Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Recycling Revel: Poster Posting

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Ah, the dear old logo. I put up another auction to raise money for the Recycling Revel postage fund to send books and software to kids and clubs. A beautiful and very rare collectible poster for the 2000 KasparovChess Online Grand Prix. Fewer than 150 of these 18"x24" posters were printed in 2000 and most were given out as prizes many years ago. The poster commemorates the first online chess super-tournament. 16 of the world's top players faced off in a knockout format internet tournament held in the KasparovChess Online Playing Zone February 9-20, 2000.

They were: Kasparov, Morozevich, Svidler, Seirawan, Adams, de Firmian, Short, Piket, Milos, Gulko, van Wely, I.Sokolov, Illescas, Adianto, Barua, and top computer program Deep Junior. Kasparov made it to the final as expected. His opponent there, however, was quite a surprise. Dutchman Jeroen Piket eliminated two of the top seeds, Morozevich and Svidler, before shocking even himself by then beating Garry Kasparov in the final match to take the title and the $20,000 first prize. (Decisive game here.) Bid early and bid often!

Big thanks to David Llada and Shahar T, the winners of the signed Kasparov books I auctioned for the cause last week. I'll have time to put up a Revel page with all the supporters and participants next week. I sold/gave away over 50 old descriptive notation books at the Central Park tournament last weekend. Fun to see kids happy to have their very own chess book for a dollar. (It was set your own price, one dollar minimum. Many gave much more, validating my socialist tendencies.)


"Kasparov: 'Something is dead wrong in chess'
01.10.2009 – The recent match between Kasparov and Karpov in Valencia, Spain, was a tremendous success. That is tragic, says Garry Kasparov – when two old guys, one retired, the other no longer a real force in the game, still are the greatest show in the world of chess. In his interview with GM Robert Fontaine for the French magazine Europe Echecs Kasparov vents his feelings on this and other subjects. Part two." Chessbase

I felt the exact same way about this match Mig, but didn't post, because I didn't want to ruffle your feathers. I loved KasparovChess.com and still have printouts from it. I discovered my son's school has a chess club. I'll have the teacher contact you, Mig.

I don't see anything that would ruffle in this statement. As someone on the front lines of trying to popularize chess online for the past 12 years, it's borderline ridiculous that we've gone backwards in many ways despite the near omnipresence of the internet, which is so perfectly suited for chess. While chess enthusiasts are much better served today than a 15 years ago, and scholastic chess has made great strides in many places, the status of the game as a sport internationally actually seems to be declining.

Hard if not impossible to measure these things, but the amount of attention lavished on the Valencia K-K match did illustrate how wrong things have gone under Ilyumzhinov's reign. You could also make good cases for the 1993 schism and Kasparov's loss to Deep Blue as contributing factors to this "mainstream fade." But again, hard to measure, easy to argue.

That all said, it's not shocking that two of the great legends of a sport would get a lot of attention for something like this. It's also relatively impossible to replicate in more physical sports. On the other hand, I bet Sampras and, say, McEnroe would play about as well as Garry and Karpov did...

Perhaps the eclipse of chess by more entertaining computer games? Multi-player real-time games with infinite "chess pieces" bait the nerds of today. (Why play a two-player zero-sum game sans probability?)

Added victims are traditional nerd-o-rama hobbies of comic books and baseball cards.

Recently I was loserish enough to visit eBay and bid on baseball cards, a childhood hobby. The marketplace for printed cheap cardboard seems dead except for moneyed, nostalgic grownups, it appears.

Why were fewer than 150 printed? Print a few thousand, send them to chess fans all over the world and get awareness for internet tournaments!

Carlsen wins again, Radjabov misses a win against Topalov.

Carlsen 3.5/4, this is borderline crazy.

Although I generally agree what Garry said on the issue, but didn't Spassky-Fischer rematch also generate enormous interest?

Kasparov is wrong. The last two WC matches as well as Linares and Corus generate far more interest than the mini KK match just held (much as I enjoyed it personally).

''The last two WC matches as well as Linares and Corus generate far more interest than the mini KK match just held...''
I don't recall any mainstream media news (BBC radio, TV, Satellite TV etc)about Linares and Corus. And only brief mention of the Kramnik-Anand matches. A little more negative news for the Topalov-Kramnik WC match tho.
Kasparov's basic point is entirely correct.

It did generate much interest, but it was 17 years ago. Time flies...

Compare the number of hits on this site during the WC matches to the recent KK match.

No contest.

I think Kasparov has a little ego thing going on in saying

"when two old guys, one retired, the other no longer a real force in the game, still are the greatest show in the world of chess".

I was not paying attention to chess during the 1990s.
However during the Fischer-Spassky 1992 rematch, I would think all chess world stopped everything to follow that match. Did that mean then K-K then was not important?

It's just normal when you have legends put on a show.
People watch.

If Capablanca and Lasker were still alive and play some games. Chess world would stopped and pay complete attention as well.

The question is who was interested? The "mainstream" or "real" [non-chess] world may have paid more attention to the K v. K tussle, but those in the "chess subculture" probably found the Kramnik - Anand WC match more relevant (although they enjoyed the K v. K show).

Interesting point. No money guarantees for Anand - Topalov match.


"You could also make good cases for the 1993 schism and Kasparov's loss to Deep Blue as contributing factors to this 'mainstream fade.' But again, hard to measure, easy to argue."

For the mainstream fade, Kirsan is the most responsible.

Kasparov is second...for mercurial behavior which
--resulted in the 1993 schism
--resulted in the collapse of a chess association which had the potential to pressure FIDE
--alienated natural megabucks sponsors Intel and IBM and likely scared away other potential sponsors

Danailov is a distant third.

FIDE ought to relocate headquarters to Manhattan (I'm thinking Harlem for price and the Raging Rooks as multi-ethnic kiddie promo), hire two or three MBA/Madison Avenue-types to institutionalize order, create desired chess reputation; and Hollywood agent-type (a go-getter and rainmaker like Ari Emmanuel) to obtain corporate sponsorship. And Kasparov himself as ambassador and living chess icon. (And hire Mig, too - not sure for what, but Mig's kinda all-purpose. Maybe even Mig as FIDE president betters Kirsan - I'm certain of that. Also grab Judit Polgar from wherever she's at becuz she's telegenic and a family woman - now that she's over-the-hill she's most valuable to chess as she-ambassador.)

That poster has a very Mike Mignola feel. Garry the Hellboy anyone?

As a counter here is what Topalov said sometime ago:

"Strange as it may sound, I think that Garry’s retirement was a positive thing for the remaining players. The point is not that he was very strong, and retired when he could still have won the title back, but that he had always dominated all the attention of the mass media and sponsors. Without Kasparov, a tournament was of no interest to anyone. But as soon as he retired, the attention of the press, and those interested in putting money into chess, switched to the remaining players. Have you noticed how many new tournaments are springing up nowadays? This never happened in Kasparov’s day. In countries where there is a serious contender for the title, they organise tournaments to support him. When Kasparov retired, many people were afraid that interest in chess would wane, but in fact, it has grown."

Btw, someone ought to talk Judit into capturing the Women's World Championship to legitimize a title that's become a joke since 1990, becuz of her non-participation. For the sake of chess ("Women's world champion" glimmers in the public mind), and as a practical way to increase her own market value (tournament fees commanded, etc.)

I have two comments:
1. There should be no women's championship. If women were forced to play with men from a young age - women would soon dominate the sport. But, because they are allowed to have their separate tournaments - and even encouraged to play separately - there will never be a women who is a World Champion.

2. Mig, that's a cool poster, but since Ljubojevic was not a contender, I will not bid on it. Still love Cleo, though. :)


Irrelevant which sex smarter, we're talking money.

A beautiful mind.

Judit would make an excellent role model for girls, a proper poster girl. She's pretty yet not in an intimidating way, and no scandals like Spears, Madonna, or that Hilton girl. Brains, looks, family, and career.

She could make much in product endorsements, too, and do ambassador-ess duties for FIDE part-time. Also counter the "chess is for geeks - especially geeky boys" meme in the popular mind. She's under-utilized.

Reasons why Kasparov-Karpov got more mainstream madia attention than any other chess event this year:
- Kasparov and Karpov were dominating the chess world at their time, unlike any player since Garry's retirement.
- Their matches were still presented in the context of the cold war, now as: old commie vs. young rebel from inside (to what extent this was even true at the time is another story).
- Kasparov managed to stay in the mainstream media even after his retirement, maybe as a "political activist" got even more coverage outside of sports and chess pages than he ever had as a chess player.
- Their match was something "once in 25 years" - I doubt their next match(es) will get the same amount of attention.

I don't see how Ilyumzhinov or any of the currently active top players could be blamed for this. And which _single_ chess event should have received similar coverage? 2009 - nothing I could think of (but see below). 2008 - the WCh match Anand-Kramnik: but mainstream media aren't that interested in a match where both players keep friendly or at least professional relations with each other and don't play dirty tricks.

Maybe if Carlsen further increases his lead over the other five players and triumphs in Nanjing in the end it will also be a story for mainstream media. But I would doubt even that because I don't consider Carlsen that mediagenic. And if I turn out to be wrong Kasparov might well have a role in it, being approached by media and speaking on Carlsen's behalf.
BTW, this is no criticism of Carlsen. I would say among the current top players Topalov (+Danailov) knows best how to interact with mainstream media, closely related to certain aspects of his personality which I don't like ... .

" But I would doubt even that because I don't consider Carlsen that mediagenic."

I repeat myself, but the chess world couldn't have hoped for a lovelier, more pleasant (de facto) woman's world champion than Judit Polgar the past twenty years (compare mannish Maya....) FIDE totally wasted this market opportunity. Judit could've made $1,000,000 a year in endorsement while popularizing chess, and into the foreseeable future (she's like a Chris Evert/Martha Stewart with staying power into old age, becuz girls with her personality age well - I'm also thinking a Betty Crocker in middle age, or a white Aunt Jemima.

Here we go once again into inanity and farce.

Judit running through a field of flowers, hair flowing - FIDE Shampoo, it's all I use!

Judit riding up on a frisky horse - After a rough day on the chess battlefields, FIDE Scented Soap!

Judit's hand with a ring and large gem - For the queen of your board, Fine FIDE Diamonds.

Cosmo with Judit on the cover, and a story titled 27 Love Positions from Chess!

Oh the marketing opportunities we've missed.

I visualize things that I read... I almost fell off my chair laughing. :)

Ahh that is FN hilarious TJ! Many thanks for livening up the board!

You see tj's post? He's joking, but FIDE needn't hire $200,000-a-year ad execs. Tap the talent in the chess community. How many online kibitzers, near-geniuses we have, whose advice FIDE does not solicit?

On any posed question on FIDE blog (were one to exist), you would get 200 responses conservatively, maybe half idiocies, but at least two dozen insights 5 brilliancies guaranteed.

Giving away chess books is like spreading "chess seeds"... Most of us discovered the game when we found out an old book or chess set in our home :-)

"Giving away chess books is like spreading "chess seeds"... Most of us discovered the game when we found out an old book or chess set in our home :-)"

What a wonderful truth! I still remember that yellowed, teared page chess book with problems and combinations that haunted me for hours and hours... Barely recall the title and author, but the diagrams were wonderful vintage.


tjallen, pure witty, LOL!!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 30, 2009 7:39 PM.

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