Chess Column Deploys the Factual Defense

One of the most interesting things in today's NYT is the chess column. Yes, the chess column.

Have a look at Chess – Ranking System Is Questioned After a Wealthy Russian's Rise

[Russian Millionaire Vladimir] Afromeev is now 54 years old. Eight years ago, he was not close to being among the top 100 players in the world. He was not an active player, and there were no records in databases of his games.

But in 2001 he began playing regularly in invitation-only tournaments. And he began winning at an unbelievable pace, often by beating strong players with ease.

His sudden success — well after the age when most players start to decline — raised eyebrows, partly because he is a wealthy businessman who only plays in tournaments against handpicked fields.

The following game between Afromeev and Maxim Novikov, a Russian grandmaster, is from an invitation-only tournament held in Russia in June 2007. It is worthwhile to note that it is not very often that a strong player loses with White in only 20 moves, but it happened to Afromeev’s opponents more than once during that tournament.

There's a word that's never used in this very artfully written and carefully factual article. I suspect the hand of libel lawyers. If this were a chess move, I'd give it a “!”.

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