Competition: 3 copies of the CHESS In Concert DVD up for grabs!

CHESS In Concert on CD and DVD coming soon

All you need to do is tell me what does CHESS mean to you and what do you think the future of CHESS The Musical holds?  I’m not looking for a critique of the Royal Albert Hall concert.

For example, when did you first see or hear CHESS and how did it leave you feeling? What were your first reactions or thoughts and did they change over the years?

You could imagine that if CHESS were to be staged again in the West End or on Broadway or became a film, how would you want it to be? How should it be marketed? Who should star in it? Are any changes to the plot or songs required? Should elements of the Swedish production be included? Should it remain set in the Cold War years or be updated? Or just let your memories pour forth!

Please let icethesite know and you’ll stand a chance of winning a free copy of the CHESS In Concert DVD.

All entrants agree to submit their entry of less than 1000 words by email (to the address below) in English and also agree to the entry being published on icethesite. The entries will be judged by an independent panel, including a representative of Warner Bros music, responsible for organising the recording and releasing of the London concerts on CD and DVD.

If you’re passionate about CHESS – its past, present and future, please let your views be known!

Important information

The prizes will not be shipped until the official UK release date. Any entries that are over 1000 words or not in English, will be disqualified. The judges’ decision as to who should receive the 3 copies (one copy per winning entrant) of CHESS In Concert on DVD is final. Please note that region coding may be applied to the discs and you may not be able to view them in your region.

Please send your entries by email to – the subject line must say CHESS in Concert Competition.

Finally, and nothing to do with the competition but it may just whet your appetite for winning, look out for the CHESS In Concert DVD trailer, coming to icethesite soon.


  • It was 1984. Abba had been split for 2 years and nobody seemed interested in them. This upset me because that music was too good to be forgotten. I felt guilty of being interested in Chess the album because it wasn?t Abba but being faithful to B & B compositions I bought it. Merano took me by surprise and I thought, what on earth is this going to be? I continued to the end and initially there were some very stand out tracks. Instant faves (not including the 2 singles) were Nobody?s Side, Mountain Duet, Anthem, Endgame and You and I. In no time I could feel the drama and tension of the score and started to get excited. When the London opening was announced for May 14th 1986 I even did a countdown to that special first night. I got tickets for the end of May and my excitement got bigger and bigger. The night came and I was in the Prince Edward Theatre like a child in a sweet factory. The opening Chess ballet was just beautiful. Nobody?s Side, Pity the child and Anthem did not disappoint in Act 1. Act 2 seemed to get confusing for me and as great as the songs sounded, the plot was not too clear. You and I and the addition of Anthem to end was a great, musically emotional end to the show but somehow something was lacking from the show. I enjoyed it but it could have been more. I did manage to see it 12 times though! I think it?s a complex story and it needs to be more personal so the characters have more depth. I enjoyed the Swedish version a great deal as it was less technical and appeared to have more heart which to me is what all great musicals need. It also had some wonderful new songs which I hope would be incorporated into any new version. Chess had the music but not quite the story. I think the east v west theme that ran through the original Chess worked well as it enabled the story to include the manipulation of everyone to their own advantage but if an up to date version was made, I think they could lose this theme as it?s too dated now. The focus should turn to the relationships between the main characters to make them more human rather than robotic. We have not seen the best of Chess yet and because the music is so glorious, it certainly is not dead. The concert at the Royal Albert Hall excited me more than any stage show of Chess. The music was given its best arrangement and it needs to be a full symphonic sound. I had goose bumps throughout and Josh?s performance of Anthem to end Act 1 was mind blowing. I don?t think Chess on stage will ever be as good as a concert version.

    I?m not sure if any story can ever do full justice to the magnificence of the score. Any new version needs to be marketed as a modern love story. Since there is so much passion and tension in the score, it lends itself to a big love story. You and I perfectly reflects these emotions. How can anyone listen to that and not feel a stirring inside them? It?s simply crying out for dramatic attention on the stage. Any new show needs to focus more on the heartache of Florence and the turmoil of Anatoly and the life-changing decisions he needs to make. These things seem to be brushed over on stage and leave you not really caring too much about anyone. Chess on record still has the power to tug at my heart strings but that doesn?t happen so much on stage. I think there are enough ingredients between all the versions of Chess to make the ultimate version but more importantly it needs a proper, solid story. Chess to me stands out as a giant amongst musical scores. It still excites me and what I initially felt guilty over (being a non-Abba venture) I now hold very dear to my heart and I long for Benny and Bjorn?s work to triumph.

  • Thanks Anthony – great message. I will enter your entry into the competition but please, for anyone else thinking of entering, please email your entry to using the link above.

    As of today, there have been 11 entries – so competition is hotting up but it’s still ‘yours’ for the winning!

  • Hey, can u please post the trailer for the Chess DVD asap, i cant wait any longer! lol.

    Also a solid release date would be great
    I realise im asking alot, but i’ve been looking forward to this for AGES. Thanks!

  • Ross – not too long to wait now. You’ll just have to be a little more patient, I’m afraid!

  • Great news, but I’m slightly confused by the reference to a ‘highlights package’. Does that mean that the DVD won’t be the full show, or is that referring to a separate highlights CD in addition to the full show CD?

    Apologies for my confusion!

  • So the DVD will only be highlights of the show, not the entire thing? And the full show will eventually get shown on UK television, is that correct?

    We’re so excited for this, its a little disappointing if the full show will only be available to watch on PBS in Jun 🙂

  • The current plans are for a 2CD full-show package, a 1CD highlights disc and a full show on DVD.

    Information about what is actually broadcast is not available at present. PBS have announced that they will show CHESS In Concert but no similar announcement has been made by the BBC, as yet.

    Hope this helps!

  • PBS press release:


    ‘Chess’ in Concert

    Before taking Broadway by storm with the jukebox hit Mamma Mia, ABBA?s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus teamed with lyricist Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) in 1986 to create an original musical, the cult favorite Chess. Set during the Cold War intrigue of international chess tournaments, the musical dramatizes the romantic checkmate between an American chess champion, his lover and a Russian opponent secretly planning to defect to the West. Idina Menzel (Wicked, Enchanted), Adam Pascal (Rent) and pop superstar Josh Groban headline a concert production from London?s Royal Albert Hall, performing a captivating score that includes the top-40 single ?One Night in Bangkok,? as well as memorable songs such as ?Anthem? and ?I Know Him So Well.?

    Visit website on
    Airdate : 06/17/2009 Time : 8:00 – 10:00 pm GPER # : 3315
    Original Broadcast : 6/17/2009

  • Please enter the competition by emailing in your entry. All the details you need are in the main article.

    Thank you.

  • i cant wait for the dvd to come out the concert was amazing and the thought of it maybe coming back out on stage or as a film is SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thank you so much for this site. Although I’ve never seen the musical Chess, and also I’m blind anyway, I absolutely can’t wait to hear Josh and the Great Performances Special on June 17th. I’ve been an ABBA fan since 1974 when I moved to France, so you can imagine my delight at hearing Chess for the first time in 1984 when the London recording came out. Naturally, I heard some of that sound and fell in love all over again, and I’ve always been fascinated with history, so you and Tim did a great job representing a little history whil still offering us a love story that couldn’t be beat! Naturally, I was very disappointed that Chess didn’t get the same kind of treatment here in america as it did elsewhere. I find that especially disturbing, as we Americans have truly lost our appreciation for history! When I returned to America on July 4th 1976, who would have imagined that we, a nation with such a great melting pot of ethnic backgrounds, would wind up in the mess we’re in today? So, to me, Chess represents not only some of the political renderings of the Cold War and its aftermath, and yet, the promise seems to remain that there’s hope, even if two people cross paths and become intwined in a love affair that’s impossible to ignore. Nonetheless, I’m also looking forward to listening to the new version, because if my hunch serves me right, it’ll be refined without disturbing the original story line. No, this isn’t my official entry, but it would have been much easier for me to enter it here. I’ll have to send you an email independently instead of using the link, unless it allows me to use the aol module, because the imap version doesn’t work with my assistive technology. I hope that counts. Also, is the traylor up and running, because I tried to play it from the buttons, and nothing plays yet. Please let me know. Thank you so much. Heather

  • So will the highlights disc (I am assuming a CD-ROM) be full songs from the show, just not all of them?

    Regarding the contest, will the DVDs be regioned for Europe and not the US?


  • @Wendy

    Yes and yes.


  • Chess will mean to me one of the best musical shows in the history of musicals ever. I didn´t have the opportunity of seeing it on a theatre, but I have seen the DVD version of the swedish production.
    I always considered Björn and Benny great artists since the ABBA days, but thanks to the release of Chess, I started to consider them as classical musicians of the Mozart or Beethoven kind. And Kristina fran Duvemala is also a masterpiece which I am dying to see it translated into english.

  • In 1986, I set foot in the kingdom of Sweden for the first time. A pianist/vocalist by trade, I had the honor of performing in the town of Karlskrona.
    I bonded quickly with some people that have since become members of my extended family. One of these individuals is a remarkable young lady named Annelie.
    I shall always be grateful to this gentle soul because she saw to my comforts, fed me well and shared the music of Chess. Listening to the concept album for the first time, I was deeply moved by the song YOU AND I. I probably listened to it twelve times in a row.
    It is quite sad and also rather disgusting that CHESS has not risen to the level of greatness it deserves in the United States. The story is timeless because in many ways, the cold war has never really ended. Underlying tensions still thrive.
    But, the musical beauty of CHESS has the poweer to bring people together. As the memories of sweden play in my mind like a never ending film, Chess will always serve as its heearrtfelt soundtrack.

  • Reminder: Please enter the competition by emailing in your entry. All the details you need are in the main article (above).

    Thank you.

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