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  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf



    O F T H E M U S I C A L



  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    C H E S S T H E M A K I N G O F A M U S I C A L

    W I L L I A M H A R T S T O N

    I N T R O D U C T I O N B Y T I M R I C E


  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    First published in Great Britain in 1986 by Pavilion Books Limited 196 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JL in association with Michael Joseph Limited 27 Wrights Lane, Kensington, London W8 5TZ

    Text (C) William Hart ston 1986 Introduction ((' Tim Rice 1986 Lyrics ((') 3 Knigh ts Ltd - Union Song s 1984, 85, 86

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

    Rice, Tim Chess: the making of a musical. I. Musical revue, comedy, etc. Writi ng and publishi ng I. Title II. Hart ston , William R. 782.81028 MT67

    ISBNT 1-85 145-006-8

    Designed by Peter Bridgewater and Lawrence Edwards

    Filmset by BAS Printers Limited, Over Wallop,


    Printed and bound in U.K. by W. S. Cowell Ltd, 8 Butter Market, Ipswich

  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    Introduction by Tim Rice

    A C T O N E T H E O P E N I N G

    1 The Che ssm en 10 2 The Rice Gamb it 13 3 The Swedi sh Varia tion 16 4 The English Op eni ng 19

    A C T T W O • T H E M I D D L E G A M E

    5 Strat egic Plans 22 6 Positio nal Play 26 7 Combi natio ns 29 8 Exch angi ng Pieces 32 9 Time-Tro uble 35

    A C T T H R E E • T H E E N D G A M E

    10 Sacrifices 38 11 Endg ame Techniqu e 41 12 The Final Atta ck 44 13 Checkm ate 47

    C H E S S • T H E S O N G S 5 0

  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    The following illustrations are reproduced by kind permission of:

    Chapter 1 p. 11 Top right Poppe rfo to, p. 11 Top left Popperfoto, p. 11 Centre left Popperfoto, p. 11 Centre right Chester Fox (Camera Press), p. 11 Bottom right Chester Fox (Camera Press), Chapter 2 p. 14 Bo tto m cen tre Syndication International, p. 14 Bottom left

    Michael le Poer Trench, p. 14 Top Zoe Dominic, p. 14 Bottom right Dewynters, p. 14 Far right Dewynters, Chapter 3 p. 17 Cen tre left Mich ael le Poer Trench, p. 17 Anders Hanser (Polar Music), Chapter 4 p. 20 Ce ntr e left Alan Davidson (Alpha), p. 20 Anders Hanser, Chapter 5 p. 23 To p right Blair Seitz (Camera Press) , p. 23 Bottom left Chester Fox (Camera Press), p. 24 Centre left Syndication International, p. 24 Top Associated Press Ltd, p. 23 Centre Left Associated Press Ltd, Chapter 6 p. 27 Still rook Photography, Chapter 7 p. 30 Bo tto m left

    Associated Press Ltd, p. 30 Top left JohnHaynes, p. 30 Top right John Haynes, p. 30 Centre right David Crosswaite, p. 30 Bottom right David Crosswaite, p. 30 Michael le Poer Trench, Chapter 8 p. 33 To p left Joh n Hay nes , p. 33 Centre right John Haynes, p. 33 Bottom right John Haynes, Chapter 9 p. 36 Davi d Crosswaite, Chapter 10 p. 39 To p left John Haynes, p. 30 Bottom left and right David Redfem, Chapter 11 p. 42 John Hay nes , Chapter 12 p. 45 Botto m left Mon it or Press Features, Chapter 13 p. 49 Top Alan David son (Alpha), p. 49 Rex Features Ltd.

    Chess : The Songs Photographs by Suzi Gibbons (C) David Redfern

    The following pictures in The Songs section were reproduced by kind permission of John Haynes:

    p. 52, p. 53 (bottom), p. 54, p. 55 (top), p. 58, p. 59, p. 60 (middle, bottom), p. 61, p. 62, p. 63 (bottom), p. 64, p. 65 (left), p. 66, p. 72 (top left

    and right), p. 78, p. 79, p. 81, p. 82 (top), p. 83 (top), p. 86, p. 87, p. 91

    Endpiece Photo David Montgomery/Sunday Times Magazine Additional photographs supplied courtesy of 3 Knights Ltd

    Pencil drawings in Chapters 1-13 by Chris Smedley


  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    My work on CHESS has been going on for the best part of ten years to date, and I am still at it. It has been the dominating element of my work for the past four. I used to think that the longer one is in the musical game, the easier and speedier the writing and production of shows would become, but, alas, this is not the case. The process by which my earliest efforts such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar reached record and stage now seem effortless and uncomplicated compared to the sometimes tortuous route taken by CHESS to reach similar destinations. But in the end we finally made it and Bill Hartston's entertaining account of some of the trials and tribulations

    reveals as much as we can without too much blood-letting. The important thing is that in the end we succeeded in producing a major hit musical, At the time of writing it is a red-hot ticket and looking set to remain that way for a long time to come. There were moments during the run-up to the show when I was by no means convinced that this would be the case, and I find it extraordinary how many people unconnected with the project, now that it is doing so well, are saying (in some cases, criticising us for it!) that it was an inevitable hit from the word go. There is no such animal, and those who accuse writers of hits of manufacturing them to order are, as I believe a popular saying goes, out of their tree. Anyone who reads Bill's story herein will soon discover that no success can ever be guaranteed.

    The principal pleasures of CHESS as far as I am concerned have been the people 1 have worked with. Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson would have needed to have done no thing more than their amazing work with ABB A from 1973 to 1982 to have left a most su bstantial mark on the history of popu lar music - they ha ve now adde d the great achieveme nt of the score of a hit musical to their list of credits. They show no signs whatsoever of losing their great gift for sophisticated yet accessible music that touches many generations and nearly all nationalities. On top of this they are delightful, relaxed gentlemen to create with. I hope CHESS will not be our only collaboration. I believe that the constant realisation that I was workin g with such distingui shed c ompos ers (and Bjorn is also no mean English lyricist in wha t is still - just - his second language) acted as a great spur to me to come up with the very best lyrics I could muster. From time to time I had enormous help such as Bjorn's 'nonsence' lyrics for a chorus of One Night In Bangkok which were so strong that I had only to make minor alterations to produce a gripping lyrical hook for what turned out to be the biggest world-wide hit single I have enjoyed to date.

    Having had a few near-misses attempting to work with Trevor Nunn over the past few years, it is a joy to report that at long last we became part of the same team with CHESS. This collaboration (which I believe Trevor was as keen to achieve as I was) nearly failed to happen this time around as well, but for once the gods relented and we got the chance to co-exist in the same pressure-cooker. I will forever be grateful to Trevor for taking control of a directorless show just three mont hs before a sold-o ut open ing - his achievemen t in brin ging tog eth er the many and vast elements of the production in such a short time, shaping them in his own style into a copper-bottomed smash is perhaps an even greater one than are his many directional strokes of genius that distinguish the final production.

    Then of course there are the singers and actors who have made such a great contribution, the enthusiastic supporters

    from the world of real chess (Ray Keene and Bill Hartston himself in particular), the army of workers, on stage, off stage and backstage. (Whatever the odd geriatric critic may think of big contemporary musicals, he cannot deny that they do their bit for the unemployment problem). This is not meant to be a thank you note, but I do thank them all. Thanks to their efforts, I am almost thinking about writing another musical some day, I hope this book does not discourage others from having a go too !

    TIM RICE London, July 1986


  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    S E C T I O N O N E

    M A K I N GT H E M U S I C A L

  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


  • 8/17/2019 Chess - The Making of the Musical (gnv64).pdf


    C H A P T

    T H E C H E S S M E N

    iiIt is only natural that men gifted, with intellectual abilities will favour a mental

    pastime that exercises the highest qualities of mind. ))

    W I L H E L M S T E I N I T Z , B O R N 1 8 3 6 First Official World Ch amp io n 1886-94

    Certified insane 1899 Died 1900

    IN 1962 THE EYES OF THE WORLD we re on th e isl and of Cuba, where President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev were eyeball to eyeball over a little conflict about nuclear missiles. The germ of an idea for a musical about East-West confrontation was sown in the mind of lyricist Tim Rice. There were just a few problems in finding a way to stage a plot in which t