Archive for July 11th, 2022

I saw my daughter off to school and have only just taken my medication, so I have a twenty something minute window before I drop off hopefully.

Instead of getting myself ready for bed, I sit up wondering if a Grand Master has ever been tasered and if not who will be the first. This follows on from a tentative Kahoot I came up with entitled ‘Famous chess players who have either been bottled, stabbed, shot, whipped, batted, stun-gunned or tasered.’ Unfortunately, I can only think of one who fits in, and that’s not enough, I would need about twenty. What a great way to get myself ready for sleep huh?

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I don’t know what it’s like to sleep anymore. I am most alert throughout the night, like right now. My daughter, her mother, and grandmother have been asleep for hours, myself making quizzes and writing with affection.

I love my blog and I love writing in the dead of night. It’s 03.45 am and I am not at all tired. The room so dark, cooled by the AC blowing on me. Finding the right words isn’t easy although last night I did start a short story I have been thinking about for some time, and completed the first section. In writing so late I feel so at peace. I don’t really have much to say and I NEVER write to be read by others. I won’t continue that short story tonight, I am going to lie down and look deep into the dark. My daughter has to wake at 0530 to catch the school bus in time, and so like yesterday, I will stay awake so I can get her off to a good start. I love being a father and having the opportunity to be kind all the time, and so out of love I won’t sleep until she’s gone to school. My daughter Grace is the greatest thing to happen in my life and I insisted she have no middle name because I wanted her initials to be GM, and for a few seconds she was once the world’s youngest GM. It was at a tournament where I met her mum, it was my love of chess that brought about her birth. Mutual friends and playing partners are aware of this and, from time to time, point it out to those not in the know.

Taken a few weeks ago.

Be seeing you.


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Recently I chatted on line to a Swedish friend and former playing partner. He asked me ‘Do you play much?’. In truth I didn’t know how to answer that question as it’s not as straightforward as it seems. I told him I play a lot on line and left it at that. But as we know, there is a lack of seriousness with online play, and some would say it doesn’t really count. I think it can. Last year, and the year before I played over 1000 games on line each year, and at times I was in very good form, winning many tournaments and taking a strong GM into the endgame. That counts for something even though the games were all blitz but that aside, yes its true I haven’t played one game of OTB chess in 6 years now, and the club nearest I never go to because they meet up on Fridays, the day I usually leave the city. I neither play friendlies in the park nor try my luck with hustlers either (not that I know where any are). So I suppose I should have said ‘I only play on-line now’…it’s about all I have at my disposal. What would you say if someone asked you do you play much chess? Irrespective of your answer, you might want to point out that the question is grammatically incorrect because the modal verb ‘much’ should be used in negative sentences. He should have said ‘Do you play a lot of chess’, or ‘Do you play often?’ that’s better.

To end, I do miss OTB chess very much. I would rather my chess was more prominent in the off line world rather than the on line world. In our off line world events are characterized by the sense of the occasion. You don’t get that online, you don’t get anything.

Mark. J. McCready

01.53 am 12th of July

Tung Song Hong, Laksi, Bangkok


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A lack of exemplars

If you look through this site you will see there is a post about women in chess. I do not wish to go into the lack of female players here but instead would like to draw your attention to a game I made. It’s a Kahoot, and all you have to do is choose the correct answer. The subject is Female Top 20, so the best 20 women in the world. There are pictures of them all and its your job to identity it. I can only keep it open for a month though. Should you wish to play it after the expiration date, just drop me a mail or a message and I will reconfigure the settings on your behalf.

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Regarding Luton Chess club, talks are taking place with the student union in The University of Bedfordshire main campus, which is where the club will be based. Plans are being put together and the local media will be contacted once things are in place. It is beginning to look like the hangover from COVID is leaving now and the club will be open for business again soon, hopefully with a team in the Bedfordshire League. Now that the club is affiliated to The University of Bedfordshire, this offers a level of security and stability the club hasn’t had in a long time. And with a population of over 200,000 there should be a chess club in town. We really ought to have a secure playing venue and at least 30 members…let us hope for brighter days or put differently a return to normality now that there’s no pandemic interfering with matters. Sadly I cannot be there to oversee operations and tidy things up but the club is in good hands, and so we are hopeful that Luton will have its own chess club again.

I shall post further details in due course.

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Dear Ken 9

Welcome to Dear Ken, the agony uncle for troubled chess players.

Patrice, St.Albans Hello Ken and please give off some advices. At our club we ‘ave a pair of brothers both retired, they are rated around 110. They are both very nice old gentlemen but one of them has a bad ‘abit. ‘e loves taking his moves back and making new ones. It doesn’t matter if you are at the board or not, he still does it. What should I do?

Ken: the bastard, trying to pull a fast one all the time. Just tell him the next time he does it you are going to follow him into the bogs and rape him. Don’t do that obviously but tell him you will, that should sort him out.

Patrice, St.Albans, you know Ken, sometimes I have my doubts over you.

Ken: you fucking bastard, who do you think you are to call me out. I’ll fucking come round your club and rape you ya bastard!

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I grabbed a 4 hour slot of sleep late morning. It’s becoming obvious that a pattern is emerging, namely; that I am up all night writing on my blog instead of sleeping.

What to be done? Well first I need to determine is this a strength or a weakness. It has to be the latter because I can write anytime, why does it have to be at like 2 am or 4 am. I like my own website too much to stay off it, so this is what’s happening. It should be the case that I have this one fixed before the week is out.

Late night stuff is always personal content, as if this were an online journal and as it stands, that’s how I am using it. I feel I can write and I like to do it, so I shall. Let’s see if we have more of the same tonight.

Mark. J. McCready

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