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A Chess Shop Grows in Brooklyn

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Just a few bits and bobs before our last 2008 polls and the start of Corus 2009. I was embarrassed to find out today that a new chess and game store opened up right under my nose here in Brooklyn six months ago and I hadn't noticed. Weird. I was walking by with daughter #1 (6 months old last Saturday!) and stopped in at the grandiosely named New York Chess & Game Shop at 192 Flatbush Ave. I chatted with one of the owners, Christian, for a while. They have classes for kids and adults and a surprising amount of space with tables and a computer downstairs. Lots of sets, not so much on the books. Next weekend they are hosting a 30-game blitz match between Alex Lenderman and Yaacov Norowitz. Charging admission for it seems a little cheeky to me, even $5. Get people to the door and then in the door to sign up for classes and buy stuff. Looks like a good space to host a chess party. How many people would show up in Brooklyn if I hosted a Linares party (say) next month?

What started as a Shirov comment on a ChessVibes note on Kramnik's ChessBase interview turned into a back-and-forth with a few illuminating bits. I'll add that it's not fair or even logical to expect the players to unite and condemn any perceived unfairness in the chess universe. Everyone has their own buttons and limits. A holier-than-thou attitude just makes useful, pragmatic solidarity that much harder to reach. We only need enough players to stick together on enough of the big things to make a difference. E.g. having one or two local seeds in the Grand Prix as a way of greasing the sponsorship wheels wasn't going to crash the system. Giving a wildcard a free pass into the final eight candidates tournament, on the other hand, is ridiculous favoritism and abuse. This is why principles come first, not the principals. Har har.

A few of my old KasparovChess.com friends and colleagues are doing interesting things in Israel. I taught Boris Alterman more useful English than he taught me useful things about chess, which shows only how much better his brain is than mine. I miss ya, Deep Boris!

Can someone please explain why the USCL team "the Queens Pioneers" gets an apostrophe? If it ain't the "New York's Yankees" or "Manchester's United" it ain't the "Queens' Pioneers." Argh. -- Ah, I see it was only a rogue editor's gaffe at Chess Life Online. Still, argh.

I'm going to be rocking the mic on ICC Chess.FM for Corus, so make sure you pick up extra cotton balls for your ears this week. Our first GM commentator (I'm just there to run the various contests, ask leading questions, and be annoying) is none other than St. Petersburg's greatest living cricket expert Peter Svidler! January 17, mark the date. Expert analysts Joel Benjamin and Larry Christiansen follow. Thanks to our generous sponsors we'll be giving away New In Chess subscriptions, beautiful House of Staunton chess sets and Everyman books hand-signed by Garry Kasparov. (He just signed two boxes of them Sunday and they are currently taking up space in my hallway. So no delay in receiving your prizes.) I'll also being doing podcast wrap-ups.


Cotton balls have been ordered! Although it would be easier just to have a mute on your mic, as I'm gonna miss out on Svidler's amazing insights as well :(

I understand gaves a simul at that shop a few month ago. I happened upon the shop in a similar manner, while travelling on one of our fabulous Mta busess, doing a double-take in disbelief. Later I stopped by in my car, in the middle of a torrential downpour, risking ticket while parked next to the fire hydrant on the corner. Yes it is really there.

I understand Nakamura gaves a simul at that shop a few month ago. I happened upon the shop in a similar manner, while travelling on one of our fabulous Mta busess, doing a double-take in disbelief. Later I stopped by in my car, in the middle of a torrential downpour, risking ticket while parked next to the fire hydrant on the corner. Yes it is really there.

Daughter #1? Does that mean there's a #2 somewhere?

Okay, I'm marking my calendar! What time of day does the live coverage start? Thanks!

Still only one daughter, but she's still #1. I've just always wanted to refer to my spawn in the format of a movie version 19th century Chinese feudal lord.

Svidler and I go live Jan 17 at, umm, er, carry the two, umm, 7:30am EST. (13:30 local). That's the time for all rounds except the final round on February 1, which begins an hour earlier. Rest days are January 21st, 26th, and 29th.

Hi Mig,

I'm curious to know Garry Kimovich's opinion of the new book out called "Kasparov: How His Predecessors Misled Him About Chess". Have you spoken to him about this?



1) You and Svidler should engage in a little fatherhood chat.

2) Any chance Garry K. will ever do live commentary on ICC?

Off topic but why does chessbase publish pictures of breasts on the flimsiest of pretexts? Ok, I know the answer to that but it doesn't make it any less pathetic. Thought it was a chess site.

Oh, for god's (or allah, or beezelbub, or the tooth fairy's) sake, Bob. Why is it pathetic to add a little galmour to the game? Haven't you ever played in a tournament where the body odor of some fellow was a positive nuisance? Isn't it nice that we finally have some chess babes to look at and admire as well?
If they couldn't play chess, or play as badly as I do, I think you'd have a point....MAYBE! But it's nice to have them around...as long as one doesn't have to be distracted by cleavage canyon whenever the eys happen to drift a few inches above your opponent's back rank!
But that may well be the price we have to (sigh) pay...

Trying to make chess glamorous is perhaps asking a little too much. Is it not enough that it is chess? Surely it doesn't have to be advertised in the same way as shampoo.

Incidentally, the breasts in question on this occasion are those of the wife of an ex-president of FIDE.

Hey Mig,

I would show up to the party for sure, few of my chess friends too; I'm in the shop at Flatbush every week to meet with my friend to analyze games and study chess, it's a very nice place and they should get support from all of us Brooklyn chess players!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 12, 2009 10:24 PM.

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