BCH

CIPC #216: Suske en Wiske – korte verhalen – schaken

Everybody in Flanders know Suske en Wiske. There are well over three hundred issues in the comic book series, there have been a couple of films, some video games, a musical. All of this is well-known and deeply dull. Less well-known is that there is a YouTube channel dedicated to the series. I’m not even sure how legitimate this channel is, because I can’t find a trace of it on the official Suske en Wiske website. Then again, nothing has been uploaded there in years, so perhaps they forgot about it as well.

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CIPC #215: The tempest

Shakespeare — a name to conjure with! Yes, the immortal bard is finally appearing on my blog. That he was going to appear was pretty much inevitable, because one of the most famous references to chess in all of literature occurs near the end of his career, in the final act of The tempest. In it, young lovebirds Fernando and Miranda and playing chess in the primitive abode wherein Miranda dwells with her father. It could look a little like this:

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CIPC #214: Dracula A. D. 1972

There are very few stories that have been adapted to the big screen as often as Bram Stoker’s late nineteenth century gothic horror novel Dracula. Our subject today isn’t one of them. Instead, it picks up a century after Dracula’s demise, with a bunch of useless tweens holding a black mass to bring ol’ pointy teeth back to unlife. The official reason is that he’s Johnny Alucard, descendent of Dracula’s trusty servant, but I suspect it’s mainly to see Christopher Lee reprising his title role. Peter Cushing happens to be the grandfather of one of the tweens, so it promises to be a cosy reunion. Especially when this shows up.

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CIPC #213: System of a Down, Lonely day

You know what’s been a long time? A music video blog post! So let’s have a look at today’s subject. System of a Down1 is a pretty big name, but for those who haven’t heard of them: they’re an American rock band, formed all the way back in the nineties and still — or rather again — active today. You probably know their single Chop Suey from 2001. Even if you think you don’t. We will be talking about Lonely day, though, which was released in 2006. According to Wikipedia, it reached the top twenty in Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand. In the official music video, which can be found on the band’s official YouTube channel, we see this:

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CIPC #212: Cheerleaders in the chess club, Season 1

“Relatively recently, there was a series in which a chess club played a very important role” is how I was planning to start this blog post. This was supposed to suggest that I meant Queen’s gambit. I would then have revealed that the readers had been tricked, backstabbed, and quite possibly bamboozled because I actually meant Cheerleaders in the chess club. Then I realised that the title give it all away. Being of a lazy disposition, I decided to just add quotation marks and make do with this odd self-referential introduction.

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CIPC #211: 8×8: A chess sonata in 8 movements

We have encountered Marcel Duchamp before on this blog, seated on a roof somewhere in Paris, playing chess with Man Ray. Today, we are dealing with him again. This time, he is director of a film, together with Hans Richter1 and Jean Cocteau. The title of the film, 8×8: A chess sonata in 8 movements, suggests that there will be a lot of chess. This is partly a false promise, but there’s still enough to warrant a blog post. For example, there is the following strange scene:

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CIPC #210: Futurama S3 E14, Time keeps on slippin’

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about The Simpsons. It still remains, and will probably remain forever, one of the most lamentable, lacklustre, lackadaisical things to have ever flown out of my pen. Today, I try to redeem myself. My subject will be Futurama or, in other words, The Simpsons — IN SPACE! It is an animated comedy series which is widely — and rightfully — considered as one of the pinnacles of the genre. The lasting popularity of the series is perhaps evidenced best by the enormous number of memes based on it. In some episodes, there is a futuristic board game which, at first glance, looks a bit like chess, but it is played on a round board with unidentifiable pieces. Luckily, in the fourteenth episode of the third season, doctor Zoidberg can briefly be seen behind an actual chessboard.

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CIPC #209: Monsters S2 E2, Portrait of the Artist

If I had been a little smarter, I would have done this episode in the Halloween season, but I’m not so I haven’t. So yeah, it’s going to be Monsters today. It is a horror anthology show that aired on TV in the USA at the end of the eighties. There is little more to say about the show in general since, it being an anthology show, the actors, actresses, and directors tend to differ from one episode to the next. So let’s just focus on this particular one. The plot is about the father of a missing young lady who is told that a rather disturbing portrait of her daughter has turned up in an art gallery. Together with his friend and informer, he meets some kind of janitor. He looks and talks like a bumbling yokel — but he has a chessboard!1

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CIPC #208: The tonight show 26-09-2019, Grape chess

I am not familiar with American talk shows, but one of the trappings of the genre seems to be painfully unfunny sketches. Today, we will turn our attention to one particular example. I am not entirely sure, but it seems like it aired first on September 26th of 2019. In it, Jimmy Fallon, who is the host, takes on Jack White, of White Stripes fame in a game of chess. The surroundings are rather fancy-looking and our two protagonists are sharply-dressed, evoking the popular image from a hundred or so years ago of chess as a pastime for the high class. But when the chessboard appears on screen, it turns out that they are playing with white and red grapes instead of chess pieces. This is the alleged source of comedy.

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CIPC #207: Norwich union ad

Norwich! The great city of Norwich! Its cathedral, its mustard, its football team, its famous sons Lord Nelson and Alan Partridge,1 its union. Yes, its union. The Norwich Union, founded all the way back in the eighteenth century, was a very important player in the British insurance market with some international branches as well. It got involved in some scandal, as is normal for insurance companies, and changed its name in 2009. At some point before that, the following advertisement appeared somewhere

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