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Latest Bobby Fischer Items
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.