Archive for January 7th, 2015

As I write from behind the former iron curtain it is past midnight. The streets below my window are bitterly cold and quiet now. The 50 kmh winds blowing across Baku bring the temperature down to below -20. Work has been closed. Twelve hours of snow are forecast, it will feel like -30 tomorrow they said on the radio. I do not have to wake up early the next day. My wife and daughter are fast asleep. There is time to write. Many candles are lit. Let us begin.

In my distant homelands there is momentum to bring chess into schools in the hope that, one day, every child in England will play chess at school. Should that ever become a reality, then its popularity might give rise to the many forms of our beautiful game now rapidly becoming obsolete. Living chess, where actual people participate as pieces/pawns could capture the imagination of the nation, and like in the army, a form of national conscription may one day exist, where all members of the public are commandeered, just like in the tv show linked below. Should you ever find yourself in such an unlikely situation, you might want to know which piece/pawn has the highest survival rate on the board. By that I mean which piece/pawn is least likely to be captured (Kings excluded of course). Even if you’re not a life-long day-dreamer like myself, you can rate your chances of survival more effectively by clicking on the following link:

Do you know who the actor is in the centre of the shot?

Do you know who the actor is in the centre of the shot?

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to watch a game of living chess ‘live’ as it were, then you’ll know how great it can be. If you haven’t, then you could click on the link below to see a dramatized version of it. However, young readers should note that the show might be too retro for them, and lovers of mainstream media should note that the show is a cult classic. It is Patrick McGoohan’s ‘The Prisoner’ from the 60’s, episode 8 entitled ‘Checkmate’. It’s one that he wrote himself as he too was a chess lover. It’s very heavy on metaphor and a little difficult to follow if you aren’t familiar with the concept of the show, so my advice is look into it first if you haven’t watched it before. I did a photo shoot there once, the village is as beautiful now as it was then I can confirm. The iconography in the show is fascinating and the production crew were highly accomplished but its certainly not for everyone.

Anyway, its been a long day and its nearly one am now, I’d best get to bed and hope the heating doesn’t fail…enjoy.

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