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Black Lamb


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Archive for the 'McQuillen' Category

Kramnik crushed!

Brawn over brain

January 1st, 2016


Quick, name this sport: rival world champions, a shady multi-millionaire commissioner, drug testing, boycotts and shapely young women parading around in skimpy costumes. If you said professional wrestling, you get partial credit. The correct answer, of course, is chess. The governing body of world chess, led by its eccentric president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has launched an all-out campaign to remake this most elevated of intellectual exercises into a fast-paced, high-stakes spectacle suitable for prime-time television.”
— Lev Grossman, Time

A frigid wind blew through Minnesota last Saturday night, but fans inside the Mall of America in Bloomington worked themselves into a hot lather of anticipation over this winter’s top sporting event: the first-ever FIDE-WWF matchup. Emboldened by the popularity of chess-playing heavyweight boxers Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko, promoters chessvswrestlingpromised more thinking outside the 64-square box, pitting current world champion Vladimir Kramnik against perennial favorite “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

The soft-spoken champion entered the arena in a blue three-button jacket, yellow cardigan, and grey slacks; his opponent, vigorously pumping his fist at the roaring crowd, in a leather briefs-and-vest ensemble adorned with a glittering skull. This kind of sartorial unorthodoxy hasn’t been seen in the chess world since Bobby Fischer showed up for a 1967 Skopje tournament dressed as a milkman.

Kramnik drew white and opened with d4. Austin responded with a Chicken Wing Hammerlock, then rejected the subsequent Queen’s Gambit by treating Kramnik to an Airplane Spin followed by a Monkey Flip over the board, putting him literally on the defensive.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: 13th Anniversary Issue, McQuillen | Link to this Entry


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