Can you name the first chess player on the cover of Sports Illustrated?
The question asked is not a trick, but it is difficult. About a decade before Bobby Fisher made the cover, the inaugural chess player on the cover of Sports Illustrated was the American chess star of the 1960s Lisa Lane.
Lisa Lane, the pioneer. | Photo: August 7, 1961, cover of Illustrated sports.
Lane won her first of two U.S. Women’s Championships at age 21, just a few years after starting the game, but she abruptly quit chess before Fischer even made a thing of it. Now Sports Illustrated is back with a retrospective on Lane, leading this compilation of “In Other News.”
Gender Inequality in Chess
This subject is often explosive and is not new in the world of chess, but Sports Illustrated has a little more reputation than most mainstream media for covering it since they launched their Lisa Lane issue on August 7, 1961. To give some historical context, no woman had even flown solo through the Pacific Ocean at that time.
Even the writer who wrote the feature film in Mad Men Times felt he had to mention in the opening graphic that she bought a dress and later in the article about her “feminine beauty” and other aspects of her appearance.
Here is Lane on Tell the truth (Bobby Fischer was once on I have a secret):
Now let’s move on to the 2018 article and see the juxtaposition, which begs the question of why there are women-only events and why they are priced and formatted differently. There’s also a lot of catching up with Lane herself, who still admits to playing online casually well into her eighties.
GM Susan Polgar offers an interesting approach: “Women take more risks. They play more dynamically. And they make more mistakes. play more interesting games and are more enjoyable.”
Fressinet: The secret lair of Team Magnus was in Bangkok!
That CEO Laurent Fressinet was one of by Magnus Carlsen seconds for the London 2018 world championship is not surprising. After all, he had also helped in the last matches. (In 2016, Fressinet lied to this reporter when asked directly if he would help in the New York game; it’s safe to say he no longer needs to protect his employer since he’s now surely a “regular” in Magnus’s camp.)
Laurent Fressinet was asked in 2016 if he would be part of Team Magnus in that year’s World Championship match. After the game, the GM later apologized to this reporter that he naturally couldn’t tell me the truth!
Read on to find out more about Fressinet’s career, as well as some interesting tidbits about his team decamping to Thailand for the game – the big seven-hour time difference meant they could sleep while Carlsen played and then work. while their boss slept.
The French general manager also dropped a few clues about the ever-elusive breakout squad “Team Magnus” (Fabien Caruana was much more transparent, putting his team on social media). Fressinet mentions a “main car” on site in London (surely GM Peter Heine Nielsen) and four seconds in Bangkok (known would be Fressinet, GM Jan Gustafsson, GM Nils Grandeliusand recently Carlsen confirmed recent GM fast world champion Daniil Dubov, although others have had strong rumours, so it’s not clear who else might have worked if Fressinet’s accounting was correct).
The only surviving chess store in New York
Owned by a Palestinian refugee, here’s a nice thumbnail of the shop that houses the New York core players. There are no GMs in the short, just regular players like you and me.
Enjoy Knight King, a profile of the shop and its owner, Imad Khashan.
The actor’s directorial debut focuses on chess
John Leguizamowhose multifaceted career has spanned more than 75 movies and numerous solo Broadway plays, recently made his feature film debut on the big screen. Critical mind, a film that recounts the national chess championship of an underprivileged high school in 1998, will also see Leguizamo playing the team’s chess coach, Mario Martinez.
The film is named after Martinez’s chess class and is slated for release in the fall of 2019. Filming wrapped shortly before Christmas, and the real chess champions served as consultants for the film. Among the most famous players of this year were FM Marcel Martinez (who went 7-0 to win the individual high school title that year); Rodelay Medina (who later became a master); and Gil Luna (who later became an expert).
Chess in “The New Yorker”
There were two quick mentions last month:
- Garry Kasparov“the incorrigible optimist”, speaking mostly about politics but in the final paragraphs discussing his place in the world of chess today: “I’m an amateur, and I feel comfortable with it.”
- A long report on US Congressman Adam Schiff, which also discusses the meeting of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Carter pageForeign Policy Advisor to the President donald trump. Schiff asks Page about writing a memo stating that during their meeting, Dvorkovich expressed “strong support for Mr. Trump.” Since this meeting, Dvorkovich was elected president of FIDE.
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich shortly after his election in 2018. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Pelletier and Carlsen in the arts magazine
General Manager Yannick Pelletier is not only one of the best Swiss players, he is also the project coordinator for Yunomi. This Luxembourg-based publication focuses on art and lifestyle and is entirely managed by Pelletier’s wife, Marie Boyard, who has represented her country a few times at the Olympiads. You may not be surprised that there is an article on chess in the inaugural issue, and it focuses on Magnus Carlsen.
The world champion in the first issue of yunomi, which sounds a lot like “you know me”. | Photo: Official website.
Carlsen gives the magazine an exclusive interview, which is previewed in the online edition.