Sad news from France that I just heard about over the weekend: the one and only Jean-Paul Touze died on October 26 at age 63 while undergoing an operation. Apparently something to do with a blocked intestine. He will be missed, and not only by his friends!
This colourful man– chess player, organizer par excellence, international arbiter and sometime chess politician–did much to put his native Belfort–and France– on the modern chess map. And Touzé never let anyone get away with anything that he did not like or he felt unfair: his many lawsuits (including against FIDE) attest to his willingness to put his money behind his reputation. Over his relatively short lifetime he made many enemies, but Touze also made many, many more friends and admirers!
Touzé was a big man, more than 180 kgs. Readers can find via Google the time when Jean-Paul wanted to travel to China on Air France, but the airline insisted that he pay double the price because his size occupied two seats! He refused and made the issue a national news item in France!
I first met Touzé in Québec City in 1989 when he came to visit my match with Yussupov. He invited me to participate in one of his tournaments later that summer in France. Over the years we stayed in contact, and I have fond memories of playing in Cappelle (Touzé loved to play in Cappelle!) and catching up with what was new with the man. Jean-Paul always had something interesting happening in his life! This larger than life man will be missed!
The pot calling the kettle black?
I got a bit of a kick visiting the home page of Garry Kasparov (another larger than life, Jean-Paul Touzé-type chess character ?!) for his campaign for the presidency in next year’s FIDE election. There on the very top of the site’s logo was a quotation from Kasparov about potential sponsors googling FIDE.
AND what if those same potential sponsors were to google Kasparov? Surely they would find out about the intrigue/scandal behind Kasparov and IBM.
About INTEL refusing to renew its 2-year sponsorship deal with the PCA. About the controversial Kasparov and Short split from FIDE in 1993 (”The biggest mistake of my life.”-Kasparov). About the failure of the GMA. About the controversial ending of the match (1984/1985) with Karpov in Moscow while the latter was in the lead. ETC. ETC. ETC.
Is this the kind of track record , the kind of stability and the promise that potential sponsors are to feel good about and want to associate themselves with? Who is kidding who, Garry? Granted, FIDE with Kirsan does not look any better…
Azmaiparashvili speaks out…bluntly
Chessdom has recently published a very revealing interview with GM Azmaiparashvili that you might want to check out. The grandmaster-turned politician (Azmai is currently Deputy Minister of Sport in his native Georgia; he was originally offered the position of Minister of Sport, but declined because of lack of experience!) was at the European Team Cup in Greece and spoke of many things, including Kasparov’s bid for FIDE presidency as well as Danailov’s lack of success in getting any sponsorship for the ECU.
Of Kasparov running with Karpov in 2010: ”So, I made my diplomatic research with Garry and asked him what he would get if Karpov won the election. He told me – and you can ask him about it – that he would control Karpov.”
Of Silvio Danailov as president of the ECU: ”I repeat that I expect much more from Silvio. Before 2010… I expected him to improve the situation in Europe…. I thought that he would bring fresh new blood. Unfortunately, I was not right.
However, I have to address one point in his favor, which is the work he did with Kasparov to bring the Chess in Schools program to the European parliament, where they did a very good job. Sadly, this is not enough for an ECU President.”
Azmaiparashvili then went on to say that he was seriously considering running for the ECU presidency himself…the man is also a supporter of Kirsan. How he is going to be able to manage all of his ambitions and remain friends with everyone remains to be seen!
Hart House Chess Club website!
The Hart House Chess Club , situated in the heart of the University of Toronto campus in downtown Toronto, is apparently the country’s oldest active chess club! Founded in October of 1895, that means it has 118 years of history. I personally played at the club on several occasions, the first being the 1974 Canadian Júnior. Later occasions included the 1978 Canadian Zonal as well as several open tournaments.
Today, with Toronto chess suffering the usual neglect that one can find in expensive city centres, the Hart House Chess Club has become a vital stone in the chess community’s day to day life. Kudos to those enterprising individuals who put together the website, one of the very best that I have seen inside the Canadian chess community–possibly even the best one! Lots of information about the club’s glorious past, photos and other bits. I recommend the reader to take a look and explore the club’s history!
gm Fischer vs gm Benko
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nc6 9.Be3 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.f5 gxf5 12.Qxf5 Nd4 13.Qf2 Ne8 14.O-O Nd6 15.Qg3 Kh8 16.Qg4 c6 17.Qh5 Qe8 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Rf6 Kg8 20.e5
The position in the photo above.
20…h6 21.Ne2 1-0
(The game can be re-played HERE)
im Vranesic vs gm Larsen
1.d4 e6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 exd5 4.cxd5 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.e4 Bg7 7.Nf3 Ne7 8.Bf4 O-O 9.Be2 a6 10.a4 Bg4 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.O-O Bxf3 13.Bxf3 Nd7 14.Be2 f5 15.Rac1 Rae8
16.b4 Qb8 17.Rb1 c4 18.b5 a5 19.Rbc1 Nc5 20.Bxc4 fxe4 21.Be3 Nf5 22.Bxc5 dxc5 23.d6+ Kh8 24.d7 Re7 25.Rfd1 Bd4 26.Kh1 e3 27.fxe3 Nxe3 28.Qe2 Qe5 29.Rf1 Nxf1 30.Rxf1 Rd8 31.Qf3 Rexd7 32.Ne4 Re7 33.Ng3 Qe3 34.Qg4 Bg7 35.Ne2 Re4 36.Nf4 Rxc4 37.Nxg6+ hxg6 38.Qxc4 Qd4 39.Qe6 Qd3 40.Re1 c4 41.h4 c3 42.h5 Qf5 0-1
(The game can be re-played HERE)
I am missing from the photo–the metro was delayed!