The newspaper chess column goes extinct

PeterDoggers
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Kavalek ColumnThese are hard times for newspapers, which have been struggling for years with the question how to adapt to the digital era. Almost all of them need to cut costs, and among the victims are the writers of chess columns. Yesterday, after 23 years, Lubosh Kavalek wrote his last column for the Washington Post.

For about a year Kavalek's columns only appeared online; earlier the Washington Post had cut if from their print version to reduce costs. According to the New York Times, a source at the company with knowledge of the situation said that "the decision to discontinue the column altogether was a further cost-cutting move".

Kavalek's column of January 4th, 2010 is a wonderful goodbye to his readers, in which he gives his view on the last decades in chess, and shares a few more anecdotes about Bobby Fischer.


Although I was reporting for Voice of America, I did not hesitate when Bobby asked me to help him with the adjournment of the 13th game. From then on until the end of the match we analyzed together.

Bobby was obsessed with winning and was not happy until he had exhausted all possibilities. This became clear when we analyzed the adjourned position of Game 18. We soon realized that every winning attempt was doomed. The chances tilted to Spassky, but was Boris winning? Bobby's eyes lit up when I suggested a queen maneuver, forcing Spassky to repeat the moves. "Great! We have a draw. Let's go for the win again," and we spent four more hours trying to find something that wasn't there. For a single victory, Bobby would work himself to exhaustion, always giving his all.


Don't miss Kavalek's last column.
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