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Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

On Chess: Mizzou’s Chess Team Proves Capable Of Winning Even In A Virtual Space – St. Louis Public Radio

Posted: November 22, 2020 at 7:56 am


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A collegiate chess competition isnt a typical excuse for a college student to pull an all-nighter.

However, for one student on the University of Missouri chess team, competing at the recent 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championship, his last round didnt finish until around 4 a.m. local time in India. As the global coronavirus pandemic has caused life adjustments for many people around the globe, Mizzous chess team has also adjusted to competing in virtual chess tournaments while five team members are at Mizzou and the others are overseas in their home countries.

Mizzous coach, Cristian Chirila, a Romanian grandmaster, said accommodating all of the different time zones for his players was not a huge undertaking because the team had already hosted many meetings and practices online.

Weve been able to continue practicing normally, more or less, Chirila said. Were lucky as chess players, in that regard.

An unprecedented season

Grigory Oparin, the captain of the Mizzou chess team, is earning a graduate degree in Spanish while regularly participating in online chess competitions. The continuous journey of improvement inspires Oparin to keep playing, even during a pandemic that has changed the way the sport looks. Playing chess online, using online platforms and video conference apps has its added challenges fatigue from focusing intensely on a computer screen, potential internet connection issues and even the necessity to make quick moves on the virtual chessboard with a computer mouse.

Playing chess online is just a completely different experience than playing over the board, Oparin said. When youre playing over the board, you see your opponents emotions and the way hes handling the pressure. You cant do that when youre playing online, just staring at your screen, moving some virtual pieces.

However, playing online has not been a barrier to the teams success.

Grigory Oparin competes next to teammate Chris Repka during the 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championship.

At the virtual 2020 U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championships, the team placed fourth overall out of 25 teams for the rapid championship and earned a bronze award for the blitz championship. In addition, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova and Olga Badelka took silver and bronze awards, respectively, in the womens section.

Collegiate chess is becoming increasingly competitive. Some of the teams Mizzou competed against had more than twice as many players as Mizzou did including top-level grandmasters. Oparin, a grandmaster himself, earned a fourth place individual finish in the blitz championship.

Coach Chirila looks forward to the opportunity to physically see all of his team members face-to-face, especially as some of the new players could not travel to Mizzou due to the pandemic.

We all miss touching the chess pieces by hand, Chirila said.

Chirilas ultimate goal for the Mizzou chess team remains to win a national championship, whether over the board or on a computer screen.

Eric Stann is a research news strategist at the University of Missouris News Bureau.

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On Chess: Mizzou's Chess Team Proves Capable Of Winning Even In A Virtual Space - St. Louis Public Radio

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Outlawing heading would turn football into chess but game has to act to break dementia link – The Times

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FOOTBALL | GRAEME SOUNESS

Sunday November 22 2020, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

Football is facing the biggest crossroads since it was invented. The evidence is unequivocal heading a ball can lead to brain damage and dementia. Id be a dinosaur to suggest otherwise. If it can be proved that one person has dementia as a result of heading the ball, and it has been, then thats enough for me to accept we must do something to eliminate it.

What that is, I dont know yet, but I do know that it will change the game forever. Football will face a challenge to remain the worlds No 1 sport. The balancing act is to preserve the game we all love as much as possible while ensuring that nobody suffers brain damage playing it.

I have played with

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Outlawing heading would turn football into chess but game has to act to break dementia link - The Times

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces – Chessbase News

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11/22/2020 Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the second part of his new ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving" Herman explains how to find ways to improve the activity of your pieces. | Photo: Hans Hoornstra

ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2021

Your key to fresh ideas, precise analyses and targeted training! Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.

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Lots of books have been written about strategic thinking in chess. In general, quite abstract theories are sometimes put forward on how a club player can master this essential part of the game of chess. This often turns out to be disappointing in practice.

Strong players often have the right orientation in a certain position quite quickly and then the question is of course how they do that. This episode looks very specifically at how a player can improve the activity of his pieces and possibly disrupt that of the opponent.

To do this, we first look at which side of the board the battle scene is located on. To determine which pieces are already active and which can still be improved, we use colors just to show the difference between the white and the black army. It is not surprising that in this game increasing activity leads to a ruthless attack. Have a look at this diagram for yourself.

At which side of the board do you think both players are looking now? And which pieces of White are already doing something there? Which pieces should preferably be activated even more? And how can White combine his plan of attack with increasing his own activity? In this episode, we look at how the white player manages to bring all his pieces into play to make his attack work at full speed.

This week's show (for Premium Members only)

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Understanding before Moving 2: How to improve the activity of my pieces - Chessbase News

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Local Event: Thanksgiving Chess Camp For The Little Ones ~ Keep Em Active ;) – Patch.com

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Neighbors please be mindful of social distancing guidelines while you do your part to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. See the latest guidance from the CDC here.

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

While located in Fremont, Any location is welcome!

Who are we? - Our School 😉

Please take thought of our offered activity in a cost that is affordable to the families therein giving all students some fun and learning and perhaps the new ones to CHESS an opportunity to learn and see to further their skills within the sport and or not ... never know till try.

Age's are from K ~ 6th Grade

~ Register Here ~

Worry not if they not even know what a pawn is, as we have taught such to now a level in months to playing mini tournaments in our class all online.

We use the software ChessKid.Com and are organized to which have many students in current and the factor of them interacting is just as important as the sport itself

So join us and try it out it will be fun (to keep safe and fun, all students "must" register. Join the day, two or three ...

All regular Chess classes this coming week and private 1-1 Chess classes are closed for break as to bring about this Chess Camp 😉

Here is one of our student in learning 😉

~ Register Here ~

Who are we? - Our School 😉

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Local Event: Thanksgiving Chess Camp For The Little Ones ~ Keep Em Active 😉 - Patch.com

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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How Dama’s Gambito nailed the chess world re:Jerusalem – re:Jerusalem

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Genius Gary Kasparov has given valiant help to the Netflix miniseries.

It even convinces chess fans.

There are sports that generally make for good fictional stories. This is the case of boxing, for example, which has already given us classics from Rocky to The Angry Bull. And then there are others, like football, who have been less generous in this regard. Chess fell more into the latter category. But that seems to have changed.

Gambito de Dama, the Netflix miniseries that debuted less than a month ago and has been at the top of the platform ever since, is proof that this ancient sport, in which games can last for days , is fertile ground for stories and tension.

Part of the credit is the care with which, even though it was a fictional story, it was linked to reality, to the Soviet domination of chess during the Cold War. Another part of the credit is in the cast, especially the talented Anna Taylor-Joy whom NiT talked about at length in a recent article.

Still, all of this might be insufficient if it didnt work when placing the pieces on the board. There had to be something real about the game itself, through the seven episodes that make up the mini-series.

The brilliant Garry Kasparov.

To keep things running smoothly, creators Scott Frank and Allan Scott have relied on help from those who understand the subject. One of those helpers came from Bruce Pandolfini, an instructor and former chess player who had previously consulted on the book of the same name that inspired the series. But theres a reason the games we see on screen are even more believable than the ones in the book: Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov is the Russian talent who, when he doesnt stand out as one of the uncomfortable voices of Vladimir Putin, is dedicated to making history in the chess world. Kasparov was the youngest player to become a world chess champion in 1985, when he was 22. It wasnt until 2002 that 18-year-old compatriot Ponomariov broke the record. For almost 20 years, from the first title to the abandonment of high competition in 2005, Kasparov was number one in the world rankings.

He was also the representative of humanity in a classic game against Deep Blue, a supercomputer designed to beat the best chess minds in the world. In 1996, the computer won one game, but Kasparov won the game, winning three and drawing two more. The following year, another dispute, with the Deep Blue software update, and even so there was balance, with the computer to tie the dispute in its favor to the sixth game.

The moment was historic and worth documentaries, but Kasparov himself admits that few works of fiction can convey the mannerisms, detail, tactical changes, and the tension experienced in a high-level chess tournament.

Kasparov agreed to advise the creators of Damas Gambito and ended up recreating games while also giving advice on how things go in a big tournament. The result is something Kasparov himself is proud of as a spectator. In a recent interview with Slate, Kasparov pointed out how he came to discover little-known genius games to model the movements of pieces on the miniseries set.

Damas Gambito has already become one of the Netflix hits of the year. For Slate, Kasparov admits hes doing everything he can to promote the sport. Recently on his Facebook he shared a report which showed another successful move, now off the board. Since the series launched, research on how to play chess has skyrocketed nearly 300% online. There are new fans for this painting because of the miniseries. With luck, a new super-talent appears, influenced by the miniseries, the story of which would make another great on-screen story.

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How Dama's Gambito nailed the chess world re:Jerusalem - re:Jerusalem

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

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Packers will have an interesting chess match against the Colts defense – Acme Packing Company

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The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.

That phrase might be the best way to describe Sundays game between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts.

The matchup between the Packers offense and the Colts defense in particular will be fun to watch. Green Bays offense hasnt faced a challenge quite like the Colts defense and vice versa:Indianapolis hasnt seen anything quite like the Green Bay offense.

Something has to give. Both teams are nearly identical in DVOA with Green Bay 7th and the Colts 5th. The Packers will be looking to avoid a repeat of their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it will be interesting to watch how the team responds to any adversity and punches thrown their way early. If theres been one disturbing trend of Matt LaFleurs tenure, its that his teams often fold when they go down multiple scores early. That cant happen if they want to beat the Colts.

Meanwhile the Colts are looking to separate themselves from the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South after the Titans got off to a fast start. The defense was mentioned above as being stout but what Philip Rivers has brought to the offense cant be overlooked. Rivers has started feeling more comfortable in head coach Frank Reichs scheme and the veteran quarterback is showing he still has what it takes.

Sunday should be a very exciting matchup and should be a good barometer for the Packers as they prepare for a playoff run.

Now for todays curds.

Packers confident they can make some noise against Colts top-ranked defensePackersNews.com

The Colts are solid at all three levels of the defense and like LaFleurs offense, they tend to keep things simple and do those simple things really really well. Its worked so far.

Good on good: Colts defense a big test for Packers offense, and vice versaPackers.com

For the Packers, Sundays game represents a chance for LaFleur to correct some errors. The ill-advised receiver screens against Jacksonville wont work against the speedier Colts defense. Thankfully the game is indoors so weather wont play a role in that decision.

David Bakhtiaris mega-contract means tough 2021 decisions, cuts for PackersESPN

Stop me if if youve heard this before: the Packers have some big decisions to make even with David Bakhtiari and Kenny Clark now under contract for the long haul.

Saints expected to start Taysom Hill at QB vs. FalconsNFL.com

If youre going to pay Taysom Hill the kind of money the Saints are, you have to see if he can be your post-Drew Brees QB1. Sunday will provide the first real extended look at Hill as a traditional passer.

Puerto Rico Policeman Accused Of Robbing Home Depot While In UniformHuffington Post

Officers uniforms have their names on them in most places so this had to have been surprising on multiple levels.

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Packers will have an interesting chess match against the Colts defense - Acme Packing Company

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November 22nd, 2020 at 7:56 am

Posted in Chess

Chess Online: How to Play and Win Chess | Chess Tips & Strategies – Popular Mechanics

Posted: October 6, 2020 at 9:54 pm


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The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of peoples interests online, whether thats playing Dungeons & Dragons over Zoom or taking virtual workout classes. But at least one of these interests, online chess, dates back at least 1,000 years. Why is playing chess online so popular?

You love badass games. So do we. Let's play together.

Chess is a deceptively simple gameeasy to learn, but hard to master, as one adage goeswhere each player has 16 pieces. These are eight pawns, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and a king and queen. The board has 64 squares, like a checkerboard, and is easy to refer to using a classic grid notation system used in maps and even the game Battleship: A, B, C, ... along one axis and 1, 2, 3, ... along the other.

The Amazing Math Inside the Rubiks Cube

What this all means is that in order to play a game of chess online, you can work with two players who each have a complete chess set and send moves in word form. Even for the pawns, which are identical, players say knights pawn, bishops pawn, and so forth. That means the earliest online chess players were able to do the same thing: noting moves using grid notation and relative terms for their pieces.

Many of the most masterful chess games require very few moves, compared with how amateurs tend to play. High-level chess players think many steps ahead and can often telescope what their opponents will decide to do. And since each piece has a restriction, like pawns that can only move one square unless its their first move and take other pieces only diagonally, chess is a popular subject for study by game theorists, statisticians, combinatoricians, and more.

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The mathematical nature of the moves has made chess a popular thing to program, and chess-playing artificial intelligence has advanced beyond human players in key ways. A computer first beat a human in 1996, and after a few high-profile incidents, chess tournaments are kept very secure to prevent any kind of computer-aided cheating. Chess engines can run in tandem and give insights as viewers watch major chess matches online.

For a long time, people playing chess online in predecessor systems like bulletin boards could exchange short strings of characters that indicated their moves. You can do this with just lettersK for king, Q for queen, and so forthwith N for knight, since K is already in use.

The Long, Winding History of Rock Paper Scissors

But online chess players, at least, have had another option since at least 1995, when documentation from Unicode confirms the chess pieces were part of the character set likely from the very first version of Unicode. Like card suits, logic and math notation, and certain map and public safety symbols, the people who designed computer fonts knew users were likely to need these special characters to put into newspaper chess columns, for example, or for the actual printing of maps without separate typesetting.

Today, that means almost any online chess arena can introduce full notation with all pieces represented in their real grid. That means games can be pretty low-techno one needs plug-ins or rendered artwork, and exchanging moves is only a few technical steps past sending them back and forth in emails or even the mail. And when much of online chess takes the form of speed matches played in 3 or even 1 minute (!), the less technical overhead, the better.

AI Is Now the Champion of Computer Chess

If you want to wade into online chess, check out Chess.com for both games and a ton of lessons and help as you get started. The Free Internet Chess Server dates back decades, with browser games and an option to download their app. And Lichess, which is "just" 10 years old, is an open-source chess platform that hosts a million games a day.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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Chess Online: How to Play and Win Chess | Chess Tips & Strategies - Popular Mechanics

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October 6th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Chess

On Chess: Returning To Over The Board Chess Tournaments – St. Louis Public Radio

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In a recent meeting at the St. Louis Chess Club, a key question was asked: When can we return to over-the-board tournaments? Chess players, always eager to test their mettle in competition, have made do with online play, but there is nothing quite like planning your attack while sitting across from your opponent.

Following CDC guidelines and state and local requirements is a must. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of all members of our community. With that in mind, we decided to test the waters, as long as our tournaments have no more than eight competitors and the event concludes in under two hours. The club recruited its first field of eight participants for the Secret Action Quads, the online edition of the longstanding Friday Action Quads.

For the first time since March, the clocks began to run at the St. Louis Chess Club. As the name would imply, quads are tournaments in which players are divided into groups of four. To keep the pace lively, players had a little over 20 minutes to finish each round. Our eight players were ready for battle.

In a contentious fight in the first quad, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and his opponent, Michael Pugachev, each had five seconds left. Orlando, with just a bishop and knight on the board, was helplessly trying to deliver the toughest checkmate in chess. Pugachev was keeping his king out of the corner and doing his best to force a draw but unfortunately ran out of time and lost the game. He quickly quipped, Do you even know how to checkmate with a bishop and knight? Orlando just smiled and said, "Guess we'll never know, but I'll gladly take the win on time. Orlando went on to sweep the competition and take first place that evening.

In the second quad, STLCC staff member Tracee Stewart dominated the competition. Tracee has been a regular host of weekly free chess lessons available on the STLChessClub Twitch and STLChessClubYouTube Channel during the pandemic. She gave a warm welcome to the visitor Bruce Brodly with an astounding checkmate. Tracee essayed an opening novelty on Ben Simon, the clubs videographer and producer, and capped off the wonderful night by defeating Michael Pugachevs mother, Lucy, who was making her tournament debut. Tracee also won $36 and a slew of rating points.

While it was a little tough to gauge your opponent through a mask and a Plexiglas barrier, it was refreshing to play a human eye-to-eye instead of across the internet void. Win or lose, everyone went home happy and enjoyed the camaraderie that live chess brings to the table.

For more information about upcoming programs and events (both in person and online) at the St. Louis Chess Club, please visit - saintlouischessclub.org/events.

Mike Kummer is an International Arbiter and assistant manager at the St. Louis Chess Club. He has worked at the Chess Club since its grand opening in 2008.

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On Chess: Returning To Over The Board Chess Tournaments - St. Louis Public Radio

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October 6th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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October Cover Stories with Chess Life: GM Maurice Ashley – uschess.org

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Grandmaster Maurice Ashley is a man who hardly needs an introduction to the readers of Chess Life or Chess Life Online. While he is famous today for his energetic style broadcasting events for the Saint Louis Chess Club, Ashley has been a giant of American chess for many years now. He isthe first Grandmaster of African descent, has been a successful scholastic coach, and he organized some of the most lucrative and interesting large Swiss tournaments in American history.

Maurice Ashley, US Chess Hall of Fame honoree (courtesy WCHOF)

Because his career has been so varied and spanned so much of recent chess history, we thought Maurice Ashley would be the perfect person to write our October cover article on International Master Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest IM in the world. His story is utterly fascinating.

Ashley knocked the assignment out of the park, putting young Abhi's story into the proper context, and painting a much fuller picture of the role played by his family in his success than has been previously shown.

Our interview, recorded on September 29, 2020, tries to cover the full range of Ashley's history and accomplishments. I had a great time recording it, and I want to thank Maurice for taking an hour of his time to talk to me for this podcast.

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October Cover Stories with Chess Life: GM Maurice Ashley - uschess.org

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October 6th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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‘Audiences wont have seen anything like this’: how Iranian film Chess of the Wind was reborn – The Guardian

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The rediscovery of a film is seldom as fascinating a story as the film itself, but thats the case with Chess of the Wind (Shatranj-e Baad), directed by Iranian film-maker Mohammad Reza Aslani. It was only screened twice in Tehran in 1976, once to a cinema of hostile critics, and then to an empty cinema the bad reviews had done their work. The rediscovery of this film is great for me, says Aslani, now aged 76, and still living in Tehran. But it also allows audiences to view Iranian cinema from another perspective, and to discover other auteur film-makers who have been marginalised because of the complexity of their films.

Critical of the Shahs royalist government, the film also featured strong female leads and homosexuality, which didnt endear it to the Ayatollah Khomeinis regime either. In the politically tumultuous years that followed the Iranian revolution of 1979, the film was banned, and then presumed lost. Critics in Iran at the time of its release claimed the film didnt make sense, that my father was just trying to make an intellectual film, to imitate European cinema, says the directors daughter, Gita Aslani Shahrestani. But Aslani Shahrestani was determined not to let her fathers legacy languish. A writer and academic based in Paris, she was uniquely suited to the task. About seven years ago I was working on my PhD about auteur cinema in Iran, and this film was part of it, so I started to look for the film.

Having searched the international film archives without finding a copy, Aslani Shahrestani turned to her brother Amin based in Tehran to help in her investigation. Nothing could be found in the Iranian laboratories and archives either. It seemed that Chess of the Wind was lost for good. Then, browsing in a junk shop in 2014, Amin spotted a pile of film cans. On enquiring what they contained, the proprietor said he didnt know; they were simply on sale as a decorative element. Like something out of a fairy tale, on opening them Amin discovered a complete copy of his fathers long-lost film. Still banned in Iran, the print was smuggled out of the country via a private delivery service to Paris, where work began on restoring the film, overseen by Martin Scorseses non-profit organisation, The Film Foundations World Cinema Project, in association with the Cineteca di Bologna.

Chess of the Wind is a gothic family tale, following the (mis)fortunes of a paraplegic heiress played by Fakhri Khorvash, her angular face a study in controlled despair. Seeking to maintain her fragile independence, shes beset on all sides by predatory men her stepfather, his nephews, the local commissar who all seek to prise her fortune from her. Shes aided against them by her handmaiden, played by Shohreh Aghdashloo (nominated for an Oscar for her role in House of Sand and Fog). An erotic tension between mistress and maid adds spice and complexity to the proceedings.

The opulent, claustrophobic interiors are reminiscent of Persian miniatures. Theres also something of the gothic horror of Edgar Allan Poe. The influence of European cinematic masters like Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti and Robert Bresson is also apparent; the camera lingers on hands as they roll cigarettes, serve food, and feed gunpowder down the barrel of a gun, finding beauty in these simple actions. The sound design also stands out: wolves howl and dogs bay as they circle the house, ratcheting up the sense of menace; crows caw, jangling the nerves; heavy breathing makes the characters isolation in this haunted house increasingly oppressive. The soundtrack an early work by trailblazing female composer Sheyda Gharachedaghi takes inspiration from traditional Iranian music, and sounds like demented jazz.

Initial reactions to the restored film have been rapturous, to the delight of its director. I was not expecting such a positive reaction, says Aslani. Of course, Im very happy this film is finally being viewed fairly, and not through a lens that values populist cinema and propaganda.

Robin Baker, head curator of the BFI National Archive, who programmed the film in this years BFI London film festival, says, I think this film will have an impact on the world film canon its ambition on so many different levels is extraordinary. It has a resonance far beyond an Iranian cinema niche. I found it genuinely shocking at times. I think it will confound so many peoples expectations not only of the cinema, but also of the culture of Iran. I can confidently say that audiences wont have seen anything quite like this, no matter what their taste in cinema.

Sadly, Aslanis film-making career was a casualty of Irans political upheavals. Before Chess of the Wind, which he directed aged 33, Aslani had made two short films: a documentary (Hassanlou Cup, 1964), and a wry political allegory critical of the Shahs government (The Quail, 1969). Hed also directed the first season of a television series (Samak Ayyar, 1974) that was roundly criticised for its idiosyncratic, uncommercial style. Afterwards, he remained in Iran, continuing to work within the Iranian film industry. Hes since made more than 10 documentaries, an experimental piece (Tehran, A Conceptual Art in 2011) and another feature film, The Green Fire (2008), but his output has been severely curtailed both practically and conceptually by his situation. Yet he still has plans.

I hope to make another feature, says Aslani. Ive had a script for 10 years, but because Ive been labelled uncommercial and unentertaining in Iran, nobody wants to risk producing it. Its a historical film about one of the greatest Iranian poets, and the style of the film again recalls Persian miniatures, western painting and the cinema of Visconti and Bresson.

Meanwhile, Chess of the Wind is a reminder of his talent, and acts as a touching tribute by Gita Aslani Shahrestani to her fathers legacy. When he saw the restoration he said it was like seeing a therapist, that it reminded him why hed wanted to be a film-maker in the first place, says Aslani Shahrestani. He was really happy. He regrets nothing. He said the film was like a baby hed lost, and now theyre reunited.

Chess of the Wind is available for free on the BFI Player from 1013 October as part of the London film festival.

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'Audiences wont have seen anything like this': how Iranian film Chess of the Wind was reborn - The Guardian

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October 6th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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