Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Dumb Chess News #2

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Two Colorado politicians were ensnared by the dark right-hand corner square mafia this month. That's the title Dutch author and chessplayer Tim Krabbe once bestowed on those who, infernally, set up chess boards turned 90 degrees in the public view. Just about every chess board you see in an advertisement or TV show has a dark square in the right-hand corner. (Absolutely don't go to Tim's website unless you have nothing to do for the next many hours. Diary items 30, 51, and 83 have to do with the DRHCS Mafia.)

This story in a Colorado newspaper is written by a US Master. It tells of how four senatorial candidates played their favorite game against a reporter. Two chose chess and both were photographed with the board turned sideways. (Apparently the reporter didn't notice either.)

Many casual players don't know the en passant rule, or have trouble remembering where to put the king and queen. "Light on right" isn't that hard, but we've all seen this gaffe. I recently saw it in an old episode of The Simpsons, usually a very savvy show with this sort of detail. You'd think with a 50/50 chance they'd do better. Far more annoying is how in just about every movie and TV chess scene "check" is spoken aloud and is clearly meant to be devastating. The Bogo-Indian must be very popular in Hollywood.

1 Comment

It's not quite a fifty-fifty chance, hence all the mistakes.

Many non-chessplayers think the board looks more aesthetically pleasing with a dark square in the corner; it'd appeal to those photogeneic types.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 15, 2004 11:47 PM.

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