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Monday, October 08, 2007

The Ultimate Busker

I've seem some original buskers in my time, but this one stands out from the pack. A CHESS busker, for goodness sake! And, he was good. As it happens, I used to play chess to a repectable level, I also used to frequent the Prompt Corner in Belsize Park (long gone, or I would have taken a photo), a bohemian cafe where chess was a currency and lightening chess was the negotiable instrument. So I decided to avoid ritual humiliation.

His pitch was a free game, 3 minutes on the clock. Good sounds blasting out his iPod, and a hat for the people who thought he deserved it. I didn't see anyone that stretched him, so if you fancy your chances he will be around charing cross tomorrow - 8th October. (And if you are he, do say hi in the comments box)

This is the moment of winning, with 2 out of the 3 minutes still on his clock. The game start is here

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Comments on "The Ultimate Busker"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (00:36) : 

This is a great idea. I like it so much better than people who try to look and act like statues.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (14:56) : 

Interestingly enough there was a good article in last Sundays Washington Post magazine about the chess hustlers of Dupont Circle in Washington DC. They specialize in games of speed chess playing for a few dollars - sounds like your guy may be a distant relative to them.

You can read it on the link below, but you might need to create a account (free) in order to login and get to it.



Blogger Ham said ... (15:31) : 

ex-cockney, thanks for that article and link - enjoyed the video. The prompt corner was a similar place, only more so. All day, ex-pat East Europeans would sit sipping cups of tea and smoking rolups in front of laid chessboards and clocks - ready to take on all comers for a small wager (OK, occasionally a large one, too). I could hold my own then, but that was 30 years ago.

For any chess afficionados, the highpoint of my playing career was a match against Bill Hartston: I played the Benoni Opening against him and held him to a draw. He had written the book on it.


Blogger Neva said ... (02:18) : 

Looks interesting...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (15:44) : 

Great shot and an intriguing tale... He's got an original idea there... :-)

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile