The Best Chess Headline And Other News
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!?
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.
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.
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.
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 Chess.com 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.
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.