You Are Important!

You Are Important!

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When we were learning how to play chess, most of us dreamed about becoming next Capablanca, Fischer or Kasparov one day. Alas, the sad reality is that 99.999 percent of us will never become one of the chess gods.

Should we be disappointed and upset? Not at all! We all have our chess destiny and it is very important!

Today, I want to talk about different ways you are extremely important for the chess world.

1) You help to create a timeless masterpiece.

Think of Lionel Kieseritsky and Jean Dufresne. They both were decent chess players, but still they will always be mostly remembered for the "immortal" and "evergreen" games that they lost:

You can argue that Lionel Kieseritsky and Jean Dufresne were both masters and therefore had a chance to play great Adolf Anderssen, but you are just a club player. Well Duke Karl and Count Isouard were not good players, and not masters for sure. Yet they are more famous than many grandmasters! The reason is the famous "opera game," which we analyzed in this article.

If you cannot become Magnus Carlsen, you can still become Duke Karl and Count Isouard!  When FIDE ex-world champion Alexander Khalifman was asked about his best combination he answered that it was unquestionably the following game.

"When I found the combo, I couldn't believe for a long time that anything like this can happen in the real game" said Khalifman. Try to find this beauty on your own:

2) That little kid you played in your local chess club turned out to be the future world champion!

It is great to casually mention that you have a positive score against the world champion, conveniently omitting the small detail that when the game was played, the chess genius was just 10 years old, like in the following games:

But even if you lost to a kid in a very embarrassing fashion, still there is a chance that you'll tell your grandchildren about the game if that little kid was Robert James Fischer!

3) You are an extra in a chess spectacle!

When people talk about Hollywood they think of Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and other A-listers. But "Titanic" is not just Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet. Somebody had to serve drinks to the guests standing at that famous grand staircase.

Have you heard of Jesse Heiman? As a legend goes, the guy appears in every movie and TV show ever created:

I bet at some point you were a great extra on some chess spectacle. I sure was!

Some time ago Priyadarshan Banjan published a very nice article about Vishy Anand on ChessBase. There he presented a picture from the last round of the World Junior Championship in Baguio 1987.

Now look at this position:

Yes, in the picture you can see Vishy Anand, Gad Rechlis and Simen Agdestein's legs! Somehow I missed my chance to appear on the historical picture, but the position from my game is still there! Frown

If you check Wikipedia's entry on Victor Korchnoi you'll see this picture:

As you can see, I am still out of the picture, but now at least my name is there! And here is the game that was also played in the last round:

But finally I got my big break! In the beginning of 2015, the Russian website ChessPro published a big interview with GM Ilya Smirin. There you can find a picture taken by the famous Russian chess photographer Mark Rabkin during the Soviet National Scholastic Championship 1986. 

Yes, I am finally in the picture (well, it's actually part of my shoulder)! And here is the game, which as you already guessed was played in the all-important last round:

Yes, as you could see, we all part of chess history, even if it is just a part of your shoulder.

I am sure that all of you my dear readers have similar stories.  So, whether you delivered the scholar's mate to a three-year-old Magnus Carlsen or stepped on Hikaru Nakamura's foot during a crowded blitz tournament at the World Open, please share your story, as this is a part of our chess universe.

Remember, you are important!

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