Entertaining and informative: New in Chess

by Johannes Fischer
7/9/2014 – 106 pages in A4 format, that's the size of "New in Chess", enough material for a small book. The Dutch magazine, which is published in English, appears eight times per year, and the current issue has a lot to offer. For example, an interview with Magnus Carlsen and an extensive portrait of director and chess enthusiast Stanley Kubrick.

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"You sit at the board and suddenly your heart leaps..."

"...Your hand trembles to pick up the piece and move it. But what chess teaches you is that you must sit there calmly and think about whether it's really a good idea and whether there are other, better ideas."

This is a quote by legendary director Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), who shaped movie history with films such as Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange or Full Metal Jacket. Kubrick was a passionate chess player, and in the current issue of New in Chess Adam Feinstein analyzes in detail how chess influenced Kubrick's thinking and films.

Right: Stanley Kubrick during the shooting of "Barry Lyndon"

Articles such as this are typical for the combination of high-quality analysis, in-depth tournament reports, interviews and stories, which make New in Chess Magazine so appealing. In the last issue Vishy Anand spoke about his unexpected victory in the Candidates tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk. The cover of the current issue shows Magnus Carlsen - the current World Champion from Norway, who is interviewed by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam.

Carlsen does not speak about the two World Champion titles he won at the Blitz and Rapid World Championships in Dubai in June, but talks about winning the Vugar Gashimov Memorial at the end of April instead. This indicates that the magazine, which appears eight times per year, does not focus on topicality but on extensive background reports.

Cover of New in Chess 3/2014

Further tournament reports are by "King" Loek Van Wely, who reveals why he is no longer allowed to travel to the US, and instead sought adventures in Australia; and Anish Giri, who shied away from the risks of real-life-traveling and preferred to follow tournaments all over the world with "Travels on my Laptop". Jan Timman chats about the 23rd Sigeman Tournament in Malmö; and Vladimir Barsky tries to find out why Alexander Grischuk has recently been so successful - becoming the current number 3 in the world.

Friends of cultivated polemics will enjoy Nigel Short's regular column "Short Stories". With his usual confidence and obviously relishing to spread a little venom here and there, he philosophizes about chess, religion, and the relation between longevity and misanthropy.

Hans Ree uses the recently published Botvinnik biography by Andrew Soltis to ponder about chess in the Soviet Union, and to evoke memories of Botvinnik, Euwe and Jan Hein Donner; while Matthew Sadler reviews books dealing with an early f3 in a number of openings. Dmitri Reinderman reveals his greatest fear in "Just Checking", and what he learned from Jean-Paul Sartre and the Dalai Lama. In between, you get treated to some nice trivia, for instance to the fact that Justin Bieber claims to be "pretty good at chess" and "was always on the chess team at school", or why Hikaru Nakamura has started to pointedly drink lots of Red Bull. All in all, 106 pages of excellent chess entertainment. Which you can also get on your tablet - with integrated game viewer to play through all games and analyses.

New in Chess, 4/2014, 106 pages A4, USA $12.99; Europe €11.99; UK £8.99

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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