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

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
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.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?