Today it is the purveyor of Deal Or No Deal and Hollyoaks, but 20 years ago Channel 4’s tastes were a little more nuanced.

Back in 1993, instead of skimpily-clad college girls roaming around Chester, the station was broadcasting hours upon hours of chess footage featuring a spectacled man from Lancashire.

That man was Nigel Short, who was bidding to become the world chess champion in a showdown with Russia’s Garry Kasparov.

Short may not have been successful – Kasparov won quite easily – but hundreds of thousands of British viewers got a taste of televised chess.

While the game of chess still fascinates, it has not managed to recapture the kind of exposure generated here in the early ‘90s by Short.

It’s not as if it’s short of players – more than 600m people on the planet play chess regularly. Perhaps the game is too convoluted to make it…

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