Hope for our society!

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Alistair Campbell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Alistair Campbell » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:52 pm

University Challenge must have boasted a few players over the years. Andrew Walkingshaw was in Jesus College Cambridge's team a few years ago and Hugh Brechin was Edinburgh's captain last year.

At the risk of dragging this thread off-topic onto chess, I thought I might have been playing Hugh on Monday, and in my "preparation" decided to follow a game from the recent European Club Cup where Hugh had duffed up some FM in a game published by the Scotsman (twice, in fact), but use John Shaw's suggested improvement. However, someone had proudly cut out the game in question and pinned it to the club noticeboard not 3 feet away, and in perfect view, of where I was sitting. What is the etiquette (or even legality) of following a line that is on display?

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:45 pm

Alistair,
That's a really good arbiting question. I shall use it some time.
If there were an arbiter, he should put all such cuttings out of sight.
But without one there, Hugh could have pinned it up himself before the game, to inhibit you from playing the variation. The legality is that, if you see the clipping, you would be breaking the Laws if you followed the line. Thus you should remove the clipping from display before the clocks start.
But it should be a quite separate thread.

Paul Dargan
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Paul Dargan » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:33 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote:A list of people would be quite interesting on those who have been, or are, ECF graded or FIDE Rated, who have appeared on quiz shows.
How far back do you want to go? And how far down the grading list?? I ask because my peak rating, way back in 1973/4, was no higher than 164. Which some might say is too low and too long ago.

However ..... I did win the New Zealand Mastermind title in 1981, taking as my main specialist subject The History of Chess, 1450-1972! (And let's immediately offset that gross bit of skiting by remarking that my appearance the following year in the international was an unmitigated disaster.)

I've been on several other shows as well in NZ and Oz, making a handy few thou along the way, but no six-figure jackpots as yet.

Another John Clarke - then my club captain won an early eries of Countdown, probably 24 years ago now. My recollection was that he was also 160-170 back then.

Paul

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:06 pm

Alastair. Don't do this to me!!....What happened?

Did you win/lose/draw? (if possible post game)

After the game did you mention the game on the board to Hugh?

As suggested Hugh may have pinned the game to the board because
he had an improvement on the improvement.

All is fair off the board.

Years ago I had to play Vince Slaven in the Club Championship.
Then he played the Vienna. So I arrived earleir went to the bookcase
and sat there reading a book on the Vienna with a Vienna postion in front me.

Vince duly arrived, saw the book, and after 1.e4 e5 played 2.Nf3 and
walked into an Elelphant 2....d5! (the game was drawn).

Back on thread. Derek Hayes a strong blind chess player who won on numerous
occassions (usually with a 100% score) a tournament for disabled players myself
and Alastair White help run and organise in the early 80's.

Derek was on Radio 4 a few months back in the final of Brain of Britain.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Gavin Strachan » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:08 pm

They had chess boxing on Ask Rhod Gilbert this weeks' edition. This was then followed up by some weird wrestling wax strip compo.

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:21 pm

In a chapter entitled ‘The Third Degree: Setting the Questions’, the author refers to what became in the mythology of the programme ‘The Man Who Nearly Set His Own Questions’. The story had it that John Coleby, who joined the Society virtually at its birth had offered to answer questions on ‘The Life and Music of Liszt’. He was then asked to set the questions! According to Magnus Magnusson, what happened was that the Society’s Secretary had been approached for suggestions of a question-setter. The response was an actual set of questions, which had been drawn up by the Society’s committee. Unfortunately John Coleby was a member of the committee and, having offered himself as a contestant on the programme, conscientiously left the room for this part of the committee’s business.

However, it was policy to accept questions only from a single setter and so the Society’s offering was rejected and someone ‘with no comiection with the Liszt Society’ (!) was chosen to set a new batch of questions. John Coleby did in fact reach the Final of the competition without any pre-knowledge of the questions!

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Alistair Campbell » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:52 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Alistair. Don't do this to me!!....What happened?

Did you win/lose/draw? (if possible post game)

After the game did you mention the game on the board to Hugh?

As suggested Hugh may have pinned the game to the board because
he had an improvement on the improvement.
Geoff, my preparation was a relative triumph. Relative because not only did I prepare for the right colour (not that hard given colours are predetermined, although a feat beyond me on occasion) but my opponent was actually present (unlike Hr Aagaard a couple of weeks ago). Sadly, Hugh was only there in a spectating capacity and I played David Robertsox whom I had confidently predicted wouldn't be playing due to being on paternity leave. I lost on time in what was probably a winning position.

I did mention my intention to Hugh after the game - he described it as "bold".

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John Clarke
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Clarke » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:56 pm

Paul Dargan wrote:

Another John Clarke - then my club captain won an early eries of Countdown, probably 24 years ago now. My recollection was that he was also 160-170 back then.

Paul
I remember that - and you're bang on with the date. I happened to be back in the UK in '87 when they were screening some kind of Countdown "Champion of Champions" series, which featured that other JC. It was kind of eerie - as well as sharing my name, he even looked like me!!

Didn't know he played chess though, let alone that his grading was so similar.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Paul Dargan
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Paul Dargan » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:04 pm

@ JC - I was pretty confident as I saw his second victory when I was staying in a hotel for my first ever job interview!

John being the modest person he is had mentioned he was on the programme (which was recorded way in advance) - but didn't mention he won however many in a row - made it to the series finals and won them too. He got some enormous encyclopedia/dictionary collection as the prize and I do remember he then did the champion of champions thing for the winners of the first 4 or 8 series or similar....

He still plays - in the grading database, registered for Tynemouth Club.

Paul

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:39 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Peter Shaw >I remember seeing an Only Connect where one of the teams was called 'The chessplayers'. I couldn't find any of them in the grading list. In one of the questions they had to complete the following sequence:
QR,QN,QB,?
They got it wrong!<

CJ solved that mystery for me. It was a team of quizzers. They simply chose the name without actually being real chessplayers. One team member muttered that he was only familiar with algebraic notation. The opposing team found it hilarious as they gave the answer Q immediately. Quizmaster Victoria Coren said to me she thought perhaps the question was a little unfair, but I disagreed.
Apologies for resurrecting this thread, but I stumbled upon an old edition of "Only Connect" on Dave last night which featured the team referred to above (if not the exact episode). They were called "the Chessmen". (As an aside, that is not a phrase I have ever used - I have always referred to the rather oddly shaped bits of plastic or wood as "pieces".)

I was all set to draw this to people's attention, only to realise that I had completely forgotten about the existence of this thread, including the prior exposure of the team as non-chessers (and the revelation that Stewart was acquainted with Victoria Coren, presumably through poker).

However, I did recognise the captain, Stephen Pearson - not as a chess player, or the Bristol City footballer of that name, but as the "Sir Alex Ferguson of University Challenge". He was featured on BBC 2 recently as long-time coach of the University of Manchester's various teams. This continues the theme of overlap between various quizzes.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:43 pm

Alistair
The K, Q, R, B, N, P used to be referred to collectively as 'men' in the Laws of Chess. The K, Q, R, B, N used to be referred to collectively as 'pieces'. I don't think this was ever popular and it fell out of useage. But most people when they refer to 'winning a piece' usually mean a
Q, R, B, N. When teaching children chess, I often get in a muddle.
It is more likely that team was called 'The Chessmen' because they were all of the male gender.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:08 am

Stewart Reuben wrote: But most people when they refer to 'winning a piece' usually mean a
Q, R, B, N.
"Win a piece" and "Win a pawn" have distinct technical meanings in Chess writing. At a more general level the 32 wooden or plastic things in a box are usually referred to as "Chess pieces" or perhaps "Chessmen".

You may have seen the thread where a translator is struggling to translate the idiomatic language of Seirawan into Farsi for an Iranian audience.

Neil Graham
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:16 am

Ian Kingston wrote:I think (and he'll no doubt correct me if I'm wrong) that Neil Graham was on Fifteen to One.
.

As someone has seen fit to disinter this thread - yes I was as was Paul Buswell (not at the same time)!

Matti Watton who won Fifteen-to-One on a number of occasions became a regular panellist on "Round Britain Quiz".

More about chess playing quiz teams here:-

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=1921&p=32937

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:21 am

Translating US English in to Farsi with the help of UK English writers provides another problem. It isn't just a matter of the spelling such as centre and colour, but idioms.
FIDE is conducted in UK English.

John Upham
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Upham » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:28 am

However, I did recognise the captain, Stephen Pearson - not as a chess player, or the Bristol City footballer of that name, but as the "Sir Alex Ferguson of University Challenge". He was featured on BBC 2 recently as long-time coach of the University of Manchester's various teams. This continues the theme of overlap between various quizzes.
The team also included:

Henry Pertinez
Nick Mills
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

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