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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

NM Dan Heisman Meets the Legendary Al Horowitz

      I came across a chessdotcom post from back in January where Heisman wrote of his one and only meeting with Horowitz. It appears Heisman met Horowitz right after Horowitz had a bad day in the US Championship and Horowitz was a little gruff.
      What I particularly found interesting was a comment by one poster who wrote…I think there is something else at play here. I've been thinking of blogging about it, but it would cause a firestorm. By my observations, chess players as a whole have a worse character than the general population. We all know some friendly chess players, no doubt: people who are kind, jovial, generous of spirit. Far more often than would be expected though, it seems, chess players are spiteful, boastful, arrogant, cold, mean. We see this when we play live internet chess: the comments that so often come through the chat box do not tend to reflect well on the character of chess players. We can ascribe much of this to the anonymity afforded by this medium, no doubt, and we certainly see similar behavior around the web. But still, when I consider my in-person experiences, there are far too many cases such as are documented here. This is especially sad if true, because it would further diminish the chances of people becoming interested in chess: no one likes to hang out with jerks.
      What do you think? Personally I have found the opposite to be true. Oh sure, I have run into plenty of real snot faces over the years, but generally I’d have to say most chess players I have met or played correspondence with from GMs on down to beginners have been pretty decent folks.
      Of the ‘famous’ GM’s I have met, Arthur Bisguier, Andy Soltis, William Lombardy, Milan Vukcevich and Edmar Mednis stand out as particularly gregarious fellows. Even Samuel Reshevsky was approachable away from the board. There were some that were less than nice, but I won’t mention any names.

1 comment:

  1. Many years ago, GM Robert Byrne used to occasionally play in Swiss tournaments in Chicago. He always seemed accessible and charming. And I recently attended a lecture and simul by Nakamura and he came across as friendly, articulate, and self-possessed.

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