16 February 2012

Kenny Rogoff as You've Never Seen Him

Unless you happen to have an August 1969 copy of Chess Life lying around the house and flip to page 335, where it says, 'Rogoff Wins U.S. Junior : Kenneth Rogoff of Rochester, New York scored 6-1 to win the United States Junior Chess Championship by the widest margin ever recorded in the four-year history of this invitational event.'

That's the same Kenneth Rogoff (CL photo credit, Marc Miller) who went on to become a chess grandmaster, a Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Chess Life also noted,

Rogoff, at 16, is the youngest player to win the U.S. Junior, an event in which the eight highest rated players under twenty years of age compete each year. He has played tournament chess for only two and one-half years and emerged during the past year as the dominant player in upstate New York. Among the interested spectators and analysts at this year's games was GM Robert Fischer, who apparently feels Rogoff has great future potential if his development continues at the same rapid rate.

In his chess bio, Harvard Econ Department - Kenneth Rogoff - Biography, Rogoff points to one of his wins from the 1969 U.S. Junior annotated by Fischer in the October 1969 Boys' Life. He is frequently featured for the topic of 'Chess Player Makes Good ... But Not at Chess', so liked by the mainstream chess media. A recent example was Rogoff on chess addiction and why he had to give up the game on Chessbase.com.

His page at Chessgames.com, Kenneth Rogoff, currently has 2827 pages of kibitzing. I doubt that more than a few of those pages have much to do with chess, and are more likely filled with flame wars related to the subject of economics, aka the dismal science.

I also doubt that the Harvard professor likes being called 'Kenny'. I found only a few such references on the web and all were decidedly irreverent.

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