Friday 23 April 2010

Paradise Regained

BCM's editor is back in Blighty. The journey took 47 hours, from 4am on Tuesday in Gib, to 3am on Thursday in Kingston-upon-Thames. I won't bore you with too many details but the Spanish travel arrangements went like clockwork while the French ones went wrong from the moment we crossed the border. So it's 'Viva España' when it comes to the much underestimated but highly efficient RENFE railway system but 'zut alors' to France's overrated, incompetent/dishonest SNCF (who took bookings on the Sunday for a Tuesday train that had already been cancelled as the result of strike action). That's no criticism of individual French people who showed us kindness and generosity at various points of the journey. But French officialdom has a lot to answer for. The next time someone makes a joke about 'mañana' to me, I shall suggest they really mean 'demain'.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Coming Soon: The Gibraltar Chess Magazine

An announcement: from 1 May 2010, the British Chess Magazine will be known as the Gibraltar Chess Magazine. This is because the editor, John Saunders, has relocated to the large rock of that name for the indefinite future.

Well, not really. But the last bit is true. I'm in Gibraltar at the moment and I could be here for a while, thanks to a geological malfunction in the land of Bobby Fischer's last resting place. Don't worry, BCM subscribers, I can still do my day job whilst holed up here... very comfortably, I should add, at the Caleta Hotel, venue of the Gibtelecom Chess Festival. I came here a couple of days ago to plan the tournament's metamorphosis into the 2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival (which will be bigger and better than ever) but it seems my stay might be longer than I had intended.

P.S. If anyone knows of a boat passing by Gibraltar, do you think you could ask the captain to drop by and give me a lift home? In return I am willing to give chess lessons and pass on hundreds of exclusive, scurrilous stories about chess players.