Chess show is a whole different Monday night game

Margaret Smith

Stop by Fitchburg Access Television on Monday evenings and you will see the world in black and white.

In a lighted studio, cameras move in on a set decked with comfy-looking arm chairs, checkered mats, a surreal chess print, and a chess board.

George Mirijanian of Fitchburg – a long-time fixture on the area’s chess scene – and champion player Martin Laine of Lunenburg, greet viewers amiably, and spend a few minutes talking about a great figure in chess history, or a great moment in chess history.

Then, they get down to it – a nail biting game, which they walk the viewer through, but with the same grit as if the game were being played for the first time.

The game is in fact, a classic; chess games can be entirely improvisational, but devotees of chess know that they can also be recorded, preserved and replayed by generations – much like a revered symphony.

It might not be a Hollywood square, but each episode of “Chess Chat,” the local access show about all things, people and places chess, is garnering a following beyond the cable subscriber base in Fitchburg with a Web cast that draws in chess fans from all over New England and beyond.