Women competitors must wear hijabs at chess world championship, oddly awarded to Iran


If you thought soccer's world cup being awarded to baking-hot Qatar marked the zenith of sporting corruption, give FIDE a chance: the international chess federation's forthcoming world championship is headed to Iran, and women players must wear the hijab to compete. UK tabloids quote leading women chess players as threatening to quit the tournament rather than obey.

US women's champion Nazi Paikidze said: ‘It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women's tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab.

‘I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women's rights are being severely restricted in general. It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.’

She added: ‘If the situation remains unchanged, I will most certainly not participate in this event.’

It's insane, but entirely in keeping with FIDE's brainier-than-thou shiftiness, to think that Tehran is a good place to host the key event on their highly-politicized mind game's calendar. For starters, there's a current U.S. government travel warning telling citizens not to go there at all.

(I would go, but wear a Burka) Read the rest

Chess grandmaster takes on mouthy hustler


The most entertaining chess match you'll watch all year: Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, with the black pieces, takes on a trash-talking, fast-fingered hustler. [via] Read the rest

A chess set that could teach aliens how to play


What if you could learn how to play chess simply by looking at the pieces? Read the rest

High-ranking chess player caught cheating with wearable tech

Arcangelo Ricciardi was booted from the International Chess Festival of Imperia for cheating using a camera pendant to transmit video of the board to an accomplice and some kind of wireless device in his armpit to receive signals of suggested moves. According to The Telegraph, Ricciardi claimed the devices "were good luck charms." Read the rest

3D printed chess set where each piece holds a tiny plant


After this Bauhaus-inspired pattern from XYZ Workshop is downloaded and printed, each chess piece is designed as a mini-planter. Read the rest

Double weighted chessmen and tournament roll up board

chess set

Nothing makes me happier than friends coming over to sit on the deck and play chess.

Read the rest

Chess grandmaster delighted to fall into unexpected trap


In this splendid game, chess grandmaster Max Dlugy (Rating: 3130) is surprised—and intrigued—by the wily play of the ominously and accurately-named player "TrickyMate" (Rating: 1400). Read the rest

Row over chess move ended in "ritualistic" killing

Irish Gardaí charged an Italian man with murder after a dispute over a chess move ended in his opponent's death—and with his heart being EATEN.

Saverio Bellante, 34, of Castlenock, was accused of murdering Thomas O'Gorman, 39, with whom he shared an address, reports Sunday World.

According to police, details of O'Gorman's death are "too horrific to release", but they said he was beaten and stabbed—and that Bellante told them he was guilty.

The Guardian's Ireland correspondent, however, reports that the killing had a "ritualistic" aspect, but gives no details beyond that his throat was cut and that "other parts of his body were attacked."

The Irish Independent claims that after killing Gorman, Ballente ate his victim's heart -- and that police are unable to locate one of the victim's lungs.

Judge David McHugh ordered a medical assessment of Bellante, who will remain in custody until a Jan. 17 hearing. The stabbing occurred just before 2 a.m. in the west Dublin neighborhood; gardaí say that alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Read the rest

Alleged chess cheat can't be beat

Is it possible for someone's chess ability to leap, suddenly, from mundane mastership to world-beating? Many are convinced that Bulgarian player Ivanov Borislav is cheating—but they cannot figure out how. They can, however, figure out which computer program makes the same moves. Read the rest

Plagiarism claims roil chess coding scene

The hardest-fought battles in modern chess are between computers, but angry fights over who authored these cutting-edge number crunchers come a close second. Rob Beschizza reports on a disgraced chess AI champion's last stand