Magnus Carlsen coming back to Bay Area

by admin on December 30, 2013

Just over a year ago, Magnus Carlsen made his first appearance in the Bay Area, an (apparently) hastily arranged and under-promoted event that left chess players wishing for more. Well, our wish has come true. Magnus is coming to Silicon Valley in January, and he has at least one public event scheduled.

You can read all about his appearance at this web site, but here are the basic details. For $55, you get a buffet dinner at the Computer Science Museum in Mountain View, you can watch Magnus play six simultaneous blindfold games, and you can hear him talk about why chess in the schools is important. The dinner is organized by the Churchill Club, a movers-and-shakers group that usually concentrates on topics in computers and high-tech industry, and it will benefit First Move, a distance chess-learning program for second and third grade students. According to Hal Bogner (my “boss” at ChessLecture, who is not affiliated with First Move but knows the people involved), they are hoping that as many as 300 people will come to this event.

I’m glad to see that Magnus Carlsen seems to “get it” about publicity. He understands that his winning the world championship is a huge opportunity to spread the word about chess. In fact, we have not had such an opportunity since the days of Bobby Fischer: a young, charismatic champion who comes from the Western world. Not to take anything away from Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand, who also tried to promote chess, but I think that the media and the public in America and Western Europe can relate to Carlsen in a way that they couldn’t with Kasparov and Anand. It’s great to see that unlike Bobby Fischer, whose career from beginning to end was always about himself and himself only, Carlsen wants to connect with the rest of the world.

I won’t be at the Carlsen dinner because I will be attending the national math meetings in Baltimore, but I would love to hear from any readers who are planning to go and see the new world champion.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashish December 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Thanks for posting this! Ticket purchased, now to get my seat in the simul.

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Rosyjski February 1, 2014 at 4:20 pm

It’s time for the new chess master – Magnus Carlsen is the one. I wish to play against him if possible 🙂 it’s my dream. Dreams sometimes comes true 🙂

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