It was cool that Kamsky came in today to blog after his win. He is clearly watched and seen as a little different from the rest because of his past star status and he's just as clearly intent on leaving that behind. He socializes and post-mortems with players he would have been giving simuls to a decade ago.
November 2004 Archives
Howdy all. I thought I'd be able to keep up here, but so far I haven't had a spare second here in San Diego. Apart from the www.uschesschampionship.com website I'm doing the daily bulletins for the players and spectators and helping staff and players with their various computer problems. I literally have not been outside of the hotel since I arrived Monday afternoon, which is pretty pathetic. Things should settle into a routine and get easier with each round, but I've been saying that for three days now. I'm going to put a sign on the wall above me saying "Next question: $5". I like to help, but it's hard to focus on analysis and the website for more than five minutes straight without an interruption.
Hmm, I guess the party has started and as usual I'm the only one sitting down here in a room full of computers. Wait, the tech guys setting up the live game broadcasts are still working too. That makes me...
Gata Kamsky just arrived. First trouble already started, although not really his fault. He just bought a new computer with his credit card and apparently there wasn't enough credit left to use it for his room at check-in! [I'm going...
One of the players, an older fellow, came by where we were setting everything up last night and was delighted to find out that clocks were provided! He explained that he had forgotten to bring his own...
Greetings from San Diego. Actually, it's La Jolla, a rather exclusive and upscale village 15 minutes north of the city center. The site of the 2005 US Championship is the Hilton Torrey Pines hotel. It's between the sea and...
Tomorrow morning I'm headed to San Diego for the US Championships. Apart from the official reports I'll keep blogging and also incorporate this blog into the official site. I'll grab players and others to guest-blog various entries during the tournament. It should be good fun. Who would you most like to hear from in their own words? Despite being only the fourth seed by rating, Jennifer Shahade leads the voting to predict a winner in the Women's event by a large margin.
Well, it was a rush job and there isn't much content yet, but at least I didn't have to resort to Viagra to get this site up. www.uschesschampionship.com is the official site of the 2005 US Chess Championships in San Diego. There are a few things I need to tweak (Mozilla/FireFox mangling my style sheets for one) and it's probably riddled with typos. But I think all the links and images are working okay at least.
The NYU newspaper has an article about how renovations to Washington Square Park will endanger the famous chess corner. "I'm just going to get a mat and sit out there and play," he said. His younger opponent chimed in, saying getting rid of chess in the park is "like saying you're going to get rid of pigeons and rats." In other words, it's impossible.
Ah, a nice weekend off before the panic ensues. The Russian championship is underway. Karpov, incensed at Kramnik for stealing his drop-out thunder, waited until the last minute before bailing out to save himself from a beating. With Karpov such treachery is expected by now.
Iran just banned four of their top players for not agreeing to participate in the Calvia Olympiad. "The federation will never forget their immoral conduct." It's tempting to react harshly to this this just because it's Iran, not exactly a hotbed of liberal democracy. But other than the reactionary wording, it's not hard to imagine other federations penalizing players for refusing to play on the national team.
According to this press release masquerading as a news story, the games manufacturer Tesco is selling far more of its chess sets than expected. This is bad reporting in many ways. A surge in sales compared to what? The only stat is that they are selling more than they expected to sell.
Going through the mail regarding the "Bush vs Kerry" chess game article at ChessBase.com was predictably disappointing. Of course complainers usually write more than supporters about anything, but it's the nature of most of the complaints that bugs me. Of course you can't expect Bush fans to really enjoy an article that pokes fun at their guy, but the ritual demands to remove anything political, anything "non-100%-chess" from a chess site mystify me.
With the tournament a week away from starting, classical world champion Vladimir Kramnik has bailed out of the much-awaited Russian Championship super-final. Bearing a note from his mother, Vlady claims stress from his title defense against Leko.
This little article from a college paper on places to play chess seems more about using chess as a metaphor for making out. But it seems like a good list of places to play casual chess. It could be a list to check before traveling. (Because doesn't your girlfriend just love it when you go to a lovely, exotic place on vacation and you get into a street chess game.)
It's hard to imagine something less controversial than scholastic chess, but controversial it is. The movement is huge in the US, and while the benefits for kids seem beyond doubt, the benefits to chess federations and the traditional chess community are less clear. In general I believe more chess is always good, period.
After a few days of rumors that it had been officially delayed, the Dubai Kasimdzhanov-Kasparov match is offically on. The money is in the bank and the dates have been announced. (January 14 - February 1) Kasparov was somewhat relieved, but he is still troubled about the entire process after Kramnik's statements about ditching Prague and starting from scratch again.
The latest Fischer hearing and shuffling of papers has put the case back in the news. Nothing big, although several reports say that the case could drag on to the end of next year. As usual, the lawyers win.
Instead I'll touch on the already-infamous case of FIDE vice-president and Georgian Grandmaster Zurab Azmaiparashvili's altercation with Spanish police at the closing ceremony of the Calvia Olympiad. Azmai is out of jail now and an interview with him will be at ChessBase.com soon. Basically they thought it was best to wait until Azmai was safely back in Georgia.
According to Postovsky, the US chess officials intended to break [their own] very strict rules for the team's lineup - in order to include on the team the young star, Hikaru Nakamura, who performed impressively in Tripoli earlier this year. But Boris Gulko threatened that the officials would be forced to defend such a decision legally in court. So the idea was rejected.