22 July 2014

Alice and 'The Cat in the Hat'

Seen on Yahoo!...

Book-themed benches pop up around London

...The subtitle says,

Fifty open book-shaped benches decorated by prominent artists celebrate beloved literary gems. Treasure hunt for tourists

The link led to this Yahoo article: Take a Seat: London's BookBenches Are All Kinds of Artistic Cool

Sure, nothing beats a hammock for kicking back with a favorite book, but if you’re going to go bench, you can’t beat these new seats in London: 50 open-book-shaped benches decorated by prominent artists and illustrators in the style of some of the UK’s most enduring literary characters.

That's very nice, but what does the chess bench have to do with literature? Nimzovich's 'My System'? In Classic books fly off the shelves and on to the streets, TheGuardian.com explains (over another photo of the chess bench),

As titles from Alice Through the Looking-Glass to The Cat in the Hat are remade as public sculptures, author Mal Peet celebrates the joy of a paperback on a park bench.

Thanks, London! Thanks, Yahoo! Thanks, TheGuardian.com! Previously Seen on Yahoo: Carlsen vs. Gates, The Aftermath.

21 July 2014

Kasparov TMER: Early Events

I finished the task started in my previous post, Garik Weinstein, identifying the early events in Kasparov's book Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985. The full list is shown below.

Next step: Merge this info with the index for Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-).

20 July 2014

Stavros Niarchos Chess

It's summer and it's hot outside, so let's have a video for this current episode of the 'Chess in School' series.

2014-06-27 Presentation of an Innovative Program introducing Chess to Schools in Greece (27:26) • '3rd Annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation International Conference on Philanthropy'

The description said,

Speakers: Yiannis Antoniadis - President, Association of Chess Players of Thessaloniki and Eva Polyzogopoulou - Program Coordinator, Education, Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

At the beginning of the clip, the moderator mentions a Kasparov speech from the 2013 conference. That speech can be found here: 2013-06-28 Keynote speech by Garry Kasparov.

18 July 2014

Brady on VOR America

A newly retired Dr. Frank Brady talks about the chess scene: past, present, and future.

David Kerans with Frank Brady at the World Open (7:18) • 'Brady discussed the prospects for sponsorship in chess, new dimensions of support in universities, the public's obsession with Bobby Fischer, and his own plans for the future.'

A few years ago, in Fischer's Best Games?, I ran a series on Brady's newest book on Fischer titled 'Endgame'.

17 July 2014


What happened at Chesscafe? The site all but disappeared for five months with promises of a relaunch. The target for the relaunch was moved back several times, as recorded on the English Chess Forum in a thread titled Chesscafe.com.

The regular early February updates have been replaced by a message 'Look for a new column when we relaunch in May' [...] It seems the 'relaunch' date has been put back to June now. [...] Now it's July. [...] They don't specify a year.

I understood that the 'relaunch' would somehow involve a redesign, but when the site again started updating its columns earlier this month, the look hadn't changed. In any case, a redesign might require taking the site down for a few hours -- worst case a day or two -- but never for a few months. One sure way to kill a web site is by neglecting to update it.

As I wrote in The Best of ChessCafe and Chess History Cat Fight, the site has never been one of my favorites, but I would still be sorry to see it disappear completely.

15 July 2014

How Reliable Am I?

Have you ever overheard a conversation where people are talking about you? Seen on Wikipedia Talk...

Talk: List of World Chess Championships

It's a bit like lists of U.S. Presidents: it's common knowledge, and documented in dozens of books. We could add a link to http://www.mark-weeks.com..., but that just shifts the problem: another amateur historian who's put together the data from books. Rocksong 05:39, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Talk: World Chess Championship 1984

Lies in article • This is a very bad article - perpetuating the myths and lies surrounding this championship match. Read for example what is written on Edward Winter's Chess notes. Kasparov asked for the match to be abandoned - so how could he then be extremely resentful of Campomanes decision? Abandoning the match improved his chances of winning. A real, reliable, citation is needed for the weight loss and health claims. I have [never] heard of Mark Weeks and have no idea why his website is being used as a reliable source.--ZincBelief (talk) 13:26, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

...I generally give more credibility to people who identify themselves, less to people who prefer to remain anonymous.

14 July 2014

Garik Weinstein

Continuing with the Kasparov TMER (*), Early Years and Early Games, I started to compare the events in Kasparov's book Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985 (must set a record for the number of times the author's name appears on the spine of a chess book) with the early events listed on my page Garry Kasparov's TMER (1973-). While I was working through the book, I discovered a passage related to Kasparov's name change (p.45). The 'tournament' mentioned in the first sentence is the 1975 Spartak Junior Championship, also seen in the 'Early Games' post.

'What's in a name?', indeed.

(*) TMER = Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record