Friday, August 10, 2007

The Alien abduction of a Fide president

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

KIRSAN Ilyumzhinov has been the president of the World Chess Federation (Fide) from 1995 up to the present. He claims in 1997, that he was abducted by aliens and bought to a distant star aboard a space ship.

“They took me from my apartment and we went aboard their ship. We flew to some kind of star. They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFO’s do exist.”

Chess can be deadly too. Here is a press release from the Boulder Daily last Aug. 16, 1994.

“A 37-year-old man had been arrested for murder charges when he allegedly shot a friend on his birthday after the two argued over a chess game.

Cox died of two gunshot wounds on the chest. Together with five of his friends, the victim was celebrating his birthday at his trailer at the Johnson Trailer Park, when he sat down for a game of chess with Wirth. Witnesses told police Wirth lost the game, knocked over the chessboard and began arguing with the victim.

The two men went outside, and Wirth went across the street to his home and returned with a gun. Witnesses said the argument resumed and the victim was shot.”

OTHER TALES. During the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1978, a member of a Middle East chess team offered one of the girls working for the organizers $1 million to sleep with him. The offer was refused.

Bobby Fischer once withdrew from a tournament because a woman was playing in the event. She was Lisa Lane, who was then the US women’s champion.

Sand glasses were used as the first chess clocks.

Humphrey Bogart used to hustle strangers for 50 cents a game in chess parlors at the New York Times Square in the 1930’s, before he became the greatest entertainer of all time. He treated his friends according to their ability to play chess. His Elo rating has been estimated at 2200.

Blackburne was once arrested after authorities believed him to be a spy. He sent chess moves in the mail, which led authorities to believe that the moves were secret codes.

The leading British chess masters during World War II were hired as codebreakers by the British Intelligence.

In 1939, former US open champion Weaver Adams wrote a book entitled “White to Play and Win.” At his next tournament, he lost all of his games as White and won all his games as Black.

Paul Morphy was so famous a celebrity that he once wrote a chess column in a newspaper for a fantastic salary (in 1859) of $3,000 a year. This is equivalent to about $600,000 today.

When Napoleon died, he willed that his heart be cut out and placed inside a chess table.

The Philippines and Italy were the only two countries in 1976, to have competed at both Fide Chess Olympiad at Haifa, Israel and the “Against Chess Olympiad” that was held at Tripoli, Libya in the same year. Apparently, President Marcos wanted to maintain good relations with the US, which was backing Israel and the Arab countries.

Milton Ioannidis of Cyprus holds the unlucky record of the worst all-time playing results in the history of the Olympiads. In the 1962 and 1964 Olympiads, Ioannidis finished his disgraceful feat of no wins, no draws and 24 losses.

CEPCA NEWS. Last week, I wrote a special column about Gerry Tomakin, who recently passed away, and I also mentioned the other Cepca members who have died. My attention was called by some members as the list was incomplete. The other members who have left us are Butch Loyola, Ben Genon and Payling Alegado in addition to Gerry, Sonny Sollano, Migs Enriquez and Bobot Villaluna. My apologies.

The top three winners in the kiddies contest for the month of July are King James Torres, Marq Balbona and Felix Shaun Balbona.

The August monthly competition for regular members will be on Aug. 19 at the Deep Blue Café at SM City Cebu.

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