Adventures of a community chess club. A battle for survival.

The East Cheadle chess club is home to a top-secret government agency, but apart from that, deals with the everyday events found in chess clubs everywhere. The mythical chess club has figured in several of my detective stories of Wendy Lockinge, super sleuth, based at the equally mythical University of Urmston.
In the story of The Double Houdini, the club faced the humiliation of relegation from the local leagues, in a single season. You’ll have to read it to find out what happened.
In Seconds Out, there are more serious dangers from a sinister organisation thwarted by a chess player seeking a more lucrative life style as a chess boxing champion.
Which brings us to the unpublished dramas of the club at the moment which I want to tell you about now.
The Dalai Lama, head of the spy catchers, has departed to enjoy his retirement, although always ready to return to the challenge if his country needs him again.
The club’s perilous state is revealed as league chess starts again, after the two seasons layoff throughout the Covid pandemic.
But now, there seems a reluctance of members to return to play on club night.
Then, news that the modest rent charged by the owners of the club premises are to be hiked considerably.
Something needs to be done, or the club with a proud tradition in earlier days, will have to face the possibility of disbanding or looking for a merger with a club in one of the adjacent townships.
Will this be the shortest of my reports from a community chess club? I hope to have better news in my next report.

Methinks the author doth reveal too much …

No prizes for guessing the original line triggering my headline. Points for something from Shakespeare. More later, because the point I want to make is borrowed from Shakespeare, but more directly, it is the caution some correspondents show after I suggest I’d like to publish something from their message.

An example recently was from a politically active contact I will refer to in gender neutral terms as Sam, who wrote to me about the contest to replace Boris Johnson, with some blunt remarks about his likely replacements.
When I checked if Sam wanted to be quoted in my blogs or podcasts, he/she replied no, because that would lead Sam to censor communications, weakening their value,
Within days, another e-mailer agreed that I could publish, but only by avoiding anything which might reveal identity or any specific details of potential commercial value.
Earlier, another friend had confided in me that he has worked diligently at keeping his name completely out of the social media, so he didn’t want to be quoted.
A little more research, and I find three other friends for one reason or another have made deliberate decisions to keep away from social media generally, and Facebook and Twitter in particular.
So getting to the point (and not before time, I hear my journalistic conscience mutter), these are all individuals whose views I respect and would like to share.
I could invent a fictional persona for each of them. A nom de plume if you like, as I did above for my gender neuter friend Sam, not to be confused with a real life Sam.

What’s going on here?
I’m not sure I can see a general explanation. Shakespeare’s original observation is about a play within a play which sets a trap for the speaker of the line. Her words are often quoted as ‘methinks the lady doth protest too much’. In the play the comment has several levels of meaning. The one I have in mind is the interpretation that the speaker is trying to avoid the trap but in doing so reveals what she is trying to conceal.
Here’s my point. Publishing always reveals something of the author. The best an editor or reporter can do is to avoid deliberately setting up a trap.
It’s partly a matter of judgement, partly a matter of trust, whether an author or authority, decides to agree to make their thoughts public, and whether they are reported as being from the ‘source who wishes to remain anonymous’ or with the author identified.

Please let me know your thoughts, and whether you want to remain anonymous.

Note for students of Shakespeare

The story within a story is from Hamlet. The play within a play is about the murder of a his father, the crime of which Hamlet suspects his mother Gertrude. His mother tries to avoid the trap, by her remark ‘the lady doth protest too much, methinks’ (now usually referred to outside the play with the methinks starting the sentence. It is more generally used as a posh way of suspecting something suspicious in any argument, and not just for mariticide).

An example of everyday creativity: the road to Glastonbury

Everyday Creativity is a source of everyday pleasure for me. I enjoy discovering it. It mostly creeps up on me when I’m not expecting it.

For example, today when I woke up, my reasonably trustworthy alarm told me it was six am. Today has been advertised as the continuation of heatwave Helen. My waking thought was sod it, it’s too early to be up and about, I’ll try to go back to sleep. Why am I boring anyone still reading listening? Hang in there, I’m approaching the point.
A second line of thought occurred to me. I could do some shopping. Nah! It’s too early. Budgeons won’t be open. But what if I improve on my morning steps total by taking a longer walk when heatwave Helen is still warming up for a day’s peak sweltering of innocent civilians?

I did not leap out of my bed and run down Woodford Road in my jimjams crying ‘Eureka’ like some Poynton Pythagoras.
I did move reasonably swiftly to seize my trusty iPad.

So that’s what I’m doing now.

Writing those reflections. Yes, you are right. I am suggesting I’ve been everyday creating, hashtag everydaycreativity.
I test the outdoor heat levels. Pleasant. I will shortly set off on an extended trip to Budgeons.
Some lines of a poem come to mind. I tweak them to match my intentions.

So never mind the direct route of the Sat Nav’s terse demands
I shall go to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

That’s another example of #everydaycreativity.

Do let me know what you think.

Contemplating Comedy

This week, I’ve been thinking about the power of humour via Jonathan Levitt’s new book, Contemplating Comedy. Jonathan Levitt is a chess grandmaster who turned his hand to publishing during the Covid lockdown. In my review, I’ve added some of my own contemplations, including French philosopher Henri Bergson’s theory of humour. Listen below:

Everyday Creativity

Everyday Creativity began as a blog post in June 2022 to compliment my long-running blog Leaders we deserve. It will focus more on my developing ideas about the nature of creativity to be found in everyday life.

I hope it will be interactive, and result in a network of subscribers interested in creativity in the sciences, humanities, politics, but above all in everyday life.

It will be connected to the podcast TudoRama, and to relevant materials such as the recently published Boris, me and the BBC.

Tudor Rickards

What’s it all about?

Everyday Creativity is a space for exploring ideas of creativity, ingenuity and innovation. I want to show that although not many of us truly consider ourselves ‘creative’, or indeed ‘creatives’, we all have creative potential and power that we put to use in novel ways every single day. Each of us overcomes various obstacles each day through creativity – we just don’t perceive our own creative power, and I want to change this. Creativity is too often thought to be the reserve of high-brow artists and ‘thinkers’, but are we not all ‘thinkers’?

I will explore the concept and application of creativity through writing and my latest project, a podcast I call TudoRama. The podcast is the perfect 21st century medium; we live faster lives than ever, and I want the things I discuss to be readily available and accessible for you to listen to as you go about your daily life. I have featured and will continue to interview a broad range of people on the podcast; we all have something different to offer the creative space, no matter our age or level of experience. Each new episode will be shared here, along with a reading list and extra resources for those interested. That said, the idea of TudoRama is that it is fun and digestible – ideal for both the casual listener and the more academically inclined!