The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Use this section to advertise yourself or your products.
Post Reply
BenJRigby
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 3:21 pm

The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by BenJRigby » Sat May 25, 2013 5:05 pm

I am writing to let you know about our forthcoming tour of 'The Gambit' by Mark Reid, produced by Rampant Plays, to be performed as part of the Bath Fringe Festival 30 May - 1 June, Manvers Street Baptist Church, with further dates on our website: http://thegambitplay.webs.com/.

In the dark days of the Cold War, the two greatest chess players in the world have an encounter which tears their friendship apart. Twenty-five years on when they agree to a reunion it seems more is at stake than a lost friendship.

As the play progresses, it emerges that not everything is as it seems, the survival of the game and the future of their country is in the balance and chess is not the only game being played.

Inspired by Karpov's dramatic exit from the 1984 World Championship with Kasparov and their subsequent strained relationship, this is a tour-de-force vehicle for two immense performances, gripping and thought-provoking, but ultimately a moving portrait of a lost friendship.

We are coming from Bath straight from our Brighton run, where the show was described as "One of the unexpected treats of my fringe" by Richard Stamp, writing for FringeGuru.com.

Tickets are £7 (£5.50 concessions). We are also offering a group discounts of 5 tickets for the price of 4. Just let us know in advance which show you would like to attend and the discounted tickets will be held for you at the door.

If there is anything else you need to know about the show, the background to the production or to any of the creative team then please feel free to contact me by e-mailing ben_j_rigby@hotmail.co.uk.

Many thanks for your attention,

Ben Rigby
Attachments
Flyer Fest - A6.pdf
Please take a look at the flyer.
(281.67 KiB) Downloaded 85 times

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 1795
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:45 pm

I saw the play today. Here is my review.

http://www.redhotpawn.com/blog/blogread ... postid=261

In a nutshell. Good.

User avatar
Jon Mahony
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:47 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Jon Mahony » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:00 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:I saw the play today. Here is my review.

http://www.redhotpawn.com/blog/blogread ... postid=261

In a nutshell. Good.
Could they have found an actor to look less like Kasparov :lol:

I'd have tried for Coffee and Cake Geoff, never know your luck in a big city!
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1526
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:04 pm

Declaring a slight conflict interest as I have a passing acquaintance with the playwright (we've both contributed for years to another non chess related forum) - the characters in the play aren't supposed to be Karpov and Kasparov. The plot of the play is loosely inspired by the 25th anniversary match and is concerned with the futility of digging up the past rather than chess itself although the protagonists play a game of chess as the dialogue proceeds.

It seemed to go down well in Torquay 2013.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

John Upham
Posts: 4110
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by John Upham » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:40 pm

Here are a few pictures from the Torquay 2013 version.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Alistair Campbell » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:32 pm

I went to see this today. Some random thoughts:

It was a guy on the box-office. Perhaps the girl had been taken for coffee.

The audience totalled 23 - more than half seemed to be attached to the theatre "complex".

I didn't realise that the characters weren't supposed to be playing Karpov and Kasparov, given they were called Anatoly (not Tolya - how would Garry have addressed his adversary?) and Garry, the latter coming from Baku and who had dabbled in presidential politics.

A couple of minor quibbles - the program misspells "Sicilian" and refers to a play in 84 moves (42, actually :) ) although has the correct ECO reference. And there seemed some unnecessary hamming it up during the opening moves of the game - dramatic pauses and meaningful stares at odd times – but I guess that is dramatic licence. Otherwise the chessy stuff was pretty realistic (unusually so in dramatic productions, in my limited experience). In contrast with the earlier production, the big pause in the game came after 29...Nh5.

I was impressed at the actors' ability to remember the moves of the game - which as far as I could see were perfect - including an en passant capture. Is this harder for an actor than memorising 50 minutes of dialogue (which in itself is impressive)?

Anyway – it’s the best thing I’ve seen at the Fringe this year. Definitely worth seeing (you can concentrate more on the dialogue :) )

(BTW, Garry looks a little like a taller and bearded Neil Berry…)

David Robertson
Posts: 1902
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:24 pm
Contact:

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by David Robertson » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:28 am

Alistair Campbell wrote:I was impressed at the actors' ability to remember the moves of the game - which as far as I could see were perfect - including an en passant capture. Is this harder for an actor than memorising 50 minutes of dialogue (which in itself is impressive)?
I must be careful not to push the topic down a different route. But Alistair's observation here interests me.

I have a good friend who is a professional actor (he played Trotsky in Warren Beatty's 1981 film, Reds for example). We've spent several evenings these past few months discussing precisely the question of memory: specifically, how the bloody hell do actors remember their lines? And does it matter whether their lines interest them; or are prose, not blank verse; or long soliloquies/monologues versus short dialogic exchanges? And can my friend remember his lines as Trotsky?

I'm well-read in the field of memory/neuroscience, though no expert. And obviously, I have a chessplayer's (and an academic's idle) interest too. So what's to be said? My actor friend thinks I have an astonishingly good memory, based largely on my facility for reciting poems. Whereas I regard my memory as intelligently good/average, but regard his as stupendous! He shrugs; regards it merely as work; doesn't recognise my astonishment that he can absorb and recite a script, faultlessly in public day after day.

Have we nailed it? Not close. Could he learn the moves of the game? Yes, without doubt, and without knowing the first thing about chess. Could I learn 50 minutes of dialogue in which I had no interest? I doubt it. Does he remember, months later, what he's memorised? For the most part, not. Do I? For the most part, I do. What does this mean? I'm really quite perplexed

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Alistair Campbell » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:51 pm

David Robertson wrote:Have we nailed it? Not close.
Perhaps this would be better placed elsewhere, but I'll continue here with some thoughts.

Some questions might be:

• What is memory?

• Is there a difference between short-term memory and long term memory? (Why?)

• Is there a difference between remembering and recreating?

• Are memory/recall skills transferable?

• Are verbal or visual cues (or clues) more helpful, or does it depend on individual or skill?

• How can I learn reams of opening theory at my age?


I guess most of us can remember (most of) the moves of a game the morning after we’ve played it. Similarly card-players can remember hands, and golfers can remember every shot they played in a round. I suspect this ability is correlated with skill (although whether there is a causal relationship I’m not sure). In my case, I think these memories are soon forgotten and “overwritten” by the next game.

Is there a difference between short-term memory and long term memory? Anecdotally (I must take care or I will have the S&B boys after me) things like Alzheimer’s affects short-term or recent memory, whereas older memories are retained. I know I used to cram for exams (and sometimes for chess games), forgetting what I had learned almost as soon as I no longer had any use for it (often after move 1 when my opponent varied from my prepared line).

Sometimes you can’t remember precisely, but you can deduce what must have happened – you remember playing Nxf7, and you know the N was on f3, so presumably it went to e5 or g5 at some point. Possibly this “jogs” your memory. In a time scramble, possibly you have no recollection.

For a chess player, memorising a game would be relatively easy – many sequences of moves involve a threat and a defence, or a capture and recapture. Throw in some book moves and a forcing sequence, then the trick amounts to remembering which of a choice of plausible moves here and there was actually played. For an actor, however, the task seems like memorising 80 seemingly random actions. I’m not sure I could remember 40 random shufflings of bits of wood on a grid. One might have thought an actor would have more facility with words than actions, but perhaps there is no difference.

I know that memory experts can remember large numbers of seemingly random things by associating them with things that are more memorable (like a walk to work, for example). I think that CJ de Mooi (who I think saw the play earlier in the week) tried to memorise lists of things for his quizzing, but perhaps was handicapped by a lack of interest in the subjects which he was trying to commit to memory.

In the meantime, I'll try to contact the actors.

Brian Towers
Posts: 1056
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Brian Towers » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:45 pm

Alistair, perhaps you should investigate "spaced repetition". Here is a useful link - http://www.gwern.net/Spaced%20repetition

The idea is that you space out your crams over longer and longer intervals to greatly extend the length of the memory effect and move it more firmly into long term memory.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: The Gambit - a play inspired by Kasparov & Karpov

Post by Alistair Campbell » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:50 pm

Thanks Brian - I'll have a look at that.

Anatoly came back to me saying he thought memorising the chess moves was a lot easier "because you can always see what's already done".
Garry agreed with my Neil Berry comment :-)

Post Reply