I wish I had more thumbs to turn down about Pawn Sacrifice.
Unlike the rock star supporters of Pussy Riot, Garry Kasparov lives in Moscow, which means, given how the Putin regime has dealt with critics, he has a lot more to fear than, say, Madonna, who nevertheless should be applauded for speaking out at her Moscow concert.
The theme of fading passion would have been enough. It is the theme of many a love story. It would have been enough for this chess story. But author Robert R. Desjarlais won’t let it be enough.
“On China” boasts photos of Henry Kissinger’s numerous visits to China. In many you see him smiling hugely, brandishing chopsticks alongside the likes of Zhou Enlai. He’s enjoying making history — and the food.
The Bobby Fischer that the documentary portrays is both a creature of the Cold War era, shouldering that burden, and a peculiarly American hero. It airs this Monday, June 6, on HBO Bobby Fischer Against the World. Directed by Liz Garbus. By Harvey Blume ( Also in The Arts Fuse: Harvey Blume’s thoughts on Fischer’s […]
I feel like such a nag, but someone ought to be able to point out a 300 lb gorilla in the room when it knuckle walks, glowers and pounds the walls. I will be that very nag and shortly name the ape accordingly. Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the […]
“White King and Red Queen: How the Cold War Was Fought on the Chess Board” By Daniel Johnson. Houghton Miffilin, 384 pages, $26 Reviewed by Harvey Blume The book’s thesis about the Cold War is that chess was nothing less than sublimated war between the US and the USSR. For something that is neither war, […]
By Harvey Blume Whether you are seriously hooked on chess or casually intrigued by it, you probably think of the tables in Cambridge’s Holyoke Center as the Boston area’s one big outdoor chess venue. That’s, after all, where the Chess Master sets out his board a few tables down from his counterpart, the redoubtable Chess […]
by Harvey Blume Marcel Duchamp famously tweaked art for being inferior to chess, saying: “From my close contact with artists and chess players I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.” Duchamp backed this opinion up by abandoning art for years to pursue […]
By Harvey Blume Zugzwang,by Ronan Bennett (Bloomsbury USA, 288 pages) It’s an understatement to say chess has been good for literature; the game has even inspired people not known for the written word to produce memorable prose. Consider the following, for example, by composer Sergey Prokofiev apropos a game he witnessed in pre-World War I […]