Category Archives: Film

So Little Time, so Much to Do

Here are some tips to make the best out of your forthcoming trip. Bring your teaching materials to show around, and donot forget your business cards. If you make a presentation, please send it to us in advance (info@chessplus.net) and consider a one page hand-out. We welcome posters about gender-related issues and projects. We cannot help with the lay-out but with editing and printing (info@chessplus.net).

Our conference venue, the Irish Cultural Centre at 5 Black´s Road, is just two minutes from the underground at Hammersmith in proximity to restaurants and coffee shops. An M&S food store is just opposite the street. Hammersmith is located in West London on a direct underground connection from Heathrow. For other connections check Transport for London.  

Be prepared for wet, windy and cool, but not freezing weather. UK power plugs are different, so don´t forget to pack the adaptor from your last visit. You can use your wireless bank or credit card on public transport and you get exactly the same fares as with the Oyster Card (paper tickets are much more expensive).

After the Saturday sessions you are invited to our special movie night (30 November): Join your peers and watch the acclaimed French movie Fahim on the true story of a talented refugee kid bringing out the best of a misanthropic chess teacher (Gérard Dépardieu at his best) and becoming a champion. The cinema inside the Lyric Hammersmith is just two minutes away from the conference venue, and the screenings will start at 7.15 and 9.15.    

If you will still be around on the Monday (2 December) join our public presentation of the conference´s findings at 11 am at the VIP room in the Olympia Kensington. At this opportunity you can also observe Chess in Schools and Communities amazing schools programme with 500 kids coming in every weekday, you can shop at the enormous chess book stall, and you can stick around for Magnus Carlsen who will play from 4.30 pm in the final of the Grand Chess Tour.  

Just in time for your visit, the Hampstead Theatre is to open a new play, Ravens by Tom Morton-Smith, on the match of the century between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. You can buy discounted tickets by using the Code LCC2019.

Away from chess London bristles with culture. Tickets to temporary art shows are pricy but often worth it. Personally, I will go for the triple bill (Gormly – Freud – Ecovisionaries) at the Royal Academy of Arts. Some of the best museum collections in the world are free to visit. Also free – and recommended – is the special exhibition Play Well at the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road.

Movie Celebrates Chess Teaching

What do the actors Kevin Kline, Samuel Jackson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Larry David have in common? All of them have played chess teachers on the big screen. This impressive cast is now joined by Gérard Dépardieu who excels in the French production Fahim. The movie has beenreleased in the German speaking area and Belgium will come to a few more countries in 2020. It has not found a UK distributor in spite of parallels with the recent story of Shreyas Royal, whose outstanding chess talent secured his family a permit to stay in the UK. Thanks to a grant from Chess in Schools and Communities and the production company Waiting for Cinéma, we have secured two special screenings during the London Chess Conference at a cinema hall, which is less than five minutes away.

Everybody who makes a living as a chess teacher or coach should see Fahim. It tells the true story of a boy who escapes from Bangladesh with his father, partly because of the politically active father fearing persecution, partly for the talented kid to find a grandmaster to train him. They arrive in France, and while the procedures for asylum are going down the drain, the boy connects with a local chess club. A grandmaster they don´t find there, but they find Sylvain, a slightly misanthropic chess fanatic who trains a few local kids and immediately recognizes the enormous talent that just walked through his door.  

Trailer in French with English subtitles

Sylvain is based on the junior coach Xavier Parmentier who did not live to see Dépardieu as himself, as he died from a brain tumour in 2016. The real Fahim Mohammad represented France in international youth competitions and is now a university student.    It is not the fault of the movie makers that some online synopses claim that Fahim became world junior champion. Chess is represented correctly except for the excusable laying down of the king as resignation instead of the usual handshake. The world of junior chess is depicted amiably, and the French Federation is getting an image boost. The well-written movie, based on the book Le Roi Clandestin (2014), has humorous moments as well as the right dose of suspense. Our conference night this year will be a movie night. Join in!

Saturday, 30 Nov, 19.15 and 21.15 Lyric Hammersmith, 149 Hammersmith Road, 107 minutes, French with English subtitles  

Bildergebnis für wunder marseille fotos

More Diverse than Ever

Participants from more than thirty countries are confirmed, and we expect to have up to forty countries present. We have always had a higher share of women than other not gender-segregated chess events, and female participation will be even higher this year thanks to our theme Chess and Female Empowerment. We are fairly optimistic that the tickets will be selling out, so we recommend you to register before it is too late. If you are a contributor you are prompted to register, so please check your e-mails.

Besides our usual keynotes, workshops, debates and software presentations, not to mention all the side meetings and training courses before and after the conference, our most diverse conference programme so far will introduce book presentations and film screenings. In the exhibition we are adding a book table. Another first is that we will present our main findings to the public on the Monday at 11 at the London Chess Classic together with our Honorary Director Judit Polgar, with Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, who switched profession from chess to politics, and with other speakers.

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, Opposition Leader in the Lithuanian Parliament, joins the conference (photo: Clément Bucco-Lechat /Wiki Commons)

Our opening session will feature female perspectives on chess in education and its competitive version. We will invite you to World Café style debates on propositions ranging from “Should Every Chess Team Have a Female Player?” to “How Can Chess (and This Conference) Become Greener?”. Three round tables are scheduled. Their topics are inclusion, FIDE and women’s chess. We have close to twenty workshops. As each will have two or more presenters you can imagine the richness and diversity of

Our programme table is so rich that we are adding lunchbreak offerings. On our first day Jonathan Rowson will talk and answer questions about his new book, while on day two we will screen a new documentary on the four Georgian women who dominated women’s chess before the Polgar sisters took over.

We can still accomodate select contributions: Are you up to present the debate, if women chess titles should be abandoned, or if chess federations should focus on improving the performance of female players or on increasing their membership numbers? We can still accomodate a presenter or two in our workshops on “The Parents´ Role”, “Chess Programmes for Girls” and “Online Teacher Trainings”. Please write us at info@chessplus.net

Special showing of the Magnus film documentary

We are delighted to announce that there will be special showing of Magnus for those attending the London Chess Festival (including the Conference and the London Chess Classic).  The film is being shown at the Bertha DocHouse, the home of documentary based inside the Curzon Bloomsbury.  The film will be shown on Sunday 11th December at 8.30pm.

Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen, London, England 31 March 2013 FIDE Chess Candidates Tournament Foto: Morten Rakke / NTB scanpix

Magnus  is a delightful documentary following the emergence of the greatest chess champion of modern times, Magnus Carlsen.  Watch the TRAILER.

The film lasts one hour and 18 minutes.  The adverts at the Bertha are short so you should be away by 10pm.  Even if you know the story of Magnus (and who in the chess world does not) there are some new images and videos from Magnus’s childhood which are worth seeing.

The Bertha DocHouse has a bar on each level of the cinema; the one on the ground floor is a nice meeting area, comfy sofas etc.  Travelling to the cinema by public transport from Olympia, go to Hammersmith (bus or walk) and then take the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square, the nearest tube stop.

To book tickets directly BOOK HERE (go to non-members on the left)

There is a concessionary rate available (£7 instead of £9) for advanced group bookings provided you email  Agnieszka by Friday 9th December. The cinema only has 55 seats and may get full.  You must go via Agnieska to get the concessionary rate – you cannot obtain this deal by booking direct.

Agnieszka