Politics and Chess

Richard Eales looks at how politics and chess have mated more in history through to the present day.

On September 7th, at the Savoy Theatre in London, Nigel Short of England will begin play against Gary Kasparov of Russia for the World Chess Championship. The match is in several ways a heavyweight encounter. Each game will be contested over an initial six-hour session, the twenty-fourth and last game will not be played until October 30th, and the prize fund, raised entirely from commercial sponsorship, will be at least £1,700,000. The world champion, like leading players in other 'sports', from cycling to snooker, can expect to make still larger sums from endorsements, appearance fees and celebrity engagements. In some countries he might also expect to be a national hero, at least for a while.

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