Archive for the 'chess' Category

Doctor, I think I have a problem with premature castling.

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

The queens of chess

There apparently is a lot more to international competitive chess than I had realised. Chess Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk and Almira Skripchenko show they are not just enormous brains in this photoshoot. I don’t know why I assumed there were no attractive chess masters, male or female. I now stand corrected.

Doing a little more research on Almira Skripchenko turns up some interesting facts, other than she has a name that wouldn’t look out of place in a James Bond movie. Almira was born in Moldavia (not to be confused with Molvania ;) with a mother who is also a Grandmaster. She has won the French National Chess Championship a number of times and entered the men’s competition in 2002 and 2003, the only woman to have done so. She migrated to France, but they still love her in Molvania, naming her “best sportsman in 2001” and giving her the Order of National Merit. Outside chess, she competed, unsuccessfully, in the Ladies World Championship of Poker and she is the official poster girl of a German first division football team. I didn’t know Chess opened so many career doors.

A record of Almira’s games is available. Buried within the many serious chess comments are Whitehat1963 with “very hot!” and Runemaster with “I’ll admit that I agree with Acirce about that photo of Almira in the CCCP t-shirt: I want to embraced to the bosom of the motherland!”. It seems Almira Skripchenko is the Maria Sharapova of Chess.

Almira

Back to the photoshoot. You can buy autographed copies of the photos from $6-$36. You can also describe what you’d like the signed message to be, as long as it is a reasonable request. Within seconds we had excluded “I’ll take your bishop any day”, “please be my check mate”, “I am forever your pawn”, “it was a pleasure to handle your rook” and “I’d love to ride your knight”. I’m sure there are many others.

All this raises the question: who is the Almira of the male chess world? Garry “Gazza” Kasparov? Anatoly Karpov (now there is a face only a grandmaster could love)? Bobby Fischer? Without doubt, it’s Deep Blue who gets me hot!

I think I have now filled my chess-champion-stalking quota for the week. Next episode: monster truck minxes and ping pong pretties.