Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When Did the Black and White Boards Disappear?

Steve Rushin at SI discusses "Vanishing traditions in sports" and muses ...

Auto racing's checkered flags are still checkered, black-and-white as a chessboard. Which is more than can be said of a chessboard. At the 2010 World Chess Championships in Sofia,  Viswanathan Anand of India defeated Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria on a board of brown and beige squares.

This color scheme -- along with green-and-white -- has become standard in tournament chess. But let's set aside the question, then, of why the player who goes first in chess is still White and the player who goes second in chess is still Black. Let us wonder, instead, what we're to sing when the Yes song "I've Seen All Good People" comes on the classic rock station in the car. Not, apparently, "Move me on to any black square, use me any time you want ..."

It does beg the question "when was the last time a tournament or major event used a black and white chess board?"

Here is what FIDE has on their site with respect to the chessboard:

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