Monday, September 26, 2011

Chess games ended in violence (Chess darkest hours)

chuck norris chess club
In some occasions we witnessed (if not been part) misunderstandings Composebetween chess players, or even sometimes found ourselves dreaming of redecorating our opponent's face with checkered, it is not easy to deal defeat's negative feeling nor wear a smile after our  ego got badly bruised, but a determined chess player should also see that surviving the annihilating moments is what makes the champions.

Chess is not just an sport or a game, it is also an art, a complex art that requires a partner to accomplished a masterpiece, and a respect to the second party is a must.
"Chess indeed mimics life, you can't just go on fulfilled playing the light squares, you should also deal with the bitterness dark squares" - Chesscraftman

The oldest recorded chess related violence could be found in Arabic Manuscript. This involves Al Walid an Umayyad caliph (arabic dynasty ruler), the incident happens when the caliph found out that his courtier, who he is regularly playing shatanj or chess with, is intentionally losing the game to him. The caliph got very upset and offended that he hurled the firzan (equivalent  to queen) to the courtiers head resulting to its death, good thing nowadays chess pieces are made out of plastic or wood instead of rocks. That courtier is at the wrong place and time, I know people who enjoys such courtesy and will even pay.

firzan-shatanj-chess chesscraft
An 8 inch Firzan rock

The son of Pepin the Short (Charlmagne 714-768 AD) who have no historical significance, found a way to history context, by hitting Okarius (Okar), the prince of Bavaria at the head with a rochus (rook), resulting to its death, and I am beginning to understand now, why modern chess pieces is made up of light materials such as plastics.

William the Conqueror, was the first norman king of england and the Duke on Normandy, hit the Prince of France with chessboard after he got checkmated.

Of all chess-related violence, the next one should have the biggest impact in history, when around 1120, King Henry I of England and King Louis VI of France got into a fistfight over a game of chess in Paris, this event was supposedly the start of England and France 12-year war.

england vs france chess set
England vs France chess set

The first known chess-related violence leaped to court happened in Essex, in 1251, when a what should be battle of wits chess match ended into stabbing, after losing a game it angered him too much that he grabbed a knife and stabbed his opponent in the stomach, resulting to its death.

A man was injured while operating an Ajeeb (a chess automation), happens when a man got upset when beaten, he loaded his rifle and fired a shot at the machine. One the famous player of the Ajeeb is Pillsbury.

During the Candidates Tournament in Curacao (1962), Arthur Bisguier was assigned to second to Pal Benko and Fischer. On May 9, Benko came looking for Bisguier in Fischer's room to get some help in analyzing his adjourned game with Petrosian. Fischer told Benko to leave and they both got in a fist fight. The next day Fischer wrote a letter to the organizing committee to fine and/or expel Benko from the tournament. The letter was ignored.

I know a pgn game is not as good as the fist fight video, but unfortunately nobody brought their smartphones with them.

Who wouldn't want a wife very supportive of our chess career (or agony), but nothing more on what Tigran Petrosian's wife did during 1971 Candidates Final in Buenos Aires, after his husband lost to Fischer, Rona Petrosian slapped Alexei Suetin for failing to give an accurate analysis for the the adjourned match.
rona petrosian's wife chesscraft
But if you insists that she is your dream girl, and want her to be your queen, here is a little help.

Chess is to blame for what could probably the first space fist fight, when in 1980's the Soviet Union banned cosmonauts to play chess against each other, after it resulting to a fist fight between two cosmonauts.

In 1989, A Russian scientist was killed with an axe by his colleague after winning a chess game at the Vostok Research Station in the Antarctic.
scientists playing chess

In 1994, Martin Wirth of Fort Collins, Colorado, shot to death Vernie Cox after the two argued over a chess game.  Cox died of two gunshot wounds to the chest.  Witnesses said that Wirth had lost a chess game with Cox, knocked over the chess board and some furniture, then began to argue with his opponent.  Wirth went across the street to his home and returned with a gun and shot Cox to death.

During the early 1990s, Rustam Kamsky, a former boxer and father of Gata Kamsky, would often go to chess tournaments with his son and threaten anyone who he perceived was disturbing the concentration of his son.  In 1994, Rustam threatened to kill grandmaster Nigel Short at a restaurant during a Kamsky-Short chess match. 

In 2000, Laurence Douglas of Puoghkeepsie, New York, stabbed Craig Williams to death over a chess game.  Williams had just beaten Douglas in a chess game that had a $5 wager.  Williams took a$5 bill from Douglas after the game.  Douglas then pulled out a knife and stabbed Williams 16 times.

In 2003, Simon Andrews of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, stabbed to death Jerry Kowalski during a chess game.  Authorities said that Andrews was disturbed by Kowalski’s constant talking during their chess games.  Andrews then pulled a knife from under a sofa-bed mattress and stabbed Kowalski in the neck.  Andrews was sentenced from 15 to 30 years in state prison.

In 2005, junior champion David Howell of England (now a grandmaster) punched the organizer of the European Union Chess Championship when it turned out that Howell would not win a prize.  It turned out that titled players were not eligible for junior prizes.
david howell chess chess craft
The prize fighter/boxer

In 2006, during the Turin chess Olympiad, UK grandmaster Daniel Gormally punched Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian to the ground at a nightclub.  The two got in a jealous dispute over 19-year-old chess playing beauty Arianne Caoili.  Caoili’s energetic dancing with Aronian provoked Gormally to fight.

aronian caoili gormally fight chess chesscraft

In October 2008, David Christian of Iowa City got in a fight with Michael Steward while playing a game of chess at the rooming house where they both lived.  He was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.  Christian choked Steward to death.

In February 2009, a man killed a friend with a sword after a chess game in Alameda, California.  An argument broke out during their game, and the two started wrestling.  Joseph Groom retreated to his bedroom and returned with a sword, which he used to stab Kelly Kjersem once.  Kjersem later died. 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crazy and weird chess players

Wilhelm Steinitz
Willhelm steinitz crazy chess players

As a chess writer he is objective in writing and defended his ideas vigorously  from critics, when at a chessboard, he is worst, he earned the reputation as ill-mannered and violent, on both winning and losing, one of the his remarkable account is when he spat at his opponent, Blackburne, during a dispute in a game, his remarked after the incident was :

…he struck with his full fist into my eye, which he blackened and might have knocked out.  And though he is a powerful man of very nearly twice my size, who might have killed me with a few such strokes, I am proud to say that I had the courage of attempting to spit into his face, and only wish I had succeeded. 

Another of his outrageous and eccentric behavior was walking around his yard barefooted, trying to contact people he knew, with his wireless telephone. He believes his strong will power can relay signals in any distance.  He also tried to contact God using his "wireless" telephone and challenge him to a game. He had a delusion  of having telekinesis, wherein he is capable of move chess pieces using only his mind. He died broke prematurely in an asylum.

Aron Nimzowitsch

The innovator of nimzo-indian in which its name was based to his creator, his most hilarious act was when defeat was inevitable during a rapid chess game match against Fritz Saemisc (another chess opening innovator himself), he climbed up to the table and screamed "Why I must lose to this idiot?," enough to make even poker star Phil Hellmuth blush, in another occasion, he slashed all four tires of someone's Ford focus due to an outrage (probably. It would have been five if there is a reserve tire). During tournaments, he would do aerobics by going to the corner of main hall and stand on his head. A popular, but probably apocryphal, story is that once when an opponent laid a cigar on the table, he complained to the tournament arbiters, "he is threatening to smoke, and as an old player you must know that the threat is stronger than the execution." He is also paranoid that he is always being served with less food compared to others, Kmoch a friend of him, trying to help him with his paranoia offered to exchange plates with him, but after doing so, he shook his head, still in disbelief that he is being served with fewer portion.

Paul Morphy - Widely considered the greatest chess player of his era, and is often referred to as an unofficial World Champion. He had given a five simultaneous game against group of masters considered among the top ten players of the day, scoring 3-2.

Perhaps one of the most tragic stories, at his time, chess was not accepted as a descent profession, when he proposed his love to a handsome lady, he got rejected because of his chess profession, then Morphy decided to abandon chess and focus in practicing law, but unfortunately American Civil War broke, He opposed the war and did not serve in confederate army, causing him not being able to practice law. People would go visit him in his office just to ask him to go back and play chess.

Morphy's final days was spent wandering around the French Quarter of New Orleans, talking to people no one else could see, and having irrational feelings of persecution, and on July 10, 1884, he was found dead in his bathtub.
Carlos Torre
A Mexican Grandmaster,  and an exhibitionist, I don't mean playing a game like his opponent have queens instead of pawns, he is fond of going nude in the public, he got arrested once for running in streets naked, another remarkable stint of him was he did it while riding a public bus, so imagine the reaction of the grannys.

Bobby Fischer
His road to chess supremacy is inspirational, his games are remarkable, but what went wrong, is a mystery, his growing hate for Jews and anti-semitic view has earned him the disgust of those who once adored and worshiped him, He was faithful to his religion Worldwide Church of God donating lots of his earnings, but felt betrayed when the church was put in a series of scandals and failed prophecy causing him to denounced it publicly.

He is quoted in Philippine radio program after the 9/11 attacks "All the crimes the U.S. is committing all over the world ... This just shows, what goes around, that comes around even to the United States." so imagine the uproar of the Americans after being insulted after the injury.

Akiba Rubinstein -
He was scheduled to play a world championship match against  Emmanuel Lasker, but unfortunately World War 1 interrupted, he is an anti-social type that his wife would warn his visitors that do not stay long otherwise he will crawl out of window. A nerd crawling out of window, sounds like Peter Parker to me.

Alexander Alekhine -
You have probably heard grandmasters dozing during the game in tournaments, but Alekhine could all make the like of Vachier-Lagrave look amateur, though losing lots of games due to playing completely drunk, he had managed to salvage a few at least not retiring dozed after 11 moves, okay. He did have moments with the carpet of the floor.  His addiction to liquor and drinking during the game may be due to that he is suffering from anthrophobia, a fear of people and society. There was a game of him that after making a move he would stand up and go to the corner of the tournament hall to hide, and wait for his opponent's reply. Nowadays, people would hide to consult their Pocket Fritz.

Vassily Ivanchuk 
Anand describes him as the most eccentric player:

He's someone who is very intelligent ... but you never know which mood he is going to be in. Some days he will treat you like his long-lost brother. The next day he ignores you completely.
The players have a word for him. They say he lives on 'Planet Ivanchuk'. (Laughs) ... I have seen him totally drunk and singing Ukrainian poetry and then the next day I have seen him give an impressive talk.

When offered a draw by GM Alex Baburin during a game in Istanbul, felt on a deep thought for almost an hour to accept the offer.

In one occasion in Linares tournament, He went in to a restaurant and ask the manager to give him Kasparov's favorite chair, and he seated there meditating, when asked, he said He wants to absorb Kasparov's aura, and this paid off actually, winning his next game.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
is a Kalmyk multi-millionaire businessman, politician, and president of FIDE since 1995, He visited Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi, during the Libyan civil war, when United Nations is condemning its leader of butchering its citizens, but thats not it, he claims he was abducted by aliens in 1997 and have travelled in galaxy with their spaceship.

Most expensive chess sets

Who wouldn't want to play their favorite game (chess), in glittering and valuable metals and precious stones, and who can resist?

Renault F1 Team Collection Chess Set
This collection is a dream come true for the ultimate gamer, especially so for the gamer that shares passion for both the adrenalin rush of Formula 1 and the classical battle of chess.
The pieces of this beautifully crafted set are actually parts of the Renault car – the suspension, hubs, uprights, wings and cockpit sitting.
The genuine engine pieces of titanium, stainless steel, aircraft specification aluminium and carbon fiber have literally felt the heat of Formula 1, and sit coolly on 64 squares of sterling silver and leather.[source]
Renault F1 Team Collection Chess Set
US $41,600 approx.
Carolingi XIV Chess Pieces
It takes you back to the ages of Goths and Visigoths who invaded Europe and overran Anglo Saxons and also the Slavs.
The chess pieces are made of gold and remind you of all the historic treasures plundered by the so called great kings. The chess pieces are designed to remind you of the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans and the confrontation between the Christians and the Moslems. [source]

carolingi chess set expensive chess set chess craft

Art of war chess set.
The Art of War Chess Set tailored with a mesmerizing arrangement of gold and precious jewels is a truly magnificent piece. The exquisite gold and rhodium custom-jeweled chess pieces are creations that bring striking new life to the timeless game. The elegant inlaid custom chess board, fashioned with rich gold handles incrusted with a luminous 21 jeweled arrangement makes for a visual masterpiece that is second to none. If you are looking for an incredible gift for someone special, or simply looking for a display that is guaranteed to catch the attention of visitors, this chess set is guaranteed leave viewers speechless. This beautiful culmination of design, element, and class is an exceptional commodity and is only available through For further inquiries, including the history behind the set. [source]
art of war chess set chesscraft
price is on bid, but they declined the $750,000 dollar offer from Indonesia.

Charles Hollander diamond chess set

What if you can’t beat the opponent at the game of chess… you can still win the game the other way round when the game is being played on this gold and diamond chess set. New in Charles Hollander collection who earlier wooed everyone with their $5million Chess Set, the chess set is made out of gold and the king and queen are set with diamonds. And, this time the king and queen actually feature fake figurines to make the game even more interesting. No word on price can still be had but we will keep you posted. [source]

Charles Hollander diamond chess set

Jewel Royale chess set
We have earlier told you about the $36,000 Luxury Chess Set at Asprey’s in Tokyo. And, if you thought that was the priciest chess set of all then you have yet not heard of this $9.8 million (over £5 million) Jewel Royale Chess Set from Boodles, a British custom jewelry company. This exquisite chess set is constructed of gold and platinum and it is decorated with 73 rubies, 146 sapphires and no less than 748 diamonds. Each piece is made from 18 carat yellow gold and encrusted with precious stones. The king alone is worth more than £100,000. Apparently, there will be a limited number of replica sets selling for about $26,700. [source]

jewel royale chess set expensive chess set chesscraft
Chessboard filled with gold, silver and diamonds

Jewel royale chess queen expensive chess set chesscraft
Made with 24k gold ruby and diamonds.
An army that would serve their royale master.

Monday, September 19, 2011

20 Coolest and most unique chess sets

You think you have the coolest dude in the block with your Staunton ebony chess set? well check these out.

1. The Glowing Chess Board, tired of your spouse begging (that is if not being yelled at) you to sleep and close the light, try to hide this under the bed, sleep at the edge of the bed so you can easily pull this out, a little snore will help.

carolingi chess set chesscraft

2. Chess cake white and dark chocolate. you'll know what happens to the piece after captured.
chess cake white and dark chocolate chesscraft

3. Bullet Chess Set Made from .223 Caliber Shells, Warning don't bring riffle while playing these.

chess bullets chesscraft

4. Two level chess set, this will be great in the garden.
two level bizaare chess set chesscraft

5. The Carolingi XIV Chess Pieces made with gold, cost $113,580.(Luxury chess sets)

carolingi expensive chess set

6. Lord of the rings chess set, perfect gift for LOTR fans.

lord of the rings chess set

7. Jim Arnold's scottish war chess  set.

scottish war cool chess set
8. War of 1812 chess set. Makes me want to look for Pirates of the Caribbean version.
9. Salvador Dali's finger chess set, one word "creepy"

10. Alien vs Predator chess set, a perfect treat for UFOlogists.

11. Ice chess set, not recommended for turtle chess players.

12. Lego chess set, could be a good start to motivate your kids.
13. Key chess set, turn every move to "key move"
14. Wobble chess set, this is very interesting if played in blitz or bullet games.
15. Greek Myth fantasy chess set, anyone can resist playing the queen, or perhaps capture his opponent's?
16. Starwars chess set, this will bring out the perfect geek in you.

17. Celestial chess set, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov should bring this on his next space travel with aliens.

18. Bladerunner movie chess set by JF Sebastian
19. Startrek chess set

20. Vibrator chess set, A new sex toy designed by New York-based product consultancy Aruliden, who needs one (32 actually)?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Famous people who plays chess

Jessica Simpson and Billy Corgan  of Smashing Pumpkins, became addicted to chess after billy taught him how, the weekly session became regular ritual.
jessica simpson celebrity playing chess

Leonardo diCaprio, best known for his lead role in titanic,  was recently being seen in public playing chess with a chess clock.

leonardo di caprio celebrity playing chess

Nicholas Cage, member of Internet Chess Club (ICC) himself, seeing the valuable lessons can be learned from chess, he sent his son Weston to Robert Snyder to take chess lessons.
nicholas cage celebrity playing chess

Ben Affleck, is an American actor, film director, writer, and producer, he plays chess at the Bel Air Chess Club, where Julia Roberts is also a member.

ben affleck celebrity playing chess

Bill Gates, though it is really no surprise to hear that geeks plays chess, but for a multi-billion dollar man might.
bill gates celebrity playing chess

Princess Diana, Having a fair (if not good) understanding of chess, Princess Diana was quoted in an interview referring to his ex-husband after their divorce.
"I don't know. But it was there to injure me and to hurt me. It was the first time that I experienced this sort of thing: what it meant to be outside the safety net and not to be a part of the family any more. My husband naturally held all the best cards. That was like in a game of poker, or a game of chess."

princess diana celebrity playing chess

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, he is enthusiastic about chess that he wrote the "The Morals of Chess".

benjamin franklin celebrity playing chess

John Lennon, the name reminds of his wonderful songs, and my favorite is "Imagine".

john lennon celebrity playing chess

Frank Sinatra, enjoyed chess so much that he got his own pieces made for him, he really wants it "My way"

frank sinatra celebrity playing chess

Will Smith, in an interview
"It is cool to play chess. My father taught me how to play chess at seven and introduced beautiful concepts that I try to pass on to my kids. The elements and concepts of life are so perfectly illustrated on a chess board. The ability to accurately assess your position is the key to chess, which I also think is the key to life." He pauses, searching for an example. "Everything you do in your life is a move. You wake up in the morning, you strap on a gun, and you walk out on the street – that's a move. You've made a move and the universe is going to respond with its move. Whatever move you're going to make in your life to be successful, you have to accurately access the next couple of moves – like what's going to happen if you do this? Because once you've made your move, you can't take it back. The universe is going to respond."
will smith celebrity playing chess

Manilyn Monroe, the lovely lady in mono-colored, subway-vent skirt blowup, haven't seen it yet? I pity this generation.
manilyn monroe celebrity playing chess

Keannu Reeves, long before he was known as Neo,he was a chess hustler in Toronto, and played in his Highschool Team.
keannu reeves celebrity playing chess

Albert Einstein, if you want to see how a known genius takes chess, see game below

William Shakespeare is an english poet, playwright and widely regarded as the greatest english writer. in his
In The Taming of the Shrew Katharine says:
“I pray you sir, is it your will,
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?”
william shakespeare celebrity playing chess