Monday, 27 January 2014

Nine Moves

I don't know Bill Gates, the former boss of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, but I know one thing - he must be a good sport

Because Bill took on the new world chess champion, Norway's Magnus Carlsen, the other day and lost - after only nine moves.

Not that I'm laughing as I doubt I would have fared much better, but I like to think that if I ever get the chance, I would at least scramble into double figures.

Nordic Challenge (24 November 2013)

Norway's latest claim to fame is that our Nordic friends can now boast of having the chess champion of the world - Magnus Carlsen - and he's got film star looks to boot.

Just as brooding, but with a more chiselled look than the former Russian champion, Gary Kasparov, Magnus burst onto the world scene by defeating the reigning champion, Vishwananth Anand last week by a remarkable score of 6.5 to 3.5 - which counts as a 'rout' as far as top flight chess is concerned.

Now it's a long time since I played any serious chess, but I'm willing to come out of my self-imposed retirement to give this young whippersnapper a real game.

After all, Scotland snatched a mightily unexpected, some might say lucky (i.e. me), victory against Norway at football the other day - so who says lightning doesn't strike twice.

So if any readers out there are in touch with Magnus Carlsen, tell him I have thrown down a new Scotland v Norway challenge - after Scotland's recent success in Molde I have no problem venturing away from home my turf. 

We Wuz Robbed (20 November 2013)

Scotland players celebrate Scott Brown's goal against Norway
Normally it's the Scottish football fans who come away from a game complaining that 'We wuz robbed'.

But folks in Norway must have been scratching their heads last night, wondering how the match in Molde ended up Norway 0 - 1 Scotland - because we were played off the park for most of the game.

And it all started so well - for the first five minutes Scotland passed the ball around and looked reasonably comfortable, then for the rest of the first half the Scots kept giving the ball away - while the Norwegian team rampaged down the flanks.

How Scotland went in 0 - 0 at half time is beyond me and then, to add insult to injury, the Scots took the lead against the run of play in the second half.

Miraculously the score stayed 0 -1 all the way to the final whistle although to be fair the Scottish goalkeeper (David Marshall) had a good game - and saved the day for his team on a number of occasions.

Now if I were a Norwegian fan, I'd have been reaching for the Aquavit after the referee blew the final whistle - because sometimes a stiff drink can help people get over a bad shock to the system.

On reflection, if you've ever tried Norway's national tipple, maybe the better option would be to plump for a good Scots malt whisky instead - I know which one I prefer.