Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1682
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:22 pm

My question about Stephen Moss' qualifications was badly phrased. I was seeking to establish whether he was a journalist by profession which it seems that he is. Of course his strength as a player has no relevance to the matter. The gaffe in referring to `Phil Ehr's council` worries me more.

Regarding Mick's response to the Over 50 debate I seem to have kickstarted; the converse isn't quite true as a fair few seniors enter the non senior events. I suppose the point I was trying to make was that 18-50 year olds are the narrowest demographic in chess (and the majority are on the 34-50 side) and yet are the only grouping without an incentive prize.

But that's not the point I was trying to raise. The point is whether there is anything we can do to get more 18-50 year olds playing chess. Or more brutally; will there be much a chess scene left by the 3rd of January 2031 (the date of my fiftieth birthday)? Quite frankly it's more likely the Rolling Stones will still be touring!
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Matthew Turner
Posts: 2693
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:26 pm

Stephen Moss is a good journalist who is interested and informed about chess. We talked for about an hour at the 4NCL, but he hasn't quoted me in his article because obviously I wasn't part of the story he wanted to relate (probably because, believe it not, I was too positive about the future of English chess). The article that has been produced seems perfectly well written, but I am not sure it contains any big revelations. I hope Stephen will continue to write other stories for the mainstream media because I think you can take this story in much more interesting directions.

User avatar
John Clarke
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by John Clarke » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:38 pm

I see this falling-off of participation by the 18-50 year-old age group as a consequence of the kind of society that's been established in the UK and other English-speaking western nations over the course of the last generation. It isn’t just chess that’s in trouble. It’s what used to be called leisure-time activities generally. And the reason is: fewer and fewer people have got time or financial resources for them any more.

Before about 1980 most people worked a 9.00-5.30 day, and could be reasonably sure that the job – or another – would still be available in a year’s time. Not now. These days you have to work all the hours the boss or workplace culture demands just to preserve your increasingly uncertain tenure of the position. Often enough even that’s not sufficient, and you find yourself out on the street chasing another short-term contract in competition with countless others all in the same boat. No wonder everyone looks so bloody worried nowadays. Practically all their waking hours go into simply surviving and ensuring their children, should they be rash as to have any, get a half-decent start in life.

Sports clubs, service clubs (e.g. Lions), other non-work activities - all report consistent drops in participation since this present system took hold. And until it changes (if it can be changed, now), chess and a multitude of other pastimes will inevitably continue to suffer, regardless of how well- or ill-organised the ECF might be.
"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.)

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17879
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:52 pm

It's a high quality image of the first round of division 1 of the 4NCL that accompanies the story. In the foreground is the clash between Cheddleton and Spirit of Atticus. Did the Guardian send a photographer as well as Stephen Moss? The camera angle is unusual, I don't recall a gallery at the Airport hotel.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2034
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:12 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:It's a high quality image of the first round of division 1 of the 4NCL that accompanies the story. In the foreground is the clash between Cheddleton and Spirit of Atticus. Did the Guardian send a photographer as well as Stephen Moss? The camera angle is unusual, I don't recall a gallery at the Airport hotel.
They were taken by John Robertson.

JonManley
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:47 pm
Location: Oxford
Contact:

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by JonManley » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:26 am

Matthew Turner wrote: The article that has been produced seems perfectly well written, but I am not sure it contains any big revelations.
Agreed, I've read similar material elsewhere http://www.kingpinchess.net/2015/11/lookalikes/
http://www.kingpinchess.net 'the gutter press of chess' (Eric Schiller)
@KingpinEd

User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by John Saunders » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:45 am

Before anyone else adds any comments on Jon Manley's blog post and thereby runs the risk of turning his snide insinuation into full-blown defamation, I should point out that neither Stephen Moss nor I had read Andrew Lewis's article until we had it waved in front of our faces by the aforementioned Mr Manley.
Last edited by John Saunders on Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Personal Twitter @johnchess / Personal Website http://www.saund.co.uk / Britbase http://www.britbase.co.uk

John Foley
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by John Foley » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:25 pm

Capablanca was a diplomat. Is there an England chess player who would be suitable for such a role? Somebody loyal, charming and multi-lingual, who knows how to work a room and, here is the catch, never says anything to upset people.

Jonathan Rogers
Posts: 3776
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:26 pm

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:05 pm

The multi-lingual aspect would probably rule out many otherwise suitable English people in many walks of life.

But actually, what evidence have we of Capa's diplomatic abilities? all we seem to have is hearsay references; and Capa is one of those figures about whom legends seem easily to abound.

Richard Bates
Posts: 2842
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:48 pm

Whatever else one thinks about the article, I remain confused about why the 4NCL venue is considered an "appropriate" metaphor for English chess (or at least the English chess portrayed by the article). Using the fact that the hotel is a "Holiday" inn and taking advantage of the poor weather to make the place sound like it is Skegness is rather poor form IMO. He should have done the article from Hastings, where he would have had the added bonus that many of the Grandmasters would have been staying in B&Bs.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17879
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:50 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: But actually, what evidence have we of Capa's diplomatic abilities?
Wasn't he rather more of what might be termed a "trade ambassador"? The Cuban Government guaranteed him an income and ease of travel. In return, it got publicity and name awareness for Cuba, along with, presumably, introductions for other Cuban individuals and businesses.

JonManley
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:47 pm
Location: Oxford
Contact:

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by JonManley » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:58 pm

John Saunders wrote:I should point out that neither Stephen Moss nor I had read Alex Lewis's article until we had it waved in front of our faces by the aforementioned Mr Manley.
John, I recommend that you read Andy (not Alex) Lewis's 3 excellent articles on Kasparov. Over the past couple of weeks I have quoted a few extracts on Facebook and Twitter to give people a flavour of them.
http://www.kingpinchess.net 'the gutter press of chess' (Eric Schiller)
@KingpinEd

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 3852
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:25 pm

John Foley wrote:Capablanca was a diplomat. Is there an England chess player who would be suitable for such a role? Somebody loyal, charming and multi-lingual, who knows how to work a room and, here is the catch, never says anything to upset people.
Stuart Conquest is the name that springs instantly to mind on hearing that person specification.

John Foley
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 am
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by John Foley » Mon Nov 23, 2015 12:34 am

Stephen Moss will be one of the contributors to the forthcoming London Chess Conference. There is an impressive line up of speakers from around the world discussing the role of chess in society.

Andrew Zigmond
Posts: 1682
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 pm
Location: Harrogate

Re: Guardian article by Stephen Moss

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:43 am

John Foley wrote:Stephen Moss will be one of the contributors to the forthcoming London Chess Conference. There is an impressive line up of speakers from around the world discussing the role of chess in society.
I thought this was worth quoting. I see no reason to spell out why. It's perhaps worth noting that it was a report printed in the Grauniad four years ago at the behest of a former President that had quite devastating consequences for an ECF volunteer (but then again they were only an arbiter).

Unconnected to the above is the interesting comment in the article that there was more money in professional chess in the 70s and 80s than there is now and perhaps we could do with some more detail here. With the exception of the British and Hastings I can't think of any prestige events that there may have been then that we don't have now (granted, the odd one has come and gone such as the Lloyds Bank Masters) but then again I wasn't born until 1981 so can't comment with much authority. It has been suggested that prize money in weekend tournaments hasn't kept pace with inflation - is this the case?

2015 has seen a positive development with the series of FIDE rated tournaments that provide a decent prize fund and title norm opportunities (together with the chance for club players to enjoy playing in excellent conditions). And organised of course by the 4NCL who were rather snottily dismissed in the article.

It may be that professional players prefer a closed event to the hurly burly of a swiss. If that is the case what is the bar to organising such events, given that they could be privately run and financed?
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Post Reply