A nice David Brooks piece in the NY Times on the benefits of very competitive youth baseball. We've discussed one tendency of some scholastic chess programs to follow the spirit of the Special Olympics and make "everyone a winner."
July 2005 Archives
The potential knicker-twist about the US Chess Federation building a new office in Crossville, Tennessee has come to pass with no delay.
International chess politics has gotten even uglier lately. Anatoly Karpov has been considering a run for the FIDE presidency, which I tipped back in March. His occasionally scurrilous interview set the bar very low, but FIDE looks up to the challenge with replies from Azmaiparashvili and Makropoulos.
More from my photo archives. (The others can be found by searching for pics 01 and pics 02.) Viktor Korchnoi cools his heels in front of the metal detector as the security staff goes through his bag at the 2001 FIDE KO in Moscow.
The World Youth Championships are nearing conclusion in Belfort, France. The site is nice, although I understand that it wasn't ready in time for the start of the event. As expected, there are Russian and Indian players near the top of almost every age group.
Everybody keeps writing me about the recently held elections for the board of the United States Chess Federation. Fewer than 10% of eligible voters cast their ballots. The four spots were easily won by the hard-campaigning ticket composed of Goichberg, Tanner, G. Shahade, and Channing. Several are friends, and good luck to all.
I'm still not clear on where this "Chess MasterMinds" event came from or where it's going, but it did happen and apparently it will be shown. The "masterminds" title didn't appear in the latest press release I received, but it did include some tiny photos of the players.
Srikanth sends a link to this meaty if unremarkable "Sportstar" interview with Viswanathan Anand. He comments on San Luis, sponsorship, and life without Kasparov.
Speaking of prodigies and former prodigies, ChessNinja contributor US Champion Hikaru Nakamura is in clear first place in the Biel tournament at the half.
I haven't found much about this event, but 13-year-old American Fabiano Caruana won the "Ciudad de Segovia" open rapid tournament in Spain with 7/8.
Garry Kasparov just left New York City after a brief visit. Meetings with his publisher, Kasparov Chess Foundation sponsors, and other things were finished off by an unusual documentary interview today.
Staying in America Latina, the 8th Magistral de la Republica Argentina is underway. Each year a top computer program participates in the round-robin, typically crushing the category 8 field. This year Shredder is in the lead again despite a bizarre blunder that lost a piece and a game to Lafuente in the third round.
For you hispanoparlantes out there, Chilean GM Ivan Morovic has a varied and interesting website. Much of it focuses on business strategy and how it can be viewed through the lens of chess, something I'm increasingly familiar with now that I'm working with Kasparov on his book project.
FIDE announced a women's world championship for next year in Ekaterinburg. We've been talking a lot about women's chess in the US and in general.
The Biel GM Tournament starts Sunday. It's the usual double round-robin with six players. Gelfand is the top seed and by far the veteran of a youth-skewed event.
I have an ever-increasing collection of found chess in advertising and other forms of media. Apart from the usual references and metaphors, the visual element is also appreciated by the marketing types.
Ninja message board mod Rondino is regaling us with his tales from the Canadian Open, including his simul games against Ivanchuk and Bologan. (Post the scores, man!) Organizer Adrien Regimbald responded to my questions about their practice of bringing in a few world-class players with appearance fees.
After five rounds the Dortmund crosstable is almost comically balanced. Only one point separates all ten players. +2 looks certain to mean a share of first. The big four of Topalov, Leko, Kramnik, and Adams has a combined even score.
I just posted the latest update to the US Championship website to include the World Open results. Qualifiers included Joel Benjamin, who will be at his 23 consecutive championship.
This tidbit in on the wires: Local chess player and international [Woman] Grand Master Nguyen Thi Thanh An has been refused entrance to three separate foreign countries reportedly wanted by Interpol international crime agency.
I received a few messages about this at the time and then another follow-up a week ago. In the final round of the giant HB Challenge in Minneapolis, a player in the under-2000 section by the name of Alexandre Mirtchouk was suspected of receiving assistance.
The Canadian Open Championship starts today in Edmonton, a great summer town known for hockey, rodeo, and its Klondike Days festival.
The Dortmund supertournament starts today. They have already made news by canceling live internet broadcasting of the games.
A few days ago this press release appeared all over the chess place. It's an intenet rapid match over four boards between US and Russian GMs. As presented, the big deal is that it's being produced for TV by "Nashville International Studios" and "will be aired Sunday, July 24th, 2005."
After only one woman entered to qualify for the US Championship at the National Open, automatically going to San Diego despite a negative score and a 1600 rating, it looks like something similar is afoot in Philly.
To pick out one item from the ACP/FIDE meeting and GM John Nunn's comments, let's take up the idea of losing rating points due to inactivity. I'm in favor of doing this in combination with other changes to make the list more dynamic.
The much-anticipated list is out. Anand and Topalov are tied for 2-3, the Bulgarian's highest placing ever. It was a big story when the KKA triangle finally broke down after seven years.
I don't know if I opened the can of worms or just spread the worms around, but the US Chess Federation event sponsored by herbal supplement maker Natrol disappeared and has since become a hot potato in US chess politics and has been followed up around the world.
The latest giant American swiss system torture test tournament is underway in Philadelphia. Right now it's just the long schedule; the big crowd of top players comes in on July 2.