Reconnaissance: On Kasparov


I’m writing from my phone so I won’t be able to post a link (just my personal biased opinion); but seriously, therefore let me take the opportunity to “redeem” Garry the 13th World Chess Champion & paint him in a positive light (not that I maliciously made him look bad before but I guess I didn’t really elaborate on MY personal relationship with him long ago):

Once upon a time (a time which includes the present to say it badly) Garry held these “Kasparov Chess” seminars at some fancy-schmancy midtown offices (he also held a Simul when I was REALLY little at the old Puck Building down in SoHo but that’s for another day ) where we’d have to present him 4 of our games & he’d analyze them in front of the group who were sitting around like knights of the round table. However Garry was REALLY stern (& by stern, please let me give you just one example: he called — who I will heretoforth leave unnamed for sake of anonymity — some GM as he was so to speak (“What type of GrandMaster is rated 2400”) )…

But I think he did it out of tough love; he wanted us to see chess as he saw it, & of course he wanted us to get BETTER (in that not only would he berate our adversaries but also us as well). And I think that progress, whether it be in our royal game of chess or in our loyal game of life, isn’t linear. Rather, it’s CURVED — just as our phones don’t let us post links so too in this desensitized technological age the way out of our distress isn’t a silly fast dash out of the garden; it’s on the contrary actually a convulated maze, and I think that Garry wanted us to see that.

So in conclusion thank you Garry for everything you’ve done for chess, not only in general (for the community) but also for US, the kids who you’ve mentored & will continue to mentor for as long as you like. And also, Garry — sack first, think later!