The Curse of Massive Chess Egos


Prior to easy and affordable internet access, the periodical Inside Chess far exceeded the USCF published Chess Life as the world’s number one chess resource. GM Yasser Seirawan’s publication was loaded to the gills with well written and instructive articles that were quite personal and allowed each reader too feel like they really knew Seirawan without having met the affable world class chess player.

Even a stable and grounded human being like Yasser is subject to “ego maintenance” as his 1994 Inside Chess article about PCA Candidates tournament indicates. I remember Seirawan being miffed by something Gary Kasparov said or did to him at another tournament I believe.

While annotating the game Kamsky/Kramnik which involved Kamsky sacrificing his queen for two minors on white side of a semi-Slav anti-meran opening,  Yasser was critical of  Kasparov “waxing eloquent” about his sacrifice of the lady for two minor pieces on the black side of King’s Indian Defense. Seirawan maintained that this particular queen sac by Kasparov was actually well known and thematic and did not warrant the profuse boasting by the former world chess champion.

Kamsky’s queen sacrifice, which was primarily analysis by IM Jay Bonin, merited much more praise  for its originality and conception than Kasparov’s efforts against Karpov in their 1990 match.

This writer believes  Seirawan would have made no mention of his perceived Kasparov braggadocio had their been no history between the two super grand masters. He also mentioned it was a Pet peeve he was penning, but wasting even a precious square inch of print space on a personal rant is akin to putting a row of  low quality products on the shelves of Walmart! I believe Yasser had an excellent record against both Karpov and Kasparov including a win in the Olympics against Kasparov.

In closing, I would like to mention some staff members that made Inside Chess the preeminent chess publication in the 80s and 90s:  John and Elena Donaldson, Cathy Forbes, Ralph Dubisch, Don Maddox, Eric Tangborn,  Michael Franett, Edward Winter, Jerome Bibuld, and the adorable April Jenkins. I think it was Frederick Kleist who caught many typos and errors before magazine made it to print.

Vintage Seirawan article from Inside Chess
Vintage Seirawan article from Inside Chess

1 comment on “The Curse of Massive Chess EgosAdd yours →

  1. Three cheers to Robert Hampton and Justin Gomez of New Mexico for their stellar performance at nao chess tournament in Las Vegas. Hampton won over 1000 dollars scoring 5.5 out of 7 playing aggresively while incessantly pressuring his opponents.

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