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Archive for the ‘chess movies’ Category


Official Trailer

chess_queen_of_katwe

chessmovie

I enjoy true stories. I am not a really big fan of science fiction stories or movies. If you want to treat me, give me a good cowboy book or movie, a real life story or a true story. This movie is about a true story of a Chess Champion. African true stories, and from some other places in the world, are inspiring, as the struggle to reach for dreams is so much more intense due to so many problems and issues people from developing countries need to deal with on a daily basis -things people from developed countries take for granted. Today, some of those problems and issues are because of certain countries in the West who tried to gain, only for themselves and who put leaders in place just to shush their conscience. They think they get things right, but they are totally wrong. I’m glad that there is, once again, a movie about chess, to show the power of this game in real life and to highlight the struggles of some people in this world.

True Story of a Chess Champion
Walt Disney Pictures has revealed the colourful first Queen of Katwe poster. The true story of an inspiring chess champion stars Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar), Oscar winner and Tony Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.
Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax) based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. Disney’s Queen of Katwe opened in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016. Resource: commingsoon.net 

chessqueenkatwe

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Four Corners


Fatherless and raised by his grandmother, thirteen year old Ricardo Galam lives in South Africa’s Cape Flats, a unique and volatile sub culture dominated by two Number gangs, the 26 and 28. Ricardo’s future as a chess prodigy is threatened by his growing interest in the 26 whose local leader is grooming him as a potential member. Unknown to Ricardo, the father he’s never known has been released from prison. Farakhan, a reformed general in the 28, is back in his old neighbourhood, an intruder in 26 territory. In a story that is at times raw and violent at other times touching and true. FOUR CORNERS is a gripping drama set against the backdrop of a gang war in Cape Town which has been raging for a 100 years; a little known fact. 

(Quote from youtube)

By watching this trailer, I don’t think I ever want to be in an area where any gangs are roaming and scavenging for anyone they can manipulate to their needs. It must be scary and you must feel intimidating to live in places like these, but the same time you feel sorry to know that there are people who only know one life and that’s this kind of life. Then the same time I wonder if you could change any adult who only knows this kind of life?

GoldenHorn

This movie has received 13 Golden Horn nominations at the SAFTAs – South African Film and Television Awards March 2015. 

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Nabokov

Nabokov in MontreuxSwitzerland – image: Wikipedia

Nabokov was a Russian Novelist, but also a chess composer. I was reading about ‘reading’  and ‘readers’ when I came across him – see the section about Jose’s blog where everything started this morning. I found his background very interesting -he was a chess composer, but not a chess player himself. I didn’t know about chess composers and found it quite odd that he actually never played. If he’s a composer of chess, then he must have been a good player as well. It’s interesting to see a writer turning game play into narratives. Even in his book Lolita, he uses chess as part of his narrative.

thedefence

This was his 3rd novel he wrote, turned into a movie. From google-books the review:  The Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive,  distracted, withdrawn, sullen–an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life.  His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster–but at a cost:  in Luzhin’ s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants the world of reality.   His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers  under his opponent’s unexpected and unpredictabke lines of assault.[note to self: must try and read some of his books one day]

This is a quote from Wikipedia, and it’s worth reading more on Wikipedia about him: Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; 22 April  1899 – 2 July 1977- was a Russian-born novelist. Nabokov’s first nine novels were in Russian. He then rose to international prominence as a writer of English prose. He also made serious contributions as a lepidopterist and chess composer. Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) is his most famous novel, and often considered his finest work in English. It exhibits the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterised all his works. The novel was ranked fourth in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels; Pale Fire (1962) was ranked at 53rd on the same list, and his memoir, Speak, Memory, was listed eighth on the Modern Library nonfiction list. He was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction seven times, but never won it.

After the 1917 February Revolution, Nabokov’s father became a secretary of the Russian Provisional Government, and the family was forced to flee the city – after the Bolshevik Revolution – for Crimea, not expecting to be away for very long. They lived at a friend’s estate and in September 1918 moved to Livadiya; Nabokov’s father was a minister of justice of the Crimean provisional government. After the withdrawal of the German Army (November 1918) and the defeat of the White Army in early 1919, the Nabokovs sought exile in western Europe. On 2 April 1919, the family left Sevastopol on the last ship, then settled briefly in England. Vladimir enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge, studying zoology at first, and then Slavic and Romance languages. He later drew on his Cambridge experiences to write the novel Glory. In 1920, his family moved to Berlin, where his father set up the émigré newspaper Rul’ (Rudder). Nabokov would follow to Berlin after his studies at Cambridge two years later.In March 1922, Nabokov’s father was assassinated in Berlin by Russian monarchist Piotr Shabelsky-Bork as he was trying to shield the real target, Pavel Milyukov, a leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party-in-exile. This mistaken, violent death would echo again and again in Nabokov’s fiction, where characters would meet their deaths under accidental terms. (In Pale Fire, for example, one interpretation of the novel has an assassin mistakenly kill the poet John Shade, when his actual target is a fugitive European monarch.) Shortly after his father’s death, Nabokov’s mother and sister moved to Prague.

I was reading Jose-English102’s blog about Nabokov about reading and I quote from his blog what Nabokov says: ‘According to Nabokov, a good reader should ‘ notice and fondle details.’ He believes that a good reader should use their imagination to visualize the story and try to understand it from the writers point of view, instead of making assumptions. He says that a good reader must re-read to be able to fully understand what the author is trying to say and to paint a better picture in their mind of the story. Nabokov also mentioned that a good reader should have a good imagination, memory, a dictionary, and some artistic sense.’

From ‘Brainpickings’ I found this interview: In the fall of 1969, British broadcaster and journalist James Mossman submitted 58 questions on literature and life for celebrated author Vladimir Nabokov — butterfly-lover, master of melancholy, frequenter of ideal bookshelves — for an episode of BBC-2′s Review. Nabokov ended up answering 40 of them in what is best described as part interview, part performance art, eventually published in Strong Opinions (UK; public library) — a 1973 collection of Nabokov’s finest interviews, articles and editorials. Some of the conversation is preserved in this rare original audio, with highlights transcribed below:

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It’s a long time since I’ve blogged something chessy – so here goes… time is tight! I don’t even have enough time to play a proper chess game. Luckily, it’s almost Easter Hols and then I might have a few spare hours to play a game or two. I do miss playing chess though! I’ve come across this movie-article and thought to share it with you. The movies can’t go without chess! It’s Spring and trees around us are almost covered in blossoms. This flower-pic was taken in August last year. I hate these bees we have here, they are surely not friendly and look quite scary.

In ‘Queen to Play’ Sandrine Bonnaire plays a chambermaid empowered by playing chess.

Chess as a Slow Dance of Seduction

By STEPHEN HOLDEN

Published: March 31, 2011

Caroline Bottaro’s tangy comic bonbon, “Queen to Play,” plucks the game of chess out of the metaphorical realm of spy thrillers and reimagines it as a fable about relationships and upward mobility. Adapted from Bertina Henrichs’s novel “The Chess Player,” this slight but captivating movie (Ms. Bottaro’s directorial debut) compares the strategies of chess to the erotic maneuvers in a flirtatious pas de deux that may be more satisfying than actual sex. At the same time, a woman’s winning the game symbolizes female empowerment in a man’s world and ascent from working-class drudgery to the bourgeoisie.

Hélène (Sandrine Bonnaire), the movie’s sly, middle-aged Cinderella, is an attractive chambermaid at a luxury hotel in Corsica. While going about her chores, she observes a chess game being played by a sexy American couple (Jennifer Beals and Dominic Gould) on the balcony of their suite. Stealthy moves accompanied by insinuating eye contact culminate with the woman’s defeating the man and flashing Hélène a smile of conspiratorial glee.

Hélène takes the hint, and at a birthday party for her husband, a handsome dockworker named Ange (Francis Renaud), she presents him with an electronic chess set in the hopes of reigniting the spark in their marriage. Ange is mystified and vaguely annoyed by the gift. When he expresses no interest in learning the game, Hélène begins teaching herself to play and quickly becomes obsessed.

“Queen to Play” is a lighthearted, grown-up fairy tale in which chess consumes Hélène’s imagination and transforms her life. As she mops a black-and-white checkered floor, it becomes a surreal dreamscape. At a restaurant she makes chess pieces out of crumbled bread and pushes them around the squares of the red-and-white tablecloth.

The intimate looks exchanged by the characters as they compete for advantage in a game in which the queen is the most powerful piece tell us as much about them as anything they say. Sometimes chess even suggests a mental striptease in which the players shed their defenses as they exchange glances and dare each other to go forward. At other times it conjures a war between the sexes, with Hélène the feminist upstart challenging male dominance.

Avid to learn more, she discovers a chess set in the house of Dr. Kröger (Kevin Kline, in his first entirely French-speaking role), a widowed American professor for whom she works as a part-time housecleaner. She volunteers to clean his place in exchange for weekly chess lessons. A mysterious figure suffering from an unidentified lung ailment, Kröger agrees. When, after only a few lessons, she is regularly beating him, he urges her to enter a local tournament.

In small but significant ways, “Queen to Play” defies expectations. It dangles the possibility of an affair between Hélène and Kröger in games that the film likens to courtship rituals in a classic screwball comedy. But their flirtation is never physically consummated.

Hélène’s relationships with her husband and rebellious teenage daughter, Lisa (Alexandra Gentil), undergo surprising transformations. Ange, initially threatened by Hélène’s passion, which keeps her out late and distracts her from housework, is initially so suspicious that he follows her to a lesson and spies on her. But once he realizes that she has a gift, his jealousy turns to admiration, and the flame of desire is rekindled. Lisa, who is so ashamed and contemptuous of her parents for being “poor” that she refuses to invite boyfriends to the house, becomes her mother’s fervent champion.

Ms. Bonnaire’s Hélène subtly evolves from a harried, resentful domestic wearing a perpetually hurt expression into a woman who discovers her power. Mr. Kline, as the haughty, secretive professor with a kind heart under a prickly exterior gives one of his finest screen performances, executed with minute fluctuations in his body language.

In their most delicious scene Hélène and Kröger play an imaginary game of chess away from the board. Gazing into each other’s eyes, they engage in what has the ring of intellectual pillow talk. Although the conversation is entirely chaste, in the intensity with which they study each other’s signals, they might as well be newlyweds.

QUEEN TO PLAY

Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Directed by Caroline Bottaro; written by Ms. Bottaro and Caroline Maly, based on the novel “The Chess Player,” by Bertina Henrichs; director of photography, Jean-Claude Larrieu; edited by Tina Baz Le Gal; music by Nicola Piovani; set design by Emmanuel de Chauvigny; costumes by Dorothée Guiraud; produced by Dominique Besneard and Michel Feller; released by Zeitgeist Films. In French, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes. This film is not rated.

WITH: Sandrine Bonnaire (Hélène), Kevin Kline (Dr. Kröger), Francis Renaud (Ange), Jennifer Beals (the American Woman), Dominic Gould (the American Man), Valérie Lagrange (Maria) and Alexandra Gentil (Lisa).

A version of this review appeared in print on April 1, 2011, on page C8 of the New York edition..

Source: http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/movies/kevin-kline-in-caroline-bottaros-queen-to-play-review.html

Time is tight – enjoy!

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Images: Wikipedia [click on image for a larger view]

Title page of the first printed edition. It depicts the Fat Bishop saying “Keep your distance”, and the Black Knight tempting him with “A letter from his holiness”. The characters’ faces are caricatures of de Dominis and Gondomar.
Written by:  Thomas Middleton
Date premiered : August, 1624
Place premiered:  Globe Theatre, London
Original language:  English
Subject:  Anglo-Spanish relations, Protestantism and Catholicism
Genre:  Satire, allegory
Setting:  A chessboard
Chess is a game where there is a war taking place. [luckily without violence and blood] The chessboard is a very popular setting to depict situations or to learn lessons – from the past as well as current. Chess is also popular in movies. On THIS LINK I’ve posted an entry about chess and the movies.
I was searching for something completely different – than chess – when I came across this play – about chess – and really enjoyed reading about it. I’ve copied from the link, but you can read on the Wikipedia link more about the Acts, the Scenes and the characters in this play. Interesting:

The play was stopped after nine performances (August 6–16, Sundays omitted), but not before it had become “the greatest box-office hit of early modern London.

Please click HERE  to read more about the play on Wikipedia.

King James I of England, model for the White King

King Philip IV of Spain, model for the Black King

Count Duke of Olivares, model for the Black Duke [Rook]

The play

The drama seems to be about a chess match, and even contains a genuine chess opening: the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Instead of personal names, the characters are known as the White Knight, the Black King, etc. However, audiences immediately recognized the play as an allegory for the stormy relationship between Spain (the black pieces) and Great Britain (the white pieces). King James I of England is the White King; King Philip IV of Spain is the Black King. In particular, the play dramatizes the struggle of negotiations over the proposed marriage of the then Prince Charles with the Spanish princess, the Infanta Maria. It focuses on the journey by Prince Charles (the “White Knight”) and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (the “White Duke”, or rook) to Madrid in 1623.

Among the secondary targets of the satire was the former Archbishop of Split, Marco Antonio de Dominis, who was caricatured as the Fat Bishop (played by William Rowley). De Dominis was a famous turncoat of his day: he had left the Roman Catholic Church to join the Anglican Church—and then returned to Rome again. The traitorous White King’s Pawn is a composite of several figures, including Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, a former Lord Treasurer who was impeached before the House of Lords in April 1624.

The former Spanish ambassador to London, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, conde de Gondomar, was blatantly satirized and caricatured in the play as the Machiavellian Black Knight. (The King’s Men went so far as to buy discarded items of Gondomar’s wardrobe for the role.) His successor recognized the satire and complained to King James. His description of the crowd’s reaction to the play yields a vivid picture of the scene:

There was such merriment, hubbub and applause that even if I had been many leagues
away it would not have been possible for me not to have taken notice of it.

The play was stopped after nine performances (August 6–16, Sundays omitted), but not before it had become “the greatest box-office hit of early modern London”. The Privy Council opened a prosecution against the actors and the author of the play on Aug. 18 (it was then illegal to portray any modern Christian king on the stage). The Globe Theatre was shut down by the prosecution, though Middleton was able to acquit himself by showing that the play had been passed by the Master of the Revels, Sir Henry Herbert. Nevertheless, further performance of the play was forbidden and Middleton and the actors were reprimanded and fined. Middleton never wrote another play.

An obvious question arises: if the play was clearly offensive, why did the Master of the Revels license it on July 12 of that summer? Herbert may have been acting in collusion with the “war party” of the day, which included figures as prominent as Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham; they were eager for a war with Spain and happy to see public ire roused against the Spanish. If this is true, Middleton and the King’s Men were themselves pawns in a geopolitical game of chess.

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Anand is Officially the winner of the WCC 2008!

 

Images: Official site

Kramnik and Anand draw colours…

Annotated Videos of Anand and Kramnik ‘s games can be played through on this link, it is on my blog (the “movies” page) and the link will open in a new window. You can also click on that page (top of my blog)

Game 1…Kramnik and Anand…

Image: Official site…Anand vs Kramnik

The World Chess Championships 2008 has started! Anand vs Kramnik! The two Chess Engines of the World!

1. Please click HERE to play through their 2008 World Chess Championships games on chessgames. The link will open in a new window.
2. Please click
HERE if you want to read more about the two players, play through more games or if you want some games in algebraic notation. The link will open in a new window.

3. Please click HERE if you want to play through previous games of Anand and Kramnik on the Official site. The link will open in a new window.

4. On The Official site you can follow the games LIVE. The link will open in a new window. If you click on the top image/logo in this post, it will take you to the Official site’s homepage. The link will open in a new window.
5. If you click HERE you can view a list of games played by Anand/Kramik..it’s a Wiki-link and it will open in a new window. Find similar links in the second link of this post where you can also find some games in algebraic notation.

Games start 2pm for UK local time, 9 am Eastern USA time

Standings: After Game 9
Results of the games between Anand and Kramnik
Game 1 Kramnik vs Anand…1/2

Game 2 Anand vs Kramnik…1/2

Game 3 Kramnik vs Anand…0-1

Game 4 Anand vs Kramnik…1/2

Game 5 Kramnik vs Anand…0-1

Game 6 Anand vs Kramnik…1-0

Game 7 Anand vs Kramnik… 1/2

Game 8 Kramnik vs Anand … 1/2

Game 9 Anand vs Kramnik … 1/2

Game 10 Kramnik vs Anand..1-0

Game 11 Anand vs Kramnik.. 1/2

Kramnik vs Anand…game 1…opening

Kramnik vs Anand…game 1 move 11

Kramnik vs Anand…game 1 move 21

Kramnik vs Anand…game 1 end position

Game 1 move list

GAME/Round 2…Anand vs Kramnik….

Game 2 15th October 2008…move 11

Anand vs Kramnik ….Game 2 move 17

Anand vs Kramnik game 2 move 24

Anand vs Kramnik game 2 Final position…1/2


Kramnik vs Anand..Game 3 move 7


Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 move 14

Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 move 20

Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 move 25

Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 move 30

Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 move 33

Kramnik vs Anand…Game 3 end position 0-1

Game 3 move list

Anand vs Kramnik…Game 4 move 7

Anand vs Kramnik…Game 4 move 12

Anand vs Kramnik… Game 4 move 19

Anand vs Kramnik…Game 4 move 24

Anand vs Kramnik…Game 4 endposition

Game 4 move list

Kramnik vs Anand…game 5 move 7

Kramnik vs Anand…game 5 move 14

Kramnik vs Anand…game 5 move 21

Kramnik vs Anand…game 5 end position

Game 5 move list

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 7

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 14

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 20

 

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 27

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 34

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 move 39

Anand vs Kramnik game 6 final position

Game 6 move list

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 move 7

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 move 13

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 move 19

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 move 25
 

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 move 31

Anand vs Kramnik Game 7 end position

 
Game 7 move list

Kramnik vs Anand game 8 move 7

Kramnik vs Anand Game 8 move 14

Kramnik vs Anand Game 8 move 21

Kramnik vs Anand Game 8 move 28

Kramnik vs Anand Game 8 move 36

Kramnik vs Anand Game 8 final position

Game 8 move list

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 7

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 14

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 19

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 27

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 32

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 move 41

Anand vs Kramnik Game 9 end position

Game 9 move list

Kramnik vs Anand Game 10 move 7

Kramnik vs Anand Game 10 move 18

Kramnik vs Anand Game 10 move 23

Kramnik vs Anand Game 10 Final position

 
Game 10 move list

Anand vs Kramnik Game 11 move 7

Anand vs Kramnik Game 11 move 13

Anand vs Kramnik Game 11 end position

Anand vs Kramnik Game 11 move list

On this link of Chessgames you can play through Kramnik and Anand’s games where they played one another before. On link 1 in this post you can play through the current games of the championships in Bonn.  A new window will open when you click on the link!



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Chess players in Baku had a free day  yesterday! See how they spent their day…playing football…watch  the second movie to see the players in action!

 

Images: Fide.com

Sergey Karjakin, from Ukraine, (Ukrainian: Сергій Карякін; born January 12, 1990 in Simferopol) is a top chess player. At the age of twelve years and seven months he became the youngest grandmaster in history. On the FIDE ranking list of April 2008, he has a rating of 2732, making him number 14 in the world, number 2 in the category of boys up to 20 years old and number 2 in the  Ukraine. On this first movie you can see the interview held with him. Both movies can be watched on the Fide.com site too.

 

 

Round 6 will be played today. You can see the pairings on this image.

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