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The Master Game: Series 6 [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Master Game: Series 6 [DVD] + The Master Game: Series 7 [DVD] + Bobby Fischer Against the World [DVD]
Price For All Three: 57.97

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Product details

  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Aug 2013
  • Run Time: 390 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CSVD1K0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,249 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The Master Game broke new ground in the 1970s and 1980s when it established itself as the only international chess tournament played for television. Following its launch by BBC Television in 1975, it became a firm favourite amongst chess fans and grandmasters alike. The list of competitors featured is a who s who of famous Grandmasters from the 1970s including Anatoly Karpov, Viktor Korchnoi, Tony Miles, Bent Larsen, Nigel Short, John Nunn, Walter Browne and many more. Whereas computers have taken over the analysis of games in the modern age, the unique aspect that made of The Master Game so popular was the players voicing their inner thoughts and letting viewers understand their thinking on the game. Series 6 is a 2DVD set and includes all 13 episodes originally broadcast in the series. The contestants for this hard fought series included: World Championship contenders Bent Larsen, Nigel Short, Svetozar Gligoric, Vlastimil Hort and Robert Byrne, plus Tony Miles, Lothar Schmid and the inimitable Jan Hein Donner.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master Game resurfaces from the abyss 15 Sep 2013
By P
This DVD and the companion volume for series 7 are a joy for chess players. I can only echo the positive comments of previous reviewers. As it happens, the selection of series 6 in particular, in what I devoutly hope is the vanguard of more to come, is a fortuitous one with many entertaining games and three of my all-time favourite characters in chess, namely Larsen, Donner and Miles.
Is it true that there are so few interesting personalities like theirs around these days, and not just in chess? Or is that merely an illusion created by the power of nostalgia?
The chess community owes a debt to Odeon Entertainment for taking on these DVD productions and making them readily available for posterity. Had it been left solely to the unimaginative dullard suits that infest BBC corridors these days, these recordings would have remained in ill-deserved obscurity gathering dust for eternity. In fact just like so much else that lies in the great national archive that is the BBC vaults - sadly under-valued and neglected by the BBC itself.
Treat yourself to these DVDs while you may and let's hope that Odeon is allowed to restore to the light of day the whole Master Game catalogue, and - who knows? - perhaps other half-forgotten gems from TV chess history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality chess production 9 Sep 2013
By keithn
The Master Game holds wonderful nostalgic memories for us chess players of a certain age. Seven series were screened, and each game would be of three parts. First, it would be played under normal tournament conditions. Then the players would record their thoughts. And, finally, the players would replay their game in the studio surrounded by giant chess pieces. The overall effect is that the players play the game in front of our eyes while we 'hear' their thoughts.

The quality and production values are high and there are thirteen half hour programmes between eight top chess players and characters.

As the product description says, the participants were of a high level. Bent Larsen, one of the strongest players of all-time, featured in three series, and had challenged in world championship candidates tournaments, as had Gligoric, Hort and Byrne. Tony Miles, Britain's first Grandmaster and very popular amongst the Brits, is here. And Nigel Short, then 15 years old, who would actually go on to challenge for the title itself.

The most annoying thing for me is that, in some programmes, the game jumps from one position to another without being shown the intervening moves. I know there are time constrictions but it only takes a few seconds to show some moves on a chess board. For example, the Miles-Larsen game is a cracker but is shown in three parts, the important Short-Hort battle is consistently interrupted, and even in the final we join it at move 22 and don't see most of the final moves.

Despite that, I would recommend without hesitation this DVD for any chess player of any strength.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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Format: eight players, seven of whom were grandmasters, were split into two all-play-all mini-tournaments to compete for a place in the final in the last episode which (obviously) decided the winner. Some games are shown in full, some are shown starting some moves in, and some are shown with less important move sequences omitted. The position is shown on a beautifully clear diagram-style board and the player whose move it is talks the viewer through their thought processes. Impartial commentary is provided at intervals by Hartston (a previous winner).

Although it's very old now (early 80s) it was well ahead of its time and the production is slick and smooth. I found it very enjoyable and interesting. I think it's done in quite an accessible way, though if the viewer is not familiar with chess notation some of the explanations offered by the players might be quite hard to follow. It's interesting to see which players rely heavily on analysing variation after variation and which prefer to rely on their instincts and general judgements about the kind of position on the board. The contrasting playing styles and personalities are also fascinating.

Possibly some of the players were more used to descriptive rather than algebraic notation so there is the odd moment when they name a square incorrectly, but this hardly matters - the meaning is always clear. Also, (spoiler alert?) I found the final a little anticlimactic, as the game was possibly the least interesting of the whole series. Still, overall I thought it was an excellent series.

Fascinating, enjoyable, and potentially instructive. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as I figured 12 Sep 2013
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Great peice of early 80's nostalgia. Format is suprisingly uptodate and works well. The chess presentation is very clear. Interesting to put a face to the famous players of the time.
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