Saturday, February 26, 2005

Strongest Players of All Time?

"From: "Hans Jørgen Lassen"
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 05:36:56 +0100
Local: Fri, Feb 25 2005 8:36 pm
Subject: Question about Rating and Morphy.

In Warriors of the Mind (1989) by Keene and Divinsky an attempt was made to compare the playing strength of masters from different times. But such a project must not be taken too seriously. You have to make a lot of assumptions to establish a basis for you calculations, and in some cases, like Morphy's, the material is rather sparse.
Their final list:
1. Kasparov
2. Karpov
3. Fischer
4. Botvinnik
5. Capablanca
6. Lasker
7. Korchnoi
8. Spasski
9. Smyslov
10. Petrosian
11. Morphy

Thursday, February 24, 2005

USCF Moves to Tennessee

This is from the Nashville City PaperU.S. Chess Federation move seen as economic boon to Midstate
By William Williams, wwilliams@nashvillecitypaper.comFebruary 24, 2005
Chess is now big business in Tennessee.In April, the U.S. Chess Federation-sponsored Scholastic Super Nationals III will take place at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, bringing 5,000-6,000 student competitors here and potentially pumping millions into the local economy.Last week the federation relocated its offices from New Windsor, N.Y., to temporary space in Crossville. That Tennessee presence, officials say, will bolster the Midstate economy with employee relocations, future events, ancillary businesses, etc.“Our people will be buying houses, renting apartments, shopping — the impact will be in the millions,” said Grant Perks, USCF chief financial officer.Perks said the federation eventually expects to have about 22-25 employees in Crossville. In addition, the group plans to build a permanent home for an estimated $525,000.The facility is to be built on land near Interstate 40 that the Crossville Housing Authority Center is deeding to the federation. The three-acre parcel of commercial land is valued at $264,000. “From a local standpoint, [the move of the headquarters and the April super nationals event] will be a great thing for us,” said Alvin Harris, Nashville-based vice president of The Foundation for Tennessee Chess. Gov. Phil Bredesen has trumpeted the USCF’s headquarters move, according to press secretary Lydia Lenker.“It adds diversity to the job base,” Lenker said of the move.Officials estimate the federation can generate a minimum of $1.5 million annually for the Midstate economy.Harry Sabine, a Crossville attorney and state scholastic coordinator of the Tennessee Chess Association, said landing the USCF headquarters is a matter of “prestige.” “It’s a huge plus to Nashville,” Sabine said, noting that future super national events could be in the offing for Music City.Rob Mitchell, a local insurance agent and member of the U.S. Chess Federation, said the state ranks fourth nationally in the number of scholastic chess players. Many participate in tournaments that can generate revenue for municipalities.“High schools are putting money into chess,” Mitchell said.

Deaths of Chess Players

I found this information on a web site by Bill Wall.

Deaths of Chess Players
by Bill Wall

Georgy Agzamov (1954-1986) - Russian GM fell between some rocks at a beach and died
Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) - choked to death on a piece of meat in 1946
Johann Allgaier (1763-1823) - dropsy
Adolf Anderssen (1818-1879) - heart attack
Vladimir Bagirov (1936-2000) - heart attack while playing chess in Finland
Rosendo Balinas (1941-1998) - liver cancer
Curt von Bardeleben (1861-1924) - threw himself out the window of his boarding home at age 63
Thomas Barnes (1825-1874) - too much weight loss at one time
Joseph Blackburne (1841-1924) - heart attack
Claude Bloodgood (1924-2001) - lung cancer while in prison for life
Samuel Boden (1826-1882) - died of typhoid fever
Efim Bogoljubov (1889-1952) - suffered a heart attack after a simultaneous display
Paolo Boi (1528-1598) - poisoned (murdered) in Naples
Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995) - cancer
Louis Bourdonnais (1795-1840) - stroke
Gyula Breyer (1893-1921) - heart disease
Henry Buckle (1821-1862) - typhoid fever
Ricardo Calvo (1943-2002) - esophagus cancer
Jose Capablanca (1888-1942) - died after watching a skittles game at the Manhattan Chess Club in 1942.
Rudolf Charousek (1873-1900) - tuberculosis
Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908) - diabetes
Edgar Colle (1897-1932) - died after an operation for a gastric ulcer
Arthur Dake (1910-2000) - died in his sleep at age 90
Cecil de Vere (1845-1875) - tuberculosis
A. Deschapelles (1780-1847) - hydropsy
Ed Edmundson (1920-1982) - died of a heart attack while playing chess on a beach in Hawaii
Max Euwe (1901-1981) - heart attack
Janos Flesch (1933-1983) - died in a car wreck in England
Guillermo Garcia (1953-1990) - car wreck
Efim Geller (1925-1998) - cancer
Aivars Gipslis (1937-2000) - stroke while playing chess in Berlin
Karen Grigorian (1947-1989) - suicide by jumping
Nikolai Grigoriev (1895-1938) - appendicitis
Eduard Gufeld (1936-2002) - stroke
Alexander Ilyin-Genevsky (1894-1941) - died in the siege of Leningrad while on a barge
Dawid Janowsky (1868-1927) - tuberculosis
Klaus Junge - German army officer killed in action in 1945.
Paul Keres (1916-1975) - died of a heart attack returning home from a tournament in 1975.
George Koltanowski (1903-2000) - heart failure at the age of 93
Boris Kostic (1887-1963) - blood poisoning from a scratch
Nikolai Krylenko - executed in Stalin's purges in 1938.
Leonid Kubbel (1891-1942) - executed by firing squad in Leningrad
Salo Landau (1903-1944) - gassed by Nazis at a German concentration camp
Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) - heart attack
Paul Leonhardt (1877-1934) - died of a heart attack while playing chess at a chess club in 1934.
George Mackenzie (1837-1891) - suicide: took an overdose of morphine
Frank Marshall (1877-1944) - died of a heart attack after leaving a chess tournament
Alexander McDonnell (1798-1835) - died of Bright's disease
Edmar Mednis (1937-2002) - pneumonia and cardiac arrest
Vera Menchik (1906-1944) - died in the German bombing of London
Tony Miles (1955-2001) - died in his sleep at age 46; he was diabetic
Johannes Minckwitz (1843-1901) - suicide: threw himself under a train
Paul Morphy (1837-1884) - died of a stroke while taking a cold bath
Miguel Najdorf (1910-1997) - heart attack
Aron Nimzovich (1886-1935) - died of pneumonia
Lembit Oll - suicide by jumping out of the window of his 4th story apartment
Louis Paulsen (1833-1891) - died of diabetes
Julius Perlis (1880-1913) - died in a mountain climb in the Alps in 1913.
Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984) - cancer
Vladimir Petrov (1908-1943) - died in a prison camp in Russia
Harry Pillsbury (1872-1906) - died of syphillis
David Przepiorka (1880-1940) - died in a mass execution outside Warsaw in 1940.
Cecil Purdy (1906-1979) - died of a heart attack while playing chess
Abram Rabinovich (1878-1943) - starvation
Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992) - heart attack
Richard Reti (1889-1929) - died of scarlet fever
Karl Robatsch (1928-2000) - stomach and throat cancer
Nicholas Rossolimo (1910-1975) - fell from flight of stairs; died of head injuries
Pierre Saint-Amant (1800-1872) - died after a fall from his carriage
Carl Schlechter (1874-1918) - died from pneumonia and starvation
Vladimir Simagin (1919-1968) - died of a heart attack while playing in a tournament
Gideon Stahlberg (1908-1967) - heart attack during the 1967 Leningrad International tournament.
Howard Staunton (1810-1874) - died of a heart attack will writing a chess book
Leonid Stein (1934-1973) - heart attack
Herman Steiner (1905-1955) - heart attack after a California State Championship game
Alexei Suetin (1926-2001) - heart attack after a chess tournament
Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) - kidney failure
Mikhail Tchigorin (1850-1908) - died of diabetes
Karel Treybal - died a victim of the Nazis in 1941.
Alexi Troitzky (1866-1942) - died of starvation during the siege of Leningrad
Abe Turner (1924-1962) - stabbed 9 times in the back by a fellow employee at the Chess Review office
Alvis Vitolins (1938-1997) - suicide by jumping
Daniel Yanovsky (1925-2000) - cancer
Frederick Yates (1884-1932) - died in his sleep from a leak in a faulty gas pipe connection
Alexander Zaitsev - died of thrombosis as a consequence of a leg operation in 1971.
Johann Zukertort (1842-1888) - died of a stroke while playing chess at a London coffee-house
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) - committed suicide.

Play chess and speak to Zed, the Chess Bot

Thought you might get a kick out of this. Zed has a mind of his own and eventually learns from conversations. Information you tell him one day will be updated. He then learns that information. Give him a try and tell your friends!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Iceland Issues Bobby Fischer a Passport

Iceland OKs passport for Fischer in JapanThe Associated Press
REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Icelandic immigration authorities agreed Tuesday to grant the former American chess champion Bobby Fischer a special passport for foreigners that would allow him to travel to Western Europe.
Lawmakers in Iceland last week rejected Fischer's citizenship application, prompting his supporters to apply on his behalf for a foreigner's passport.
The document would allow him to travel freely between the 15 Western European countries of the Schengen zone, a region covering much of Western Europe where passports are not required, but not to the United States, said Gudrun Ogmundsdottir, a member of Iceland's Parliament General Committee.
The United States has been seeking Fischer, 61, for more than a decade on charges of violating international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing chess there in 1992.
The former chess champion has been detained in Tokyo since he was arrested six months ago for trying to board a plane to the Philippines with an invalid U.S. passport. Japan has ordered him deported to the United States.
A group of Fischer supporters — some of whom he befriended while in Iceland for his 1972 chess match against Soviet chess champion Boris Spassky — had petitioned the Icelandic government to grant Fischer citizenship.
“Fischer's dispute with the Japanese authorities is first and foremost due to him having been in Japan without a valid passport. This should solve that problem,” said Einar Einarsson, chairman of an Icelandic Bobby Fischer supporters group.
He said Fischer's passport would be ready today.
Ogmundsdottir said she hoped this would allow Japanese authorities to release Fischer.
“If they do not, then it is a question of whether we proceed with citizenship. Citizenship by parliamentary decree is granted twice a year,” Ogmundsdottir said.
The Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Chess Game Posting

I recently completed my first online chess game at . Unlike most live java scripted games, the pace of this game is much slower. I actually had time to contemplate my moves without the pressure of time. I will post the game below and invite you to play over it yourself and add comments and annotations as you see fit.

[Event server game]
1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Bf1-c4 c7-c6 3. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6 4. Nf3-g5 d7-d5 5. exd5 h7-h6 6. dxc6 hxg5 7. cxb7 Bc8xb7 8. O-O Qd8-c7 9. d2-d3 e5-e4 10. g2-g3 Nb8-d7 11. Nb1-d2 Nd7-e5 12. b2-b3 g5-g4 13. Bc1-b2 O-O-O 14. Qd1-e2 Ne5-f3 15. Nd2xf3 gxf3 16. Qe2-e3 Nf6-g4 17. Qe3xa7 Bf8-c5 18. Qa7-a4 Rh8xh2 19. Bb2xg7 Rh2xf2 20. Rf1xf2 Bc5xf2 21. Kg1-f1 Qc7xg3 22. Bc4-e6 Kc8-b8 23. Bg7-e5 Ng4xe5 24. Resigns
robmtchl wins as black

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