Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Best of Chess Times

This is a great time to be a fan of the game of chess! This morning with my java I replayed the fantastic Nakamura-Shirov game with Shipov’s live commentary on Tata Steel Chess 2011 at www.chessintranslation.com
then booted-up the 'puter to watch the opening of round 4. During a lull in the action I watched the video Giri & Smeets show their hypersharp draw on www.chessvibes.com.
I thought back to the time I first became infatuated with the game of chess. It was 1970 and Bobby Fischer was on the rise. We had to wait until the next day's New York Times came out to see the game. Things had not improved much when the two K's were contesting the championship of the world in the 80's. I was driving a cab at night for Buckhead Safety Cab in Atlanta. I would go by the Lennox Inn in the wee hours of the morning because it was one of the first stops on the paperman's route. I would be the first to purchase a New York Times most mornings. I would then replay the game before going to sleep in the morning, and then play over it again upon waking in the afternoon!
The internet is the perfect venue for chess. Imagine having a GM like Sergey Shipov annotate the Fischer-Spassky match. I cannot even imagine being able to watch Fischer and Spassky go over their games in real time via the internet! For the life of me, I cannot understand why the USCF does not have ten times the members it has now. The sad fact is that the vast majority of members of that organization are children. After the meetings at the US Open the Ex Director said he would "Address the problem of the continuing lack of adult memberships." There are so many interesting chess sites on the internet, much more interesting than the official magazine of the USCF, Chess Life (it should be called 'Chess Death'), or the online content. I cannot help but think that USCF is still stuck in the past, still waiting for the next day's newspapper.

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