An interesting vintage Sports Illustrated article on Seirawan


I came across this Sports Illustrated article on Yasser Seirawan from 1981, and thought I would link it here for others who might find it interesting.  It's a good read.

Yasser, That's My Baby



Great read, indeed. Thanks for posting!

oyyzter wrote:

Great read, indeed. Thanks for posting!

I concur totally. What a good find and an intricately woven tale.  

I don't know what this says about me, but my favorite parts were the high school chess cheerleaders - I'd never heard the like- and Seirawan's first meeting with Korchnoi.  

Thanks so much.

null                    This photo is of Seirawan and Nick de Firmian at Lone Pine in 1976

When Yaz first went to work for Korchnoi, Viktor insisted that Yasser take the master bedroom in the villa he was in.

Yasser was touched by the gesture...until he realized Korchnoi had done so in case the KGB tried to assassinate him while sleeping. This way Yasser would be the target.

Wise man, Korchnoi...

was it the SI swimsuit edition? happy.png


 Fascinating read. Thanks for posting. What an amazing history.


This was really cool. The more I learn about Yaz the more I like him. I'll be playing the pirc before the year's out at this rate!


 Yaz has got a pretty incredible story alright.  Great writeup by the SI writer.  


Interesting! How did you find it?


Yaz is one of the most "normal" GM's I have ever met. He is so talented but is very humble and is a real gentleman. He does not seem to be afflicted with some of the arrogance, bizarre behavior, or weird habits of so many other great players.   

Yasser of course has weird habits, but he’s so great at separating his public and private personas.

It really is a fascinating tale, and I am glad that others enjoyed reading the article. 

I struck me that Seirawan succeeded despite seemingly insurmountable forces standing in opposition to him.  It's a testament to his abilities, clearly, but the assistance he received from the chess playing gang at the coffee shop struck me as an essential element.  Without that sponsorship, does he succeed? 

And could a story like this be replicated in the US today?  It seems the current social climate would preclude an unsupervised boy from hitching rides across town to play chess.