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The Fabulous Dr. Ginsburg

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American IM Dr. (Dr. IM?) Mark Ginsburg has popped up in the blogosphere with a personal chess history and some old photos that will bring a smile or a cringe depending on your feelings about the hairstyles of the 70's and 80's. Naturally, most are of US players, but there are a few internationals, such as this one of 18-year-old Vladimir Kramnik at the New York PCA/Intel KO event, probably in 1994 when he beat Kasparov in the final. (He was also in NY that year for the candidates match he lost to Kamsky and in 1995 for another PCA KO. Maybe Big Vlad can help us figure out exactly when this photo was taken.)

Photo by Mark Ginsburg

Mark also has analysis and other tidbits. Check it out.


A few people on earlier threads already hailed Mark's photos, but this is a good place to point out that the chess content he has on there is pretty awesome, too!

Especially us fogies who go back to the 70s (or the 60s, in my case) will fondly recall so many of the U.S. players whose jousts with Mark are entertainingly annotated there.

wow, cool pic...at first I thought it was photoshop..


The German magazine Schach had some interesting photos accompanying its interview with Gata Kamsky (which incidentally took place in a cafe in Brooklyn's Russian quarter, not far from Brighton Beach).

There was a picture of Kamsky studying a position with his father, before they left the USSR, and one of the 1994 PCA match against Kramnik (sporting a similar hairstyle to the one above), but by far the best one was from 1992, taken during the Paris Immopar Trophy.

In the middle stands Kamsky, imperturbable, looking directly at the camera (and incidentally bearing more than a passing resemblance to British comedian Ronnie Corbett).

On the left of the picture, Kasparov is brushing impatiently past him, with an expression on his face that clearly says "I've had enough of this nonsense!".

On the right, towering over Kamsky, is arbiter Geurt Gijssen, facing Kasparov but looking downwards, clearly unhappy at this turn of events.

A marvellous triptych, worthy of an Old Master!

Wow, I didn't realize Hunter Thompson was translated into Russian as early as 1994.

I didn't actually take that Kramnik photo. Who did, please? Also please fill in any missing information on my site re: dates, people, places. I have a lot more to scan in. Things get fuzzy after a few decades!



Mark Ginsburgh is a self cenetered a-hole. Always has and always will be, has done nothing in the chess world but keeps trying to insert himself in it.

the jack peters I was aware of was a consumate professional, great california player, that commnet might indicate bobbys illness is communicable, eric moskow m.d.

Is that a medical opinion or sarcasm, its hard to tell?

Now it's time for the obligatory question, "Was it really from Jack Peters?" Mig may be able to supply some insight on that.

I'm not gonna insert myself in this catfight. I don't know Ginsburg at all (although I was impressed by his blog). I knew Peters 30 years ago and he was a nice guy then. Also a consummate pro and a great player as Eric says; but at the risk of sounding Stern-like, I might add that in chess (at least) the latter two qualities don't necessarily correlate with the first one, in fact there could even be a negative correlation.


"but at the risk of sounding Stern-like,"

Not even close. You've much work to accomplish before you can hold yourself in such "high esteem."

And of course Kramnik will be in action at the end of next week. Topalov's form book:

1. Anand (definitely the favourite - incredible talent, stable, strong nerves)
2. Kramnik (won't exert himself, will try to avoid a match against Anand).
3. Aronian (can beat anyone, has winning chances if he is in top form and doesn't allow his opponents unnecessary chances).
4. Leko (tends to under-perform in big events, uncomfortable in tactical situations, has a psychological block about sacrificing pieces!)
5. Svidler (lacks energy, poor physical condition, too content to play second fiddle).
6. Grischuk (like Svidler, has great potential but serious weaknesses. Probably only there for the money).
7. Morozevich (brilliant and original, but the opposition is too strong for his style of play to succeed).
8. Gelfand (no obvious reason why he should finish ahead of all the other competitors, but good in tournaments, especially against young players).

I should explain that the order is probability of winning the tournament, not the likely placings - for example, Gelfand is not expected to come last! The comments in brackets are my summaries of Topalov's opinions in Schach magazine - he also provides examples to support them.

Sorry if this is off-topic, but of all the active threads it seemed the least inappropriate.

My only disagreement with what James listed is Anand's stability. IMO he tends not to recover well from key losses during tournaments or matches. It could prove costly in this crowd, but I still like his chances.

Back in the day, Jack Peters had a nice head of hair. More Phil Lesh than Bon Jovi--in other words, not as “big” as Kramnik’s, which could account for the disparity in their ratings.

chesstraveler, Topalov acknowledges that Anand has had problems with recovering from losses, but thinks he has overcome this and other weaknesses in his mental approach.

Another player who has changed is Aronian. He used be (according to Topalov) one of those players who takes easy draws against strong opponents and hopes to pick up points from the tail-enders, but is now willing to play for a win against anyone.

He also made a few predictions on the openings. Most of the 1.e4 players will open with d4 (if not, it could become a Marshall themed tournament!). Expect plenty of Slavs and QIDs, with perhaps the occasional King's Indian for surprise value. And no important novelties.

Thanks James,

Any of the top 3 you listed (I believe) will win it. I think I might root for Aronian only because of the new blood factor and I like him. Any chessplayer that is right handed and moves the pieces with his left, is alright with me...if you know what I mean.

Sorry, but could someone briefly explain what the Mexico tournament *means*. Is the winner declared world champion? Where does Topalov fit in?

Another update: according to Robert Fontaine, who covered the Biel tournament for Echecs Europe, Grischuk was saying there that he had spent a lot of time working on his game and seems determined to make a big impact in Mexico.

Many observers assume Grischuk is only really interested in poker and, in Fontaine's opinion, have been rather too quick to write him off as a chessplayer. Could he be the surprise of the tournament?

r, as I understand it, the tournament was originally to find the world champion, then it was to find a challenger who would play a match against Kramnik, then there were some last-minute changes to bring Topalov in - too late to stop him whinging about Kramnik's unfair privileges in the article I quoted (or perhaps he has no sense of irony?)

I admit I rather lost the thread at some point, probably through not following closely enough.

Thanks, James! So I'm not the only one who is confused about the Mexico tournament. I suppose Mig or someone will spell it out clearly when the tournament actually begins. Your reports on the participants are excellent.

Chess=beautiful game
Chess politics=human folly writ large

One addition; expect some BIG novelties! These guys haven't been showing any new ideas in recent tournaments and have been saving up there secret weapons for this one.

Catpower, I think Topalov meant there would be no novelties of the kind that completely change the assessment of a line - just tricky moves that cause some problems, but lead to near-equality if the opponent finds the right response.

Or perhaps he was indulging in a bit of psychology? He produced an opening surprise in practically every game against Kramnik, and has blamed his loss of rating points since then on having used up all his novelties (as well as other factors of course - such as tiredness).

If he has built up another stockpile, it would be useful for him to mislead his future opponent into thinking that he hasn't got much prepared. So that, when he does unveil a new move, the impact will be all the greater.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 29, 2007 2:21 PM.

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