26 August 2014

Art for the Sake of Chess

Seen on Wired.com: The Weird, Totally Charming Hobbies That Unite People by Doug Bierend.

Whether it's diving, chess, or cosplay, our passions can bring us together in unique ways. If you're into it, it's more than likely that there's a club for it. In Hobby Buddies, Swiss photographers Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini create playful portraits of people joined by their innumerable pastimes.

Here's the image illustrating the chess buddies.


Children's Chess - Ursula Sprecher & Andi Cortellini

Who arranged the small pieces like that?

Each shot is carefully staged and arranged to be visually engaging yet representative of the subjects' particular passion. Some photos have an air of fantasy, like the chess club surrounded by a giant chessboard and game pieces.

Adding to the 'air of fantasy': none of the children are smiling. Have they forgotten the first rule of chess? To have fun! The Wired.com piece includes a link to another chess-related article that I hadn't seen before: Making Chess cool for kids using Star Wars LEGO.

Design does not happen in a vacuum. Chess has a particularly long and colorful history of design experimentation.

That's because chess does not happen in a vacuum. Unless you're a blindfold wizard, you need pieces to play.

25 August 2014

Kasparov's Campaign on Video

In my previous post on Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (TMER), Transition from 1970s to 2010s, I assembled a list of Chessbase.com articles covering Kasparov's unsuccessful campaign for the FIDE Presidency. For this current post I did the same for Youtube video clips.

The two resources together -- Chessbase and Youtube -- provide a good overview of his whereabouts during the ten month election campaign.

24 August 2014

Chess Chaperones

In previous centuries, what did young lovers do when they were together? According to this current edition of Top eBay Chess Items by Price, they played chess. At least, that is, while parents were sitting next to them.

The image below was titled 'Large Original 19th Century Oil Painting of Lovers Playing Chess on a Train' and subtitled 'James Stephenson Craig (exb.1840-1870) Royal Academy'. It sold for GBP 413.99 ('approximately US $686.00' according to eBay) after receiving 17 bids from 11 bidders.

The description added,

This is a large and very charming original 19th century oil on canvas of a Victorian couple chaperoning their daughter and her young suitor, by the listed Scottish artist, James Stephenson Craig (exb.1840-1870). The four figures in the painting sit in the first class carriage of a 19th century steam train as it travels along the Scottish coast. Whilst the parents read, the young couple bide their time with 'A Game of Strategy’. This lovely work is signed with initials to the lower left.

A very popular painter of gently suggestive Victorian romantic scenes, James Stephenson Craig exhibited three works at the Royal Academy, seven at the British Institution, and twelve at the Suffolk Street Gallery of the Society of British Artists.

Measurement (canvas only): 80cm x 65cm (31½” x 25½”)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Provenance: Fine Private Collection of Home Counti's Estate
Condition: Very good. Framed, professionally cleaned, relined and restored. Ready to hang.

I was surprised to learn that chess chaperoning is a 21st century occupation, as in 'Sign up to chaperone chess club sessions'. No fooling around at chess club!

22 August 2014

Chess Set circa 1540

Ever wonder what chess pieces looked like in the 16th century?


Paris Bordone 1500-1571 [Detail] © Flickr user jean louis mazieres under Creative Commons.

Follow the link to see the full painting (the largest size shows the set particularly well) where the description says,

Paris Bordone. 1500-1571. Venice. Two chess players. [circa] 1540. Berlin Gemäldegalerie.

I suppose that the 'White on right' rule wasn't in effect at that time and that the pieces on e1 and e3 are kings. More pieces are visible in the bottom right corner of the detail.

21 August 2014

'Of the following, I'd rather play...'

On the left is a poll seen on Slashdot.org: Of the following, I'd rather play..., currently showing 16857 total votes, 273 comments.

If you follow this blog, you know I like reading comments about chess from non-chess sources -- as in, for example, a recent post based on another article from Slashdot, The Scholastic Chess Facilitators Crisis -- because they tell me something about public perceptions and attitudes toward chess. I'll come back to the comments in a moment.

First, in case you've overlooked the point of this present post, here is the same chart in descending order of votes:-

  • Chess: 4580 votes / 27%
  • Poker: 3631 votes / 21%
  • Falken's Maze: 2520 votes / 14%
  • Hearts: 2021 votes / 11%
  • Black Jack: 1363 votes / 8%
  • Gin Rummy: 1240 votes / 7%
  • Bridge: 928 votes / 5%
  • Checkers: 574 votes / 3%

Checkers gets no respect. And what's Falken's Maze? Back to the comments...

vasilevich: '12 x 12 Tictactoe is about of the same complexity as Chess = ~10^60 positions'

bzipitidoo: 'Go is only another game in the same class as Chess and Checkers. D&D, why not mention that?'

MtViewGuy: 'Some say Go requires more intelligence to play than Chess.'

Anonymous Coward: 'How is Poker more social than Chess? You can become a diva and socialite if you become a grand master.'

...etc. etc. Chess divas and socialites? Name one!

19 August 2014

Borrowing a Chess Book

After posting about Chess Books in the Internet Archive, I downloaded a few titles to my Kindle and have spent so much time reading them that I've neglected to prepare today's post for this blog. What to do now?

One title I noticed available for 'Borrow' was "Chess in Literature", edited by Marcello Truzzi (Equinox Books / Avon, 1974). Curious to see its content, I've bid for the book once or twice on eBay, only to be outbid. Here was my chance to take a look at it.

I checked the book out -- it's 'Borrow' after all -- and opened it on my laptop using Archive.org's built-in reader. (It would be better to get it on my Kindle, but I don't know how to do that, assuming it's even possible.) The following image shows the book's contents.

Starting with Franklin's 'Morals of Chess', I'm sure that many of these selections are available elsewhere on the Internet, but what about 'The Chess-Player' by Anonymous (p.322)? A search on the story's first sentence, 'Those whose interest in records of the supernatural', locates several copies, apparently authored by 'Temple Bar'.

At the end of Truzzi's book (p.421) is a list of additional titles.

A Final Word. As with any such collection, numerous pieces that were considered for inclusion had to be omitted for reasons of space and cost. Those who enjoyed this collection might wish to seek out a few of these, the best of which include:
  • Woody Allen, "The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers" (1971)
  • Poul Anderson, "The White King's War" (1969)
  • Robert Benchley, "How to Watch a Chess Match" (1922)
  • E.M. Forster, "Chess at Cracow" (1932)
  • John P. Marquand, "The End Game" (1944)
  • Alfred Noyes, "Checkmate" (1924)
  • Kurt Vonnegut, "All the King's Horses" (1951)

While I was working my way back-and-forth through the book, I received many, sporadic 'disconnected' messages and finally saw this:-

Connection error: The BookReader cannot reach Open Library. This might mean that you are offline or that Open Library is down. Please check your Internet connection and refresh this page or try again later.

Looks like I have to end the post here. Now how do I return the book I borrowed?

18 August 2014

Kasparov TMER: Transition from 1970s to 2010s

My final action from Kasparov TMER: Last updated 2014-08-11,

Merge the new PGN into the master file [OK] and compare the index with the results recorded in Kasparov's book [NO OK].

is half done. The PGN is now available from Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-). As for Kasparov TMER: Next Steps,

Kasparov's run for FIDE President has seen him travelling to many countries, often giving exhibitions. Where are those documented?

I started to document them on Chessbase.com posts on Kasparov -- 2013-05 to 2014-08. This follows the same format I used last year in Kasparov at 50. Although Kasparov lost the election (see FIDE Election: Four More Years) he played many exhibitions during his campaign. These should also be noted in the TMER.

17 August 2014

The Scholastic Chess Facilitators Crisis

Last month Slashdot.org started a discussion titled How to Fix the Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators.

The good news, writes Michael Thomas, is that wired kids are learning chess at an unprecedented rate. [...] But the bad news, laments Thomas, is there is so much demand for scholastic chess that there are not enough experienced chess facilitators to go around.

Who is Michael Thomas? He is the author of a piece on Sas.com -- that's the company that produces 'Business Analytics' software -- titled, Solving the scholastic chess facilitation puzzle

Young digital natives are learning chess at an unprecedented rate. [...] Chess is a gateway to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. We grown-ups must optimize the chess-to-STEM pipeline, but how?

Thomas offers three solutions (these are quotes):-

  • Brain implants.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) approach. [...] To digitally thing-ify the chess pieces
  • Augmented Reality (AR) approach.

Brain implants? 'A chess facilitator brain implant would be wired between perception and cognition. You would just look at the board and know if it is checkmate.' When I first read this I was certain the article was a joke, but it is dated 11 July, not 1 April. Moreover, the author's bio page (which he probably wrote himself) says,

Michael Thomas, Software Architect in the SAS R&D Technology Office. He is the author of three books, several papers for SAS Global Forum and a recent article in SASCOM magazine, “Using virtual reality to understand big data.” He is also a long time member of the SAS Chess Club.

It links to another Thomas article, Scholastic chess: A gateway to STEM education, which starts,

For a lot of North Carolina chess families, this past weekend was action-packed. It was the 40th North Carolina K-12 Chess Championship, a three day event hosted by Chess Achieves and sponsored by SAS.

Except for a few wild claims, like 'openings that this weekend's more advanced players deployed date back to the 14th century', the piece wants to be taken seriously. 'Solving the puzzle' must be equally serious, so let's get back to Slashdot on 'How to Fix the Shortage of Scholastic Chess Facilitators'. The 128 comments might not be numbered at Yahoo levels, as in my post from last year The Graffiti Wall - Is Chess a Sport?, but they are collectively at a different level of thoughtfulness. Some examples (more quotes):-

  • What will we as a society do with an unprecedented crisis such as this looming?
  • Every minute playing chess would be better spent learning about algorithms, computer programming, or biology.
  • The issue is with schools cutting extra-curriculum activities, because the teachers want to get paid, and the schools can't afford it.
  • Do we really need to promote chess playing to a group of imaginative, energetic children who have just barely grasped the concept of role-taking [...] Did they do something to earn this sort of punishment?
  • I am a full-time chess coach for K-5 kids. [...] This solution is addressing a problem that doesn't actually exist.
  • So are you saying [...] that you need more people to stop the children from throttling each other when they lose?

Etc. etc. Another comment was 'the [Thomas] article is written tongue in cheek'. Maybe my first impression was right after all.

15 August 2014

DGT at the Olympiad

Youtube had two channels producing high quality videos for the just concluded Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway:-

With so many good clips to choose from, I decided to use one that explained a key component of the broadcast infrastructure.


Official Chess Olympiad Show: DGT, interview with Albert Vasse (3:32) • 'Susan [Polgar] interviews the man who introduced DGT to the chess world, Albert Vasse.'

Vasse: 'DGT started in 1993. The first DGT clocks were produced in 1994. Then, of course, you're very busy with your first product. As soon as that was stable we thought, here we are, we have technology on one side, we have chess on the other side. Where do those two come together? Very soon the electronic boards popped up as a subject where a lot could be done.'

14 August 2014

Chess Books in the Internet Archive

My most recent Flickr Friday post, Lasker Seen Darkly, reminded me of a world that I had never explored properly: books in the Internet Archive. Taking one of the Flickr images at random, say Image from page 534 of "The standard Hoyle" (1909), leads to the page in the book where the image is found, e.g. The Standard Hoyle (Archive.org), from which the entire book is available. The book can then be browsed using a comfortable viewer that allows for different formats like one page, two pages, and many pages.

While Hoyle's 64-page entry for chess isn't particularly interesting to an experienced player, the viewer links to a catalog entry for the book, The standard Hoyle (Openlibrary.org). That's where the fun starts. The search box on 'chess' ('Show only eBooks') returns a list which looks something like the following image.

Books tagged:-

  • 'Read', can be browsed using the same software that we just saw for Hoyle, and eventually downloaded as a PDF (or similar).

  • 'Borrow', can also be browsed, but only downloaded into 'Adobe Digital Editions' (whatever that is).

  • 'Daisy', meaning 'This DAISY file is protected. It can only be opened on a specialized device with a key issued by the Library of Congress.'

'Daisy' is the most frequent tag, although there are plenty of books marked 'Read' or 'Borrow'. Note that copyrights aren't the only factor behind the tag. Many books marked 'Read' (and downloadable) are still under copyright. A couple of out-of-copyright books that I looked at the last time I visited a real library are now available through this service:-

A couple of authors who occasionally show up in searches on chess -- Stella Chess and Victoria Chess -- are also available. Now I can explore what they write about without buying the books.

12 August 2014

FIDE Election: Four More Years

As was widely predicted in the days going into the FIDE election and as Fide.com reported on the day of the election, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected as FIDE President.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was reelected by a wide margin with 110 votes against Garry Kasparov’s 61. In his speech after the elections, Kirsan showed gratitude to all his supporters and personally thanked his opponent Garry Kasparov for raising the image of chess in the world. FIDE President invited the team of the 13th World Champion to join the FIDE team and help in development of chess.

Although I endorsed Kasparov a few months ago in FIDE Election: Time for a Change, I wasn't at all optimistic about his chances. Shortly after my lukewarm endorsement, GM Spraggett posted War of Words.

My friend, and one of the game’s best respected and most popular Spanish journalist/TV-commentator Leontxo Garcia, has recently gotten himself into a war of words as a result of a Chessbase article that he penned while travelling with Kasparov on his recent trip to Mexico. [...]

Now the powerful president of FIDE AMERICA, Jorge Vega, is spear-heading a call by not less than two other South American chess federation presidents (Darcy Lima of Brazil and Milton Iturry of Peru) for ChessBase to not just remove Leontxo’s Chessbase article, but to publish an apology to all concerned.

Why was this Kasparov's problem? Let's go back to November 2013 and re-read an interview posted by Chessdom.com: Jorge Vega, Continental President for Americas, about upcoming elections.

Jorge Vega: Going forward and making analysis I think Mr Kasparov will do better than Karpov in 2010. He will lose Africa but will do better there. He will lose by five or ten votes. Karpov was also defeated there. Also in Asia he will lose but with lower margin. The difference will be seven to ten or 12 votes in favour of Mr Ilyumzhinov.

In Europe he will have a problem. Of course, Karpov was better candidate for Europe than Kasparov himself. He will win European votes but not with the advantage that Karpov had in 2010.

In America, he will be sharply defeated. This is enough to lose an election. Perhaps, he will get 65 votes. The best should be 70. I believe the figure will be within this range.

On the continent where Kasparov was in the most trouble, he managed to alienate the decision makers even further. That's not how successful politicians win elections.

Lukewarm congratulations to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and his entourage. On every occasion they have proven themselves to be better politicians than the opposition.

11 August 2014

Kasparov TMER: Last updated 2014-08-11

I added Kasparov TMER: New Early Events to the index file Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-); Last updated 2014-06-02, making today, 2014-08-11, the current update. TBD: Merge the new PGN into the master file -- after aligning the PGN headers with their source, Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985 -- and compare the index with the results recorded in Kasparov's book.

The current exercise started end-June with Kasparov TMER: Early Years, and eliminated much of the blue (i.e. dubious data) for early events on the index. There is still so much blue on the subsequent years (1978+), that a similar exercise would be useful for the rest of Kasparov's book.

10 August 2014

Armenia Olympiad Gold

Since today is round eight of the 2014 Olympiad, I was happy to find an Olympiad item for this edition of Top eBay Chess Items by Price. The item pictured below was titled 'ARMENIA GOLD 8.6 gr.22 K COIN 2006 37th Chess Olympiad UNC RARE' and sold for US $700 after receiving a single bid. My composite image might be misleading, because the two faces appear to be different colors; other photos show them to be the same color.

The description added,

The gold coin issued by the Central Bank of Armenia is dedicated to the victory of the Armenian male team in the 37th World Chess Olympiad. The 37th World Chess Olympiad in which 143 countries have participated was hosted by Torino, Italy from May 20 to June 4, 2006. Winning a glorious victory, the Armenian male team earned the World Cup for a two-year period.

The obverse of the coin depicts the symbol of the 37th World Chess Olympiad and the reverse depicts an inscription Gold Team of Armenia and contains names of the chess players: L. Aronyan, V. Hakobyan, K. Asryan, G. Sargsyan, S. Lputyan and A. Minasyan. Designed by E. Kurghinyan. Minted in Jablonex Group a.s., Division Czech Mint.

See also Real Olympiad Silver, where I featured another Olympiad coin on 'Top eBay Chess Items' earlier this year.

08 August 2014

Lasker Seen Darkly

The Internet Archive has been loading millions of images from books into Flickr. Here is one chess photo I particularly liked.


Image from page 118 of "The American annual of photography" (1911) © Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images under Creative Commons.

The photo can be seen in context at archive.org americanannualof1911newy, where it is captioned 'DR. EMANUEL LASKER (Chess Champion of the World), B. J. Falk'. I tried to brighten the photo digitally, but wasn't completely satisfied with any of the results. Maybe someone else can do better.

07 August 2014

2014 CJA Awards

The votes are in, the results are out, and the Chess Journalists of America have announced their Prize List for 2014 CJA Awards. As I mentioned in last year's post on the awards, 'Got to Find Me a Chess Blog!',

Besides the annual book award, I'm interested in the journalist award, the art award, and the blog award.

Here's that list for 2014:-

  • Best Book (paper-printed only) -- Winner: Mikhail Botvinnik: The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion by GM Andy Soltis
  • Chess Journalist of the Year -- Winner: Brian Jerauld
  • Best Chess Art -- Winner: Endgame by Zena Fairwether
  • Best Chess Blog -- Winner: The Kenilworthian by Michael Goeller

The prize list didn't mention where the 'Best Chess Art' had appeared, so I initiated a web query on the obvious keywords, including 'Fairwether', and was told 'Showing results for Endgame Zena Fairweather'. Hmmm, typical CJA sloppiness? Since the entry had been 'Submitted by USCF', I assumed that it had appeared somewhere in Chess Life, but which issue?

I browsed through the 12 issues of CL covered by the awards -- a pleasant task except for the constant temptation to read the unending stream of interesting articles -- and found the piece on p.7 of the September 2013 issue. It's shown on the left. The caption says,

'End Game' by Zena Fairweather • 18”x12” Graphite Portrait of Liam Fairweather.

Zena Fairweather is a renowned southern California portrait artist and in between commissions devotes her talents to personal projects such as this portrait of her son Liam. She captures the concentration, tension, drama, and, in some way, the loneliness of the chess player in the final moves of a game.

Contact: www.zenafairweather.com

'Fairweather' it is. I'll resist the temptation to make a quip about fair weather friends like the CJA and move on to the blog category.

The best blog award was the second for Michael Goeller's 'The Kenilworthian', which also won in 2008. The category was one of a handful to include an Honorable Mention, which was 'Chess Book Reviews' by John Hartmann, the overall winner in 2013. That these blogs were the only two entries is irrelevant. The competition was open to all and you only need two to make a fight of it. (The category 'Chess Journalist of the Year' had a single entry.)

Whether one entry, two entries, or many entries, the prize winners deserve a round of applause. Congratulations to all!

05 August 2014

August 1964 'On the Cover'

Just like last month's July 1964 'On the Cover', 50 years ago the front covers of the two leading American chess magazines highlighted international events.


Left: 'The Champion Scores in Argentina'
Right: 'U.S. Student Team'

Chess Life

PETROSIAN, KERES TIE IN BUENOS AIRES; ROBERT BYRNE TAKES THIRD; World Champion Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres of the Soviet Union tied for first in the international tournament recently completed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. [...] OUR COVER: As even Dr. Watson could deduce from the presence of Oscar Panno in the background, our cover photo isn't from the Argentina International Tournament at all. It is, in fact, a scene from an event of exactly a year ago: last August's Piatigorsky Cup Tournament in Los Angeles. There, too, the Soviet aces scored a one-two victory.

Chess Review

About to take wings, Pan Am, to Yugoslavia and Poland, via Paris, is the sextet representing the United States in the World Championship for student teams. In the forefront is Michael Sweig, who had already travelled from Chicago. Behind him is Bernard Zuckerman, then Michael Valvo, New Yorkers, though Valvo is so temporarily as a student at Columbia University. Next is Jerry Spann of Oklahoma City -- no student he, just the USCF's vice president for FIDE affairs. Last is Charles Kalme, a Philadephian who has played for the Marshall Chess Club of New York of late. In front of him is the team captain, William Lombardy, a New Yorker who has long been absent in the pursuit of his studies: his objective, to become a priest.

According to OlimpBase ('The encyclopaedia of team chess'), the American team finished in 4th place; see 11th World Student Team Chess Championship: Cracow 1964.

04 August 2014

Kasparov TMER: New Early Events (*)

In my previous post for the Kasparov TMER series, Matching & Merging, I identified 13 events from Kasparov's book Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985 that were not yet on the TMER index, Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-). These events are shown in the following table, along with a file name to store the games from the book and the referencing page number.

Year Mo Event X R S PGN File G Ref
1972 06 Baku Adult Blitz Tnmt - - - - 017
1973 01 Baku Junior Chp - - - - 018
1973 03 Match w/ Latvia, w/ Estonia - - - - 019
1973 07 All-Union Youth Games, Vilnius - - - 73G-VILN - 021
1973 08 Botvinnik school, Dubna - - - - 025
1973 12 Trainers (incl. Shakarov) vs. Juniors - - - - 029
1974 07 All-Union Schoolchildren's Spartakiad, Alma Ata - - - - 030
1974 09 City Spartakiad, Baku - - - 74I-BAKU - 031
1974 11 Schools Team Chp, Baku - - - 74K-BAKU - 032
1974 12 Azerbaijan Spartakiad, Baku - - - 74L-BAKU - 034
1975 07 Tnmt of Young Hopes, Tbilisi - - - - 043
1975 12 ?; Match w/ Burevestnik - - - - 038
1976 12 Works w/ Nikitin & Shakarov - - - - 072

There are two events that are not tournaments -- 'Botvinnik school, Dubna' and 'Works w/ Nikitin & Shakarov' -- but I felt these deserved inclusion.

(*) See also Kasparov TMER: Early Events, posted two weeks ago.

03 August 2014

Teaching Children or Teaching Adults?

'Improve Your Chess Results' by Vladimir Zak (Macmillan Chess Library, 1985) is a curious book. I bought it by mail order many years ago, thinking that I might learn something from a writer described as

One of the Soviet Union's most experienced trainers. His Leningrad school of chess has produced such greats as Korchnoi and Spassky.

That introduction is from the back cover. The first chapter -- '1. How Skill Develops; the Most Important Phases' -- looks to be on the right track with its section headers:-

  • 'Attack something - and if it doesn't move, take it'
  • Both opponents base their play an elementary traps
  • Tactical operations without regard for the position
  • Harmonious co-operation of the pieces and combinations
  • Ability to find the right strategic plan

The second chapter -- '2. Typical Mistakes by Young Players' -- is the longest chapter in the book and is structured with promising section titles that also sound just right:-

  • Hasty moves and, in consequence, blunders
  • Learning openings without understanding the ideas
  • Reliance an general principles, without a concrete plan
  • Underestimating the opponent's combinative chances
  • Disparity between aggressive and defensive ability
  • Miscalculating variations and combinations
  • Inadequate knowledge of basic endgames
  • Implementing a wrong strategic plan
  • The problem of the clock in practical play

My problem started with that phrase 'Mistakes by Young Players' in the title of the second chapter. I wasn't so young anymore and wasn't at all certain that this level of analysis, illustrated with examples from the games of budding GMs, could help me as a player. It might help me as a trainer, but teaching young players wasn't one of my goals. Every time I picked up the book, I would soon put it down, thinking 'good book, but not for me'.

I kept being reminded of Zak's book while working on my fortnightly 'Chess in School' series, last seen in Stavros Niarchos Chess. What exactly is the difference between children and adults learning a subject, chess or otherwise? While searching for an answer to that question I discovered the concepts of pedagogy and andragogy; see, for example, Awesome Chart on "Pedagogy vs Andragogy".

Teaching children or teaching adults -- until now I've assumed that 'Chess in School' is all about the kids. Have I been missing the bigger picture?

01 August 2014

Maori Chess

For this current edition of Video Friday, I had plenty of clips to choose from, especially those related to the 2014 Olympiad in Tromsø, where the opening ceremony takes place today. I'll save that subject for another time. Instead, here's a chess movie which I hadn't encountered before.


Dark Horse - Speed Chess champ Genesis Potini’s story brings hope (4:17) • 'The red carpet was rolled out last night in Gisborne to celebrate ‘Dark Horse’, a movie that is getting rave reviews about speed chess champ, Genesis Potini.'

The accent had me baffled until I looked up Gisborne, which is located in New Zealand. As for Marae TV, Wikipedia says that Marae (in New Zealand Maori) 'is a communal or sacred place that serves religious and social purposes in Polynesian societies'.