Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chess Film - "A Game For Two"

I just discovered this wonderful short film and simply had to share it!

Written and directed by Stelios Koukouvitakis, it won the Platinum Remi award at the 42nd International Houston Film Festival.

Victoria, a chess champion, enters Argiris’ bookstore. A flirt begins.
In the post–feminist era, the roles of hunter and prey constantly change.

Is winning all that matters?

See it here.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Some St.Valentine's Day Romance

Once she may smile, or thrice, thy soul to fire,
In passing by, but when she turns her face,
Thou must persist and seek her with desire,
If thou wouldst win the favor of her grace.

And if, like some winged bird, she cleaves the air,
And leaves thee spent and stricken on the earth,
Still must thou strive to follow even there,
That she may know thy valor and thy worth.

From "Inspiration" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Chess in the 19th century was a game played in respectable Gentlemen's clubs while enjoying a healthy smoke and some lively political discussion. One's reputation was of paramount importance, and it would be unsporting, not to mention an insult to the chess Goddess Caissa, to decline a sacrifice.

From a modern perspective, this Romantic era of chess was a more innocent time when daring and beautiful attacks were the pinnacle of chess art. A time before Steinitz elucidated his positional principles and gave defensive ploys respectability.

The essence of the Romantic era was captured best by Adolf Andersson (pictured above), who gave the chess world not one, but two games of outstanding aesthetic beauty - the Immortal Game and the Evergreen Game.

Adolf Andersson was (Morphy's brief but glorious reign excepted) the greatest player of his generation and a popular figure in the chess world of the day.

With St.Valentine's day approaching, what better way to celebrate than with another victory from the greatest Romantic of them all?