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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Call me Alexander

When I was in my early-to-mid twenties, I partied quite a bit. I always brought a chess board with me to parties, but this was before I started seriously playing chess; I didn’t even know that openings existed. I was just better than my friends.

Anyhow, I remembered a funny thing, today: Whenever I was playing chess and someone would call my name, I’d request that they call me Alexander. It just sounded “chessy” to me. I had never heard of Alekhine, much less any other famous players. I don’t believe I knew who Fischer was, either.

But then, several years later when I got heavily into chess, I found that Alexander Alekhine was by far my favorite master, old or new. I loved his style of play, I loved the time he lived in (for whatever reason, I’m highly intrigued by the late 1800s and early 1900s), I love his chess quotes and, of course, his name rocked, too. ♫

My obsession with Alekhine goes deeper than the surface, though. I will read any articles about him, I have most, if not all, of his books, I have even ordered 8x10 glossies of him from the Internet to hang on my wall. The man was more than just a chess god, too; he lived a very rich and interesting life. No, he never made much money, but his tale is an intriguing one, nonetheless.

Whenever October 31st falls on a chess club night, I bring a cake and candles for Alekhine because that was his birthday. I have Alekhine databases on every computer and I study them religiously. It’s neat to watch his style of play drastically change once he realized it had to if he wanted to play in the Big Leagues.

Do you have a player you are borderline or completely obsessed with? How come? Was he a world champ? Is it a she? Tell us a little something about why you like them!

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