Andy Murray’s Chess Connection

With Andy Murray playing in the Wimbledon final today it’s time to explain how chess has contributed towards getting him there. It comes through his coach, Ivan Lendl, whose father was a chess master and who plays the game himself.

Lendl is known to be one of the best strategists on the tennis tour and I think this comes from having a chess background. In the following quote, on his early years in tennis, he recalls some games with his dad:

I don’t have fond memories of those times. My mother would drag me to the courts ever since I was able to breathe and once I was able to walk she was pushing one of those tennis rackets in my hand. She was very hard on me, almost oppressive at times. I like to think of my father in those times, who was able to soothe me more…with a game of chess

Here’s one of his father’s games, just about the most exciting one I could find among the quiet and determined performances listed on my database. The bishop sacrifice is nice, but hardly speculative in any way: