Latest in Quotes

New York 1927: Pen-portraits by George Currie

Olimpiu G. Urcan Literary descriptions of scenes from chess tournaments of the past were habitually the work of insiders (e.g. experienced chess columnists). How would a talented sportswriter with little or no chess expertise describe such an event? The February 24, 1927 edition of the…

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Bobby Fischer Writes to Kingpin

  Dear Kingpin,   Your magazine sure is great (not as great as me – I’m the greatest), way better than all those other lying chess rags whose editors have banded together to make me out to be some kinda villain! Those guys are out…

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Chess and Prison

The second art that I acquired in Pentonville was so-called ‘Marseilles chess’. It was invented by an elderly Frenchman, with a red scarf round hs neck, who taught it to me during exercise hours. In this game, each player in turn makes two moves instead…

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Playing for Peanuts

A couple of years ago, Hartston did the following calculation during a grandmaster tournament in Spain: assuming that all the prize money on offer was divided simply between the grandmasters (and there were some powerful IMs scrapping for the loot as well), their average earnings…

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Violence and Intellectuality

When you eavesdrop on the chatter of chess, you discover that it reproduces and confirms the game’s compelling mixture of violence and intellectuality. As pieces are finger-flipped around demonstration boards in swift refutation of some other grandmaster’s naïve proposition, half the language has a street-fighting…

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Florencio Campomanes 1927–2010

“An evil man who is not going to be missed. Thoroughly corrupt persecutor of those who wanted chess to move forward. Destroyer of our beloved World Championship. Some champagne with dinner tonight to wish him good riddance!” Eric Schiller’s moving eulogy to the former FIDE…

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‘The queen ain’t no bitch. She got all the moves.’

Chess scene from ‘The Wire’ ‘The Buys’ (2002) D’Angelo Barksdale: Yo, what was that? Wallace: Hm? D’Angelo Barksdale: Castle can’t move like that. Yo, castle move up and down and sideways like. Preston ‘Bodie’ Broadus: Nah, we ain’t playing that. Wallace: Yeah, look at the…

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Keene on . . .

Journalism ‘I tend to make the articles in The Spectator more wordy and The Times I make a little bit more lapidary in the style.’ Tunisgate ‘When I did my accounts after that event, I think I’d made eleven pounds profit.’ Being expelled from the…

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Kramnik

  There is this to be said for being a fan of Vladimir Kramnik – you do a get a better class of insult for your money. Reading Toilet War one is reminded, quite apart from the unmistakable whiff of madness arising from the pages,…

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