As the London 2012 Olympics approach it is well worth chess fans remembering that our royal game is a fully paid up member of the Olympic movement. Sadly, our sport doesn’t get the same recognition as the others because chess Olympiads take place seperately from the main event. However, on the plus side, at least this pinnicle of team chess events takes place once every two years and not every four.
I recently unearthed another gem of an article by our old friend Colonel Walter Polhill who makes an interesting and creative contribution to the debate we’ve been having on this website about how to score wins and draws. This article was first published in The Independent on Sunday back in 1997.
There is talk, my sources inform me, of including chess in the Olympic games. While this is, in principle, to be welcomed, we must ensure that the conduct of the event, if it happens, conforms to Olympic ideals. That is to say, we must dispense with the one-point-for-a-win, half-for-a-draw scoring conventions and and replace them with a team of judges who assess the games for technical merit and artistic impression.
At the recent British Championships in Hove, our best Grandmasters came out on top through considerable technical merit; yet in the quest for points, their artisitc impression sometimes fell short of the highest standards. Now here is a game which I would award an undoubted 9.9 for artistry.”