The Best Chess Headline And Other News

The Best Chess Headline And Other News

| 33 | Misc

Amidst a month of news dominated by the world championship only a few chess stories without a New York City setting slipped through the cracks in November. For whatever reason, U.K. media dominates this issue of "In Other News." Does anyone know of something important that American mainstream media focused on in November!?

Best Chess Headline?

We start off with some fun. Many readers here have heard of chess-boxing. The two-discipline sport was featured this past summer in this column, when you had a chance to invest in a league.

Chessboxers in action.

The article doesn't offer much new information about the fledging sport, but we include it just for the headline chuckle: "There's A Sport Where You Play Chess And Then Punch Someone In The Face."

Well done, copy editors.

Two Charged With Using Chess Set To Hide Contraband

Chess is a popular way to pass the time when behind bars, so it might have seemed normal when a sibling duo in Arkansas were delivered one.

Johnny Schales (left) and Codie Schales had their chess game end before it even started. (Photo: Izard County, Arkansas Sheriff's Office.)

The gambit failed when a detention officer cooked the idea. The jailer noticed an irregularity in the box, and after confiscation, drugs were found. So much for novelty gifts.

Homeless Man Boasts Big Record

Slide Martin could already have an article written about him just for the names of his pets. His two dogs, "Check" and "Mate," are always at his side.

What stands out even more is Slide's avowed career record. He claims to have lost only six times in 35 years. Anish Giri, eat your heart out.

To call these "coffeehouse games" is not entirly accurate—Slide's office is actually on the ground on the campus of Cambridge University. During his itinerant life, he's also played in locales from Land's End to John O'Groats, famously the farthest away points in Great Britain. Because he gets donations from the games, the homeless man avoids anti-begging laws.

Part of Cambridge University's Gonville and Caius College, where Slide plays on the sidewalk. (Photo: "Jdforrester," Wikicommons.)

Slide doesn't think much of his young adult opponents.

"Most of them think they can play, but they haven't got a clue," he said.

Chess' Patient Zero For Brain Research

We now know that GM Timur Gareyev accomplished his goal of playing 48 blindfold games at once. He scored just north of 80 percent and may get his record certified as the official standard.

Leading up to his big day earlier this month, he permitted his brain to be scanned by neurologists at the University of California at Los Angeles. Their results concluded that Gareyev, despite his explanation to that he uses techniques like a memory palace, was not exceptional at memory tests that did not include a chess board.

GM Timur Gareyev's brain scans. He's been training for the blindfold simultaneous record for more than three years and said that he likes to have an "obsession." (Image: Jesse Rissman.)

However, after his brain was scanned, researchers saw "much greater than average communication between parts of Gareyev's brain that make up what is called the prefrontal control network." He ranked above all but one or two of the 63 people given similar tests. The former youngest-ever Asian GM also excelled at visual network connections.

Young Russian Grandmaster Dies In Fall

GM Yuri Yeliseyev, 20, died late last month when he tumbled from a 12-story building in Moscow. Reports suggest the 2600+ player was also devotee of parkour, the sport where participants challenge themselves to run, jump, climb, and tumble in unique ways over everyday obstacles.

GM Yuri Eliseyev, 1996-2016. (Photo: Russian Chess Federation.)

According to later reports, he was attempting to climb out onto a balcony, something he had done before. This time he slipped.

Yeliseyev was a past winner of the World Under-16 Youth Championship, and this year he won the Moscow Open.

FM Mike Klein

Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

  • Email:
  • Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
  • Address: PO Box 60400 Palo Alto, CA 94306

Mike Klein began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, he lost to Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina's youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open. Mike has taught chess full-time for a dozen years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at as a Senior Journalist and at as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 85 countries.

More from FM MikeKlein
Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

Ian Nepomniachtchi On The World Chess Championship

New ChessKid Adventure App Released

New ChessKid Adventure App Released