The big chess craze that began with the confrontation between Grandmaster Boris Spassky and bobby Fischer in Reykjavik has now reached the market place in Karachi.
GV Market place in Karachi
SCU Sindhi workman cutting out chessboard (4 shots)
CU Sanding down chessboard
CU ZOOM OUT..from chess table and CU pattern inlay (2 shots)
SV Workmen working inlaid tables FAN up to finished board
CU PAN from gift store sign to chess boards and other crafts on sales (2 shots)
SV PAN..from traders to chess tables (2 shots)
CU Folding chess board revolving
CU Chess board with chess man appearing and start of play
Initials ES.1555 ES. 1605
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The big chess craze that began with the confrontation between Grandmaster Boris Spassky and bobby Fischer in Reykjavik has now reached the market place in Karachi.
The Sinchi craftsmen, world famous for their intricate woodwork, are now producing chessboards and pieces as quickly - and as expertly - as they can.
The results you can see in this film. But while Bobby Fischer succeeded in pushing up the prize-money he won by becoming world champion, the craftsmen of Sind are selling their intricately designed pieces for as little as two to three pounds (around five dollars)
SYNOPSIS: Karachi, Pakistan: on the other side of the world from Iceland where only a few weeks ago Russian Grandmaster Boris spassky and American Bobby Fischer battled for the Chess Championship of the World. Yet here in Karachi, the world famous Sindhi craftsmen have already felt the impact of that distant chess confrontation.
Throughout the world, people who had thought that chess was a game for intellectuals only, are taking more interest in chess and buying more chessboards.
It takes Sindhi craftsmen three weeks to finish a chess board - but now they are busily trying to keep up with the new demand. In Iceland, Bobby Fischer received nearly a quarter of a million dollars for winning the chess title. And back home in the United States there were contracts worth millions waiting for him. In Karachi, a craftsman is lucky if he makes five pounds (14 dollars) for an intricate chessboard. Made of Pakistani Dak, and inlaid with camel bone or brass, some of these beautiful boards, together with a set of chess pieces, might be sold for as little as two pounds (less than five dollars).
Pakistan has enacted new labour laws, and the Sindhi may soon be paid more for his painstaking craft. In the meantime, on more an more chessboards throughout the world, the 'Game of Kings' goes on.