New season of BBC's Across the Board

by Albert Silver
10/27/2014 – Last year the BBC resurrected a chess program for their radio station BBC Radio 4, "Across the Board", a concept that had last seen the light of day over 50 years earlier. The program consisted of interviews conducted by Dominic Lawson after playing a game of chess with celebrities. The second season is about to start with Magnus Carlsen heading a fascinating lineup.

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The idea had always been to combine a game of chess with people who had a connection to the game, even if not always professionally, and tie it up with an entertaining and intriguing interview. In the first season, the first interviewee was heavyweight boxing legend, Lennox Lewis, a known aficionado of the game and who explained how chess helped develop strategic thinking to his bouts in and out of the ring. The final guest was Natan Sharansky who almost lived the famous novella by Stefan Zweig, playing countless games of chess in his mind to remain sane while imprisoned in Siberia.

Just as last year, you can either listen to the programs live from the official website, or listen to them after the fact where all the episodes will be stored.

Episode schedule

Magnus Carlsen
October 27 - 12:04 PM
Dominic takes on the world's greatest chess player, Magnus Carlsen - and asks whether it wouldn't be better for Magnus to put his extraordinary intelligence to another use.

[Event "BBC Radio 4 - Across the Board"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.10.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Lawson, Dominic"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A01"] [PlyCount "58"] [SourceDate "2014.10.27"] 1. b3 Nf6 2. Bb2 g6 3. Bxf6 exf6 4. c4 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. Nc3 Qa5 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2 Be6 9. Nf3 O-O-O 10. O-O h5 11. h4 g5 12. a3 Ne5 13. b4 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 Qe5 15. Kg2 g4 16. Be4 f5 17. Bd3 f4 18. Rc1 Bd6 19. Qe1 Rhe8 20. Nb5 Kb8 21. Nxd6 Rxd6 22. Rc5 Bd5+ 23. Kh2 b6 24. Rc3 Bb7 25. Qc1 fxg3+ 26. fxg3 Qxe2+ 27. Bxe2 Rxe2+ 28. Kg1 Rg2+ 29. Kh1 Rdxd2 0-1


Murray Campbell
October 28 - 12:04 PM
Murray Campbell was the brains behind the chess computer Deep Blue, which made headlines around the world after it defeated Garry Kasparov.

[Event "BBC Radio 4 - Across the Board"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.10.28"] [Round "?"] [White "Lawson, Dominic"] [Black "Campbell, Murray"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C01"] [PlyCount "42"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 O-O 8. Nge2 Nbc6 9. O-O Bg4 10. Be3 Qd7 11. f3 Bf5 12. Ne4 Nd5 13. Bf2 Be7 14. N2g3 Bg6 15. Rc1 a6 16. Nc5 Bxc5 17. dxc5 Rad8 18. Re1 Nf4 19. Qxd7 Rxd7 20. Rcd1 Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Re8 1/2-1/2


Sigrid Rausing
October 29 - 12:04 PM
Sigrid Rausing is one of Britain's leading philanthropists and plays chess daily with her husband.
Sol Campbell
October 30 - 12:04 PM
Sol Campbell is a noted former football player in England, and is asked whether his decision to transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal was a chess player's move.
Demis Hassabis
October 31 - 12:04 PM
Demis was a child chess prodigy, who moved into computer programming, and has just sold his company to Google for £400 million.

The program can be heard live at the website clicking on the Listen button as above

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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