May 4, 2011

Chess and cars

It might sound a bit odd, but chess and cars are not two opposite topics that exclude each other. Chess can be linked to anything, either if it's about branding an entire country (Ukraine) or promoting a bank's loan.
More and more articles are written, where chess and cars can be seen cooperating with each other.

1. The Porsche-Kasparov Gambit

Revere America: "Chess and cars aren't usually thought of together, except perhaps with the checkered flag, but this Kasparov event on 7 April may change that. Players can donate to face him in a simul themselves, sponsor a local junior, or even sit down face to face against the famous Kasparov glare in a blitz game.

That would be enough for chess fans, but vintage car aficionados may have an even better reason to make the trek. 

The event took place in one of the Meccas of classic car fans, the Collier Automotive Museum, which is located in Naples, USA. The Collier Collection comprises over 100 automobiles manufactured between 1898 and 1995. With few deliberately considered exceptions, the automobiles in the collection are fully operational.

The Museum is usually only open to car club members or by special appointment, so this is a rare opportunity. It should also be a most interesting backdrop for Kasparov. Perhaps we will find out if he knows how to drive!"

2. Chess and Cars in Ukraine

On 2 July 2009, Daimler Chrysler's exclusive representative for Mercedes cars in Ukraine, presented three new models in Kiev, having as a guest of honor none other than GM Natalia Zhukova. The whole occasion was organised with a "chess" motif. Presented were the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2009, S 400 HYBRID and E-Class Coupe.

Natalia gets to feel the comfort and luxury of the new models.

3. RAC Centenary Chess Exhibition 2011
by John Saunders - Sunday 17th April 2011

The RAC (Royal Automobile Club) has a long association with chess. As part of the celebration of their centenary they gathered 10 top British players for a 100 board simultaneous exhibition on 16th April. Players: Mickey Adams, Luke McShane, David Howell, Julian Hodgson, Gawain Jones, Nick Pert, Stephen Gordon, Jon Speelman, Simon Williams and Jovanka Houska. Stephen Gordon had a magnificent 29/30 score and Matthew Wadsworth scored a win and two draws against members of England's Olympiad side. You can find more information here! 

With only Nigel Short missing (in Thailand) this photo contains a very strong representation of English Chess. Photo © John Saunders.

The RAC first team. Photo © John Saunders.

4. A Great Chess Player Visits the Formula 1 Paddock
VIP Guest Zoltan Almasi Visited the Hungaroring
by Brad Spurgeon

There are many ways to understand a sport, and one is to contrast two different disciplines by making the two confront one another somehow - the differences ooze out and define the two.

Zoltan Almasi and David Kennedy agree
to a draw in Bridgestone motor home.
Photo (c) 2007 Brad Spurgeon
licensed to, Inc
Such an exercise in contrast occurred when one of the world's greatest chess players, Zoltan Almasi, visited the Formula 1 paddock during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
But Almasi is also a fan of motor racing, and Formula 1 in particular. In some ways, Formula 1 and chess are diametrically opposed sports - the one being slow and the other fast - and in other ways, they are similar - as strategy and tactics play a strong role in both.
He spoke about the similarities and differences between his sport and that of Formula 1.

"It's a little bit similar to the chess world with the top players, these top drivers," he said. "It is similar in that just a few people can be inside, in this circuit. Only 15 or 20, like in the chess world. With the high category tournaments it's always the same 15 or 20 top players in the world."


As you can see, chess and cars are more likely to be seen next to each other. Maybe more often than ever. And here comes my question:

Are the professional chess players really interested in this subject? Which cars do they use?

To be honest, I am not sure they are such big fans on this matter (maybe an airplane would be more useful?!).I know many players who don't know how to drive, so of course they are not eager to spend their hard worked money on expensive cars. Even if there is a well known public opinion, which says: a nice car is like a magnet that attracts women. Is that really so?!

Top Gear Australia tests which cars attract women:

In case you cannot praise with your GM title or 3000 elo rating, you might want to use one of those cars:)

Mini Cooper's Checkmate special edition

Dartz Chess R8, created
by the Russian tuner Dartz.

Is this idea (of having a nice car) exploited on the chess scenes?! Or...a big elo rating is more important?!:)


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