the once,

For if you do not stop something, something will stop you,

I do not see a stop sign nor beyond the stop sign lies a sign saying ‘an on-line community is coupled to the general public’

That’s a sign I may initially turn away from when I see it…

33545

Word count is 33545.

The Relief

It’s 0446 March 13th. Finally I’ve finished. The project I have been working on for 19 months was completed in November but much re-writing had to take place and the editorial procedure was drawn out and repeated twice, so that’s three times in total. Finally its all done now and I don’t have to write anymore.

Just need to add about ten quotes and selected pics. I doubt whether I shall bother with an Appendix, so a proofread and off to the publishers it is.

Phew!

Clarity

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

I -and no I’m not telling you where- came here to write and to read. I am engaged in a major project that will have to be sent out for publication, what comes of that you shall stay informed of. There is a second project too a second too perhaps but for that I am still reading more postmodern history than doing the research, which per se only started a few weeks back…

I’m very happy to say that I have just finished the second draft/editorial procedure of my main meaning only one more is left. My writing style has tightened so much there may be much to do but I doubt it. Should I stay focused it should be finished. Then I have to let it slip in case something I have forgotten emerges. The publishing company will have decide the genre themselves. Of course I know exactly what it is but I am as unpretentious as I was 1000 years before I was born, so it is up to them. Six-eight hours of writing and 2 hours of reading a day undisturbed. Bliss.

And so an afternoon of rest beckons then the final draft begins. It’s probably the only thing I will ever write where I do want people to read. When I said I come from a hardened working-class background, believe me I was not joking. How many of you reading this have seen with your own eyes your board knocked over because your opponent his ripped of table legs and -Bruce-Lee like- went smacking pupils in the head, bollocks, shins, back, legs, arms…ok so he was going to be expelled shortly anyway for throwing a typewriter at another students head but yes, there is plenty of contact which will raise however many eyebrows you have. Oh btw I never lowered myself to such behaviour, whilst all that went on I only booted in study cubicles, booted chairs about, and hilariously threw hundreds of books out of the windows along with several classmates…there is content far more graphic than that believe me. I’ve had a colourful life, let’s just leave it at that, word count is at present 32793. That will jump at least 5000 words as sections and quotations are missing.

I will keep you posted.

Oh boy it gets so hard. The Westminster Gazette publishes something in full. The next day about six other newspapers follow suit. Do I assume they just copied? I’m an academic! I can’t just do that! It is as reprehensible as it is irresponsible. Ohhh, headache time… .

Big job ahead… .

MJM

I have begun collating material for what is a second project but it may take some years but then of course it may only take months. Rather expensive it is and I’m sorry but reading through Victorian Newspapers isn’t as easy as you might think. Journalism back then was so very different to how it is today. I can assure you that in locating primary source material, what is read in today’s pamphlets and what is read on-line differs greatly to what was written then -lest must we not forget that history written by those with no real interest in it is going to be rather messy, to put it nicely… .

If the past is a foreign county (to refer to an article you might see sooner rather than later I sincerely hope) chess players with no background in history are its immigrants.