The Blackout

No chess apps kept on tablet. No more on line chess. No viewing tournaments on line. No chess outside my home club. No thinking about chess. No other contact with the beautiful game.


Luton chess club is to field a team in the Bedfordshire league for the coming season. Presently, it is being formulated and who is willing to commit being established. Most likely it will enter the second division as its strongest players cannot sign up.

It’s good news and hopefully the club will continue to go from strength to strength.


Due to the sudden onset or mental and physical deterioration, followed by a worsening of the aforementioned two, left floundering I picked myself up and plonked myself on a plane. Up into the sky I went, leaving Asia behind in favour of Europe. Homeward bound I was and it had to be that way. Earlier than planned yes. Nonetheless, the right thing to do it most definitely was.

Bangkok to Luton but which one is really home? Really, which one? Not so long ago that was Bangkok and I felt it in my blood. Okay, so I return to the club I grew up in but recognize the new location I don’t. Feel an affinity for it’s emptiness I can’t. Recognize one person only was all I could do. And that’s home? Is it really? It most certainly didn’t feel like it. Factor in I felt like an outsider, was I really home? But, then, what is home? Where, exactly, was that sense of homeliness I tapped into in Bangkok?

2 wheels NOT 4!

Here’s a video of my arrival.

Apologies for the sound of the wind!

Do you want to see what it looks inside? There isn’t much to see except lots of unused space.

An hour was quite enough, my excuse to leave being I had no lights on my bike, which in fact was true.

Not really my cup of tea.

What was I expecting then? When I thought about what my town is about, I thought my opponents would look like this:

About the chess. Damned if you play, damned if you don’t.

With rest and recuperation comes invigoration. I played twice and won twice with fifteen minutes on the clock. I blundered once but my opponent was weak. As one photo shows, patriotism prevailed and I opened with the English when I had the white pieces. It was pleasant to play but a longer break was needed.

Note to self: wait for the blackout.

Mark. J. McCready, 1044pm. Tuesday May 30th

Luton, England.

Yesterday I told myself to visit the chess club but I couldn’t. I told myself to because it was meant to be my last visit to the club this year and I wanted to say goodbye to friends and playing partners there. But somehow it didn’t feel quite right, it wasn’t really goodbye.

Most of the members @Bangkok Chess Club are transient and I am no exception. I have relocated many times before, only to return the following year, and for this reason it didn’t really feel like a ‘goodbye’ more so a ‘see you soon’.

And that was how it was left…


On a trip

I am on a trip. I am on a train. A train to downtown. Food. Water. Trips. Then it be chess but when I don’t know. No when. No alcohol. Progress. Much of it. Boredom. Much. One trip leads to another. Boredom disapates and then there is another trip. What a day tripper this chess player is. And handsome also. Yes very. But why is he tripping?

Thousands upon thousands of on line games blitzed out over the last few years really have taken their toll. And no this is not the first time I have posted this. Factor in no competitive chess for over six years too and what remains is a detritus. For he who cannot step up to the mark when required to has much to answer for.

Deviation from, or break with, tradition where a whopping 30 mins on the clock to think in has left me erm…well, rather red-faced. I’m operating at about 50%, the glass is half-empty you could say. You could also say it’s half-full. It matters not.

Nothing left to be said than the sober reflection ‘Why wouldn’t it be that way?’ Online blitz is rather unserious but as soon as you opt for more time up your game you cannot…well I couldn’t.

I did, however, find an effective way to distract opponents. In the chat I said to many ‘Hey! you see that hand you’re holding your mouse with, you want that hand broken!’ I got two instant resignations out of that.

Really, there is nothing left to be said except it wasn’t worth all the effort. All I learnt was my game is not tickety boo! I am, rather ungraciously, bowing out and will instead watch youtube videos of flying wheels, rabid cats, and drunken boxing…

Comment from opponent: Don’t believe him. I played him and got thrashed. He’s an amazing player. The best I’ve seen.

Comment from opponent: I got massacred by this bastard, he’s fucking well good. You’ve got no chance.

Comment from opponent: He threatened to break my hand. I went and told my step-father and he smacked me in the mouth and kicked me in the bollocks for lying to him BUT I SWEAR he threatened to break my hand during the game, he put it in the chat.

Comment from opponent: He bastardo Inglazi. He speak ‘I-a-break-a-da-hand. He good play da chess. He son of da gun.

Comment from opponent: I got fuckin’ leathered by this cunt and he threatened to break my hand during the game. He’s a dangerous bastard, I’d steer clear of him if I were you.

Note to self: topic for next post –how to break both your opponents hands during a game of chess.

Mark. J. McCready, 03.50 Saturday, May 13th 2023

A dark room somewhere out there, anywhere. You don’t ask me where unless you want that hand broken! You got that?

If it were the case that at your club you have FIDE rated tournaments how up to date with FIDE’s latest updates on their set of laws are they, and is this significant?

Here at Bangkok chess club, we don’t adhere to the latest rules & laws. Technically this invalidated the tournament and results but no one blinks an eye, and the organizer prefers the old rules, as they are ‘less annoying’as he put it. How untypical this is I cannot be sure, nor do I know whether anyone really pays attention or is that bothered. Bangkok chess club is by its very nature a friendly club, no one really takes their chess seriously.

Perhaps at clubs habited by professional players it has greater significance, although most likely the consensus amongst amateurs is that the latest rules are rather complicated. Some of the changes are significant, the most obvious being that you can now make two illegal moves instead of one. Why they implemented that change I do not know but it does require greater assistance from arbiters, and is less workable than it may appear.

Why do I draw attention to such matters? Well if the organizer at your club is going to bend the rules or disregard those most recent, you do need to know. It’s a critical error to assume that the laws of FIDE are applied by everyone, and its also a critical error to assume everyone is up to date.

I am but then I have to be. I am often described as the most handsome chess player in town and tend to receive more attention than most. I need to look good and so keeping up to date helps. There isn’t a chess player in my home town more handsome than me, and my county too. And as we all know, some of the greatest chat up lines are based of FIDE laws? I mean what could better than ‘Hey, what’s article 4.3 in FIDE’s handbook? when you are trying to woo the latest female at the club.

They work outside the chess club too! The next time you see a lady you like, casually walk up to her, say hi and ask something like ‘You don’t happen to know what article 7.2 in FIDE’s latest handbook is do you by chance?’ You’ll be dating in no time! Given how handsome I am, I don’t usually need to make the effort, whenever there’s a new woman, tranny, or gay bloke at the club, they usually come to me.

Well anyway it’s not so bad being a handsome chess player just makes you a bit lazy. For those less handsome, the need to impress isn’t so great, so if you aren’t up to date, it’s quite unlikely that anyone will care, and in case you’ve forgotten FIDE is far from the professional organization it presents itself as, and understanding the changes they make can be challenging.

One last thing, I may be wrong regarding chat up lines about FIDE laws working outside the chess club but they are damn site better than what they replaced which was usually cantered around whether the lady I was wooing had headlice, with requests for proof that she definitely doesn’t have them. For some reason, whenever I pulled out a piece of paper and a comb, it always sank like a lead balloon!

I’d best go, I must return to the bathroom as always want to be trim and lean, that’s all for now… .

Mark. J. McCready, 11.25pm Thursday 4th of May

A place where I lie wounded, Bangkok

If I were up for it, I would play in this.

But I am not up for it, Mentally I am not strong enough and I am awaiting results from blood tests. I cannot play chess. I cannot do anything. I just sit and wait and hope for a brighter future.

Mark. J. McCready 10.57pm, Monday May 1st,

Purgatory, Bangkok

The world championship is over, Magnus has been dethroned. Liren has emerged victorious and here is the press conference after the match has ended. If you’ve been a FIDE member for some time, or an active chess player over the years, or perhaps are a journalist even, then you will know that FIDE is far from the professional organization it tries to present itself as. The number of reasons are so great, I simply cannot go into them here or I will be up all night long! Regarding the press conference linked below, you ought to know that FIDE no longer requests that the questions are vetted beforehand. Questions have been raised over this but they have been left unanswered. If you go to the 11.54 minute mark you will hear Ding Liren being asked a question by Maria from it is the question he is currently being quoted on answering the most across the various social media platforms most commonly used. The question pertains to the meaning of life itself, making it philosophical in nature. Firstly, you could question that the point in asking a chess player what the meaning of life is per se extremely dubious, but secondly, Liren’s answer isn’t articulate; partly because English isn’t his first language and partly because Philosophy isn’t his background. However, it is mine and his answer constitutes an alignment with Nietzsche’s assertion that you should live by your passions. Liren makes it clear chess has always remained central in his life and when time goes by and he is not playing in tournaments, he doesn’t feel ‘so happy’, as he put it. I’ve linked the interview below, but as you might expect, it’s a bit of a strain because the questions haven’t been vetted there’s clearly much room for improvement with some questions being rather poor indeed and others so vague the players struggle to answer them. ‘How’s the organizing things here for you?‘ Would you like to answer that? Anyway, here it is: