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Kaufman Wins World Senior

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This is oldish news and not the sort we'd usually get to, but I just stumbled into newly minted GM Larry Kaufman's piece at the Chess Life website and it's definitely worth a read. Especially if you don't think the World Senior Open is a serious event! Also, by complete coincidence I just met Kaufman a few weeks ago at an elementary school in Maryland where he teaches chess classes. I was there because, and this gets complicated, one of his students is the son of Andrei Illarionov. Illarionov is a former economic adviser to Vladimir Putin who went rogue, resigned after being squeezed for telling the truth a bit too often in public, and became a leading voice of opposition and economic common sense. Like many such people he soon found it, well, healthier, to find his way abroad. He currently lives near Washington DC and is a fellow at the prestigious Cato Institute.

Okay, too much information already. Garry and I were in DC for meetings and got together with Illarionov along the way. As a surprise for Illarionov's son's birthday, Garry went out to that day's chess class for a quick visit. Where, if you've been able to keep track of things, is where we bumped into Larry Kaufman. Garry was quite impressed to find out Kaufman was part of the Rybka team, something you'll learn more about if you read the Chess Life piece. Pic from our visit after the jump.


If you can score a copy, there is a nice article in the 2008 #6 issue of the Virginia Chess Newsletter (good state chess publication edited by FM Macon Shibut - http://www.vachess.org/) by GM Kaufman about his experiences at the World Senior Chess Championship. GM Kaufman has won the VA Open five times (most recently 2007). Up until 2006, you used to be able to get *.pdf copies online (not sure why this was discontinued - http://www.vachess.org/newsletter.htm).

I'm really grateful for GM Kaufman's work on Rybka (http://www.rybkachess.com/)! Proud owner of the lastest version (3) and will be buying others as they come out I'm sure.

I remember showing Rybka to Garry for the first time, a fairly early version that was starting to make waves in the comp chess circles. I showed him a few games of it beating a few other top programs in what I thought was a remarkably positional style for a comp. He didn't pay it all that much attention it seemed, but a few sequences caught his eye and he replayed them for a moment. Then he said, "it tries to play chess!"

That's a plan! Garry could make his chess comeback on the "Senior Tour" like in Golf. He could play in the World Senior, and also the Old Masters vs Young Bucks (didn't Nunn say the Old Masters needed to get stronger players on their team?) And the Seniors vs. the Ladies, too! Garry looks distinguished in gray hair. Maybe a Seniors Grand Prix, and also Kasparov-Karpov VI and VII!

Sure, and the minute I said something like that to him he wouldn't sleep until he was back at #1 on the online blitz ratings...

You probably should try, then. After all, he plays chess almost as well as he does politics...

Mig, that was too much of a revelation about Garry's online identity. You cannot keep a secret.

Indeed. Clearly Mig will now have to resign from writing for Garry, and move to Москво to become a fellow at the prestigious Катовки Инститют...

Mig, did you take the pics with your phone as we can clearly see others doing? Or do you tend to bring a camera to all of your "events" with Garry? If so, I imagine you have quite the collection of memorable moments with GK. Perhaps a coffee table book is in order...

Wow,Congrats, Larry! Hope you'll do it again!

all those kids could beat my ass in chess

I have a little pocket camera, a Casio Exilim, that I tend to carry around all the time with or without Garry. My G1 phone has a decent camera but no flash. Since I also have semi-pro camera gear and often take official publicity photos and such, I'm also the semi-official (work but no pay, natch) photographer of various friend and family events. But any such book would probably be many years away. Would seem really invasive to both of us now I'm sure.

Yah, after being around Garry for 10 years now I have these weird Boswell moments of wondering if I should be archiving "the life and every bite taken by the great man" and wondering if that's just being obnoxious and invasive. Of course he has a sense of his own place in history and blah blah, but there's a necessary balance in my roles as friend, collaborator, and employee. You might be happy to know I do sneak over and copy all his blitz game archives every once in a while since I know he discards them when he upgrades his laptop every year or so. Now that will be a more interesting book!

I think hypnotizing you could be a very profitable undertaking. Where do you live? And where do you park your car(s)?

Damn it, Mig. Are you saying that Kasparov's been playing blitz online -- even on ICC? -- under our very noses? The thought makes me tingle all over.

Kasparov plays on Playchess, there was an article on that in Chessbase sometime ago. Now I really really wish he was playing in Zurich. He would not be rusty and it would be a terrific treat to watch.

Yah, I really thought he would play in Zurich, too. I made my pitch about it being casual, etc. But he's probably right. The next week of stories and pictures in the Russian press would be very damaging and this is a critical time. But if you miss seeing him play:


I think that one was mate in 11.

those photos are fantastic mig. thank you.

So, Mig, did you ever find a suitable set and board for Garry in D.C.?

Nope. :-(

We're going to order a few "Kasparov" brand boards to have on hand; it comes up on a regular basis when gifts are needed. It's another balancing act: his fame and the respect he gets as a former world chess champion and the desire to leave that in the past and be accepted as a political activist. We've even removed "former world chess champion" from the author slug at the end of his editorials. The chess champ thing can open doors but it can also cause some people to take him less seriously in politics. We try to apply the chess stuff lightly at moments of best effect.

In the business speeches they expect and enjoy the chess material, which also applies more transparently. Strategy and tactics, achieving your potential, preparation, etc. Only about 1/3 of the speech content is chess-career material these days, down from about 1/2 when we started. We like to use movie clips now and then, from Princess Bride to Gone with the Wind to The Empire Strikes Back so far. The best was Garry wanting to use a clip from Lawrence of Arabia at a speech in Abu Dhabi. ("Have you no fear, English? Lawrence: My fear is my concern.") I thought he was crazy but apparently it went over well!

Who is the boy, Mig? Lovely picture, I liked the one of the Hudson terminal too.

A friend's son who was over for Christmas dinner. His parents are Russian; he's six and has been playing for about a year. The biggest danger was Garry's 2-year-old daughter Aida wanting to move all the pieces around. (For the record, she didn't watch for a few minutes and then find a brilliant tactic.)

This pic is of our frozen backyard a few weeks ago. It's 12 pictures stitched together to create a wide-angle view. Click to zoom in and it can probably go nearly full screen.


Oh boy , being happy as in the picture number 51 , thats how happy i want to be.
Congrats ,beautifull family.

Ha..38 is a nice portrait too.

Ha..38 is a nice portrait too. Doesen't Garry have an older son? Has he shown any interest?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 9, 2009 8:51 PM.

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