Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Bologan Wins FiNet Chess960 Open

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Viorel (aka Viktor aka Victor) Bologan, Moldova's most famous non-prostitute export, won the mighty FiNet shuffle chess open tournament in Mainz. Gata Kamsky was an early leader but he lost to defending champ Bacrot and Ivanchuk took over. But Bolo beat the Ukrainian in the final round with black to take clear first with an impressive 9.5/11 score. The wonderful standings page (!) pointed out to me by Johannes Fischer of the Mainz site shows Kamsky, Navara, Ivanchuk, and Volokitin sharing second a half-point back. (Btw guys, it's Gata who is playing in Mainz, not his father Rustam!) Kamsky was rocking the place for a long time, beating the perennial favorite Mamedyarov in just eight moves and showing that while he can't manage his time when he has hours, it's not so bad when he just has 20 minutes! As the old saying goes, talent ages well.

I looked at just a few of the top games live and Volokitin had a cute win over Sumets in round nine. White must have been shocked by 14.0-0! breaking a pin and threatening mate at the same time. Gol-durned funky castling rules. That round also saw Karjakin castle kingside -- from b8 to g8! I imagine the win puts Bologan into the world championship against Aronian next year. Oh yah, Aronian beat Anand in the final, needing blitz tiebreaks after Vishy came back to win the fourth game to tie the match. If they do it like this did this year he will also face Anand and the winner of the Ordix rapid (non-shuffle) open that starts Saturday.

Speaking of pieces that don't shuffle, Anand came out ahead in the first Grenke Leasing rapid championship prelim round with Aronian, Bacrot, and Kasimjanov. So far things look to again be shaping up the way ol' Arpad intended. After the first day Anand leads with 2.5/3 followed by Aronian and Bacrot with 1.5 and the out of form Kasimjanov with 0.5 and a near long castling that was averted by a save against Aronian. As in the Chess960, the top two scorers after tomorrow's second half of all-play all will play a four-game match on Sunday and the 3-4th players will also face off.


I always read your blogs and I certainly enjoy them, but this time I didn't appreciate the way you described Moldova and its exports. It's not funny at all. I think you should correct your writing and you do owe an apology to these people.

Is Moldova really famous in the way you suggest? I had no idea, but then I wouldn't know about that, would I?

Gee Mig, I didn't know your break-up with Almira was this bad!

I second the notion of the first poster.

There is nothing great about woman forced to prostitution (outright or due to poverty).
It's a topic too serious for jokes. (as there is too much truth in it, though a sad truth)

The prostitute comment is baseless and tasteless, and shows more about Mig than about Moldova.

nothing is too seriuos for jokes!

some people will never get it

As I have said before Mig, leave the comedy to the professionals.

is your wife moldovan, jackholeaard?

Hey Mig, fantastic first sentence..... You do not see further than your nose.

And you do not have the right to say that since you are the greatest prostitute of Chessbase.

Irritating macho introduction indeed. Are we not all "pro stituere" ?

That was the most tasteless thing I saw here in a long time. Let's hope Mig finally has the decency to apologize and won't pull another one of his famous "This is my blog and I can say anything I want about anything or anyone I want, but nobody is allowed to criticize me because waahhh."

As irritating and tasteless as it may sound, it´s true. Not saying it won´t change it...at least the guy gave it a humorous touch. You are all reacting the way you are supposed to react in order to believe you are righteous...

Freedom of speech? Who cares?

The internet is a big place and I'm sure there are a lot of sites where you'd find humour that suited you better. If Mig thinks it was funny, that's his choice. This *is* his blog and he *is* allowed to say anything he wants - unless you guys are paying him to write, you have no real right to complain. It's bad enough people can be offended by something on a site they CHOOSE to go to, but to ask an author to remove something he's written on his OWN SITE is pretty pathetic.

Aren't you embarrassed to complain to someone who owes you absolutely nothing?

He owes us nothing, but he owes an apology to a whole country.

"Oh, ideal lost in night-mists of a vanished universe:
People who would think in legends - all a world who spoke in verse;
I can see and think and hear you - youthful scout which gently nods
From a sky with different starlights, other Edens, other gods."

(Mihail Eminescu, the great Moldavian poet-genius)

These comments are so predictable.

Apologize or not, I hope Mig doesn't do a Polgar and delete all those unfavourable comments.

- Kapalik

Fired, your post is absurd on a lot of levels. Nobody denied Mig's *right* to write tasteless, offending stuff - similarly you don't deny us the right to criticize it, do you? (Yes, we do have that right even here on his blog, although he would also have the right to delete it if he wanted to, which I don't think.) And as for reading it voluntarily, I went here to read about chess and could hardly expect some tasteless "joke" about Moldova and one of the worst form of oppression of women that exists rather than about chess.

Just because someone writes something on his "OWN SITE" (and?) it doesn't mean people can't criticize and advise.

For the guy who thought that after all "it's true", I'd ask in what sense Moldova's 'prostitute export' is "great". That it's big in terms of numbers? True, although that is hardly how "great export" is normally used. Should we assume that was what's meant about Bologan too?

To people who will continue to defend this crap I don't really have anything to add.

If you remove humor on stereotips, you remove humor at all. Fortunately Mig makes jokes on stereotypes.
I would hate if this blog turned into some politically-correct and neutral(Polgar-style) crap.

All this being said, Mig, this one was rather tasteless.

It is true that anybody has right to state their opinion on their site. However as we all know the Internet is an open channel of communication where anyone can access and view those information, including children, and I would hope that Mig would understand that one day, and refrain from positing prejudice and questionable comments against countries, minorities and women in particular. Simply removing a comment because people object does not correct the insult, and we hope to see an apology to people of Moldova, and women, specifically to those who are forced in a life they did not chose. I think that Mig should receive an award for the most inappropriate chess blog in the world. If that is what you were aiming for Mig- mission accomplished.

For the record, the way I thought it should be read is that there are prostitutes (or at least one) that are "greater exports" than Bologan. Trying to avoid accusations that I was interpreting it in the worst way possible, I was trying to offer an alternative interpretation (Moldova's whole 'prostitute export' being 'great' meaning 'big'), although that one doesn't make sense.

Obviously calling any prostitute a 'great export' would be so extremely tasteless and offending that it would not need to be explained why. I hope nobody will have to paste links to descriptions of the horrible reality of forced prostitution in Moldova and other countries.

Maybe Mig is a utilitarian and not a humanist. Who are we to say that he isn't correct--humans?

I have several questions for you.
So you think that from all available information and interpretations available in the internet, particularly to kids, Mig's comment is especially dangerous and needs special attention? Or you post everywhere where you find something that might not be very good for kids?
How would you assess Mig's blog's educational value, as overall? Do you think this is wikipedia or what?
You think that internet is open for communication means that before posting one should agree his or her post with all target audience? Because it is open and kids can access it? Taking into account that asking everyone would be hard a bit, maybe a governmental organization should be founded to control the posts? Or one should just ask you? Who decides that a given comment/post is potentially dangerous for kids? You think its bad, Mig thinks its ok, he posts-this is his blog, you can comment, but, man, what a high tone!

In a small Russian village a mother gave birth to two boys: Mikhail & Vladimir. She could hardly provide for her family and had to sell her body to older gentleman of Moldavian origin (because all their prostitutes were exported to other countries). The only thing she was able to teach her boys is how to play chess. One Californian gentleman saw Mikhail and both him for 5 rubles and put him to clean his toilets in his big mansion. He was a kind fellow who eventually felt sorry for Mikhail and got him his first computer. Vladimir stayed in Russia, had very difficult life and decided to kill 64 people – one for each square on a chess-board. He lured his victims, who were mostly elderly men (like his father who abandoned him), to a quiet part of the park. He then attacked them from behind with a hammer. Mikhail tried to be a good buy and moved to New York. He never forgave his mother for selling him, and often wears lipstick and a dress to look just like her. Mikhail dreams of luring women in the central park, and stealing their high heel shoes to add to his collection. Any similarities and connection to actual people and events are purely coincidental.

OK, Mig. Open mouth, insert foot.

Demanding an apology for an entire country is not offering advice - it's a demand. Demands from people who for the most part aren't even Moldovan, women, prostitutes or Victor Bologan. It's nice of you to be offended FOR people though, it must keep you busy.

I sincerely hope Mig doesn't even apologize. It's ridiculous that he can't even make a joke without a bunch of PC nutcases jumping down his throat. If you were that offended by it there are plenty of humour-free sites out there where you can avoid anything that could possibly offend you. Next thing you know, he'll be getting sued for calling someone an elf...

Man, Mamedyarov got beat down like a read headed step child..


Mig: "That round also saw Karjakin castle kingside -- from b8 to g8!"

Actually Karjakin didn't do that, but he was one of the few: Moiseenko, Cmylite, Kamsky, Iljin etc. all castled like that in round 9.

I didn't realize that all games have the same starting position per round. This provides some statistics to the position in question. For example in round 9, white has very good winning chances according to top board results: +7, =1, -2.

Sorry , round 9 should read round 8. Still, Karjakin avoided jumping around with his king in both of those games.

There are about 1 million of young (some as young as 12 years old) women trafficked every year. Poor girls are promised jobs (like working in restaurants). First they're put in huge debt bondage, told that they must work off travel expenses before they can even think of being let go. They're stripped of their identification and held in a foreign country where they don't know the language (Istanbul, Athens, Tel Aviv, Hamburg). They're told that their families back home are being watched. If they try to run, their mother or father or brother will be beaten or killed. They're then starved and roughed up, and serve 10 to 15 men a day. It’s a major abuse of kids and slavery, coordinated mostly by Russian “pimps”. Tens of thousands of Moldovan women have been sold into prostitution in more affluent countries. And the trade in human organs, particularly kidneys, is a growing problem. Forced prostitution is real. It could happen to your daughter or your sister.

Whoops, forgot all about the chess. :)

It'd be interesting to see what the overall results were for each round, but since only 11 of the 960 positions were used I guess it's not too much use yet. I don't think it's uncommon for White to score +7, =1, -2 in regular chess, especially rapid.

I don't think there's anything funny at all about prostitution and the situation these women are in is beyond awful. Also, I didn't find Mig's 'joke' funny. The point is he should be allowed to make whatever 'jokes' he thinks are funny without being harrassed.

A lot of stone-casting going on here. The sad part is, how many of us have sought the "services" of those young women at one time or another in our lives. I'm not perfect, and I'm not too proud to admit it. So let's cut the pc crap.

Fired, maybe you're right about the statistics, I never studied them.

Off topic, but here is a chess related news item which is definitely funny. Or maybe it's tragically sad?

"[FIDE] intends to build hotels in 165 countries. All hotels are said to be in the shape of chess figures...According to FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, at the first stage nearly US$1 billion is to be allotted for bringing the plans to life. The total cost of the project is estimated at US$50 billion. ... Another grandiose part of the FIDE project is building of a chess city that will consist of 32 hotels in the shape of chess in the UAE."


Money made on human trafficking, drugs and stolen cars must be invested into something. Real-estate?

A modern Chess Center will be constructed in Moldova by FIDE (in exchange for what?) http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=1418

Or Garry Kasparov: “It was a clear case of corruption. Putin himself met with fifteen members of the International Olympic Committee and had some very convincing monetary arguments in his briefcase. After he had won the bid in this way the state will invest twelve billion dollars in Sochi. You can count on it that most of the money will end up in the pockets of companies close to Putin.” http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4055

How sweet that FIDE (or a new name for the same- Global Chess) opened an office at the IOC: http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=1421

Garry also said that Putin has deposited a vast fortune in the West. What would we find if we audit real-estate corporations in North America?


Huh? Are you serious? I have my own problems, but having sex with under-aged prostituted slaves is not one of them. Feeling bad for their situation is not "pc crap"--it is being human, so let's cut the everyone's-a-pig-so-quit-pretending-like-you-don't-all-hire-children-for-sex crap.

At least the furnishings aren't ostentatious. =8-)

My last reply was to "do" in regards to the IOC. Now stendec, what I said just went right over your f****** head...didn't it?

Nice try, kiddo. If you post about hiring "service" of young prostitutes, it isn't my fault.

If you want to know why chess doesn't get more corporate funding, it's because one of the mostly widely read chess blogs in the English speaking world can begin with a sentence like the one above. When chess players realize that impressions matter, and that offensive, adolescent, humor has no place among adults, that chess can take its place in the grown up, commercial world. I'm not holding my breath.

I did say "young women" and frankly it was when I was young and stupid. But when you take it upon yourself to imply that I was referring to "children" that's something else again a******. It's easy to state that on a blog. In person, you'd be wearing some unwanted tatoo's. And that's all I will say to you, other than you disgust me.

Ok, ok, settle down there before you hurt yourself. Even if I had a tatoo, you'd never see it; I'm not your type--I'm well over 18.

I have a feeling someone educated me about this before, but I've already forgotten. What's the difference between Moldova and Moldovia? One's a country and the other's a part of Rumania, is that it? Or is Moldovian just the adjective of Moldova?


Lack of world chess championship sponsors is caused by merger of chess with politics. FIDE = Russian government = Global Chess (the same boss, new employees). Until chess is equal to only chess, FIDE will have the same issues, regardless of who they employ as their front man. Chess has positive values and can easily get married to corporations, if you create something like Grand-Slam and remove any and all connections to FRoGs.

Hey, I've got some good jokes for you: can we please have them on your site. I think these are the funniest of them all.
These are the greatest..


Far better than yours, I might add. The guy who owns this site is not only a far better chess player than you, he is a better joker as well!

Were you drunk when you wrote that comment about Molodova and prostitutes Mig?

rdh, there are two regions close to each other with similar names. The country of Bologan is Moldova, so he is Moldovan by citizenship. This territory belonged to the Soviet Union until 1990 or so.

The other is Moldavia, the north-eastern part of Romania, not a separate country. People living here would be Moldavian.

I've seen them mixed up everywhere, probably due to language causes: in certain languages Moldavia is called Moldova (e.g. in Romanian), and Moldova is called Moldavia.

Rather than jokes of dubious quality and shuffle chess news, I would have preferred a piece on the great Korchnoi - winning Banja Luka at 76!

I would like to know what Stern thinks about this discussion of PC/moral outrage versus let it all hang out conservatism... And, gentlemen (forgive me if there are any ladies out there under gender-neutral handles), I'd like to see some discussion of the actual chess that was played, too. As a patzer, I find the concept of Fischer random chess fascinating - oops - maybe I shouldn't have said that...

Mig, it was not your day. Even in the Moldova Communist newspapers one would not find so disrespectful comments about other countries.

If you have nothing intelligent to say about Moldova, go to
and research the subject please.

(The rest of the message is self-censored).

I admit to also being taken aback by the Moldovan joke. But I would never demand something be removed from someone's blog...first, it's Mig's right to post what he wants, and second, my memory that he was tasteless enough to make the joke in the first place won't go away if he deletes it.

Mig's greatest outrage was forgetting the _real_ greatest export of Moldova, the song "Dragostea din tei", i.e. the "Numa Numa" song: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragostea_din_tei

Gee, sorry I missed all the controversy! Much of the little international renown Moldova has attained in recent years has come from an epidemic of human trafficking. I don't doubt it's annoying to Moldovans and their friends (and I have Moldovan friends) to have this pointed out in such a tacky manner. To bring that home, one of those Molovan friends complained to me that "the only thing Moldova is known for is prostitution!" That's pretty much where I got the idea for the joke.

It is what is called a "useful stereotype" in the humor trade. Americans are fat, French are arrogant, Colombians have drugs, Belgians are Belgian, etc. The people who laugh at these jokes don't really believe all Americans are fat (although we are), and it would annoy Americans to hear these jokes about them if they ever read the world press (which we don't, because along with being fat, we are ignorant, remember?). But that Moldovan was talking about that reputation in Russia.

I had a Colombian cocaine joke up here a few months ago and it got nary a peep as I recall. The Moldovan joke is far more obscure and so less likely to be understood by most. Perhaps any mention of prostitution could be considered in poor taste, but that's not exactly unusual around here (the poor taste, not the prostitution). Human trafficking is worse than obesity and arrogance, and on par with drug addiction and violence I'd say.

Of course all feedback is fair game. If it offends, say so. But the sort of people who chant for removal of material that offends them are, in my long experience with this topic, losing the benefit of the doubt with obvious attempts at humor. I'm not excusing outright racism, etc., but playing on stereotypes is one of the oldest and dearest forms of humor. I'm sure any Colombians in the audience were annoyed at the coke joke. And any time I mention US politics someone complains about it. It's not going to work for everyone every time. Or it might not work with anyone sometimes, like in this case it seems.

Either way, I can live with it. I don't have much choice in the matter. I can't write anything interesting while wondering who and how everything might offend. Of course we all do that naturally to some degree, and my sensibilities usually aren't so far out of tune. I had second thoughts about this one, for example, but decided it was funny enough. Not sure why I went with "greatest export" instead of the clearer and superior "most famous export", but that's a quibble.

In sum, sorry to those offended. I'm not likely to make jokes about a member of the Palestinian Olympiad team exploding or the Jamaican team having an attack of the munchies, but it's good to know you'll be on the lookout if I do.

I am not offended by the remark; but it is not funny . And yes, I realize it was meant to comedy, but see my comments above.

But, for a child reading this, he may take it seriously. I can just see a little Miguel reciting such "facts" in a school near you. Teacher says, "Where did you learn of such facts ?".

"Oh, at this chess site, Dirty something..., the blogmeister was talking about prostitutes"

In my chess960 book I predicted that -- setups where both White knights start on the same shade of square would have more knights advance beyond their own 4th rank (into the opponent's half of the board) early in the game.
When I looked at the new 2007/08 games from round 2 of the championship round-robin, I saw evidence supporting my prediction:

{} Aronian-Kasimdzhanov, 1-0, Round 2, NRKR-NQBB

1. f4 Nb6 2. f5 f6 3. Nb3 e5 4. fxe6 dxe6 5. g3 Nd6 6. Nd3 Qe7 7. Ndc5 Bf7 8.
Na5 O-O 9. Ncxb7 Be8 10. Nc5 f5 11. Qf3 Nbc4 12. Nc6 Bxc6 13. Qxc6 {...} 31. Rb1a1 1-0

{} Bacrot-Anand, .5-.5, Round 2, NRKR-NQBB

1. Nb3 f5 2. f4 Nb6 3. g3 d6 4. d3 g6 5. c4 c6 6. Nf3 Nc7 7. Qe1 Ra8 8. Na5 e5
9. Qb4 e4 10. dxe4 fxe4 11. Ng5 Na6 12. Qa3 Nxc4 {...} 28. Kd3 h5 1/2-1/2

Unfortunately, later rounds lacked support for my prediction.

This is Mig's blog and he lives in America where free speech is cool. So please all you forigners out there that took offense, do not get so bent out of shape. Its understandable since your probably not used to free speech in your oppressive lands but here is the US... we can say what we want and when we want.


Damn it! Why did you have to mention "US politics?"

USA, way to drive home Mig's second American sterotype.

USA's probably French-American.

Mig's latest post is a fair summation and should close the issue. He's apologetic about it and admits it was tasteless and offensive but he has every right to make it. While everyone has a right to criticize it, nobody has a right to ask for its retraction. This isn't Polgar's blog where everything is goody-good (except for attacks on dirty chess politicians).

As Mig mentioned, one reason for all the outrage is that the facts about Moldova aren't so well known (except maybe in Russia). A similar joke about say Thailand wouldn't have sparked so much outrage.

- Kapalik

Mig, I read that BBC article, the link for which was in your post. I don't think your joke was in bad taste, after I read that. In fact, it wasn't so much a joke as a satirical comment. Human trafficking is horrific, but to learn that this happens in 2007, and in Europe, to boot, is chilling. Moldova has a problem, thats for sure. Ain't going to go away just because we maintain a dignified silence.


Instead of apologizing, I suggest making fun of all the other countries as well (which participate in Chess Olympiads) with similar jokes. That might make the people of Moldova and others who have been offended feel better...

Also, you might want to put up one of those enter if you are over 18 else come back later buttons..


It seems that the MAIN exports of Moldova are: "...wine and spirits, processed foods, and clothing and textiles." Any of those FAMOUS?

I do make fun of other countries. All the time. Especially the US. I think the combination of Moldova and its problems being largely unknown and the semi-sexual nature of the joke combined to offend more people than usual. The unknown factor is huge when the entire point is a joke about a stereotype -- because obviously for most readers it wasn't a stereotype. As Kapalik said, a place well-known internationally for the sex trade would have had a different effect entirely for most. Imagine it about a player from Las Vegas. Nobody would take it as my calling everyone from Las Vegas a prostitute or as a dire insult to people from Las Vegas (Las Vegans? Las Vegasonians?).


1) Moldova's wine export is famous indeed.
It became especially famous after Russia terminated the import of Moldova wine (for political reasons, related with Moldova's position on its inner Transnistria conflict... however the official reasons were different). It led to serious troubles for Moldova. And also for some Russians because at some point there was no wine at all in some of their regions.

Reading a single article about prostitution is not enough to make wise public comments about the whole country. You insulted Moldova - as simple as that.

2) Prostitution is illegal in majority of countries [unfortunately], and chess is legal practically everywhere. Therefore, you insulted Bologan, comparing him with prostitutes, and thereby you insulted all chess professionals.

3) You also insulted prostitutes, referring to them as to "export".

It was a simple reference to something that Moldova has become famous for. (If not famous enough for humor, as this thread attests.) I thought it would a funny and/or educational way to highlight Bologan's nationality.

Mentioning two things in the same sentence or paragraph does not mean you are equating them to one another. Nor does comparing things in one area mean you are saying they are similar in other ways. If I say, "Alex Yermolinsky is as popular in San Francisco as apple pie" I am not saying he is similar to apple pie in any way other than popularity. He does not smell of cinnamon, for one. Now let's take the same principle but change the content. "Alex Yermolinsky is as popular in San Francisco as a 50%-off sale at the Stormy Leather bondage boutique". SF has a well-known stereotype for what Republicans call sexual deviancy before they are indicted for it. It's funny. It does not say Yermo has any such tendencies. The joke is about San Francisco.

The same thing applies here. I didn't call Bologan a prostitute. I didn't compare him to prostitutes in any way -- other than to say he is from Moldova and that that country has a well-known problem with human trafficking for prostitution. That prostitution is illegal in many places and distasteful for some people is what makes it potentially humorous... and potentially offensive. The wine you mention, for example, not funny. Colombians and cocaine, funny. Fat Americans, funny. Over-efficient Germans, arrogant French, lazy Mexicans, funny. And offensive. But I'm the one who would be offended if anyone tries to say this is some sort of insult to chessplayers or Bologan (other than his being insulted as a Moldovan, see below).

As for insulting Moldova and Moldovans, probably so. As I said above, I make jokes about all sorts of things and the subjects of such humor don't always find it amusing. Few people like having their negative stereotypes, especially truthful ones, pointed out. As I said above, all I can ask is that people attempt to see the difference between being insulting and making a joke that might cause insult.

And the Moldovan prostitutes who read the Daily Dirt were probably insulted at being compared to a nerdy chessplayer. Mig's crimes just keep piling up.

Can you imagine living in a world where just one person got on Mig's case...and two dozen others cited lovely Moldovan poetry?

Free speech is not meant to be used in an abusive, racially prejudiced manner. Human rights groups should review your blog. You may talk about issues in Moldova, but saying: “Victor Bologan, Moldova’s greatest non-prostitute export.” and now replacing it with: “Moldova's most famous non-prostitute export.” is a racist note. I wonder if you are actually sane.

It was a crap comment Mig and your 2 responses didnt help but you have a great blog and a nice site

You guys don't get it.
MIG is in the process doing an IPO, taking the Daily Dirt public. He is going to make hundreds of Millions(US$ 100,000,000). This thread is simply an (evil) marketing tactic do drive up traffic to his site and maximize his ill gotten gains.
The only thing that could connect sex to chess is MONEY.


Let all of this go. You explained your position in an apologetic manner and some people still want to remain on their "high horse." Especially, Mikail Golubev. Hell, earlier I mentioned having sex with a prostitute when I was "young and stupid" and was accused of child molestation by some idiot named stendec, on this blog. You said what you had to say, let it pass.

It's fairly obvious that the comment was a mistake. On second reading Mig would certainly have realized it. I do not believe it was anything more than a comic attempt gone awry; although it's quite clear to everyone that it was not the most tasteful thing to joke about. I don't believe he wanted to show anything or anyone or any country in poor light, least of all Bologan. But, one has to grant, it brought the issue into public focus, which not many may have been aware of earlier.

Jokes, though, should prick vanity, never misery. If misery is spoken about as a laughing matter, it no longer remains a joke.

Good to see that at least all readers here have unanimously rejected buying into this attempted joke. That's heartening.

That said, I think Mig has always had very equitable opinions on gender issues (especially in chess). He has always emphasized that women's apparent poorer strength is not an inherent gender deficiency, but more a matter of upbringing and societal priority-apportioning. That is one point where he does not borrow his opinion from -- you know who. :-) So let's give credit where it's due, and not berate him as a chauvinist or anything, for something which was just a slip-up. There was no intentional wrong.

"Hell, earlier I mentioned having sex with a prostitute..."
Posted by: chesstraveler at August 19, 2007 14:56

Aah, the joys of posting anonymously! You can afford to be honest. Not that we would be able to identify someone who posted as Ian Smith.... or Greg Koster for that matter..

Or stringTheory.

Good quote from proloy "Jokes, though, should prick vanity, never misery."

Mig doesn't seem to get this basic point. That's why, at times, "Fat Americans, funny. Over-efficient Germans, arrogant French, lazy Mexicans, funny."

And 'prostitutes are an export of Moldova' is not a joke, which explains why nobody except Mig thought it was funny.

Mig, in my opinion your stereotype “Moldavians-prostitutes” (second class people, third world) is very close to racism or discrimination.
I wonder what your friend, the World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov thinks about your “joke”. He has good relationships with Viorel and of course he knows much more about Moldavia than most of us.


From one American to another... Regarding Garry, that would be EX-World Chess Champion, unless he's pulled a Fischer as of late. Quite frankly, who cares what Garry thinks about this, he has his hands full with Putin right now. Besides Alex, name me one person who hasn't discriminated at one time or another, intentionally or perhaps unintentionally? Give it a rest.

What really upsets me is that instead of accepting his mistake he was trying to make it up by putting a link on some old article on the internet. He claimed that the joke is quite deep and not everyone can get it…
I understand that scandals attract new visitors, as for me, I’m getting out of this blog.

Saludos Mig

Yes, let's also call my mother and the Pope. I've met Bologan and have written nice things about him many times. I also know Garry thinks highly of him and I have also written about that. So which is it? Do I secretly have a hatred for Moldovans and Bologan or is it just a joke you find offensive because of the content?

Next time you tell a Chukcha joke please let me know. As if none of these hypocrites have ever told a joke about a nationality or a gender. Or misery, for that matter. Some of the most robust schools of humor, particularly Jewish and Russian, are extremely dark and often about very painful topics (unless the Holocaust and KGB prisons don't count as misery). The bottom line is that what someone doesn't find funny they enjoy describing as "not funny" or "offensive" while these things are entirely subjective.

And if you want to stay on topic, during my trips to Russia I was constantly told by Russians that all the prostitutes (the countless ones in every hotel lobby) were Moldovan. And that was one of the nicer things they said. I bear no ill-will toward Moldova or Moldovans and certainly haven't known enough of them to build up my own personal stereotypes about them. I am aware of the problem they have with human trafficking, which is what the joke was based on.

Read it again instead of having a panic attack. It says that 1) Bologan is Moldovan and well known and 2) Moldova is also known for prostitution-related human trafficking. This is easily confirmed by Google. An offensive topic and inappropriate joke for some, sure. But don't make this out as if I were insulting Bologan or harming Moldovans.

dictionary.com will help with terms like "racism" and "discrimination." Bringing up an offensive topic in a joke, or an any context, does not mean you are doing the subject of that topic harm. I didn't refuse to hire someone for being Moldovan. My joke does not have the power to do economic or political harm to anyone. And while perpetuating stereotypes, funny or not, might be considered wrong on some ethereal plane, it's pretty clear in this case that this "joke gone awry" -- as someone described it above -- has served more of an educational purpose than anything else. If everyone were aware of the Moldovan trafficking issue -- the way most people are aware of the sex trade in Thailand or Las Vegas -- it wouldn't have been a big deal because it would have been an obvious joke on an obvious stereotype.

I have a track record of a decade and hundreds of thousands of words out there. If you really think this doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt, I'm certainly not going to be able to convince you. "Aha, finally Mig's deep hatred of Moldovans comes to the surface!"

Alex, I was simply trying to explain the source of the joke with that link. It is clear from the content of many of these comments that the situation that story describes was unknown to many.

So now please tell me what you would like me to do to "accept my mistake." I apologized for giving offense. What next? Delete this entire item and all these profoundly self-righteous comments? That's a little Stalinistic, no? The mistake was thinking, or not thinking, the joke was funny and harmless. I write things all the time that some people don't think are funny or that others find offensive. I don't delete them based on the percentage. If it were a personal insult or factually incorrect remark I would definitely delete it or correct it. But there is nothing to correct or delete here. I can say, "hey, I hadn't slept in 30 hours and I'd been drinking, sorry about that!" It would be true, but what would it change? Again, what should I do?

As for "scandal," how does it attract readers? I would love to know. It seems to have pissed them off, actually. Is this joke going to appear on CNN? And how do I profit from that? Trying to invent motives for a non-crime isn't going to help. I don't care about attracting readers and I don't hate Moldova or Bologan (or prostitutes). If the joke was so, so, so bad that's another story. But don't make me out to be some evil genius with a plot to increase readership while destroying hated Moldova.

Mig, you know I liked your blog. When you called me Chukky I said nothing, because I understand this was a joke. But when you insult the entire nation (you don’t want to accept it) it is not funny at all.

Do you want to ask Viorel’s opinion about your joke or it’s not important for you what he thinks? Here is his e-mail address worldrose@hotmail.com Maybe somebody else wants ask him? I do not want to upset the guy.


I simply don't know what more I can do. You don't think the 80 comments about how horrible I am is enough penance? What should I do after I apologized? Fire myself? Donate to a Moldovan charity? Will you prepare a confession I can sign?

And now that we have an offensive joke your plan is to email it to offend other people?! Is having Bologan pissed off at me going to be a big solution to this?

Of course, you do not have to do it. It is better to think before. I know you write lots of staff and you cannot be nice to everybody. I warned you it is a bad joke a couple of minutes after you posted it, but you did not change it. That’s why I assumed you expected this reaction and you did not mind the scandal.

I didn't see your email or all these comments until I posted my first comment here. I was out until late Saturday night. My first comment was #54! By then it would have been bizarre to just delete everything. I have a pretty strict policy about letting things stand unless they are simple factual errors and even then I usual prefer to put corrections instead of changing things. (If someone points out an error in the first few minutes I'll sneak it in, but I don't delete the comment.)

Anyway, I wrote Viorel. If he gets spammed by people here I'm telling him it's your fault!

OK, I’ll write him too and I’ll tell him that you are a good guy.

People, bloggers, many of you are racist against prostitutes.
Your poor opinion about these girls is disgusting.
Explain, if you can, why a chessplayer should be offended finding his name in some way compared to girls who braverly make their life in a such difficult way.
Even when it is for their own choose.
I would like to see more respect for people.
In this case the same respect. Respect for all moldovian people: when they try to win poverty with prostitution and when they try in different ways.

People, bloggers, many of you are racist against prostitutes.
Your poor opinion about these girls is disgusting.
Explain, if you can, why a chessplayer should be offended finding his name in some way compared to girls who braverly make their life in a such difficult way.
Even when it is for their own choose.
I would like to see more respect for people.
In this case the same respect. Respect for all moldovian people: when they try to win poverty with prostitution and when they try in different ways.


Good effort. Anyone can make a mistake, after all. Not forgetting about Eminescu and wine, one may wish to visit at least one Moldova website,
http://www.bologan.md (ROM, ENG, RUS), Mainz news already added there.

"OK, I'll write him too and I'll tell him your a good guy."


I rarely post here but isn't it time to let this item die? I thought the joke (which I got) was in rather poor taste but Mig has apologized. Let it rest.

As to Mr. Bologan, I had the pleasure of playing him in a simul in Edmonton a while back (he squeezed the life out of me in a Philidor) and chatted with him for a minute. He was (is) a gentleman and very kind to a total patzer. Chess needs many more like him!


That can happen with the Philidor; but it can also be much more dynamic than what it has received credit for in the past.

I think it was 2 years back, Chess Life had a diagram where a 1700 player had Bologan beat in a slow tournament game in Canada; I'm guessing it was around the same time as the simul that bones mentioned above. (The B player blew it.) I think that also might have been the same tournament where Bluvshtein, then 17 I think, sacked multiple pieces against Shirov before move 20, and won brilliantly.

One more Moldovan site to visit:


And before anyone attacks: Pure malice from my end.

yours disrespectfully

Actually, Mig did not apologize for the 'joke', this is as close as he came:

"In sum, sorry to those offended. I'm not likely to make jokes about a member of the Palestinian Olympiad team exploding or the Jamaican team having an attack of the munchies, but it's good to know you'll be on the lookout if I do."

Mig, how about sharing some of those Holocaust jokes that are equivalent to this so funny 'Moldova exports great prostitutes' quip?

As I said, if the leaders of this inquisition have agreed on a confession for me to sign, let me know. If you fail to comprehend or accept "I'm sorry" then all I can do is sincerely ask you to go to hell or get a life, whichever comes first.

needless to say, my money is on 'go to hell'

To the extent that the trenchant criticisms of Mig may have caused him some distress, I am sorry that he chooses to feel that way. After all causing distress is funny in some cultures.

"Mig, how about sharing some of those Holocaust jokes that are equivalent to this so funny 'Moldova exports great prostitutes' quip?"

Why bother? The Iranians made the same argument in response to the "Muhammed cartoon" controversy last year.


Or are you implying that Mig would apply special standards for jokes about the Holocaust, simply because of his background?

In either case, I find your comments to be more offensive than Mig's

"Mig, how about sharing some of those Holocaust jokes that are equivalent to this so funny 'Moldova exports great prostitutes' quip?"

Why bother? The Iranians made the same argument in response to the "Muhammed cartoon" controversy last year.


Or are you implying that Mig would apply special standards for jokes about the Holocaust, simply because of his background?

In either case, I find your comments to be more offensive than Mig's

"As I have said before Mig, leave the comedy to the professionals."

Posted by: voisovrezin at August 18, 2007 01:47

Yeah, leave it to professionals.... like Borat!

[It's essentially the same schtick as Mig's--though much more humorous, IMO]

DOug don't be pathetic, Mig raised the Holocaust deal himself:

"Next time you tell a Chukcha joke please let me know. As if none of these hypocrites have ever told a joke about a nationality or a gender. Or misery, for that matter. Some of the most robust schools of humor, particularly Jewish and Russian, are extremely dark and often about very painful topics (unless the Holocaust and KGB prisons don't count as misery). "

And I have no idea what Mig's background is, except he apparently is not female or poor.

This blog promotes hate speech, defamation and libel. It is against human rights. Free speech was intended to be democratic and valuable truth quest. It was not intended to be used for racist, harmful, false and misleading expressions. Mig is Sam Sloan personifed.

Hate against nations was spread by Adolf Hitler, Bin Laden, Joseph Stalin, Genghis Khan. They used it to start wars and kill people… People like Mig spread hate by hiding behind “free speech”. It is sad to see such horrible messages against Jewish people who suffered greatly in Holocaust, against children who are forced in prostitution and have terrible life that they do not deserve, against women who gave us life, against countries in development who were oppressed and are fighting to gain independence…

Is it too late to jump on this bandwagon?

Mig, if you possess even a shred of decency, please stop killing Jews, forcing children into prostitution, oppressing developing nations, and using your column to promote Kasparov.

Hate speech?

I hate del, I hate del, but I am in total agreement with greg.

Sam Sloan personified? What's he now, a cartoon character? [rhetorical question only]

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 17, 2007 7:21 PM.

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