Stalemated by Psychosis…

Stalemated by Psychosis…

Chess Champion Tragedies:Among the general public, there seems to be a common conception of chessplayers, especially the very best, as self-absorbed, anti-social weirdoes many of whom have but a tenuous grip on reality—if that. However, this view does not, in actuality, square with the record. Most of the strongest international tournament chess-players have been socially […]

The Inexhaustibility of Chess

The Inexhaustibility of Chess

Certainly, a game featuring a specific number of pieces, which move (although variously in their functions) in a limited number of ways, on a board of 64 squares only, must be finite in its possibilities of variation. The number of legal positions and of potential differently played games simply must be absolute and measurable. All […]

Persian Prince of the Chessboard

Persian Prince of the Chessboard

The city from which he derives his surname, Shiraz, is the capital of Fars Province in modern-day Iran, a populous and bustling city known as the home of poets, wine, and flowers.  The word “shir” in Persian means “lion.” From this far-off and exotic land came young Kamran Shirazi, the inscrutable and aloof young International […]

Bobby Fischer in Hollywood

It seems only natural, in retrospect, that future World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer’s 1964 national simultaneous exhibition tour would have a stop in the L.A. area, but the particular venue as well as the smooth and successful organization were a testament to the vision and skills of chess patron Jacqueline Piatigorsky. The historic hotel (today […]

Donut Hole

Tang’s Donuts was not an unusual name for a small coffee and donut shop on the rather seedy eastern edge of Hollywood, but the most common activity that transpired there, night after night, until the weeest hours, certainly was. It was speed chess, played with a special chess game timer—played only in that way—and played […]

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