FIDE World Chess Championship 2016

It’s going to be held at Fulton Market Building in South Street Seaport, downtown New York City, starting tomorrow Nov 11-30.

Magnus Carlsen is the current champ from Norway. The Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin (Jan 12, 1990) becomes an International Master at age 11 and the GM Grandmaster at age 12 – the youngest – surpassing Bu Xiangzhi 卜祥志 who’s 13 in 1999, my idol Bobby Fischer was 15 in 1958.

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Robert James Fischer (1943 – 2008)’s the Match of the Century beating the then title holder Boris Spassky to win world championship in 1972 was epic. A lonesome American defeating a team of Russians and its strong hold on the championship – 24 years uninterrupted. Aside from the cold war background, the championship itself was full of dramas. From disagreement on locations for the championship – they finally settled on Reykjavík, Iceland, to lack of prize money (which then doubled to US$250,000), to refusal to continue the second game due to the playing condition, (a championship match usually contains 20+ games) which could have forfeited the entire match to Spassky. Out of sportsmanship, Spassky gave in to Fischer’s demand because he didn’t want to win by default. After 21 games in 2 months (1st on July 11 and the last on Aug 31), Fischer won 12½–8½ becoming the 11th World Champion.

Funny as history would have, Fischer refused to defend his title in 1975 due to some of his demands not being met, forfeiting his title to the Russian rising star Anatoly Karpov.

The significance of this match, in the eyes of the world, wasn’t about Fischer but world power. It’s all about USA and USSR. The former champ who succeeded Karpov and a fellow New Yorker Garry Kasparov sums it up the best:

I think the reason you look at these matches probably was not so much the chess factor but to the political element, which was inevitable because in the Soviet Union, chess was treated by the Soviet authorities as a very important and useful ideological tool to demonstrate the intellectual superiority of the Soviet communist regime over the decadent West. That’s why the Spassky defeat […] was treated by people on both sides of the Atlantic as a crushing moment in the midst of the Cold War.

Fischer played against computer program developed by Richard Greenblatt @ MIT in 1977 and won all three games.

Strong evidence supported that he’s an illegitimate child, and from an impoverished childhood. When the riches found him after the 1972 championship, he declined. Unfortunately better part of his life was a mess – perhaps he felt nothing else to prove – but no one would forget his epic battle when he’s 29. The adaga that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, couldn’t have written better.

Highly recommend this book Searching for Bobby Fischer, warmly and smartly written by the prodigy Joshua Waitzkin’s dad intelligently; although Josh would only rose to an International Master. There’s a movie of the same title out in 1993.

Fischer played/developed his skills at two NYC premier chess clubs, Manhattan Chess Club (1877-2002) which had closed and the prestigious Marshall chess club. I’ve been to both. The interior of the Marshall is just magnificent in an elegant brownstone on 10th Street.

Chess appeals to Wall Street, at least when I subscribed to chess magazines a while ago, there were plenty ads seeking/recruiting chess players, as they drool over West Points grads. Bankers Athletic League chess tournament is a pretty serious thing where my husband had played.

The Classical World Chess Championship 1995 was played on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center in New York City. Garry Kasparov, the defending champion defeated the challenger Viswanathan Anand, who’d won the title in 2000. Kasparov played many computer matches, from multiple computers (32! simultaneously and won all) in Hamburg in 1985, to Deep Thought (won, 1989) to IMB’s Deep Blue (won 1996, lost 1997 – documentary) to Deep Junior (draw, 2003) and X3D Fritz (draw, 2003). NPR on it in 2014

Chinese women have been dominated the chess world since 1991: Xie Jun 谢军 (1991–1996 and 1999–2001); Zhu Chen 诸宸(2001–04); Xu Yuhua 许昱华 (2006-8); Hou Yifan 侯逸凡 (2010–2012, 2013–2015 and 2016-). Chess has two world championships, Open and Women’s – women are allowed to play in both. The youngest Polgár sisters Judit is the best female player for the past two decades but she never competes in Women’s. I saw her play in Vienna in 1990 – yes she’s the only girl.

IMHO, two other epic battles are Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, between United States, and the defending gold medalists, USSR, and Van Cliburn winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, in Moscow.

Yes, I think I’m impartial!

wenxue city

2016年 FIDE 世界国际象棋锦标赛将在纽约市南街海港举行,明天开始,十一月11日至30日。

Magnus Carlsen 是来自挪威的现任冠军。 俄罗斯挑战者谢尔盖·卡里亚金(Sergey Karjakin; 1990年1月12日)11岁成为国际手 (international master), 12岁成为棋圣 (GM – grandmaster) – 历来最小的. 在他之前是 Bu Xiangzhi卜祥志 (1999年/13岁),我的偶像鲍比菲舍尔 1958年/15岁。

罗伯特·詹姆斯·费舍尔(1943 – 2008)的‘世纪比赛’,打败当时的冠军鲍里斯·斯帕斯基赢得1972年的世界冠军,实在是史诗。 一个孤独的美国人打败一整个俄罗斯队,尤其是他们保持24年不间断的冠军。 除了冷战背景,这个1972的冠军赛本身充满了戏剧。 从在哪里比赛的地点分歧 – 他们最终定在冰岛雷克雅未克,到缺乏奖金(最后翻倍到250,000美元),到由于比赛条件拒绝继续第三场比赛,(一个锦标赛通常包含20+场),这样可能会输… 出于运动精神,斯帕斯基同意菲舍尔的要求,因为他不想默认赢。 在两个月21场比赛后(7月11日第一场到 8月31日的最后一场),费舍尔赢得了12½-8½ 成为第11届世界冠军。


1972 这场比赛的意义,在世界的眼睛,不是关于费舍尔,而是世界争强,是关于美国和苏联。 接替卡尔波夫的前冠军和一个纽约人加里·卡斯帕罗夫总结的最好:

我认为你看这些比赛的原因可能不是象棋因素,而是政治因素,这是不可避免的,因为在苏联,国际象棋被苏联当局作为一个非常重要和有用的意识形态工具,以证明 苏联共产主义政权对腐败的西方的智力优势。 这就是为什么斯帕斯基的失败[…]被大西洋两岸的人们视为冷战时期的一个破碎的时刻。

费舍尔在1977年 赢了 MIT 麻省理工 Richard Greenblatt 开发的计算机程序,所有三场比赛。 有力的证据支持他是一个私生子,他的童年也贫穷。 当财富在1972年冠军后找到他时,他拒绝了。 不幸的是,他大部分生活是个混乱 疑神疑鬼。 也许他没有什么别的证明。 但没有人会忘记他29岁赢得史诗般的冠军。事实永远比小说精彩。

强烈推荐这本旧书寻找费舍尔 Searching for Bobby Fischer,作者是 Joshua Waitzkin的爸爸 (Josh 只升到国际手 – International Master)。 1993年有一部同名电影。

菲舍尔在两个纽约二个象棋俱乐部,曼哈顿国际象棋俱乐部(1877-2002),已经关闭和着名的马歇尔国际象棋俱乐部练习/发展了他的技能。 我两个都去过。 比较喜欢在10街的上的马歇尔, 内部装潢典雅。

国际象棋手对华尔街一直有很大的吸引,至少当我订阅国际象棋杂志一段时间,有大量的广告寻求/招聘象棋手,就好象他们在争取西点军校的毕业生。 银行家竞技联盟国际象棋锦标赛是一个相当有规模的赛事,俺家属参赛了好几年。

1995年的古典世界象棋锦标赛在纽约世贸中心的107楼举行。 Garasp Kasparov 卡斯帕罗夫,卫冕冠军击败挑战者 Viswanathan – 他等多了三年,在2000年首次赢得了冠军。卡斯帕罗夫自 1985年开始和电脑计算机比赛,从汉堡的多台电脑(32台!同时赢得所有),到深思想 Deep Thought 到IMB的 深蓝 Deep Blue 。。。有赢有输。

自1991年以来,中国娃娃们一直主导国际象棋:谢军(1991-1996和1999-2001); 诸宸(2001-04); 许宇华(2006-8); 侯逸凡(2010-2012,2013-2015和2016-)。 国际象棋有两个世界冠军赛,开放赛 Open 和妇女赛。妞子们二个都可以参加。 最年轻的Polgár姐妹Judit是目前(近20年来)最好的女性球员,但她从来不参加女性赛事。 1990年我在维也纳看过她比赛 – 是,她是唯一的女孩。



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