Chess shopping in London

London is Europe’s largest city and you could spend there lots of weeks without getting bored. Bergamo, the town where I live, has several low-cost flights for London every day, so I’ve been there a hundreds time. Hyde Park, St James’, Piccadilly and Covent Garden are some of my favourite places, but this is a chess blog… so let’s speak about chess. Well, the British capital is not like New York: I mean you won’t find chess players in every park. When I made my first visit to London I had already given up chess, so don’t ask me where clubs are located: just type “chess club London” on Google, Yahoo etc. and I guess you’ll find a lot.
I’ve visited two chess shops, anyway: the famous London Chess and Bridge Centre and the BCM Chess Shop (both stores open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm). London Chess Centre (369 Euston Road) is the biggest one and has a large choice of books and chess sets: there are some offers, too, and I bought “The Lost Olympiad: Stockholm 1937” for 5 pounds only :-). Nearest tube station: Great Portland.
BCM Chess Shop (44 Baker Street) is very nice too and you can find there, besides books and chess sets, lots of second hand volumes: some are very old (late 19th-early 20th century) and rare and I was really tempted to buy a yellowd copy of “Common sense in chess” by Emanuel Lasker. Nearest tube station: Baker street. If you like you can take a photo with Sherlock Holmes’ statue just outside the station and give a look at Madame Tussauds, one the most famous wax museums in Europe, which is in the neighborhoods.
Visiting Covent Garden, you can also find the “Marquetry Inlaid Wood Crafts” (located in the Jubilee market: just ask if you don’t see that). This little shop has lots of chess sets: I even found a 3 player chess board last year and gave it as a birthday present to a friend of mine :-) We’ve played just three games by now (3 players are needed, anyway) and we found out it is all but simple…
Speaking about “real” chess, European championship has finally crowned its king. French GM Vladislav Tkachiev won tie-breaks without losing any single game: he beated Cheparinov, Elo-favourite Jakovenko and Sutovsky in that order. You can find (almost) all games on my Italian site: www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/europeo07.html.
Italian IM Fabiano Caruana (14 years old) is only half a point from his second GM norm in a row at First Saturday in Budapest: he is in first place with 6 points before the ninth and last round. Come on Fabiano! Official site: http://www.firstsaturday.hu.
Another interesting event finished in Heviz, Hungary, this afternoon: a rapid match between chess legends Lajos Portisch and Boris Spassky. 3-3 is the final result: they won a game each and drew the other four. Official page: http://www.palace-heviz.hu/pages/de/chess_at.php.
And now try to evaluate this position. Do you think Black must win or White can draw? Which move would you play? Post your solution by clicking on “comments”!

White to play and...


Francesco said...

Thanks.. I didn't know the second and the third one.
I have been to chess & Bringe Center one time a lot of time ago.
Great place

leonid said...

1. Rd6 . and at least equality

Anonymous said...

I think 1.Rd6 should be dangerous in view of 1...h5, e.g. 2.h3 Ra8 3.Rd7 Rxa7 -+. I guess 1.h3 or even 1.h4+ Kxh4 2.f6 should lead to a draw.

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