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March 2005 Archives

Bored Games

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From the American Association of Retired People (AARP) website: What's your favorite board game?

H-Bomb Rocks Foxwoods

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US Champion Hikaru "H-Bomb" Nakamura just won clear first place in the mighty Foxwoods Open in Connecticut. A last round draw locked up first with a tremendous 7.5/9 score. He started with five straight wins, including consecutive victories over Shabalov, Stripunsky, and Smirin.

Rumor Mill

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Latest from Russian chess political circles is a rumor that Anatoly Karpov might run for FIDE president.

Bobby and Him

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I hope this is the last Fischer item for a while, but it's a good one. This Guardian piece is by Stephen Moss, who chased after Fischer for days.

Fischer in Moscow

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A small group in Moscow have used the Fischer "escape" to Iceland as an excuse for some Bush-bashing according to this report. I'll add this link here. Probably the most complete mainstream report on the entire Fischer saga. God help...

Fischer on SportsCenter

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Thanks to a heads-up from Mark Luna, I set the trusty DVR to record the 1:00am repeat of ESPN's SportsCenter. There was a long Fischer piece with much archival video and new stuff from his first Iceland press conference.

Kasparov Media Guide

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Kasparov appears on the prestigious Charlie Rose interview show tonight on American public television. (Garry is back in Russia now; it was recorded a few days ago.) It's probably the longest TV piece you will find with him, at least in English.

Ice Fisching X

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All the wires have news of Fischer's release.

M-Tel Masters Announced

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Below is the full press release for the M-Tel Masters. (Verbatim and sic.) It's a double round-robin that runs from May 11-22 in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Mentioned earlier here.) The players are Anand, Topalov, Kramnik, Adams, Polgar, Ponomariov.

Tax This

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Perhaps now irrelevant to the Fischer case, but here's some anecdotal evidence that the tax man doesn't care how you got the money....

Ice Fisching IX

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Unlike most other sources rumoring of Fischer's imminent release, the Washington Post seems to have better info and flatly states the agreement has been reached.

Melody Amber 2005

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The annual blindfold and rapid chess event is underway in Monaco. I did some cursory background on blindfold a few years back. The easiest way to impress an amateur player is to offer to play them blindfold. It's impressive in the same way simuls are impressive to non-chess people.

Chess Is Dead

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We're never prone to hyperbole around here of course, but US Champion (and Black Belt newsletter contributor) Hikaru Nakamura wasn't shy about his feeling on Kasparov's retirement.


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Just a note. (I'm sick. Would you like some mucus with your html? Bleh.) I put up more notes and photos from Kasparov's ABC News interview at ChessBase.com.

Ice Fisching VIII

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AP is reporting that that the Icelanding parliament will vote Monday on granting Bobby Fischer citizenship. This is relatively big news, because according to the report: "One of Fischer's supporters in Iceland said the Japanese government had confirmed it would allow him to go to Iceland if citizenship was granted."

GK on ABC News tonight

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A profile of Garry Kasparov will run on ABC News with Peter Jennings tonight on ABC. It's the last piece of the show, so they said it should be on at around 6:50pm (EST). They did a 25-minute interview that will be chopped into 4-5 minutes. Of course Kasparov wants to talk politics but the producer kept asking about that darn chess thing he used to do.

Another Politician in the World

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Garry Kasparov just got into NY. He was recognized by the immigration agent when coming through the airport. (First time ever here, he said. The guy was Polish.) He asked Garry what he should put under "profession" now that he's retired. They decided on "politician," so I guess it's official!

Tiger on Retirement

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Just for serendipity, there's an interesting CNN/SI.com article on golfer Tiger Woods' comments about when he'll retire. I like the way he put it. "When my best isn't good enough, I'm walking," Woods said. "You'll know when you're not able...

Kasparov's Great Game

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I just put Garry's Monday Wall Street Journal article up at ChessBase.com. Some behind-the-scenes comments: It was going to run Tuesday but when they heard the Guardian was going to run their long interview piece on Monday they insisted on moving up the deadline.

Ice Fisching VII

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Taking a much-needed (if brief) break from Kasparovpalooza, a thoughtful piece from the managing editor of the Mainichi Daily News. He visited Fischer a few days ago on Bobby's birthday.

Anand on Kasparov

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The Indian Express (curry in a hurry?) has a bland but interesting interview with Vishy Anand on Garry Kasparov's retirement announcement.

Kasparov in WSJ

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Not to create yet another entry in the Kasparov sob-fest, but news it is. I've fielded a few calls from journalists looking for quotes and the wire stories are everywhere. The usual analogies are out in force too. "Surprise move from Kasparov" "Checkmate for Kasparov" "The King Leaves the Board" My favorite was from the Argentine sports paper Olé: "All the Squares are Black."

In Vino Veritas

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Well, my girlfriend broke up with me a few days ago and my friend and chess idol just gave up being the best chessplayer in the world, so what choice did I have? I went out drinking and dancing with...

Garry Kasparov Retires

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Well, the bomb has been dropped. Yes, he is serious. After 20 years as number one, Garry Kasparov has called his last round game against Topalov in Linares his last. We had discussed such a possibility, but until he said it at the press conference today I'd hoped it wasn't really going to happen. I just spoke to him on the phone and it wasn't a spontaneous thing out of frustration with the unnecessary loss to Topalov.(Knowing he was going to retire at the end, "made it almost impossible to think in the last two games. My brain was just off.)

Wild Linares 2005

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A strange end to a very uneven tournament. Kasparov dominated like the good old days only to intentionally play into a lost pawn endgame in the final round and allow Topalov to catch him on points.

Sofia's Choice

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The Sofia, Bulgaria supertournament coming in May will not have agreed draws and no draws that aren't approved by a panel of arbiters. The players literally won't be able to talk to each other.

Jen Shahade: Women, Beauty, Chess

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A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from GM Robert Fontaine asking if I'd like to participate in the "World Chess Beauty Contest." When I went to the site, I was subjected to an image showing a group of cartoon-like forms of women lined up against a rating chart. According to the description of the contest, female players voluntarily submit their photos for evaluation. Visitors to the site serve as judges rating the contestants – from their looks only – on a scale from 1600 to 2700. To the creators, this "grandiose" idea was designed in order to promote women’s chess.

Larsen on Draws

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To keep the Bent Larsen love-fest going, here is what he wrote about his style and draws in general. (His book, out of print, has three titles. 50 Selected Games, Selected Games of Chess 1948-69, and Master of Counter-Attack That unnecessary last thanks to the 92 Batsford edition.) What Larsen wrote 30 years ago is truer now than ever. It's ironic to see him worrying that elite players played too often when we're currently talking about how they don't play very much these days.

Kramnik Interview

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Am I the only one who missed this interview by Kramnik done after Corus? I was out of the loop for most of January. Much of it covers the same ground as his recent New In Chess interview, but there is more detail here. Both Kramnik and the interviewer (Mr. Russian chess journalism Roshal) are Kasparov obsessed.

Kasparov to FIDE: "Make It Official"

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In brief comments during the Linares tournament, Garry Kasparov has said he would consider playing in a unification tournament. Also comments from Topalov.

Ice Fisching VI

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I guess it's time for another update. The US seems to be taking more interest in Fischer than I had imagined, if for reasons other than playing in Yugoslavia in 1992. Mainichi mentions the tax evasion case being prepared against Fischer.

No Lamb In Linares

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Make a few comments and get punished by Caissa. Say how tough Kasimdzhanov is to beat and he loses two in a row. Say Vallejo Pons is playing more aggressively but may wreck the event with his losses and he plays a 13-move draw with white and then wins one. At least the part about Kasparov kicking some butt worked out.

Chick Chess

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At dinner after the Accoona rapid match between Zhu Chen and Irina Krush, I swapped women's chess thoughts with Ninja contributor Jennifer Shahade and Krush. A while back, in reponse to the oft-heard "women players are more aggressive," I wanted to see if statistics could back it up. Of course you can't really measure aggression, but the standard measures of drawishness and length of draws would suffice.

Get Bent

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Bent Larsen celebrates his 70th birthday today. An idol for his combative chess and equally fiery personality, the Great Dane was a tournament world champion if ever there was one. (He even had a prize named for him at the 2005 US Championship.)

Lame in Linares

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Well I guess it had to happen. Right after I touted the fighting spirit evident in this year's Linares supertournament, the players come back from a rest day and turn in a combined total of 62 moves. If you subtract the moves already known to theory, they contributed just 20 moves.

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