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IMO lots of the top chess players seem like nice people. Kasparov (with his accusations against IBM and comments about women) and Fischer had allot of attention and so made people sort of expect that chess players are maladjusted.
It is a relief that the current top players seem so ... normal.
Actually, IMO his IBM cheating accusations were reasonably well founded.
He complained that he couldn't see the machine play logs before the match but the team could see his games. This may seem unfair to some but it is not cheating.
Then based on my memory his other allegations involved him saying that the moves were too "human like." Bottom line he expected the supercomputer to play like his 1997 laptop and it didn't.
His behavior was really embarrassing. I don't think anyone in the chess community would put up with it if a top player accused another top player of cheating on such flimsy "evidence." But since the IBM team included people who were not top chess players Kasparov and certain chess media seemed to think it was ok to make such harsh accusations on such flimsy grounds. As if the people on the IBM team were not deserving of any respect or dignity.
Kasparov was the darling of allot of the chess media. They tended to defend him no matter how extreme.
My point is that both Fischer and Kasparov tended to get huge breaks from the chess world and so tended make the rest of the world view chess players as somewhat warped people.
Kramnik and Anand are really the first to have normal personalities. Interestingly they were often criticized by the warped chess media for not being "fighters."
Those are the statements that surely deserve merit. I too am flabbergasted how people can ever forget the extreme conditions that Fischer put forth and that the organizers and his competitors did to agree to, in order to get him to play.
And Kasparov's gem too is not remembered by anyone - when playing with a young Judith Polgar, he touched his Knight, but pulled back quickly. Then he moved his Queen. Per the rules, that are always very strictly followed by everyone, he should have played the Knight, irrespective of the result, which of course would have been his defeat at the hands of Judit.
But it did not stop there. When asked about it, he flatly denied he ever touched any piece that he did not play. Of course, young Judit was new, and behaved enough to not complain about it to the organizers. But had she gone ahead with it, Kasparov would have certainly been disqualified, because entire game was captured on video and it clearly showed that Kasparov lied - He had indeed touched the Knight, and yet played the Queen.
Never really heard of any other Chess player doing something like that. Even Topalov, who has accused, and been accused, of cheating never stooped to that level.
Regarding Judit Polgar:
"Before they first met in Spain a few years ago, Kasparov described her as a "circus puppet" and said that women chess players should stick to having children."
It's comments like this that the chess world would give top chess players a "free pass" on but would make the rest of the world think chess players were crude human beings.
Again IMO it was Kramnik and Anand who really started to change that image. IMO Kramnik had the most attacks because he actually beat Kasparov who so many in the chess world idolized. But Kramnik weathered the storm where he insisted Kasparov stick to the contract they both signed. And after Anand beat Kramnik he also did chess a good turn in that he is also quite clear that chess players should play the game as best they can and that does not mean they can be rude to others outside of chess. IMO both players have been great examples for future players.
Dr.Lenny Bongcloud M.D PhD esq
While I admire Anand and Kramnik, it is completely wrong to consider these two as the ones who "started" to change an image of chess players.
Max Euwe was one of the great gentlemen of the game, and a world champion. Vasily Smyslov was a consummate gentleman. Mikhail Tal's wit and generous spirit is legendary. Boris Spassky was very sporting throughout his career, sometimes to his obvious detriment.
Yes, poor sports have won the world championship. But not all world champions before Kramnik were poor sports.
As an aside, one of the really good guys has just set a benchmark that may never be equaled. Peter Svidler is now the seven-time champion of Russia!
Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami is a chess grandmaster from Iran .In 2009, he won a 20-game combined match (four classical, four rapid and twelve blitz games) against Anatoly Karpov, played with a special rule: play to mate or dead draw. The overall score was eight wins to Ghaem-Maghami, seven wins to Karpov, and five draws
I would have to say me!
Of course. Who would doubt it with a name like that :)
thank you! I am so nice and sooooooooooooooooooooo
"when playing with a young Judith Polgar, he touched his Knight, but pulled back quickly. Then he moved his Queen""
"He picked up the knight gingerly, with his thumb and index finger. Then he raised it high above his head and examined it against the light. A German knight design, no doubt. Nothing special. He closed his fist over the piece and held it for a moment over the board. She was looking at him with amazement. No matter. He opened the fist, picked up the knight with the other hand, and put it back on its square."
Me, because I would let all the other top players win against me. :)
I heard Bobby Fischer was pretty nice.
Fischer... well I guess we can agree to disagree.