Archive for August 4th, 2022

There is a rule of thumb in play, do you know what it is? Most likely not so I shall tell you. It is: I do not write when there’s daylight, I only write when it’s dark and everyone is asleep. I have said in a previous post that neglecting parental duties isn’t acceptable and so here we are at 6am. The sun isn’t up yet and yesterday was relatively chess free.

Somehow I want to say I am suffering but I’m not neither am I in pain. Somehow I want to reflect on misadventure in Laos but I can’t let myself do that. It’s undignifying for a start, and didn’t we have enough of that last night and haven’t we heard enough about Laos of late? This morning my mood is clearer, I’m not sombre or saddened by anything at all and it just so happens that I put a little masterpiece on here before this post.

Admittedly, I have said something is slightly wrong and here we are again. I am talking to someone but I don’t know who and I cannot tell if they listen or not. Is this just loneliness I wonder? I’m not feeling it or anything else right now except contentment but I am a loner and maybe I do it more than I realise. It’s strange to say the least because I do not write to be read.

I think I shall lie down and just look into the gloom. My child is beside me. I am so attached to her woe betide any fool who tries harming her. I will lie down and remain alert in the gloom. It’s unclear to me what my purpose is here. Yes I love to write and of late I have conflated my abilities. I was doing this last month and once more, with intense scrutiny I do sense loneliness, and with it the loss of interlocutors.

I will lie down and remain clear-minded. All is okay.

Read Full Post »

Dear Ken 12

Dear Ken, the online agony uncle for troubled chess players.

Mark, Luton, Dear Ken, some words of wisedom from you please and I mean now not in the next column or next week -I mean now. Your words of wisedom now please. Last week, we were on our way to a match and the driver stopped at some fucking shrine – type thing. So I got out the car and had a gander and I could hear these whispering spirits, they were like voices in the sky and kept giving me numbers. I didn’t know what it was at first but they kept whispering more of them to me and they were all between 1-49 so I knew they were lottery numbers. Anyway when Humuyan came back we drove off. We stopped at a newsagent and I put the lottery on using the numbers the spirits gave me but when I checked it later, the bastards had given me all the wrong numbers. I was outraged. So later that night, after the match, I went out and got pissed up down the pub and then I went back to the scene of the crime and smashed up that shrine good and proper cos I got stitched up there didn’t I? Then the next morning we had another match but when we got in the playing venue, I was still massively hung over. As soon as I saw players from the other team I got stuck in with knuckle dusters on and attacked the bastards. Not one or two but all 16, all at once and got fucking battered to fuck. I can hardly see now. Jaw’s busted. Ribs broken. Teeth knocked out. Lacerations across my chest. Broken leg. What should I do now?

Ken: eh, so you got stitched up over the lottery, smashed up some shrine and now attack anyone who plays for a different team? Fuck me. I don’t know what to say. Are you winding me up?

Mark, Luton I’m not and I’m gonna smash that shrine up again, those bastards from the spirit world lost me money. I listen out for them all the time now, day and night. I’m gonna attack any bastard I see now unless I win that lottery. Let me recover first cos I’m well fucked but then it’s all out war. All 16 at once, yeah come on then. Wrong fucking lottery numbers. It’s a bastard to win with those demons putting numbers into me head for it all the time. They were at it last night as well, and it was the wrong numbers again. All that money gone and nothing from it because of those demons stitched me up and gave me different numbers to the ones called. I’ll fight anyone now if I could. I’ll kill anyone. I’ll kill any chess player I see, you watch. You just watch what I’m like when I am up and walking again. They robbed me they did. That Humuyan is to blame as well. Set me up he did and they robbed me of me money the bastards. Gave me the wrong numbers they did. I’ll get them, you watch, I’ll get them. I’m listening out for their hiding place all the time now. I bet it’s near where I get my whiskey from.

Ken: well Mark, it seems to me you are a right nutter and should be locked up my son. Stop smashing things up and attacking everyone or you’ll end up in prison.

Read Full Post »

It’s fair to say that from the very first to the 500,000th time I nearly had a heart attack at the chess board I wasn’t too bothered about it but there were times between the 500,000 to the 1,000,000 mark where I was. Nobody wants medical emergencies at the chess board but even in the current Olympiad we had one, in which an act of kindness helped save the day.

Read Full Post »

2 versus 1

The greatest tragedy of chess in the context of the modern game is that not enough women play it. Not enough by far in fact and until the balance is readdressed globally, there will always be work to be done on that. When women do play chess, it isn’t very often you see them playing whilst heavily pregnant, so here is a rather touching video of the current Olympiad where that clearly is the case -must be tough to do!

Read Full Post »

Having photographed more than enough international chess tournaments and worked behind the scenes with senior Arbiters when doing so, the point made in the video below I find rather strange. So an arbiter made a mistake? What is so unusual here, it goes on all the time. But because it involved the Norway team, the prestige of result was elevated and it drew attention even though such mistakes are made more frequently than what is suggested here. I don’t see why Svidler is so surprised tbh.

Read Full Post »

These days it’s a crime in all first world countries to allow your offline life to remain dominant over your online life, and carries a jail sentence of variable lengths ranging from half a minute to a few days…well so it seems.

It is, of course, the rest day of the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai. You might wonder what chess players do on their day off. Stay in their room and read books? Go for a walk in a park somewhere? Maybe even go for a coffee and chat chess with fellow players? The public perception of chess players isn’t, on the whole, positive. We aren’t renowned for being the most exciting bunch on the planet and are often thought of as bookish and boring.

Well, I have linked below a video or two of the Bermuda Party, the central feature of the rest day, and it does a pretty good job of breaking down certain perceptions of what chess players might do on a day off. Like most, if not all, they party!

If I may be allowed to bring my warped sense of humour into the post, I’ve watched both videos and can confirm there were no punch ups on the dance floors. No knuckledusters seen! No one was bottled or baseball batted and no one was hit by flying pints, flying chairs and flying tables! Just thought I’d let you know! Do take note of how young the audience is. Most non chess players would find all this rather surprising methinks when in fact it’s all quite normal.

Mark. J. McCready 11.10pm August 4th


Read Full Post »

Preferably, today won’t be like yesterday and just total chess. At some point I am going to take a closer look at some very recent posts. I don’t know who I am talking to in them, and that is not right at all. You don’t need to be able to define your audience but developing a voice matters, and when that voice is pitching a message to unknown characters, something is definitely wrong.

It would appear I shall have to pull back and take a look at what is going on here because if the purpose for writing remains unidentifiable what are you writing for in the first place?

Just perhaps I have become too self-indulgent and need to give it a break. refocus and stop trying to make everything humorous. I think we can safely say overkill is rapidly approaching.

That aside, I very subtly pick up on a sense of loneliness in play…I am trying to talk to someone but who?

Read Full Post »