Todays Chess

Sep 28, 2016, 8:08 PM |


                       I returned to Chess 3 years ago this November, and for once I stuck with it. I play music professionally and had to make a career choice when I was around 18.   I have stayed with music, occasionally "dropping in" so to speak to check n the state of affairs in the world of Chess.

3 years ago I was going through such a personal and professional maelstrom that I found myself utterly devoid of passion and energy. As often as been the case I stumbled over a chess set, quite literally in this particular case as I was walking the beach in Laguna Beach and walked by 2 individuals playing a game.

I watched them intently resisting the knew jerk reflex to  stay and take on the winner. I returned to my Motel room and immediately tuned my laptop,  which is precisely how I came to "Chess.Com"  . and I've been here ever since. 

I grew up, as it were during the "Spasski" reign. It was the summer of 69 and I was a guest at a teachers home for the summer, and it was a pleasant place out in the Massachusetts countryside.

The 2nd Match of Petrosian and Spasski was under way and we had just landed on the moon.  Needless to say the Specter of Bobby Fischer hovered over the chess landscape and I think its safe to say that he practically evenhandedly lit the torch for American Chess players in more ways than one .

Its my decided opinion that  "Chess" was in its most creative and innovative stage at this time, and the Soviet players were leading the way, not only in the sheer number of great players but also with respect to chess theory in general and the astonishing amount of specialists they had in every phase of the game.

I believe this pretty much represents what most would define as a "Chess Renaissance" as it were. Beginning w/ Botvinnink in the early part of the 20th Century, and the subsequent passing within a year or 2 of both Capablanca and Alekhine,  the 2 juggernauts who along w/ Lasker had been at the pinnacle of chess for the previous 2-3 decades, [ certainly in Emmanuel Laskers case,  a man who continued to play world class chess well into his 60's}  Chess was moving into a new age.

Players like Reti, Grunfeld, Breyer, Tartakower, and the amazing innovative "Aron Nimzovitch"  pushed things vigorously forward, setting the stage for the Russian players to consolidate the classic style era of "Lasker, Capa and Alekhine "with the Hyper-modern inventions of Reti and company .   It was Paul Keres and Botvinnink who were in the forefront , though players such as Levenfish and Lilienthal straddled the line stylistically and conceptually, in my opinion of both schools of thought.

The great players of this era, almost without exception all shared one common element, they all possessed such individual styles as to be as distinctly recognizable as the top Classical composers or Jazz and Blues artists. Today Botvinnik is pretty much widely  hailed as the Patriarch of this "Russian School" and in my opinion, rightfully so.

Many of these players, most have come and gone as any of you students of chess history are well aware of and in their place are a lot of "technically " excellent players, but ones for the most part that do not possess the individual stylistic uniqueness of their predecessors.  We re now in the "Carlsen era" and from what I have seen and from what I can judge from the perspective of a class "A-"Expert " player,   he is all of that and a bag of chips" as the kids say, if indeed they still say that.

Its a bit depressing that there is no one who can seriously challenge him, ANAND seems to be past his prime and the Russian kid in line for the title match seems to be over his head. In the past Chess players and fans of chess were treated to the titanic evenly contested matches of Alekhine/vs Capablanca and Botvinnik/Smyslov,, Botvinnik/Tal, Petrosian/Spasski, Spasski/Fischer and then when Fischer refused to play Karpov, the "Karpov era began"

As most of you know, Karpov reigned supreme up until the emergence of the most spectacular player since Alekhine and Capablanca, "GARRY KASPAROV." Its my opinion that Kasparov has done more for chess than everyone else before him altogether.  After his peak and subsequent entry into politics, Kramnik and Anand were pretty much the top guys with a few exceptions

Now its the Carlsen era and aside form being an intolerable bore and an arrogant young man, he seems to be so far ahead of the rest of the pack as to be a foregone conclusion whenever he is matched with anyone.

I pray almost daily for that "challenge" OR dare I say, "Challenger"to emerge...Wesly So NKuryakin {sorry for spelling} , Caruna, Nakamura, Wesley So; seem to be the most hopeful, but I feel certain I have forgotten somebody...

anyway, appears the the Blue Mountain Jamaican Coffee I drank is working, I hope this has been at least vaguely informative if not entertaining for some of you here and for those and to the rest,

Enjoy this amazing experience that is neither Sport,  Art  nor Science but a Divine combination of all of those elements

Peace and blessings