39 ( +1 | -1 ) a u.s. world champion?i was looking over the f.i.d.e. top 100 rated players, and noticed that the highest rated american was ranked 42nd. in your opinions are there any american players capable of making a run at the world championship?.....or who are the brilliant young american players on the rise, that show great promise?..also any links that show their games..
26 ( +1 | -1 ) Chess ChampThe US won't have another World Chess Champion unless that person comes from prison; There's too much else to do here and not enough publicity or passion for the game; Is Tiger in any trouble? Perhaps we could send him away for a few years....
36 ( +1 | -1 ) Actually I believe that Bobby Fischer is still rated at #4, and Gata Kamsky at #10 or close to that - but they are with an "inactive" status of course.
Ok, here is an idea: If Fischer and Kamsky would get out of their retirement, and play a 20-game match between themselves, ending all games in draws, we will have two americans among the world's top 10!
83 ( +1 | -1 ) It would be nice to have an American as a legitimate contender for world champion. But it's not going to happen for a long time.
Fischer's rating is the 4th highest, but he'd now be unlikely to be able to compete with the top 10, unquestionably.
Remember, his 1992 match with an old, pretty much retired Spassky was a good result, but it wasn't close to being amazing. Kasparov would have done even better (witness what he did to Nigel Short, much stronger opposition than Spassky would have proved). Spassky wasn't even among the top 100 players in 1992. And that was 10 years ago!
But Kamsky was still an improving player and was a legitimate world champion contender when he left (and still young enough to make a come back, should being a doctor wear thin).
31 ( +1 | -1 ) born and bred in the U.S or imported?My question is, do we consider a U.S. champion such as Bobby Fischer, who was indeed born in the US, or do we accept someone who comes from abroad and decides to reside in the US in his 30s?
If we accept the 2nd, born outside of the US, then it will be easier to find some good guys! Just look at the top "US" players now, half of them are not born in the US.
29 ( +1 | -1 ) I believe that in a world where Shirov is Spanish, Gelfand is Israeli, Beliavski is Slovenian, Sokolov is Dutch and Spassky is French, demanding that a US champion would be a "certified pureblood American" is nothing short of a narrow-minded bigotry.
But that's just my opinion ...
8 ( +1 | -1 ) Josh Waitzkin......wrote a book: "Attacking Chess". I was glad to see he's still involved in chess.
74 ( +1 | -1 ) Waitzkin's new passion ...is far eastern martial arts/mystecism type stuff. He just achieved his black-belt in something-other. Someone previously commented that Americans are too busy .. it may be true. I would also like to add, many (Americans)that DO reach grandmaster level then find a way to 'market' themselves to make as much $$$ as possible, and cease from the level of study, work necessary to compete at those higher levels (Seirawan and Silman to name a couple) I like those guys, but they seemed to 'give up' to me. Silman wasn't quite at the highest level, but Seirawan certainly was (didn't he reach 2600 before 28 yrs of age?)... being one of the only Americans presently to have beaten Kasparov ... Ah well.
Well, but Seirawan is still active and has had some good results on and off. He recently played in the olympiad and other tournaments (not doing too well, but ok). Silman has written that he honestly doesn't think he's got it in him to reach GM level without devoting all his time to the effort and is probably better off to the chess world writing popular books for a large public. And I guess we'd prefer having Reassess Your Chess than another 2550 GM puttering around regional tournaments.
But you're right, though. I think someone has complained that once an American reaches IM or GM level, and given our relative scarcity of IMs and GMs (compared to Europe), they're more content to stay home and make decent tutoring money than to go overseas to compete in difficult, but not very lucrative, tournaments -- thus losing the opportunity to move up a notch in experience.
28 ( +1 | -1 ) very fewAmerican's can earn a decent living on chess alone. Even the great Sammy Reshevsky was an account for Sears. Many of our bright young talents decide to go where the money is. To the vast majority of people in the U.S. chess is just a board game like monopoly.
143 ( +1 | -1 ) Baseline is correct,in my opinion. So long as the beginning American player thinks paying for tutoring is a waste of money, so long as the intermediate player would rather spend money on tournament entry fees, hotel rooms, and travel, rather than appropriate paid lessons, so long as chess clubs give socializing away for free, so long as poorly trained players offer their services to elementary or secondary schools for free, the American chess mastership will remain atropied.
In an ideal world, master-level players would tutor intermediate players, who in turn tutor beginners, all for money. The intermediate player would quickly recoup his costs of taking lessons, and the beginner builds his credential very quickly.
Once there is a culture of pay for tutoring, schools will tend to pay competent chess teachers in preference to allowing 800-900 rated players teach chess for free.
Eventually, corporate America would understand that paying the tournament costs of a local player in exchange for publicity (as opposed to charity) is in its best interest. Constant advertising in certain standard mediums tends to offer very marginal benefits, while advertising in new mediums, such as sponsorships of individual chess heroes, would provide businesses a bugger bag for the buck.
But, it all starts with the chessplayers themselves. Are the American players willing to pay for tutoring?
55 ( +1 | -1 ) drgandalf may well be rightIf an english speaker is to rise to prominence in the world of chess it may be better to glance towards England.
Former child prodigy Luke McShane is rising quickly through the ranks and hot on his heels is the even younger David Howell. Just last week-end we had the incredible news that a seven year old kid had entered two Adult tourneys in consecutive week-ends and won them both !!!
The next challenger to rise up will probably be from England (provided we can meet the challenge of the up and coming Ukrainains and Indians)
99 ( +1 | -1 ) Money-wiseUS must be a good place to play chess. Some time ago there was a discussion about Michael De La Maza and his book - he (2000+ player) won 10.000 dollar prize in USCF tournament! Here biggest prizes are only smth like 1/5 of that and in practise 2000+ cant beat FMs, IMs and GMs for the 1st place of A group. Not to mention travelling, food, accommodation etc is much more expensive here compared to US. Plus higher entry fees STARTING from around 30 euros (Heart of Finland Open is 80 euros for example), licence...and so on. Of course this was mostly about amateur players, not GMs, but it is quite obvious no one from US comes here to play for 2.000 euros or less :-)
It is true tournaments in some other European countries have bigger prizes, but the level of competition is tougher. For example 4th Individual Chess Championships (Open) in Istanbul/Turkey has total prizes of 192.000 USD (mens section) but there will be 164 Grandmasters playing for them and everyone in top 50 is 2600+ (!)
16 ( +1 | -1 ) peppeDe La Maza was playing in the under 2000 section of the 2001 World Open. that's U2000 USCF who's rating run alittle higher than fide's.
78 ( +1 | -1 ) Yeah, "American"If Shabalov becomes World Champion it is gonna be cool (thought, not likely to happen), I would also be glad if Spaniard Shirov becomes the champ. They both are from Latvia (russians, though), I guess all Latvians, Russians, Americans/Spaniards would be glad if one of them becomes World Champ. We all think they are "ours". By the way, if americans want some american to be a wolrd champ, there is an easier way -- give a million to Kramnik and he will become an american in notime. Its the same as if Shabalov would become world champ. Or Anna Hahn the Women World Champ (by the way from Latvia too) :) Go, go americans! The greatest nation of the world! I belive that in some years almost in every sport, the champ is gonna be "american".
4 ( +1 | -1 ) Soikins ..Nah .. we like our American champions 'homegrown'!
Almost everyone here is from somewhere else, or their parents, or grandparent, or great granparents.
We have only been a nation for alittle over 200 years. On an average people here work more hours per week and take less vacation time than Europeons.
nearly 300,000,000 citizens and only 100,000 belong to the chess federation! Chess is small potatoes here more people have a 2nd job than play chess.,
371 ( +1 | -1 ) DrgandalfYou have a point but I have few objections...
"...so long as the intermediate player would rather spend money on tournament entry fees, hotel rooms, and travel, rather than appropriate paid lessons..."
I know you enjoy studying chess and so do many others. But I bet most enjoy first and foremost playing, so why not spend money for OTB tournaments?
"...so long as chess clubs give socializing away for free..."
For many chess layers socializing is a part of the fun. Also the fact that anyone can come go to visit a chess club for free lowers the threshold of actually going there.
"In an ideal world, master-level players would tutor intermediate players, who in turn tutor beginners, all for money."
In an ideal world, master-level players would tutor beginner and intermediate players, for free.
"Once there is a culture of pay for tutoring, schools will tend to pay competent chess teachers in preference to allowing 800-900 rated players teach chess for free."
Sounds nice assuming you are referring to competent teachers = master-level players who are good teachers as well.
Overall your theory is interesting and has few good points, but there are some major clinches - people who strive to become top players need tutoring from top players, not from hobby players few hundred rating points above them. That of course brings up a question will the money come from them of from chess federation? Is it good if chess federation spends most of its money to train few and selected players? But there is no other way - when top players like Kasparov were young, they were tutored by top players. They learned to THINK like GMs from early on and received tutoring from people who had experience of rising from beginner to top GM or even champion. If US sends hobby players to teach young talents, when they reach next level and finally get top tutoring they need, it will take a long time to correct all the misconceptions they have, thanks to tutors who had no clue of reaching high level.
Now how about players who have no great goals but still want to improve a little? The question is why should beginner pay to intermediate players when he can pay to masters? I know some say "because intermediate knows better how to teach a beginner" but that is simply untrue. It is true SOME strong players are bad teachers because they cant give information in beginner-friendly way, but the point is they are not bad teachers BECAUSE they are strong players. In many ways being a good teacher a question of personality and it applies to players of all levels, some just have more knowledge and experience than others (helping them to become better teachers...). An ideal teacher has two qualities - he is both strong player and good teacher. If the teacher is lacking in playing strength (or chess understanding) the result will be either holes in chess knowledge or "blind leading a blind" situations, leading to misconceptions. This is inevitable even though - obviously - the teacher will not be aware of this happening. Hiring an intermediate-level teacher might be an option only if one cant find an ideal teacher or if an ideal techer is too expensive :-)
To me your theory sounds like the winners are beginner and intermediate players who no longer have to become masters in order to make some extra money, the loser being chess community where players have to get used of paying for every friendly advice from higher-rated players.
41 ( +1 | -1 ) BaselineThanks for clarification! I believe 2000 USCF is smth like 1850-1900 FIDE.
That makes US chess tournaments even better, since 2000 SELO (Finnish rating) is approx 2000 FIDE, it means prizes 1850-1900 player can realistically hope to win here are nonexistent compared to what players of same level can win in States...
35 ( +1 | -1 ) peppeThe world open is exceptional the only one of its kind. Prizes in other tournaments are much more meager, but there is prize money for the lower ranks. There has been alot of debate about this. Some think the prize money should be reserved just for the top players since it would stimulate a professional class.
Here in most "weekend tournaments" players are simply divided to 2-3 groups. Prizes are usually for top 3 of each group. In some tournaments like Heart Of Finland Open where everyone plays in same group, we have class prizes, although they are usually based on dividing players to "SELO groups"...
Here too there has been some debate about the same subject. Some suggested removing money prizes from lower groups. I cant back up a system where chess federation takes the money from hobby players (majority!) only to support few top players. Everyone pays the same entry fee (except strong masters who often get in for free!) and licence. Of course you can argue everyone has a chance to become a top player in order to win prizes from A groups, but in practise - if silent majority sees that they are playing there only to support the career of top players, they will go away. Who will pay the prizes for top players then? :-) The bottom line is for most chess is above all a good hobby, and only few care whether strongest Finnish player is 2500 or 2550 (I certainly dont). Besides, its FINNISH chess federation and its supposed to back up chess in Finland...
Anyway, sorry for somewhat OT post...
44 ( +1 | -1 ) on Americansbaseline , of course we all come from different places, but it's one thing that your grandfather came to US and another when Shabalov becomes american when he is already a very strong GM. I don't believe he would be able to do it so easely if he wasn't a succesfull player. If Shabalov becomes the champ (thought, unlikely) it won't be fare to call him American Champion anyway.
41 ( +1 | -1 ) soikinscome on, what do you want us to do? revoke his citizenship because he immigrated? Are you saying that Sammy Reshevsky wasn't an "American" champion? Lev Alburt please go home to Odessa?
People who have the talent and intellect to become a top Grandmaster usually preferr to direct their talent to an area where they can make alot of money.There is no prestige attached to being a U.S.Chess Champion not in the U.S. any way.
114 ( +1 | -1 ) I think there is a partial distinction to be made, as soikins does. No one would question Yasser Seirawan being a model of what US chess has accomplished, even though he was born in Syria. He developed his talent in the US. However, if Kasparov buys a beach house in Florida and becomes a US citizen (a la Monica Seles and other sports stars) no one would consider him an example of American chess superiority.
BUT, it's pretty counter to everything that America stands for to say that an immigrant doesn't have the right to become an American Champion -- the American ideal is that ALL American citizens are EQUAL regardless of where they were born (well, except that they cannot become president). That's what I was told when I became a citizen and I don't see why chess would have some exemption (...but Sarah will never be Mrs. President, *sigh*).
Once you start separating Americans into those who were born here with those who weren't, it's no longer the country it claims to be.
Shabalov (as far as I know) took his oath of allegiance to America. He's an American. End of story.
69 ( +1 | -1 ) ChessChess isn't really welcome in America. Maybe it's just where I am in America but as soon as people see you play chess, they treat you like some wierdo call you a geek, nerd, and disrespect you. All simply because they are too stupid to play anything other than football and can't even understand how the knight moves. I am not exaggerating playing chess in Minnesota is giving up in your social life in Middle School. So if there should be a world champion in america the change has got to start from the people themselves. I mean look at TV shows. They portray people that play chess as geeks that spend all day kissing their computer.
14 ( +1 | -1 ) Americans and chessI thing the big problem for chess in America is that Americans have problems with the concept of a draw :-) Sport in USA is all about winning.
11 ( +1 | -1 ) I could guess what effect theMan vs Machine match had on their mentalities when they watched it for 3 hours just to see Kasparov draw.
8 ( +1 | -1 ) lol ...Too True! Maybe Kasparov needs to spend a little time in America ...
11 ( +1 | -1 ) krematorIt's not just America. When I go to my local chess club I tell my friends I'm going out to commit crime!