“Why do we play chess? Because we don’t want to work.”

The immortal words of the great chess Grandmaster and philosopher of chess Jan Hein Donner, sums up the continual conundrum of chess. Chess has represented the ultimate escape for competitive and intellectual souls – a refuge from the tedium of life and its need to hold a steady job providing material sustenance. Many players, captivated by its enchantments, have made it their life work; or, reluctantly, leaving it to join the world, return to it again and again to the game with increasing nostalgia.

No one is immune to the realities of life – even Peter Pan, as Wendy wistfully told him, has to grow up – and in the current pandemic of 2020, I, along with 7 billion other people, have had to face the dread prospect of earning a living, by setting up this website, selling chess books, giving chess lessons, and even charging for them (though at immensely low prices).

I could say that my chess boards and teaching methods are the finest in the world; that the concepts of material chess, UFOs, the rule of nought, and the new opening variations are unequalled anywhere in the universe; that if you buy these books and take these chess lessons you will gain an understanding and strength which will bring you the deepest satisfaction possible. But, being British, with an inborn modesty, I will not say these things.

Welcome to the website: your chess adventure starts here!

Mike Basman, June 2020

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