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Teen Dream

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Gotta love this clip from a pic on a page put together by Anand's Indian management company, TNQ Sponsorship. Teen pics and a career highlights page included. The main Anand page is here, the photo gallery is here. [Thanks to JaiDeepBlue] I figure it's okay for me to post this because I recently put one of myself up back in the unfortunate moustache days. And I was also regularly felicitated back in high school.

Hard to say which chessplayer has the most embarrassing kid photos out there. Certainly Kasparov seems to have the most. ChessBase's amazing Playerbase even includes a picture of him as a tot on a tricycle, though most of these are also in various game collections from the early and mid-eighties. The Reshevsky sailor suit simul pics probably weren't on Sammy's mantle later in life. I've posted them before, but Karpov's agitprop Soviet youth pics of the young champion carrying a fish and walking through a wheat field carrying a scythe are classics. (From "Chess Is My Life")


It would have been nice if they had the photo of Anand being kissed by the supermodel in Estonia.

The Karpov photo is FANTASTIC!!!!!!

The Karpov photo truly is a "classic" that I hadn't seen before. Regarding the "moustache days", long hair days is more appropo. "Almost cut my hairrr, happened just the other dayyy!" Thanks Mig

I put the others in that series into a separate directory. Nice one with Karpov and his stamps with his mother.


The photo of Karpov with a scythe: NOW I know how he came by that muscular athletic physique and ruddy complexion.

I guess some of the captions were cut off in those old scans. Adding to the humor is the caption under the outdoor shots that says "on vacation in Lithuania." Because, along with feeding horses and fishing on vacation, it's always nice to go harvest a little wheat.

The Soviet photogs gave him the scythe because it was the only tool that they were sure he'd hold onto the right end.

Mig, I'm sorry for your grief. I know you work hard but having to carry the burden of such memories must be very difficult.

I know that I would have shot myself in the foot years ago if i'd have every looked like that. Well done, you have courage and I'm sure that airing them on this blog is a kind of therapy.

I admire you even more knowing this about you sir...

Remember how Kramnik looked a few years ago? He is my candidate for most weird looking super GM. Sorry , I have no pictures of him to share.

It never occured to me before that Karpov had a mom.

Ok, this is a different question - is there something "taboo" about men having mustaches? I have one! Is this a Western cultural thing? I'm puzzled...

At least in the US, moustaches are entirely out of fashion in places where fashion is a topic. (The liberal elite coasts, that is.) In NY they might be worn ironically by a few young hipsters, but mostly the wearer would be considered sadly comical, akin to having a mullet hair style. From watching the news they are still common enough in the South and Midwest (which makes them even less popular on the coasts, more a symbol of a lack of sophistication). So few Americans in these areas have them that they are almost considered regional or ethnic. (The Latino community here still embraces them.) Or retro, hence the common term "porn-star 'stache" referring to how the swinging single disco era (70's) pornography stars all had big moustaches. Of course so did many who weren't porn stars, unless my dad was really getting around.

Of course it's just fashion. Other than period pieces and the occasional villian (an old Hollywood tradition, bad guy with facial hair), you don't see them in Hollywood at all, or on just about anyone in public life (newscasters, politicians under 50, etc.). Maybe in ten years they'll be back and I can freely show photos of myself from age 19-21 again.

They were in fashion in the US in the 70s and 80s (see Ron Burgundy or Mr. Kotter for examples of that style), but not as much in general fashion now except in some ethnic communities.

You do still see them on baseball players of all ethnicities and sports car drivers.

Many African-American men of all ages wear moustaches, including Carl Weathers, Charles Barkley, Dave Chappelle, Johnnie Cochran, Diddy, and even Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

There are still famous American caucasian men with moustaches like Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds, Sam Elliott, and Hulk Hogan, but not as many as in the 70s and 80s. So it can be a kind of dated look these days on a guy Mig's age. So unless he's playing baseball or driving for Nascar, it would tend to like an older guy still wearing his high school look, hence the jokes.

Cross post. But, Mig, we must be going to different clubs. ;) You'll see lots of moustaches in both New York and LA even among the fashion elite--but primarily on African Americans. Diddy as mentioned, Jamie Foxx and Denzel Washington often have moustaches. Among African American male Oscar nominees, for example, almost all wear moustaches from time to time, even Cuba Gooding Jr. It's not divided by age, either. Louis Gossett Jr and Morgan Freeman have moustaches, but so do Will Smith, Ice Cube, and Terence Howard. Even guys as young as Usher and Sean Patrick Thomas.

You've got to get out more, dude. :)


Keep the stache; as far as what "Follywood" or the coasts news media may want to ESTABLISH (lol)as fashionable, all the more reason to grow a "handlebar" now.

It looks like a matter of fashion, but I was wondering whether there is any advantage, for instane in terms of comfort (not having to shave everyday)?

Wow, Mig, never mind the moustache, it looks like you had a bitchin' mullet!


You all missed the U.S.'s most frequent moustache-wearers of all: policemen.

Upon seeing an urban white non-Latino man with a stache, the instant free-association for most people is, "he's a cop." Come to think of it, I don't think they're even as ubiquitous on cops now as they were, say, 10 years ago (at least here in NYC).

"fashionable" or not, I hold that Yasser looked much better with his cookie duster. It's hard to imagine Lasker without his..or Evans without his beard. Likewise, Yasser should grow his back. Perhaps it was the source of his strength in some way? Maybe he'll feel froggy enough to come out of retirement if he returns to his classic look?

No mullet, thanks, not that the term existed then. All one length, halfway down my back. I could put all of it into a pony-tail. One of these days when I'm feeling particularly eager for punishment I'll post one of my Mexico-era beach shots. Dark tan, long blond hair, big mirrored shades. Top Gun, dude.

Selleck and others got their 'stache cred when they were still fairly popular overall (Burt Reynolds another). They can hardly change their looks now. (Hulk Hogan?!) I should also have mentioned that they are still a gay stereotype as well with the leather and cap set in Chelsea and the SF Castro, but as with the cops, much less than before. It's a consciously retro look.

Yah, the super thin pencil moustache a lot of black stars wear regularly deserves mention. Don't think Denzel has had one for a while. Maybe it's fashion or maybe it can look better, quicker. It would take me months to get a decent one going and meanwhile I'd look like trailer trash, or an East German pimp.

Aren't you worried about offending East German pimps? And how do you know what they look like?

If I didn't know that was Karpov carrying a fish, I would swear it's Bob Dylan.

now that's interesting...

What's an East German pimp? More important: What does he look like? Just so that I know when I meat one when I go to the grocery store? :o))


Karpov does wear quite a cool Jeans Jacket on that fish-pic. Didn't even know they existed back then in the East...

wow...the middle link there eristoff...I didn't know that Weird Al Yankovich was a chessplayer!

sadly I should point out that this could also have been a picture of me several years ago. sigh.

Chess and retro fashion...I just had a flashback.

I have a slice-of-life photo taken at the 1974 US Open in New York City, of the top boards during the final round.

The duds on the people milling about the stage would blow your mind. Power-blue leisure suit on Timman, quiana shirt (anyone remember those?) on Walter Browne.

Other clearly identifiable players in the picture include Benko, Frank Thornally, Hans Bohm (a then-unknown Dutch player who almost won the event; rumored at the time to be Timman's lover). Maybe Hort (who beat Bohm in final roudn to tie for first with Benko), maybe Lombardy.

I assume one of my parents snapped the photo, so in the foreground is me sitting at the board opposite Ed Formanek. I'm wearing an undershirt (well, a baby tee) with nothing over it, and my grooming is retro-Mig style: a conspicuous 'stache and long hair much thicker than Mig's.

The Anand page describes Anand as "First Asian to play the World Championship.", which is definitely not the case.

The first Asian was a Georgian-born Armenian named Tigran Petrosian. The second was some Azerbaijani named Kasparov.

The Anand page describes Anand as "First Asian to play the World Championship.", which is definitely not the case.

The first Asian was a Georgian-born Armenian named Tigran Petrosian. The second was some Azerbaijani named Kasparov.

Kramnik has undergone the reversal transformation than most people. He looks much thinner now than in his younger pictures.

Kasparov and Petrosian can hardly be considered 'definitely' Asian.

Although it is very strange in the modern world for a government to collect data on race, here is the US official definition:

White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "White" or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish.

Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes "Asian Indian," "Chinese," "Filipino," "Korean," "Japanese," "Vietnamese," and "Other Asian."

Can I just say for the sake of litigation, the pics of me when i was 18 are so awful i would issue a fatwa on the perpetrator of their exposure and I'm not even a Muslim.

Self deprication is the greatest of defences and the basis of most of my best work.

Deprication? Is that what Lorena Bobbit did to her husband?

gg, surely it is permissible to use the geographical instead of the "US official definition"?

Charles Milton Ling - I hereby give you permission to use any definition you prefer.

But nothing is going to turn Kasparov into 'definitely' Asian in common acceptance.

Is it true that Karpov spent half that vacation looking for the right yogurt?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 29, 2006 5:28 PM.

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