Friday, March 31, 2006

Grandmaster and the Plod

Here is a picture of the signature that appears in a couple of chess books I bought in Hay about 10 years ago. I would like to know if they are the signatures of the author of the books, Alexander Alekhine. I have found a specimen of Alekhine’s signature on the web but it looks nothing like this. But then Alekhine was such a devious character it wouldn’t surprise me if he had more than one. So if you know that it definitely is or is not his signature please let me know and I might make a few quid.
His games are brilliant and the defence that bears his name is so good because when you play it you feel like Muhammad Ali employing his ‘rope a dope’ tactics against George Foreman, it is so completely contrary to normal chess instinct. (As I suppose is playing chess in boxing gloves but you get the point- I am making an analogy about tactics)
Now what is the connection between Alexander Alekhine chess artist extraordinaire and Paula Radcliff our own, well, obsessive runner and, perhaps more to the point ,why does the kind of theme I am about to recount crop up regularly in this blog in one way or another?
Alexander Alekhine or Dr Alexander Alekhine as he called himself, although there is a strong suggestion that he did a bit of Jeffrey Archer with the claim to a Doctorate, was given to urinating during a game on stage especially when drunk and Paula Radcliffe , well I still cant believe she did that! I could pursue this comparison further but I think it will only increase the reader’s unease and so I will spare you that. As to the unanswered question I am not even going to think about it. But if you are ever in a pub quiz and the Alekhine/Radcliff question crops up this might just make all the difference.

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