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Toughing Up at the Top

In a wide-ranging interview in 2003 Loek Van Wely talked to Dutch journalist Renzo Verwer about his life. This excerpt reveals much about the pressures of playing chess at the highest level and the gamesmanship of leading players. ‘. . . Man, in those top…

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Chess and Politics

John L. Watson [This withering indictment of the stupidity and arrogance of chess players was written over 16 years ago. It is still relevant today and lends weight to Sarah Hurst’s recent observation that ‘chess brilliance has nothing to do with high intelligence in other areas,…

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Colin Crouch, 1956-2015

  Colin Crouch, who has died at the tragically young age of 58, had a magnificently mischievous sense of humour. He contributed several pieces to Kingpin, serious and funny, and wrote one of the wittiest parodies of a chess writer you are likely to read. An affable,…

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Confessions of a Crooked Chess Master – Part 2

Michael Basman   International Intrigue   It was Hastings 1967-8 at the annual congress run by Frank Rhoden. I had not been doing particularly well after having bullied Frank into giving me a place in the tournament. ‘I’ve got to invite Keene, Hartston and Penrose,…

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Confessions of a Crooked Chess Master – Part 1

Michael Basman   The Slippery Slope   My first step along the road to perdition came in the London Under-14 Boys Championship in 1959 (in those days girls didn’t or couldn’t play chess). It was round 5 and I was playing J.N. Eyres of Colfe’s…

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Yasser Seirawan: 20 Questions

Yasser Seirawan became World Junior Champion in 1979 and was twice a candidate for the World Championship title. He is currently commentating on the US Chess Championship, an event he has won four times. Kingpin interviewed him in 1998. What is your earliest memory of…

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