Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Great Chess Movie (1982)

When this documentary was made in chess was dominated by the Soviet Union and world championship matches were hate-filled affairs between the model Soviet citizen Anatoly Karpov and the dissident Victor Korchnoi.

No one foresaw the collapse of the Communist system, though the games of a teenager called Garry Kasparov were already attracting attention around the world and computers were beginning to pose a threat to all but the strongest players.

The film provides a great picture of chess in that era and its leading personalities.

And there is a sad moment for English chess fans right at the start. The name card right at the 1981 Lone Pine tournament saying "Wells, England" is for Ian Wells.

Regarded as our best prospect after Nigel Short, he was to drown the following year aged only 17.

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