The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
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One of my favourite thriller movies from the 1930s is the RKO classic The Most Dangerous Game (and thanks to YouTube, you can view in full by clicking the link), based on a Richard Connell short story of the same name (and also published as The Hounds of Zaroff). It involves a big-game hunter (Joel McCrea) finding out that he himself is the quarry, and hunted by a ruthless Cossack aristocrat (Leslie Banks) after being washed up on his private Caribbean island.


It’s all gripping stuff, with a lot of deaths. But strangely enough, it seems all these years that I’ve been playing chess – just because I didn’t like anything physical when I was younger, as I have a paranoid fear of being injured, and it didn’t require the need for padded protection (save from playing my brother) – that now, according to the media, who really have to be short of a story or three during this particular silly season, that chess could well be the most dangerous game for me after all.


Now, a lot of you reading this who don’t play the game, are probably thinking that the worst that can happen to you at chess – and being ‘bored to death’ doesn’t count – is getting a splinter in your finger from moving all those fiddly little wooden pieces on a wooden board. But the UK media hyped up a story about two competitors who died within hours of each other at the recent Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway – and, good grief, one of those players actually did so while playing a game!  


Firstly, lets put this in prospective: there were over 2,000 players taking part from 174 nations; so this is a massive event – the fourth biggest sporting event after the Summer Olympics, World Cup and Winter Olympics. And secondly, both players were in their mid-to-late 60s and died of natural causes; and the one who died “with his boots on” at the board, did so after a sudden seizure.  BREAKING NEWS: These things can – and often suddenly do – happen within very large gatherings when there are people in their 60s involved.  It’s a dangerous age, never mind a dangerous game; regardless of what the activity, whether it be sedentary or physical.


Olympus OM4T & Zuiko 85mm f/2
Olympus Skylight Filter
Ilford PanF Plus (@64)
Adonal/Rodinal (1+50 – 12min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan