Books, movies, podcasts: This edition of In Other News, our collection of smaller chess stories, shows that the game is playing out in many forms:
And if broadening your cultural horizons is not enough for you, there’s also sports and crime! Click or ignore, there’s something for everyone.
Documentary chronicles all-girls team in New York City
The “Her Move Next” feel-good documentary shows that when girls choose chess, they can make the game as social as other sports. One girl even choose a “chess-themed” birthday party with her coach, Angel Lopez. Watch and see how the girls of Chelsea Prep in New York are bonding and learning at the same time.
New US Chess podcast
Lucas is the former director of publications for US Chess before being recently promoted to senior director of strategic communication. His new podcast will feature people who are “advancing the mission of US Chess.”
The inaugural episode is an interview with Mayor Mike Ryan of Sunrise, Fla. Besides also being the home of Hikaru Nakamura, the town of Sunrise hosts mayoral chess challenges and other scholastic chess initiatives. The city was named “Chess City of the Year” in 2015.
Full disclosure: ChessKid.com, owned by Chess.com, has an ongoing partnership with Ryan’s programs in Sunrise.
Carlsson in The Big Easy
GM Pontus Carlsson visited New Orleans recently for an event that mixed three often disparate group. The “Business Meets Chess and Kids” convention sought to do many things to marry those three groups. One aim was to help fight segregation, something that Carlsson is passionate about.
While there, the TV show “Afternoon Jolt” hosted him to talk about the event over a game of chess.
Of the two hosts, one had never played before. And the other, well, let’s just say the “Desprez Attack” did not go so smoothly against the visiting Swede. If you must see the game, here it is, but the video might be more enjoyable!
Carlsson also briefly discusses the “The Opera Game,” a recent movie about New Orleans native Paul Morphy.
New novel chronicles life through chess
FM Elliott Neff’s new novel “A Pawn’s Journey: Transforming Lives One Move at a Time” takes the stories from his teaching career and weaves them into lessons about life through a fictional character.
Neff is also the coach of Phiona Mutesi’s Seattle-area college, and he traveled with her to the Batumi Olympiad. Fans of “Queen of Katwe” already know Mutesi’s name well, but Neff also penned this follow-up from the movie on his Chess.com blog.
Donald Trump’s son, not a grandmaster
So far in this edition of In Other News, we’ve seen TV shows, movies, podcasts, documentaries and books. What form of news is left? Fake news of course!
This should surprise no one reading this site, but Barron Trump, the youngest son of the president of the U.S., is not a grandmaster. Snopes could have asked any one of our readers about that!
It does not appear any of the Trump family even has a rating. There are zero “Trumps” listed on the FIDE ratings list, and on the US Chess ratings site, there’s only one Trump listed as living in New York. “Kai Trump” has the modest rating of 141 (not a typo; US Chess ratings go down to 100).
Liverpool star loses quickly to Carlsen
You’ll never walk alone, unless you are playing against the best chess player of all time. Trent Alexander-Arnold, who plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League, didn’t last too long against Magnus Carlsen, despite some coaching from promising English juniors.
“Football and chess can seem like sporting polar opposites, but there are so many similarities with the modern game,” Alexander-Arnold said. “Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the life of a footballer and I guess that is true across most sports now.”
Unsmooth chess criminal
In case it wasn’t obvious, don’t steal a rug and a chess set at the same time. It’s just too hard to get away with both, even if the rug really tied the room together.