Tuesday, April 01, 2014

War games

Anybody spotted the chess revival that was supposed to take place after Magnus Carlsen won the title last year? Me neither, but perhaps we were looking in the wrong direction. One Anand blunder in his long endgame in the penultimate round Candidates and we might have had our revivial after all.

We all know that the reason chess took off after Spassky-Fischer was the politics, yes? The Cold War on the chessboard, international politics in minature, that sort of thing? We do?

It doesn't seem to have attracted much comment, but the guy who came second in the Candidates

comes from Crimea. You may also recall that not too long ago he changed his nationality from Ukranian to Russian.

Now that would have spiced it up nicely, wouldn't it? You want contemporary geopolitics on the 64 squares, you might have had it.

Of course Carlsen's not the latterday Cold Warrior you'd want in the opposite chair, but you could always elect a Reaganite as FIDE President in time to oversee the match. And watch everything go BOOM.

1 comment:

Andrew Gelman said...

I was thinking about other global hotspots and came across this:

"According to the FIDE President`s opinion, the Republic of Korea has great potential for the development of chess as evidenced by the interest of Korean people in other intellectual games. FIDE President K. Ilyumzhinov expressed his wish that Korea could become a regional chess center. Also FIDE President K. Ilyumzhinov stated that through chess there could begin the unification of North and South Korea."

This was from 2008 so maybe soon these efforts will bear fruit.