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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Bobby Fischer
Young Iranian IM Idani Pouya was the surprise winner of the Under-18 open tournament at the just-concluded World Youth Championships held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, becoming in the process the first player from his country to claim a world title.
Viswanathan Anand made a comeback and Hikaru Nakamura made a statement in the premier event at the 5th London Chess Classic that ended Sunday, a rapid tournament pitting 16 of the world's best players in a star-studded knockout tournament.
He may be the most talented — and star-crossed — player of his generation. His admiring peers routinely say that mercurial Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk possesses as much natural skill and chess intelligence as anyone who ever played the game. The sole resident of "Planet Chukky" (players joke he lives in his own world) presents a combination of imagination, technique and out-of-the-box ideas that few can match.
The mashup between chess and boxing is all the rage these days, with "chessboxing" clubs springing up all over the globe and reports that a Kickstarter campaign has just been launched to fund a documentary on the phenomenon. Contestants alternate games at the board and rounds in the ring, with lots of airy talk about the parallels between cerebral and physical combat skills involved.
He was one of the game's greatest tacticians, equally at home on offense and defense in the most complicated situations. He was masterful at disarming a volatile, unpredictable opponent, and he held his own against the greatest players the game has ever known. He also played chess pretty well.
From Kashdan, Koltanowski and Keres back in the day to Korchnoi, Karpov and Kasparov in the modern era, the "K" section of the encyclopedia has long been a thick and fertile source of chess greatness.
We were going to start this week's column with a preview of the coming Anand-Carlsen world title match when word came over the weekend of the passing of New York GM Robert Byrne at the age of 84.
He stumbled across the finish line, but Norway's young superstar Magnus Carlsen has earned a date against reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand of India in a title match later this year.
It has been a bit of a fallow period for the past few centuries or so, but Italian chess may finally be experiencing its Renaissance.
Not since the days of Thor has a Norwegian wielded such a mighty hammer. Obliterating a world-class field, Norway superstar GM Magnus Carlsen has taken the first major tournament of the year, winning the elite Tata Steel “A” Tournament with a stunning 10-3 score, matching the record total for the event set by former world champion and onetime Carlsen coach Garry Kasparov.
For all the blessings of the day, there’s no denying it can be a drag sharing a Dec. 25 birthday with you-know-who. So we thought we’d pass on a little yuletide cheer to a trio of Christmas babies for their contributions to the game.
'Tis the season to roll up the board, pack up the pieces and put some fresh batteries in the old chess clock: The 39th annual Eastern Open, a four-day extravaganza, kicks off Dec. 27 at its longtime home at the Westin Washington D.C. City Center hotel at 1400 M St. NW.
The 2012 class for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis is small but select: Alex Yermolinsky, the St. Petersburg-born grandmaster now living in South Dakota, will become the 48th member of the Hall of Fame in a ceremony Tuesday, joining champions of the American game including Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer and Benjamin Franklin.
Though they fell short of the summit, you could make a pretty formidable team from what might be called the Also-Rans Club.
The future is now — right now — for American chess, as New York IM Marc Arnold has claimed his first U.S. Junior title, and the U.S. Cadet Championship, featuring the country’s top players younger than 16 years old, is wrapping up in Rockville.
"At restaurants," Mr. Brady writes, "Bobby always carried with him a virtual pharmacy of remedies and potions to immediately counteract any poisons that the Soviets might slip into his food or drink."
He insisted that every aspect of a designated playing arena conform to his wishes: lighting, cameras and silence on the part of all spectators.