Forcing Chess Moves, Hertan, New In Chess 2008.
[thanks to PG]
[Bad book covers index]
Poker, he [the club owner - ejh] argued, was not a game of chance, but a game of skill, and shouldn't therefore be covered by the Gaming Act. The case was hopeless, and not just because the only people who knew anything about the game were either in the gallery or in the dock (at one point on the third and final day of evidence, the judge interrupted to ask for clarification of one of the most basic rules of the game). Under the 1968 act – and even less ambiguously under the Gambling Act of 2005 – games of chance are defined as also including those which combine skill and chance. Given that even a game like chess, which most people regard as a game of pure skill, involves an element of chance – the players draw for the white pieces, an enormous advantage between two players of similar ability – it isn't clear that the law's definition of a game of chance defines anything at all.The discussion of chess didn't seem to me to be right (although the point about poker not being a game of chance manifestly is) so I wrote in to correct it, observing that players don't actually draw in the sense that Mr Myerscough appeared to mean, and that the term enormous may be something of an overestimation.
There is often a draw at the start of a tournament to determine who will have white in the opening game (and black in the second and so on) but since the players are expected to play an equal number of games, any advantage is negated.But of course, that isn't right: that's not how the draw in a tournament works, and nor would the players expect to play an even number of games with Black and White. Very much the opposite.
there often is a draw at the start of a match of tournament. In the case of a match, it will determine who has White in the opening game (and Black in the second and so on) but we would expect an equal number of games to be played, thus negating any advantage. In the case of a tournament (where each player has a number and the first round will be 1v12, 2v11 and so on) players draw for their number and because there are usually an even number of players, half of them will have an "extra" White and half an extra BlackI guess you can see why they edited it. But they confused, as I did not, a match with a tournament, or rather they elided them. But if we're discussing the relative advantage of an extra White or Black, the difference is an important one.
...according to Jonathan Rowson in Chess for Zebras, white scores about 56 per cent at all levels of competitive chess, from world-class down to the lowest level of club player. Is that an 'enormous' advantage? Certainly black wins plenty of games and some players – I'm one of them – have a preference for black.Well, so I say. As it happens, so far this year I've played three games with the white pieces, all of which I've won. I've played four with the black pieces and I am yet to score as much as half a point.
At the Aeroflot Open, top seeded player Shakhryiar Mamedyarov [on] Sunday accused his opponent Igor Kurnosov of cheating, and after talking to the organizers, Mamedyarov has now withdrawn from the tournament.There's a lot of debate and who's right and who's wrong, what one should and shouldn't do with one's suspicions, and so on. But the big issue to me is: how are large open tournaments going to cope with this kind of thing, if as seems plausible cheating becomes increasingly common and hard to detect? The Linares of this world should have no problem protecting themselves (a handful of players, complete control over venues and security) but tournaments the next tier down? I'm not so sure...
"Then the Fox came in - doing nine months - and things brightened up in the rag shop. First thing he done was to fix with the screw for me to sit opposite him at his table. Next we straightened the doctor's orderly with tobacco, so I got a jar of malt every week and a pint of milk every day. I was getting as strong as a lion. We were fucking about on the table all day, having a laugh and telling jokes. The times started to fly. I had about a month to do when the Fox said to me one morning, just after we'd got in the shop, 'Listen, if I told you about a game that if you were waiting for seven o'clock on a Sunday night for the pubs to open, and you was playing this game, you'd forget the pubs wasn't open and not worry about the time, what would you say?'
'I'd say there ain't no such game.'
'There is Johnny. It's not really a game though - more like olden day warfare. It's called chess. And I'll teach you the moves if you want to learn.'"
John Healy, The Grass Arena
This story from Jeremy James may even be true, who knows: "Many years ago when the world was young and all our futures were before us (mine jolly nearly wasn't) a sadistic TV boss sent me off to get an interview with the West Indies team. 'And I want to see Wes Hall bowling to you.'
Cor. Wes was very decent about it, or so I thought until I saw him disappearing over the horizon. I didn't even have time to back into the side netting before my stumps were splattered - by an orange. Is this the origin of the word 'jaffa'?"
Ay, guilty, I was that.He added, perhaps a little obscurely:
Mixed chess is almost as lethal as mixed hockey. Forget those dreamy erotic scenes of a King tracing a woman's lovely naked curves; think being hit very hard over the head with it. Much, much more dangerous than an orange.Ah, maybe. Anyway, his reply was accompanied by a rant the Guardian had received from one Jeremy Douglas:
Yes yes the Master Game. That was absolutely superb, back in the days when the BBC knew how to televise chess. But this arcane knowledge had been utterly lost by the time of the Kasparov-Short match. The key insight was to show the game AFTER it happened, rather than live as was inexplicably the case during the World Championship match. They also got the players to do a "stream of consciousness" commentary to give the impression of a live game and show you why they made the moves they did. It was straightforward and excellent.Up to a point, Jeremy. But isn't that rather unkind to William Hartston?
I have no idea why the BBC and Channel 4 both messed up their chess coverage to quite the extent they did. The only thing worse than Carol Vordermann on Channel 4 was the Newsnight - yes, Newsnight team trying to cover the match on the BBC. I guess they thought "Oh these people seem quite intelligent, and you have to be intelligent to play chess, so these intelligent people would be good at covering chess even though they don't necessarily know the rules"... wrong wrong wrong... aargh... it pains me to remember it...
Can the future ever erase the past? Rose has a Cross mother and a nought father in a society where the pale-skinned noughts are treated as inferiors and those with dual heritage face a life-long battle against deep-rooted prejudices.