Sporting Weekend: Blues ‘n Chess at the Vortex

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You may remember the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston for its inspired football World Cup sessions last summer where the on-screen action from Germany was accompanied by two competing free jazz ensembles. This time the club has turned to blues in the shape of South-East London guitarists Steve Morrison and Billy Jenkins who are presenting a brand new programme of topical music to accompany… a chess tournament.

This Sunday sees the climax of five weeks of competition where patrons have been invited to bring along a chess set and play each other as many times as possible for the honour of becoming the overall tournament champion. We apologise that we discovered the contest too late to bring it to your attention when it began, but we’re confident that the final round will provide excellent entertainment and many worthy opponents if you choose to go along. Mind you, we hope you’re not too used to playing in the typical chess club atmosphere of virtually complete silence. Messrs Morrison and Jenkins are set to provide:

Songs of wisdom, sadness, stupidity and human nature – both original and reworked blues classics – served up with a delicious, seductive double guitar twang.

And if the idea of tense, mental struggle after a heavy Saturday is too much for you:

Bring your newspapers and supplements for a lazy Sunday afternoon gathering of upbeats, downbeats, poets, polemics and commentators!

Sunday’s festivities begin with Daniel King, chess grandmaster, games consultant, television presenter, freelance journalist and award-winning author facing ten opponents simultaneously outside the Vortex in Gillett Square from 2pm. At four o’clock the action moves inside to the club itself for the grand final which is set to run for two hours. Those intending to play, or indeed anybody who happens to have more chess sets than they know what to do with, would make themselves very popular with the Vortex management if they could lend any spares for the occasion as demand is anticipated to be high.

Admission to the club session is £5 (free for under 16s accompanied by an adult). The club is a one minute walk from Dalston Kingsland (Silverlink) station which can be connected to via Highbury & Islington on the Victoria Line. Alternatively you could catch the bus from Highbury & Islington and take a five minute ride along Balls Pond Road or get the bus straight from Liverpool St (Central Line) or Old Street (Northern Line) for a ten minute journey in the direction of Stoke Newington, Stamford Hill. Relevant bus routes are 149 (N149), 67, 243 (N243), 30, 76, 38 (N38), 56 and 277.

Picture of a portable chess set from Budapest via felixmolter™’s Flickr stream.

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