Sep 092010

In these troubled financial times we don’t need much of an excuse to stay at home on a Friday night. Today I’m going to give you two more good reasons to stay indoors tomorrow evening.

First of all the game of chess will be making a rare foray into British broadcast media as the BBC World Service goes to air with the first of a two part documentary about chess called “Seeking the Endgame”. The programme goes out at various times on Friday and Saturday and you should be able to listen to it either on the internet or on the radio. Part two transmits on Friday the 17th.

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen models for G-Star Raw

Second up is an event that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. World number 1 Magnus Carlsen is playing a match against “the world” on Friday evening. I believe that the game starts at 5pm GMT and you can follow the moves and participate by going on fashion brand G-Star Raw’s website. Magnus will be based at a hotel in New York to make his moves. The rest of the world will take advice from three Grandmasters (Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vacher-Legrave and Judit Polgar) who will recommend options for spectators to vote for. The move with the most votes will be played at the board. It would appear that each side will be given 1 minute to select their next move so there will be no standard chess clocks involved.

For those Hebden Bridge chess club members who do go online to watch or take part I can provide you with some exclusive advice from a Grandmaster who knows what it’s like to take on the world — and win! I recently got the chance to post a question online for GM Natalia Pogonina. My request was for some advice about what type of opening the world should play against Magnus to give ourselves the best chance of winning. Here is what she replied:

GM Natalia Pogonina

“My take is that Magnus is a strong favorite to win. As to the opening…I don’t know…something sharp probably, this will increase the chances of him blundering (since he will have only 1 minute per move). In a positional game his chances are higher since the move made will basically be a random choice between Naka’s, Lagrave’s and Polgar’s opinions…”

As a live event his match is pretty revolutionary and should be fascinating. I definitely recommend that you take a look if you get the chance.

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