Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Mechanics in the 50’s

California Chess History Collection


I hope that this entertaining and exciting trip to the past will motivate some creativity in chess. If you want to read the complete story go to the Mechanics Chess History website

The Mechanics' Chess Club is still very active and sometimes you have the chance to meet strong grandmasters (gm) like Alex Yermolinsky or even Walter Browne, the top player from the 70’s who is also an expert in Poker.

Children play a great importance in this club and various activities are available for them such as summer camp and lectures from gm’s.

With a special thanks to the Mechanics' Chess Club & the Chess Dryad

World Champion J.R. Capablanca from Cuba

Chess Dryad Collection

"Visits by World Champions to the MI"

"This past century the MI has hosted many World Champions including Lasker (1902 and 1926), Capablanca (1916), Alekhine (1924 and 1929), Euwe (1947!?), Fischer (1964), Smyslov (1976), Petrosian (1978), Spassky (??) and Karpov (1999)"

Donald Foley

from the California Chess History Collection


"A.J.Fink was born on July 19, 1890 and died on December 15, 1956, at the age of 66 in San Francisco.

An internationally-known problem composer, Fink had more than a thousand problems published during his lifetime and won on the order of one hundred prizes."

Simultaneous Game in the 50's

Chess Dryad Collection

"After the Fire"

"Part One - The Rebuilding

The 1906 earthquake destroyed the Mechanics' Institute, but it didn't take long for chess activity to spring up..."

Mt Mc Kinley

"Seattle vs San Francisco May 1899"

The history of this chess club was followed by many telegraphic matches which were common at that time.

"The following article was discovered by Chess Director Donaldson during a visit to the J.G. White Collection in Cleveland. It features several prominent names including Dr. Lovegrove, one of the top San Francisco players for several decades, and W.A. Dickey.

The latter is the subject of a monograph by MI member Robert Moore entitled W.A. Dickey: Alaska's First Champion. Dickey is perhaps best known for rediscovering, naming and estimating within 300 feet the height of Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America."

The Mechanics

"Before the Fire 1854-1906"

"The great Pierre Saint-Amant, one of the top players in the world in the 1840s, was French Consul in San Francisco from 1851-52.

It appears he left the Bay Area before the founding of the Mechanics’, so the honours for the first world class player to visit San Francisco go to Johann Zukertort who spent nearly a month in the City in July of 1884."

Parts of the History from the Mechanics

With the help of this historian, I will now bring you into another chess dimension :+)


by Mooggy


Two weeks beforehand, I had been staying in San Francisco.
During this time, I decided to pay a visit to the Mechanics' Chess Institute where I was greeted very warmly.

Some years later, I still remember Mr John Donaldson for giving me such good advice. This guy, definitively from the west coast, is a strong international master who works for one of the most historic chess clubs in the United States.

(The Mechanics' Chess Club is located in one of the oldest buildings in SF and has a huge chess library)

Make Money in Reno

by Vertigo


This time around, I was not really concerned about chess. But there was a problem?!

I had to go see Death Valley, Vegas and come back to my motherland.

For this reason, I decided to play in Reno (Nevada). The city of Casinos with big money :+)

On the Road Again

by Mooggy


A few years ago when there was the famous Kramnik – Kasparov match in London, I was lost in another continent: America.

Like a real traveller, I had no money and was sleeping in hostels like the Green Tortoise from San Francsico.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005



By the way, do you know who this star-killer is?
And why he is the most famous French player in India?


On the subject of Anand, I invite you to take a look at the website TNQ Sponsorship in order to learn more about the Indian genius’ career. Anand is a national star in one of the most populated countries in the world. His amazing climb to the top has enabled India to obtain an international recognition in the world of chess. Does this mean that the game of chess has returned to its ancestral routes?

Do not hesitate to post your comments regarding this debate even if they are harsh.
There are many questions to be asked.

Should Vladimir Kramnik, the only person to beat the King, snub this super tournament?
Wouldn’t it be possible for Garry to create a final sensation on planet 64?

See you soon bloggers.

more informations on The Hindu

Anand by TNQ Sponsorship


The reunification process could not have any real impact without the participation of the man of the moment. It’s now done since the genius of Indian chess, the man who plays faster than his shadow, Vishy Anand, has just announced that he will take part in the super tournament in Argentina.

Anand is by far the most serious replacement of the number one. He is also a chess-playing machine. Invincible in rapidplay (20 to 30 minutes per player), he probably remains the strongest player in slowplay (play which can last up to 5 hours). - Mooggy’s opinion


However, for a little more than two years, there have been several attempts of reunification, without success… This complex situation between the financial agreements and the interests of the individual players remains in a “megastrophic” state. :+(

This is the reason why and despite some irregularities committed by this federation towards the professionals, it seems an urgent necessity to reunify the chess world.


Tyson by planetboxe.com


The chess world has been in crisis for the past ten years. In fact, Garry Kasparov who has just stopped his chess career was considered as the best player in the world without being the world champion. For a little over ten years, the Russian champion had not taken part in the official world championship (organised by FIDE: Fédération Internationale des Echecs). He has always refused the financial terms proposed by the latter.

Like a professional boxer, Garry challenged exceptional players such as the Englishman Short (winner against Karpov), the Indian Vishy Anand (superstar of the moment) and more recently Kramnik who contrary to the other players, defeated the King of Chess.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005



Like in the theatre, the actors bow to the public. Grandmaster Eloi Relange is dealing with the commentary and Stephane with the technical side. In brief, it’s the show 64… A friendly show - A magical show.

Follow me backstage…

And let us meet on Chess Report for a more technical report.

See you soon.

I lose


Lolo vs ME

Karpov vs me



However, here you are…

The investors have cold feet and the web channel finds itself sponsor-less. That’s life!

Stéphane Laborde, not discouraged by this, creates with Matthieu Samakh (a pro at putting on show events, the life and soul of the party and a super photographer) the company Chaturanga.

Their aim: to create a grand prix circuit in France and why not in Europe….Throughout the world.

Finally, they have just organised “The Grand Prix of Bordeaux”. This tournament has been fantastic for me (I have been able to play against Anatoly Karpov) and for the spectators (they have been able to watch the victory of the Russian grandmaster against the very strong Moroccan Hichem Hamdouchi).

Enough of the waffle…

I will leave you to appreciate the show.

See you later.

no more TV


Pieces of wood flying on the chessboard…
Facial expressions of the winner or the loser… Live coverage on a giant screen…
This is the solution to the long debate regarding “The Chess Show”

Once, there was the cold war. At that time, the fight wanted by the media was one concerning the political scene. However, this is well and truly over…

Afterwards came Karpov and Kasparov. A terrible rivalry was staged, a detrimental situation for the other elite players. In fact, most of them remain, in spite of their great talent, unknown.

In 1999, Stéphane Laborde and Eloi Relange take on the media challenge. They launch, thanks to Canalweb, a program called “Diagonale.” The success of this program with the complicity of these two partners in crime and the support of other enthusiasts (Bertrand Guyard, José De Sousa, Régis Vogelène, Malcom Pein & Me) will be enormous.

One remembers the coverage of the match Kasparov against Kramnik which saw the downfall of the Chess King.



Photo by Daki Ling

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Bobby : The American Class Act (Part 3)

It goes without saying that Fischer had an incredible career for an autodidact and a solitary person.
He quickly understood that he needed to leave the American continent not only to improve his game but also to understand his opponents better.

During the 60s, Bobby “the traveller” met many key figures. In Yugoslavia, he was popular and has kept many friends. The chess-cowboy is also admired by soviet players.

Chess in France, in England, in the United States and a little everywhere on the planet wouldn’t be what it is without Bobby.

Here you go, this article is not written to talk about the current news concerning Fischer. The chess community has already risen to his defence. It has succeeded to free him. Fischer is now an Icelandic citizen and our ambassador of the beautiful game.

Bobby is free; long may he stay that way…

(translated by miss AW)

Back in New York

Bobby : The American Class Act (Part 2)

The key dates

-1943: Robert James Fischer was born
-1957-1958: Winner of the American championships in New York (a title which he will win more than once)
-1958: Portoroz (Yougoslavia) Fischer made his mark by finishing 5th-6th in a tournament of candidates for the world title
Belgrade (Yugoslavia) 4 game match against Matulovic, Fischer won 2.5 - 1.5
-1960: Mar del Plata (Argentina) 1st place
Reykjavik (Island) 1st place
-1962: Stockholm (Sweden) Fischer won the interzonal (qualifying tournament for the world championships)
Curacao 4th place in a tournament of candidates for the world title which was a good result for the young Bobby
-1965: Havana (Cuba) Fischer shared 2nd place with two other players
-1967: Monaco 1st place
Skopje (Yugoslavia) 1st place
Once again, Fischer abandoned the world cycle. This time he was very displeased with the qualifying system which favoured the soviets
-1968: Israel 1st place
Yugoslavia 1st place

Afterwards, he decided to play in the world championships; doing so in spectacular fashion. In the first match, he beat Taimonov 6 - 0 then Larsen 6 – 0. A formidable score against two very respected players.
The American giant now needed to beat the ex world champion Tigran Petrossian in order to play the title holder Boris Spassky.
Fischer managed to overcome each hurdle one by one. In 1972, he became world champion by beating Spassky in Reykjavik. The chess world, completely in awe, began to worship their new King.

Later, Fischer returned to New York………he decided to stop playing chess.

Bobby in Reykjavik

Bobby : The American Class Act

Recently, the media has been focusing its attention to Bobby Fischer, a man regarded by many as a chess genius. Unfortunately, stories concerning his arrest in Japan and his hatred for the American government have been grabbing the headlines instead of his great chess ability. For this reason, it is important to remind ourselves why Bobby Fischer became such a legend in the chess world.

Thursday, March 31, 2005



A young Killer…Etienne BACROT no 9 in the world in action. In front Shabanovsky (it’s me but I prefer use a pseudo as say Alexandra K. it’s “cool”) & the white haired man Iossif D.
Woah, the trainer looking at the board meanwhile I try to hide my KING.


I don’t know what you think about but it reminds me Bad Souvenirs.

See you later …

& the Killer



Wednesday, March 30, 2005


NANTES 1993 : French Championship second
1999 – 2001 : Presenter at Diagonale TV (Canal web – Internet Media)
Consultant for World Chess Cup of Rapid Games in CANNES
Many selections for National Team
BLED 2002 : Captain of Women French Team for the Olympiades
2002 Coach of Marie Sebag (European Champion -16)
Belong to Cannes Chess Club where I get many Podium in fench League

At 33 years old, I spend already many thousand hours playing chess. So let’s say that there are many things to discover. The Chess Life is fascinating & I must admit that I am satisfied with my score of 1 out 3 with world champions (Mikhail Tal equal game : Boris Spassky equal game : Gary Kasparov this time I loose)

Ciao the Bloggers