Archive for November 22nd, 2020

Clean cut narrative

Although watching films or documentaries about chess or chess players is generally inadvisable if you yourself are a chess player who both reads or watches material critically: to our disdain every so often someone churns out something. Some productions are more laudible than others but as you might expect, a lack of imagination prevails and the subject matter is narrow indeed. Yet again Fischer is the one cashed in on, as shown in the link below. Why on earth someone would want to watch something about that poor irascible soul beyond the chessboard I don’t know, perhaps it has something to do with the belief that television can make the unglamorous glamorous, and that’s good enough for them because anything that’s been filmed must be entertaining and educational for all documentary makers ever do is ‘try to get the story straight’. At least the documentary does point out early on the importance of Slater doubling the prize money for without such generosity the match in 1972 would most likely not have taken place. And furthermore, it has been emplotted with content not normally shown, illustrating more clearly than most -if not all- previous productions of what went on. It is unflinching in its expose of how Fischer was abducted, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by US officials, although nothing is said of whether the US government has continued to torture national chess champions since Fischer -presumably not! The claim that a life of chess begets torture in various forms anyway, is however, touched upon at various points without poignancy.

Something more gentlemanly, something more aplomb, and rightly so, can be found below.

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