August 24: Angel di Maria and my new chess set

I do understand the problems Man Utd may have fitting Angel di Maria into their starting line-up. It may entail switching from Van Graal’s 3-5-2 or 3-5-1-1 to a more conventional 4-4-2 or sacrificing Juan Mata. It must certainly mean pigeon-shooting down the birdbrained Ashley Young. There are any number of issues to deal with in guaranteeing that you retain the requisite amount of steel, pace and guile in the starting line-up when a new player is acquired. Why, I myself have been going through similar logistical and tactical heart-searching with my purchase of a camelbone chess set (one hump or two? This was one question I stupidly neglected to ask of the chess shopman). I chose the particular design over the Isle of Lewes set. It has an Ottoman or a central Asian quality of florid decoration and rooks that look like minarets that fits neatly into my mainly South Caucasian lounge. But how do I find a place for it on one of the limited number of tables and surfaces availablel in the living space. A simple matter of ditching the small coffee table usually used for supporting a selection of magazines you might think, but no, as these carefully curated Zeitschriften have a key place in the global aesthetic of the room. Like Van Graal, finding my top top formation may take some considerable time.

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