Make Caruana Great Again, And Other News
Before London, a stopover for Fabiano Caruana in Washington, D.C.? | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Make Caruana Great Again, And Other News

| 110 | Misc

This month's edition of In Other News spans the globe. We have several stories about American chess, including how you can help GM Fabiano Caruana visit the White House, and how GM Hikaru Nakamura rose from the grave.

You will also read about why English women are miffed, the newest Indian chess sensation, and other stories we missed from the last few weeks.

Caruana Bound For Washington, D.C.?

The White House has a longstanding policy to listen to its people, that is, if you and 99,999 others all request the same thing. The right to petition the government is one of the five freedoms enunciated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and now you can help world championship challenger GM Fabiano Caruana take advantage of that clause.

World Chess (Agon) began the petition (neither this author nor takes a stance on it).

Fabiano Caruana

The Presidential Medal of Freedom? No, the Candidates' winner's medal. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

If you agree, just sign the petition (the terms do not seem to require American citizenship) and if the 100,000 signatures threshold is reached, the government promises to issue a response. It does not guarantee that President Donald Trump will actually meet with Caruana, but maybe he will at least send a letter to his countryman, the same that President Nixon did to Bobby Fischer.

The Complete 2016 World Championship

If looking forward to November's big title bout is making you antsy, why not reflect back on the last world championship? It's not the first book to be written about GM Magnus Carlsen's defeat of GM Sergey Karjakin, but it does promise to tell the story "behind the scenes." (Those seeking the most analytical account of the games can hardly do better than GM Vladimir Kramnik's analysis in this previously-released work.)


"The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match That Made Chess Great Again" is the grandiose title from well-known boxing writer Brin-Jonathan Butler, who was on site for the match. Butler casts the encounter in similar light to the Fischer-Spassky epic, with Karjakin's complicated Crimean past and Russo-Western relations analyzed in detail. The book drops a couple of days before Carlsen-Caruana in November in London.

Women Not Interviewed For Top ECF Post

The English Chess Federation is under fire. After complaints caused them to re-institute the abandoned post of women's chess director, this article claims that several eligible female candidates were not even considered for the position. Both women are chess players themselves.

IM Jovanka Houska, the country's top female player, is quoted as saying: "That is very strange because it is very important to have female presence on the board." She then added more thoughts on Facebook about the support her country shows its top females.

Jovanka Houska

IM Jovanka Houska, England's top female player. | Photo: Mike Klein/

Speaking to, she added: "I am not against having a male director of women's chess. Although I think it might be better to have a female in that role. Nor was my Facebook post about the ECF. Ideally I want it enshrined that until participation rates of women increase, the ECF (and other federations) will continue with a clear policy of encouraging women at all levels to play. Women shouldn't have to spend time fighting their federations. It should be unthinkable to utter the words ‘We might not be able to send a women's team.’"

Reports Of Nakamura's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

He's not the first celebrity to have his life summarily truncated online. GM Hikaru Nakamura's chessic rebirth came by winning in Paris, but how did he celebrate his actual rebirth? After posting this "proof of life" on Twitter, he then wrote a Facebook update about eating poutine in Vancouver. A lover of sushi, it's unlike Nakamura would choose cheese curds as a "last meal."


And just for completeness, it appears Abe Vigoda is still dead.

U.S. Olympiad Teams Announced

Before the masses complain about the heavy American-ness of this In Other News edition, keep in mind they are the gold-medal defending team. And to that end, they didn't feel the need to mess with success.


The U.S. quintet is back, although this time they gain a 2700. | Photo: Mike Klein/

All five returning members of the 2016 first-place squad are back. Some differences: Caruana is now a world-championship challenger, GM Sam Shankland is a U.S. champion and member of the 2700 club, and GM Ray Robson is now a college graduate. As previously discussed, Nakamura is still alive, and GM Wesley So leads the Grand Chess Tour.

No Shortage Of Hyperbole For Praggnanandhaa

ESPN India didn't take long to feature the world's newest grandmaster, or to dub him his country's newest chess hero.

Although he narrowly missed the all-time record for youngest grandmaster, the feature profiles the team around him. It also offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at R Praggnanandhaa's runup to the title (the "R" already seems superfluous as the chess community seems willing to have him go the way of Madonna or Pele and only use one name, or just half a name -- "Prag").


A "Prag" Spring opened up the GM title for this 12-year-old boy. | Photo: Mike Klein/

Among other things we learn: He can't count how many countries he's been to, he only goes to school a few months out of the year, he seems to have more a friendship than a rivalry with countryman IM Nihal Sarin, and, no surprise, he wants to be world champion. So do 1.3 billion other people.

A Multimedia Chess Tour

We close with a rapid-fire trio of media for you to digest:


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