Chess In The White House And Kasparov Wins Again
In 1984, GM Garry Kasparov endured a five-month match with GM Anatoly Karpov, but his latest battle ended after nine years. Unlike in that clash, this time there was a decision.
Also this month, we take a look at a petition you can sign to urge the White House to invite the first-place American Olympiad team. We go further with the new chess sneakers, the all-time chess football team, and a two-year-old chess player with unimaginable pressure.
The U.S. government has a long-standing policy that if any petition receives 100,000 votes, it will at least respond. Many winning teams from the major American sports get their day in the sun at the White House, so this petitioner thought that the first U.S. team gold in 40 years should be worthy of the same honor.
The Baku Olympiad gold medalists from team USA at the closing ceremony.
"Because they truly reflect the diversity and competitive spirit of America...recognition of this will encourage youth everywhere to pursue their dreams of further chess excellence," wrote petitioner "T.K."
Noble? Yes, but at the time of this writing, the petition is still 99,600 votes short. Want to help? View and sign the petition here.
Magnus, Magnus, and Magnus
In a Magnus Carlsen triple-play this month we learned that the world champion has a strange fascination with an obscure NBA player. Lithuanian Mindaugas Kuzminskas of the New York Knicks, averaging a modest 4.5 points in 11 minutes/game, has captured the heart of Carlsen (as have other players from the Baltic country). Like any good second, GM Peter Heine Nielsen searched New York to find a Kuzminskas jersey.
@PHChess) December 2, 2016
While this posting on Facebook is unconfirmed, there is apparently a chess-playing toddler named "Magnus Carlsen S. Roma." Talk about putting some pressure on your two year old! The video at least shows him controlling the center, so he's on his way.
Finally, to complete the Carlsen trio, there's this report about Norway considering hosting his next world championship title defense. It seems just speculation at the moment, as none of the major media outlets in Norway, who usually hang on his every move, was able to confirm to Chess.com.
In the legal equivalent of double check, for the second time in as many months the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia's November 2007 detainment of GM Garry Kasparov was unlawful. Recall that this was the not the first or last of several arrests of Kasparov for his political activities.
Only a few weeks prior to this ruling, the same court also exculpated Kasparov for his May 2007 arrest.
Since retiring from professional chess in 2005, Kasparov has sought to be one of the voices of Russian opposition.
Kasparov had tried to appeal to the Russian courts before turning to an outside agency for relief. He has claimed that he has not returned to Russia in several years and doing so would be a "one-way ticket."
According to a new proposal by British Health Minister David Mowat, at least one those three shouldn't exist. During the resurrection of the "Lords vs. Commons" chess match, Mowat proposed redefining the game as an e-sport to avoid the 20 percent VAT imposed on local clubs and tournaments.
Tracy Church, the minister of sport, argued that chess is not physical. That prompted Dominic Lawson, the president of the English Chess Federation, to fire back, "If chess is not physical how on earth do they think we move the pieces?"
The proposal comes shortly after IM Michael Basman's chess program was saddled with a massive tax bill totaling more than £300,000.
Who do you have in goal for your all-time 11-man team? This interesting graphic places Capablanca in net and uses a 4-3-3 formation. Carlsen at left midfielder, Smyslov at right back? What do you think?
Football not your thing? That's OK. Chess apparently helps with your squash game, too.
Whatever sport you pick, make sure you pick up a pair of "The Seventh Seal" sneakers, inspired by Ingmar Bergman's film about a knight playing chess with Death. We have no idea who the chess-crazed designers are over Asics, but we salute you!
Not an April Fool's joke -- these shoes really exist!