Colour photography, in black and white
As a child I used to love playing chess and became relatively good at the game. There is nothing more satisfying as a child to be able to beat an adult. So as an adult who hates losing I decided not to engage with the excuse I was there just to take pictures.
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Sun Tzu The Art of War.
Is a game of Chess just a game or can you up your game by reading ancient manuscripts? Anyway I went along to find out and take some photographs for Hackney Chess Club. The English Chess Federation have awarded Hackney the prestigious ‘Club of the Year’ accolade and with 60-plus members and eight teams representing the club in the London, Middlesex and National Leagues there is a real buzz in the club.
Club members get together on a Saturday night at the The Rochester Castle Pub Stoke Newington for some beer and blitz (five minutes for each player on the clock). The revelling hipsters and Saturday night regulars don’t seem to put off the chess aficionados as they bang the clocks and find the winning moves. Occasionally one of the better players will show a young upstart where he or she has gone wrong in the opening or endgame. The club have used the Roch as their base for around 20 years, players from other clubs regularly come along on a Saturday.
For me the brief was to provide the club with photos for their new website. But my real test was to try and get in the minds of the players as they concentrated. Not an easy task!