Sometimes, it seems, chess does get good publicity. Having just finished getting my final FIDE Arbiter norm at the Uxbridge Open, I decided to head down to Trafalgar Square on Monday to see the giant chess set that had been publicised on the English Chess Forum.
I ended up actually playing a game, as somebody had not shown up. The process was not entirely unlike that involved in playing a blind player: I made my move on the normal-sized board in front of me, and announced it at the same time. The piece in question was then moved on the giant board for the crowd to see.
My opponents were two young women who had recently learned the game, assisted by Ben Edgell. It wasn't the most challenging of games I've ever played, but it was interesting enough, and the commentary given by FM Michael White and CM Stewart Reuben while it was going on was excellent.
I had a great time, and we got an impressive number of spectators. Let's hope we can carry on attracting the public's attention with events of this nature.
4 weeks ago