Shocking Chess News

by admin on November 28, 2016

While the chess world waits for the epic twelfth game of the Carlson-Karjakin world championship match, there was another shocking piece of chess news halfway around the world that I’m still trying to digest. If you remember, the last serious post I wrote before going on hiatus was on the “Most Amazing Game of 2016,” between Artyom Timofeev and Urii Eliseev. I was stunned to read that the loser of that game, Eliseev, died this weekend in a fall. He was only 20 years old and had a great career ahead of him. A former world under-16 champion, he certainly could have made the world’s top 100, maybe even the top 10 someday.

According to the news story at Chessbase and at CNN, Eliseev was a lover of parkour, a newly popular sport where people turn real-world objects into obstacle courses. The stories say different things, but apparently he wanted to jump from one balcony to another in his apartment building, slipped or lost his grip, and fell twelve stories to his death.

It’s hard for me to grasp why people would do things like this, but I know that the daredevil instinct is strong in some young people, and their regard for the consequences is weak. It’s part of being young, and in some way it may be good for our species that young people are so determined to push the boundaries. The same daredevil spirit surely manifested itself in Eliseev’s chess games, too, and it’s one reason that we can enjoy insane games like his four-queen game against Timofeev.

Before I went on hiatus, I was going to write another post on another daredevil game of Eliseev where he beat Dariusz Swiercz, using exactly the same opening that had led to defeat against Timofeev. I still plan to do that. It would be sad if Eliseev were remembered only as the grandmaster who jumped to his death, instead of the grandmaster who played these beautiful games.

Anyway, I’m going back on hiatus now. I hope that the last game between Carlsen and Karjakin will be a great one, and I hope that they will somehow summon Eliseev’s go-for-broke spirit. But guys, please keep it on the chessboard. Don’t jump out of any buildings!


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Roman Parparov November 28, 2016 at 10:29 am

On equally sad, although not as shocking news is that Mark Taimanov passed tonight away at the age of 90.

That makes Pal Benko the new second oldest living GM in the world. Averbakh, may he live until 120, is the oldest at 94.


Aayush Bhatt December 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm

Hello Dana.
I have a chess website. can i use your blogs in my blog section as featured blogs?

Looking forward to hear you.


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