Pestaño: Chess the musical-A A +A
Thursday, March 27, 2014
I HAVE always wanted to write about Chess The Musical ever since I read about it some 12 years ago but the time was not right.
Now that it is showing in the West Boca High auditorium in Boca Raton, Florida, up to this weekend, here is a background about this remarkable musical.
The musical is based on the album written by Tim Rice and is composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (both of ABBA). Tim Rice was the lyricist of the smash hits , Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, that were later made into movies.
ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972 and were one of the most commercially successful pop group then.
The story is based on the cold war in the 70s between the US and USSR as seen through an international chess tournament. It is the story of a love triangle between two grandmasters—an American and a Russian—and a woman who serves as a manager to one of the players but falls in love with the other. The American is loosely based on Bobby Fischer and the Russian on both Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi. The background was based on the “Battle of the Century” between Fischer and Spassky in Iceland in 1972.
The show was successfully produced in the West End in 1986, on Broadway in 1988 and London, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris and other places. It has some remarkable songs and the album was a worldwide hit, reaching the top 50 in several countries, including top 10 status in the United Kingdom, West Germany and South Africa. It was even the No. 1 album in Sweden for seven weeks.
A single from the album, “One Night in Bangkok”, became a worldwide smash, reaching No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The duet “I Know Him So Well” by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson held the No. 1 spot on the UK singles charts for four weeks, winning the Ivor Novello Award. In addition, the tune was later sang by Whitney Houston and her mother Cissy and also by Barbra Streisand, who recorded it originally for Broadway in 1985.
In 1985, music videos were filmed for the songs “One Night in Bangkok”, “Nobody’s Side”, “The Arbiter”, “I Know Him So Well,” and “Pity the child.
Cepca monthly. Our Monthly Chess Qualifying Tourney-March is on Sunday at Handuraw Pizza-Gorordo and will start at 2 p.m. It will be a five-round Swiss System competition with a handicapping time control of 15 minutes for Class A players, 20 minutes for Class B Players.
The prizes are P1,500, P1,000 and P500 for the top three. The champion qualifies to the grand finals this December.
SAC-SMB awardees. Congratulations to the following players who received awards for chess—John Jerish Velarde,Diego Claro, Felix Shaun Balbona , Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano and Elwin Retanal. Cepca also received an award for the third straight year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 28, 2014.