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Kamsky Conundrum

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So Gata Kamsky is back at the public chessboard. I wish him the best and very much hope his off-the-board combativeness has mellowed after eight years in the normal world away from the spotlight. (Apart from a three-day appearance at the Vegas KO in 1999.) It's easy to forget how young Kamsky was when he played Karpov for the FIDE world championship in 1996, having turned 22 the week before the match started.

Those who have become chess fans in the past eight years won't remember what controversial figures he and his father Rustam were. I'm all for new beginnings and whether he comes back to chess full-time, part-time, or not at all, Kamsky deserves to start again with a clean slate. Focused on his climb to the world title he wasn't involved much with American chess in his final years of activity. (Nor was I, of course, since I was living out of the country. I met Kamsky and his father in my old home of Buenos Aires during the Polugaevsky Sicilian Thematic in 1994.) Perhaps the newly lucrative US Championship has attracted his interest.

Kamsky, who once reached #4 on the rating list (behind Kasparov, Kramnik, and Karpov), is probably the second-highest rated chess drop-out ever, after Fischer of course. Many other strong US players young and old have left the game, but none were forces on the world stage at the time. Morphy should also be mentioned. Is this a uniquely American disease?


Small correction: Dad is Rustam, not Ruslan. My understanding is that father and son are now totally estranged. From my admittedly brief online interactions with him, Gata seems like a really nice guy. I wish him well, comeback or no comeback.

Understandably, I think Mig still has Tampa Bay Lightning hockey on the mind... and simply can't get his mind off of Game 7 hero Ruslan Fedetenko!

Yah, sometimes I think my subconscious does that just to make sure you guys are out there. I've written it a dozen times in the past day and still commit a fingerfehler. Beats Zvjaginsev anyday though.

No, please, not hockey, anything but that. And being a Yankees fan I've had it with teams from Florida in general.

I think it is a uniquely American disease; you can add the US-made Deep Blue as well, after all it got dismantled having beaten Kasparov in '97.

Speaking of forces on the world stage who dropped out, aren't you forgetting Fine?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 17, 2004 3:41 AM.

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