Friday, August 17, 2007

Madonna vs. Julia Roberts and other matches

By Frank “Boy” Pestaño

CHESS is the most popular pastime in the planet today with an estimated 600 million people—including a lot of lebrities—who play the game. Featured today are dream celebrity matches and my evaluation on who is the better player.

In Hollywood, the ideal match would be between the greatest entertainer of all time, Humprey Bogart and the most influential director of the 20th century, Stanley Kubrick. Both are rated about 2200.

Before he became famous, Bogart survived by hustling strangers at 50 cents per game in chess parlors at the New York Times Square. On the other hand, Kubrick’s lifelong obsession was chess and he supplemented his income by also hustling strangers in Washington Square Park and in various Manhattan Chess clubs. My assessment is that Bogart will be the victor by the tiniest of margins although George C. Scott will not agree as he has a minus score against Kubrick.

Among the ladies in Hollywood, nobody even comes close to the chess prowess of Julia Roberts and Madonna. A contest between the two would generate a lot of interest as both are good players.

In the Internet Chess Club, Madonna has played an incredible 19,000 plus games and the highest rating she achieved was 2003 in Feb. 16, 1999. She is being tutored by Scottish champion IM Alan Norris.

On the other hand, Roberts is a chess fanatic who has played over 10,000 games in the Internet. She attained a 2057 rating in July 22, 2002, her highest so far.

I think that someday they will really meet on the chessboard and the winner will probably be Madonna 5.5-4.5 in 10 games.

Among the singers, Bono (U2) and Sting would be a good match. Sting , whose real name is Gordon Sumner, is the lead singer and bass player of the band The Police. He wanted to be a grandmaster while still in his teens and once played Garry Kasparov on June 29, 2000 in New York in a simul together with the other band members.

Here’s a quote from 1987 where Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, talked about his interest in chess: “ One day I’d wake up and want to be a chess player—the best. I’d read a book on it, and at 12, I studied the grandmasters, and I was fascinated.” He was a regular tournament player at age 12.

In a contest, Sting would be a close winner in 10 games, 6-4.

Vladimir Klischko and Lennox Lewis have several things in common. They were both heavyweight boxing champions, are huge, and both hold doctorate degrees. They are also chess fanatics without any equal in the sports world.

Klischko has played friendly games with his best friend, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and has also played blitz matches alongside Garry Kasparov.

Lewis was featured in the internet last May 23, 2006 and his sponsors offered $1,000 to anybody in the world who could trounce him in chess online.

Lewis has several times expressed his interest to play Vladimir and it would be very interesting indeed on who would prevail. Anyone of them can win a tournament in Cebu. Klischko should win 6-4 in a 10-game match.

I was thinking of originally pairing Roger Federer against Boris Becker, however, it would be a mismatch as Becker is clearly superior in chess .

But not against Ivan Lendl .

Lendl originally wanted to be a professional chess player as he was taught by his father, Jiri, who was Czech Junior chess champion.

Among the celebrities chosen to play Garry Kasparov was Becker which was aired “live” in CNN for one hour on March 15, 2000. Kasparov was in Manhattan while Becker was in Munich. Becker should prevail over Lendl, 6-4, in 10 games.

CEPCA NEWS. Our monthly competition will be this coming Sunday Aug. 19 at the Deep Blue Café in SM City starting 1 p.m.

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