BCH

CIPC #76: Mickey Maus No.48

One of the biggest names in popular culture I have not mentioned so far is the almighty mouse, the great Mickey himself. Of course, there are so many comics and cartoons that it is statistically certain that at some point somewhere in some of his adventures, chess was involved. My task, then, was only to find this point.1 I failed. Kind of. I did find a nice,big chessboard on the cover of one of the issues of the Mickey Maus magazine, but it is disappointing in two ways: firstly, it is not Mickey playing but Donald Duck, secondly, I turned to the German edition, as the spelling already made clear.

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CIPC #75: Lo squartatore di New York

Last time, I spotlighted an example of the spaghetti western. This week, I want to show that other famous genre of Italian movie: the giallo. ‘Giallo’ just means ‘yellow’ in Italian, but the term is also used for crime mystery pulp fiction after a famous series of such books named ‘i libri gialli‘, i.e. ‘the yellow books’. From there, it was a logical step to also apply the name to movies with similar themes. One of the most famous directors in the genre is Lucio Fulci and one of his more popular movies is Lo squartatore di New York or The New York ripper if you prefer Shakespeare to Dante.

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CIPC #74: Botte di natale

For more than two decades, from 1967 to 1994 to be precise, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer where a mainstay of the spaghetti western genre. They figured together in no less than sixteen movies. The last of these is our subject today: botte di natale (the fight before Christmas), a play on words with notte di natale (Christmas night), in which a gunslinger is tasked by his mother to bring his bounty hunter brother home for Christmas. We’re not interested in this duo, though, but rather in the sheriff and his deputy, because throughout the movie they play chess with each other a number of times, their games usually ending by something landing on the board and scattering the pieces in all directions.

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CIPC #73: Ronzoni commercial

If you have read some of my other blog posts, you will have noticed that I usually start with a short text providing context for the subject at hand. But sometimes, I simply fail. Sometimes, not even the pen of Dickens, Milton or the Great Bard himself could do justice to the truth. Sometimes, words are not enough. This, I think, is one of those times. I do not know how to prepare you. I do not know how to soften the blow. The only thing I can suggest is that you cast your eye on the image below and marvel. Marvel at the sight of a giant rotino playing chess.

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CIPC #72: Maigret S35, Mon ami Maigret

I have a conjecture: every sufficiently well-known fictional detective will sooner or later be confronted with chess. A slightly – but only very slightly – stronger variation of this conjecture would be: every sufficiently well-known fictional detective will sooner or later end up on this site. As evidence for this conjecture, their are e.g. the cases of Poirot, Columbo, Holmes and, since today, Maigret. As you probably know, Maigret is a French detective in the police force, created by Belgian Georges Simenon, which makes this extra appropriate for this site. In this post, we’ll talk about the long running tv show Maigret with Bruno Cremer as the eponymous hero.1

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CIPC #71: Budd, The chess board

It is time to bring some culture to this blog again – and nothing screams culture like some classical painting. Besides, the last time I did this, it went quite well. So I’m going to do it again! This time, the focus is on Herbert Ashwin Budd, a 20th century English painter who is mainly known for not being that well-known. One of his paintings – the only one I’m interested in – is titled The chess board and, unsurprisingly, features a chess board. Or at least most of a chess board.1


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CIPC #70: Chess board box covers

I found a new bizarre niche of CIPC material to get lost in! You can go online, find some pictures of cheap chess sets and revel in the weirdness of the cardboard boxes they come in. As for the chess program covers I talked about before, one would expect that these are products aimed at chess players and that the designers therefore would have made some effort to make them not look ridiculous and, here as there, one would be sorely disappointed. So I scalped some pictures from amazon and will parade them on your screen for your amusement.

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CIPC #69: The hound of the Baskervilles

Long, long time ago, when I started this blog, I already knew that, inevitably, I would end up talking about Sherlock Holmes. I don’t think there is any mention of him playing chess in the original stories,1 but he’s a detective. If the viewers have to believe that he’s a detective, you have to show that he’s smart – and if you want to show someone is smart, you show him playing chess. Today the day has finally come to face my unavoidable destiny and tackle the world’s most famous detective. We meet him in the 1959 version of The hound of the Baskervilles, being played by Peter Cushing and in turn playing the white pieces against no-one in particular.

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CIPC #68: The hateful eight

Tarantino syndrome is a disease which has been affecting many young movies, often with a great pedigree, for decades now. A textbook case is offered by the hateful eight.1 At first, all is going well: the acting is great, the music is masterful,2 the cinematography is gorgeous – everything looks very promising. Then, all of a sudden, madness strikes. The whole thing derails spectacularly, gore and blood starts flying everywhere, and any semblance of immersion goes out of the window. Of course, in this case there are some complications, in that the fervent, chipper CIPCers were already out of the movie when the following appeared on screen:

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CIPC #67: Barneby wand decoration

In every big city you can find a games bar nowadays; a place where you can get together to play boardgames with friends1 while having a drink and possibly some typical bar food. In these kind of places, you have a higher than usual chance of finding chess inspired decorations. Take for example Barneby, a games bar situated in the hip Neustadt district in the North of Dresden. On the northern wall, right opposite a shelf filled with board games, you can find a tapestry that puts the Bayeux one2 to shame: this one features chess.

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