Interesting Stories in Chess Media

Thomas Lin, "Schooled by the Queen of Chess," Queens' Tribune (online version). Interesting piece on GM Susan (Zsuzsa) Polgar's tireless efforts at promoting chess in Queens, New York. The four-time Women's World Champion is a resident of Queens and in case you're wondering, she still plays chess. She recently gave a 70-board simultaneous exhibition in Armenia which included an International Master. She won 69 games and the only draw was to… no, not the IM… but her business manager FM Paul Truong. The article is very interesting and covers material about Polgar's life that one doesn't normally find in countless other interviews. We asked of her rationale for her chess club in Queens, she stated,

"I really wanted to give an opportunity to the community not needing to go to Manhattan, if they wanted to get a game of chess or instruction," Polgar said.

Polgar will make her debut on the U.S. Olympiad team in Minorca, Spain this fall. She is part of an Olympiad training team led by FM Truong.

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Goran Tomic (interview with WGM Alexandra Kosteniuk), "Strike a Light," Pakistan Chess Player. Candid interview by 19-year old WGM Alexandra Kosteniuk in which she discusses her views on FIDE, male/female comparisons, her activities on the ICC and her personal life.

"Unfortunately now in Russia we have few chess schools, and it's much harder nowadays to study chess and to find a good coach. But Russian chessplayers are still pretty strong because of this famous Soviet Chess School and because of the understanding that chess indeed can be a profession. But to be a professional you have to study a lot, it's very hard work."

One answer that caught the interviewer off guard was that she is in fact already married. It's refreshing that the interview didn't veer into questions about her perceived status as the "Anna Kournikova of chess." These analogies are tired, worn and inaccurate. This interview is easy to read.

Kosteniuk.com, http://www.kosteniuk.com/

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Frederic Friedel (interview with GM Nigel Short), "Nigel Short: Commonwealth Champion," ChessBase.com. An interesting interview with GM Nigel Short after his winning the Commonwealth crown in India. While he was very critical of the tournament conditions, he also discussed proposals for improvements, his tournament performance and his views on Indian chess. Short was particularly horrified at the prospect of playing two games a day…

"It destroys chess, what more can I say? You cannot prepare if you play two games a day. What is happening is that these people are being brutalised, they are playing too many games and develop the habit of not preparing. This is a problem when they go abroad. Top chess these days is all about preparation, thorough, deep opening preparation, and they are not learning how to handle this properly. You also become very, very superficial."

Short later advocates classical time controls…

"Frankly I don't see what was wrong with the old time controls, where you play 40 moves in two hours, and 20 moves in the next hour, and then have a certain amount of time plus an increment to finish the game. You have to have an increment, because you can't have a situation where people are losing with king and queen against king and pawn."

Finally, his views on Indian chess…

In my opinion Sasikiran is clearly the number two. He has a place of his own, which is below Anand and above the rest. There's quite a gap above of him, and quite a gap below of him. He's a very serious player and works very, very hard. After him you've got the young guys, Harikrishna, who I think is number three, Ganguly and some other players. Also Sandipan Chanda, and a lot of young players coming up. There was this 13-year-old girl who did quite well, Dronavalli Harika is her name.

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Posted by The Chess Drum: 26 January 2004