Josie Long's Gambit

Josie Long celebrates the pleasures of chess as she rekindles her own love for the game.
As a girl, Josie Long liked little more than playing chess, using pieces that - according to fanciful family legend - had been carved in a prisoner of war camp by her grandfather.

But as the years went by, chess struggled to compete with the demands of building a career in stand-up comedy and has become little more than a fond memory, an en-passant fancy. 

Now Josie sets out to put that right by resuming her place at the board and celebrating the many pleasures that this oldest of games still offers the millions of people who play each day.

She visits the Casual Chess Club which is trying to rid chess of its stuffy image, talks to international master Danny Rensch about his part in the online revolution the game has undergone, and tries to find out, with Erland Cooper's help, whether beautiful chess can be turned into beautiful music.

The programme serves as a heartfelt hymn of praise to the game as played by both champions and chancers, those who have turned it into an art and those who wouldn’t know their zugzwang from their King’s Indian.

Produced by Geoff Bird
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

Complex chess

chess pieces
Getty Images

World Chess, which holds the rights to the World Chess Championship, is planning a “hybrid initial public offering”.

That's according to the FInancial Times which says it will raise funds by first issuing a digital token before floating on London's junior stock market, Aim, next year.

Chief executive Ilya Merenzon told the Financial Times that it would issue so-called security tokens — a digital representation of equity — at “hundreds of dollars” apiece using blockchain technology.

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(Photo: Caroline Barlow/BBC)
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