Seirawan is not the Bob Ross of chess

locrianmenace
Some people joke that Yasser Seirawan is like Bob Ross (possibly because of the way he talks), but I find that comparison somewhat insulting.

Bob Ross was only a tv painter with a cheap method to teach, he didn't have any relevance in the art world and no art critic admired him. Ross wasn't delving into the territory of "GM" painters such as Kandinsky, Philip Guston, etc... Bob Ross paintings only take like 20-30 min, but in serious art it takes a lot more than that to do something good.

Analogously, if Yasser Seirawan was like Bob Ross, he would be a weak chess rustler or the type of effortless chess teacher that says: "You can't play ...Nf6 against the Italian because it allows the 'Fried Liver'." (note that I'm saying this because I saw a bad chess lecture like this a while ago, and it wasn't aimed at kids or anything, the teacher simply had no knowledge of the game).

But Seirawan is not someone like this, in fact, he is a GM, which is a very high title and which requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Not everyone doing hard work can turn into a GM. Seirawan also made plenty of serious books and serious articles. He is nice guy, but he also has a lot more going on than Bob Ross, which shouldn't even have been famous to start with.
MitSud
Right we need to find someone more on his level to compare to, any suggestions?
locrianmenace
MitSud wrote:
Right we need to find someone more on his level to compare to, any suggestions?

Why compare him to anyone? Seirawan is Seirawan.

MitSud
Your right, can’t believe I didn’t think of that, though perhaps Seirawan is God, is also an apt comparison.
Preggo_Basashi

Yeah, they just mean Seirawan's personality and the way he talks. He's very calm and polite... so much so that I find him a bit annoying. You're right that he's a much better chess player than Ross was a painter.

ChrisWainscott
Yasser can enthrall an entire room when he is telling stories like no one else I’ve ever met in the chess world.

When he’s on it’s pure magic.
Pulpofeira
Preggo_Basashi escribió:

Yeah, they just mean Seirawan's personality and the way he talks. He's very calm and polite... so much so that I find him a bit annoying.

It happens to me too, even if I don't understand anything he says. Well, this happened because I've really tried.

dfgh123

autonomous sensory meridian response

macer75
MitSud wrote:
Right we need to find someone more on his level to compare to, any suggestions?

Maurice Ashley?

testaaaaa

2 smooth

mkkuhner

I met Seirawan in person in 1987 at the US Championships.  Two events stick in my memory:

 

The GMs were deep in thought in the main tournament room, when suddenly there was an awful shriek.  Everyone jumped.  One of the GMs was looking around, distraught, because he'd gotten up to go to the bathroom and returned to find *his clock was gone.*  It turns out Yasser had gone through the room, seen no players at that board, assumed the game was over and swiped the clock to play blitz!

 

He also offered me a ride down to town one afternoon.  His car had automatic shoulder belts, a novelty at the time, that basically grabbed you and tied you up when you closed the door.  He just grinned at my consternation over suddenly being tied up.

 

He's mellowed since then, I guess.

locrianmenace
mkkuhner wrote:

I met Seirawan in person in 1987 at the US Championships.  Two events stick in my memory:

 

The GMs were deep in thought in the main tournament room, when suddenly there was an awful shriek.  Everyone jumped.  One of the GMs was looking around, distraught, because he'd gotten up to go to the bathroom and returned to find *his clock was gone.*  It turns out Yasser had gone through the room, seen no players at that board, assumed the game was over and swiped the clock to play blitz!

 

He also offered me a ride down to town one afternoon.  His car had automatic shoulder belts, a novelty at the time, that basically grabbed you and tied you up when you closed the door.  He just grinned at my consternation over suddenly being tied up.

 

He's mellowed since then, I guess.

I guess he mainly focus on teaching now and he doesn't have to study a lot like he did at that time (after all, he was an active player on 1987). I think studying a lot can make you more tense and damper your interactions with other people depending on the person you are.

locrianmenace
mickynj wrote:

I think the OP is overthinking things.People call Yasser the Bob Ross of chess because of his soothing voice and smooth delivery. It's just an affectionate nickname. Anyone who knows anything about chess admires Yasser for his many achievements and his deep knowledge of the game

I just feel like it's really cringy to give Yasser that nickname.

MitSud
He got you into his car and then ties you up? Yasser has hidden depths....
darkunorthodox88

HE IS Bob Ross. but the boondocks version. he doesnt "like the police very much"

Preggo_Basashi
darkunorthodox88 wrote:

HE IS Bob Ross. but the boondocks version. he doesnt "like the police very much"

lol happy.png

I can see that being true.

testaaaaa

 nice story mkkuhner

DanCruzNYC
In defense of Bob Ross, I am a painter and most of my friends are artists and painters just so you know the vast majority of artists and painters love and have much respect for Bob Ross. Many people got their first introduction to painting as a little boy or girl from him. His paintings today are quite valuable. Just because the ultra rich are not throwing absurd amounts of money at his work doesn’t mean he’s just a cheap Sunday painter. He certainly was a master of his craft. And yes you could argue it’s Kitsch and simple and lots of people can do it. But that was his style and it made him very popular and famous. I would not compare him to to a park hustler in chess. He was a landscape artist. It’s like going to a guy who was a master in the Ruy Lopez and that’s all he specialized in. Just because he doesn’t know the kings Indian doesn’t make his Spanish knowledge any less relevant.
president_max

Nothing new

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/news-compares-carlsen-to-justin-bieber

 

Spelenderwijs
DanCruzNYC schreef:
In defense of Bob Ross, I am a painter and most of my friends are artists and painters just so you know the vast majority of artists and painters love and have much respect for Bob Ross. Many people got their first introduction to painting as a little boy or girl from him. His paintings today are quite valuable. Just because the ultra rich are not throwing absurd amounts of money at his work doesn’t mean he’s just a cheap Sunday painter. He certainly was a master of his craft. And yes you could argue it’s Kitsch and simple and lots of people can do it. But that was his style and it made him very popular and famous. I would not compare him to to a park hustler in chess. He was a landscape artist. It’s like going to a guy who was a master in the Ruy Lopez and that’s all he specialized in. Just because he doesn’t know the kings Indian doesn’t make his Spanish knowledge any less relevant.

I was just about to say something in defense of Bob, but you beat me to it. I couldn't have said it better anyway wink.png