Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

The Three Journalists

Now I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the following story.
I got the main tale from the Jack the barman at the Hogshead.
I also got some details from Sharon the waitress at MacDonalds.
A policeman, who wish to remain anonymous gave me some other information.

I did phone Alex McFarlane but he denied ever being anywhere near Soho.

The Three Journalists



Craig Pritchett

Craig Pritchett, the chess correspondent of
The Herald checked his email.

"Hi Craig,
A rather important piece of chess history has come
into my possession. Please meet me at the Hogshead
on West George St in Glasgow at 2pm this Friday."

Alex McFarlane.


At 2pm Craig arrived and saw Dougie Bryson, the
chess correspondent for the Scotland on Sunday.


Dougie Bryson

He was sitting with John Henderson the chess
correspondent for The Scotsman.


John Henderson

They quickly discovered they had all received the same email.

They were discussing the email when Alex appeared.

He placed a white envelope on the centre of the table.

"Ah you all are here," he added sitting down.
"A few weeks ago I was in London browsing around
a 2nd hand book shop in Soho."

"Soho." replied John, "Tell me more."

"Yes." stated Dougie staring at the envelope,

"Is it the sordid details..."

"Shut up you two," interrupted Craig, "please carry on Alex
and ignore these two imbeciles."

"Wooooooo," replied Dougie and John together.

Alex continued.
"I bought an old chess book and when I got it
home I discovered inside a letter dated London 1857.

I read the letter, it was signed by Howard Staunton.
I've have had the letter authenticated
and it is without doubt the genuine article.

Along with the letter is the score a chess game.
I have not played over the game but the letter states
it is the score of a Morphy v Staunton game.
I do not even know the result."

"Wow." exclaimed the three journalists.

Alex continued.

"I do know that when the news and the game in this letter is
revealed it will flash around the chess world and bring
fame to the first person who publishes it.

I would like it to be a Scottish Newspaper
who first breaks the news with this scoop.
So I will let you decide who publishes it first."

Alex stood up.

"When you break this news please do reveal I
was Soho. Chandler will only make childish
jokes about it in his Chandler Cornered."

They all agreed and Alex left.

The three journalists sat there staring at
the envelope and said nothing.

"Well," stated John, "It obvious that The Scotsman
should have the honour. The Scotsman is world famous."

"Nonsense," stated Dougie, "The Scotland on Sunday is a
class paper. It should be first to publish."

"The Herald is the paper of the people." interrupted Craig.
"This ground breaking news will encourage the general
public to take an interest in chess."

"Rubbish." exclaimed John, "I publish five a times a week,
You two only go to print once a week. I should get it."

"No way," replied Dougie, "It's because you publish five
times a week that the news will get lost in the mid-week
and nobody will realise the importance of the discovery.
I can persuade my newspaper to put this on the front page."

"I too can get the front page," interrupted Craig,
"as current Scottish Champion I think ..."

"Woooooooo." Interrupted Dougie and John together.

Before Craig could continue John said,
"It has to be the Scotsman, our archives have reports
of Howard Staunton, we reported the visit of Paul Morphy."

"That means nothing," said Dougie, "You cannot claim the
letter because 150 years ago the paper you write for existed."

"Listen," said Craig, "I have an idea. We will
all publish a bit of the game."

"Eh?" exclaimed Dougie and John together.

"Let us assume the game is 30 moves long." explained Craig,
"John publishes the first 10 moves, Dougie publishes
the middle 10 moves and I publish the final 10 moves."

"That is silly," said Dougie. "You publish on a Saturday
I publish on a Sunday, I should get the last ten moves."

John then added,

"Craig publishes the first 10 moves on Saturday,
You Dougie publish the middle 10 moves on Sunday
and I'll do the last 10 moves on a Monday."

"Why don't you publish the first 10 moves on Friday,"
said Dougie. "Craig publishes the middle 10 on Saturday
and I get the last 10 moves on Sunday?"

"I see the flaw in my plan." said Craig.
"We all want to publish the last 10 moves because
the game may end with a flashy combination."

"We don't even know how long the game is." added Dougie,
"It may be 90 moves long."

"So if I publish the last 40 moves..." moaned John.

"30 moves," interrupted Dougie,

"Why do I get only get 30 moves?" asked John.

"3 into 90 is 30." sighed Craig .

"So if I publish the last 30 moves." moaned John,
"I get fobbed off with the boring end game bit."

"Look we don't know how long the game is." said Craig.
"let's look and it and decide."

"No." replied Dougie. "We both publish on the weekend,
our copy is in. But John here could memorise the game
and have it printed in The Scotsman on Monday."

"Don't you trust me?" asked John.

Craig and Dougie said nothing.

Eventually Craig broke the silence.
"We are going to have to stop acting like children
and decide who is going to be first to publish.
Let us do this in a civilised manner."

"I know." said John, "We will cut for it."
and produced a deck of playing cards.
They were a novelty deck, the face cards
being depicted by semi-naked ladies.

Dougie took the cards and shuffled the deck,
pausing for a moment to admire the Queen of Diamonds.

John cut first, the eight of spades.
Then Dougie, the eight of diamonds.
Then Craig, the eight of hearts.

They tried again.

John drew the 10 of diamonds.
Dougie pulled the 10 of hearts.
Craig drew the 10 of clubs.

John gathered up the cards and put them back in
his pocket, pausing to admire the Queen of Spades.

"I know." said Dougie. "Highest wins."
and produced three dice from his pocket.

Craig rolled 6, 2, 1 = 9.
John rolled 5, 2, 2 = 9.
Dougie rolled 3, 3, 3 = 9.

They tried again.

Craig rolled 6,1,1 = 8
John rolled 4,3,1 = 8
Dougie rolled 5,2,1 =8

The dice were put away.

"I know." said Craig. "everyone get out a 10p piece."
John had to borrow 10p from Dougie.

"Now." started Craig, "We all flip the coins together.
There are three of us so who ever is the odd one out wins."

"Eh?" replied Dougie and John.

"If it comes up two heads and one tail." explained Craig,
"then the tail wins. If comes up two tails and a head,
then the head wins."

The three all flipped their coins together.
Three heads duly appeared.
They agreed to try again.
Three tails duly appeared..

The coins were put back into their pockets.

Suddenly the barman appeared.

"I've been listening and watching you three, how about I settle
your little argument with a question about chess?"

The three journalists agreed.

"OK" began the barman, "What English Premiership
team has a chess piece in it's name?"

Quickly and triumphantly John shouted out.
"Queens Park Rangers," and he made to grab the envelope.

"Wrong. They are not in the Premiership." replied the Barman.

Dougie snapped his fingers and pointed his index finger to ceiling.

"Tottenham Hotspur"

"Eh?" stated the others three in unison.

"A Hotspur is a Knight." replied Dougie
and he made to grab the envelope.

"Wrong." replied the Barman and added.
"This is the actual name of a chess piece."

Craig gave a small "huh" of superiority and exclaimed.
"Bolton Wanderers." he said and he slowly picked up the envelope.

John and Dougie looked at the barman.

"Explain." said the Barman.

"Simple," replied Craig. The 'RE' in WandeRErs.
RE is Italian for the King." he then continued.
"The Re is the King, Donna is the Queen, Torre is the Rook..."

"Rollocks." shouted John.

"That cannot be the answer." exclaimed Dougie.

"It's the wrong answer." replied the Barman and added,
"I never said anything about foreign languages and
anyway that would also include Reading."

"Reading are not in the Premiership." replied Craig.

"They just won promotion, so technically they are."
boomed Dougie taking the envelope from Craig
and placing back in the middle of the table.

"Queen's Park Rangers also got promoted." said John
and he grabbed the enveloped.

"They finished mid table." exclaimed Dougie snatching
the envelope back from John and putting back on the table.

"The answer," stated the Barman, "Is Newcastle... New Castle"
and added, " The castle, the chess piece that looks like a fort."

"Rollocks." shouted John.

"Listen here you grubby little barman." shouted Craig,
"A castle, or fort as you call it, is not a chess piece."

"It's called a Rook. You fool." interrupted Dougie glaring at the barman.
"A castle is chess move. Now get lost and take your silly questions with you."

One minute later the three journalists were standing outside the pub.

"I've been thrown out of better joints than that." stated John.

"A bit thin skinned for a Glaswegian barman." replied Dougie.

"The man was a buffoon." added Craig and added,
"Let us find another place to resolve this matter."

The three journalists sat in a MacDonalds.

Craig went to the toilet leaving Dougie and John.

"Wait a minute." shouted Dougie at John, "you still have my 10p"

"I gave it to you back." replied John.

"Never did." said Dougie.

"Did too." replied John.

"Never did." said Dougie.

"Did too." replied John.

"You never." sobbed Dougie, "you put it in your pocket."

"OK here." said John and gave Dougie am American quarter.

Dougie never noticed the difference and pocketed the 25 cents.



Craig returned from the toilet.
"Shut up you two," exclaimed Craig, "You are causing a scene."

Just then the waitress appeared.

"Can I take an order?"

"Three Coffees," replied John and went to the toilet.

The coffee arrived and Dougie paid.

"Listen," whispered Dougie, "why don't me and you get
together on this thing and share the limelight."

"No." replied Craig, "we have to decide fairly."

John came back from the toilet and Dougie visited the gents.

"Listen," whispered John, "why don't me and you get
together on this thing and share the limelight."

"No." replied Craig, "we have to decide fairly."

Just as Dougie returned from the gents the manager joined them.

One minute later the three were standing outside the MacDonalds.

"Why did you try pay the bill with foreign money?" asked Craig.

"I never knew I had it," replied Dougie, he looked suspiciously at John.
"You have just come back from America..."

"I've been thrown out of better joints than that." stated John.

"You were in America..." stressed Dougie.

"Shut up you two," exclaimed Craig, "Let me think."
"I know we will go the library and sort this out in
a civilised manner."

"Where is the library?" asked John.

"Never mind that. Where is the letter?" asked Dougie.

"I don't have it." replied John.

"I don't have it." replied Dougie.

"Well I don't have it." replied Craig.

The three ran back to the Hogshead.



Witness's differ as to who actually threw the first punch.
It was definitely one of the journalists but it has never
been established who actually hit the barman first.

The police were called and the three were arrested.
Charges ranged from assault, false accusation,
disturbance of the peace, passing foreign currency
and being in possession of pornographic material.

The three were later released when the barman decided
not to press charges. The 25 cent coin and the deck of
cards were confiscated.

The letter?

It was not discovered When the three of them were
searched at the police station.

The Barman at the Hogshead swears one of them
picked it up just prior to throwing them out.
He cannot recall which one.

I think, unknown to the other two, one of them picked up
the letter in the Hogshead and hid it in the toilet at
MacDonalds intending to collect it later.

All we can do is wait.
One day the owner of the letter will crack and publish.

Until then... Keep reading their columns... Carefully.


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