Independent Pursuits; Chess

JUST AFTER midnight on Tuesday morning, the minister for sport, Tony Banks, announced his total support for and intention of implementing the recognition of chess as a sport.

His very welcome announcement came at the end of the adjournment debate at the House of Commons. Opening, Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, had explained that like many others he was drawn to the game by the 1972 Fischer vs Spassky match. A former Liverpool Schools Champion who as a junior reached the most respectable grading of 150, he outlined a knowledgeable potted history of our great successes, quoted from the first early-day motion of Charlotte Atkins (Labour, Staffordshire Moorlands) to recognise chess as a sport - she will be announcing a second on 25 March - and explained the pecuniary reasons why the change of status is so important.

In answer, the minister for sport, on "...a wretchedly inconvenient evening... completing a day between the Scylla of dodgy boxing results and the Charybdis of chess recognition", recapitulated the arguments for the physical component of chess but explained that recognition will require amendment of the 1937 Sports and Recreation Act, after which the Sports Council will have to promulgate the necessary changes in its Royal Charter.

Primary legislation may also be necessary to amend the National Lottery. So the process seems far from trivial. But given the necessary political will it will surely happen, and the importance was underlined later on Tuesday by Fide's president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who unexpectedly visited the House of Commons to meet the minister, together with Dr Harris and Ms Atkins, to express his support.

Meanwhile, Monaco has been reverberating not to the plunking of tennis balls or screeching of racing cars but rather to the thudding of chess pieces. After three days, Karpov led the rapidplay with 2.5/3 and Kramnik and Shirov led the blindfold also with 2.5/3, while overall Karpov and Kramnik led with 4.5/6.

Blindfold chess can still embrace huge complexity, as in this tactical slugfest. In a critical line of the Grunfeld, White took pawns in return for development. The crisis came after 16 a3 when 16 ...Na2! is very strong after either 17 Ra1 Nxc5 18 Nxc6 Rxc6 19 Rxa2 and either 19 ...Nd3+ taking the exchange or 19 ...Nb3!?; or 17 Rc2 e5! 18 Nce6!? Ba4! 19 Nxg7 Bxc2 20 Bxe5 f6!. Instead Lautier got hit with the vicious 21 Nc6! and soon succumbed.

White: Predrag Nikolic

Black: Joel Lautier

Grunfeld Defence

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 g6

3 Nc3 d5

4 Bf4 Bg7

5 Rc1 0-0

6 e3 c5

7 dxc5 Qa5

8 cxd5 Ne4

9 Nge2 Na6

10 Qa4 Qxa4

11 Nxa4 Bd7

12 c6 bxc6

13 dxc6 Nb4

14 Nd4 Rac8

15 Nc5 Bxc6

16 a3 Nxc5?

17 Rxc5 Bxg2

18 Rxc8 Rxc8

19 Bxg2 Nd3+

20 Kd2 Nxf4

21 Nc6! Nxg2

22 Nxe7+ Kf8

23 Nxc8 Bxb2

24 a4 a5

25 Nb6 Ba3

26 Nd5 Nh4

27 Rb1 Nf3+

28 Ke2 Ne5

29 f4 Nc6

30 Rb6 Ne7

31 Rb8+ Kg7

32 e4 Nc6

33 Rb6 Nd4+

34 Kd3 Nf3

35 h3 h5

36 Rb5 Ng1

37 h4 Nf3

38 Rxa5 Nxh4

39 Ke2 g5

40 fxg5 Ng6

41 Rb5 h4

42 a5 Ne5

43 a6 Nc6

44 a7 1-0

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering