Archive for Columns

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Monday, April 04, 2011 5:46
When you read an open letter like the one on cheating, signed by a number of participants of the European Championship in Aix les Bains, there are basically two ways to react. The first is to join in the public outrage and bemoan the terrible state that chess has gotten itself in. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done NOW! That's the...
Sunday, February 06, 2011 18:26
Darren Aronofsky's new movie Black Swan, featuring Natalie Portman as the increasingly tormented ballet dancer Nina who has to perform the dual role of both the white and the black swan in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, left me both puzzled and fascinated. And, inevitably, it made me think of chess. As many critics have noted, Black Swan is actually...
Friday, January 14, 2011 4:37
Humans, like all primates, often show behaviour largely dictated by social status and prestige. This applies to practically everything we do: the way we talk, the way we do business, the way we do politics, and the way we play chess. The photo that Beckett wanted to adorn the front cover of his first published novel 'Murphy' I recently read a...
Tuesday, January 04, 2011 17:23
Chess, of course, is an abstract game. Its ultimate, objective truth is probably more mathematical than intuitive. Still, the game has so many subjective sides that it's almost impossible not to have arguments about the relative aspects of chess, such as the value of moves, variations and even rules. Which is just great. The Creation of Adam, a...
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Thursday, November 04, 2010 16:01
Should chess journalists be committed to supporting chess bodies like FIDE, their national federations or the European Chess Union? Of course not! Should these bodies support chess players and journalists when they're in serious trouble? You bet. During this year’s ECU Presidential elections, then-candidate Silvio Danailov came with a surprising...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 0:01
After Ilyumzhinov's victory in the FIDE Presidential elections in Khanty-Mansiysk twelve days ago, it's become awfully silent on both fronts. Those seeking change in the World Chess Federation have been struck dumb at the prospect of another four years of Kirsan's reign. But they needn't despair. They just shouldn't wait for the big shots to...
Saturday, October 02, 2010 0:16
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has invited Anatoly Karpov to become FIDE Vice President and accepted his opponent's suggestion to increase the number of games in World Championship matches. Silvio Danailov not only got elected ECU President, but FIDE Vice President as well. What exactly this job involves even a newly elected Vice President doesn't know....
Saturday, September 25, 2010 4:18
Exactly a week before the FIDE Presidential elections in Khanty-Mansiysk, the incumbent president was interviewed by leading newspaper The Independent. Ilyumzhinov saw no reason to avoid making chess players look like idiots. With just five days left to the elections, we must say that the onefide.com website is full of little gems. It now...
Thursday, August 12, 2010 15:35
One of the nice things about chess is that it's a game played between humans. Despite an understandable tendency to approach chess as a rational game, I think there are a lot of irrational - human - things going on behind the scenes. One of the things that fascinate me most in chess is people's choice of openings. Last year, I compared chess...
Thursday, July 29, 2010 17:42
Being a database programmer, perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised when I recently dreamt I had to develop a chess database. But it wasn't an ordinary chess database. Carceri XIV - Giovanni Battista Piranesi I was told by a faceless person to make a chess database of all chess games ever played. If that doesn't sound like much, it's because...

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