Friday, February 11, 2011

Love life of World Chess champions

IT'S Valentine season once again and, as usual, my article is about love.

Though there have been many great players, only a few have been honored to hold the title of World Champion.

The first world champion was Wilhelm Steinitz. His second wife committed him to the insane asylum in New York in 1900, and soon after, died destitute and was buried in a pauper‘s grave.

At 42, Emmanuele Lasker married Martha Cohn, a rich widow and already a grandmother.
According to Jose Raoul Capablanca’s second wife, Olga, his first marriage broke down as he and his first wife Gloria were cheating on each other.

Alexander Alekhine had four wives, the last, Grace Freeman, was sixteen years his senior.

The wife of Mikhael Botvinnik was a ballet dancer named Gayane Davidovna, the daughter of his algebra and geometry teacher.

Vassili Smyslov and his wife of more than half a century, Nadezhda, spent their final few years in near-poverty as his heart ailment deteriorated.

Sally Landau was the first wife of Mikhail Tal who said Tal was a romantic man. She said that Tal flew in from another planet just to play chess.

Tigran Petrosian, Rona Yakovlevna, was an amazing woman who was mainly responsible for making him World Champion.

Since 1976. Boris Spassky has lived in France with his 3rd wife, Marina, and became a French citizen in 1978. He has competed in France in the Chess Olympiads.

Bobby Fischer had a marriage of convenience with Miyoko Watai to escape imprisonment.

He later denied being married. He is often portrayed as reluctant to be around women and does not know how to handle himself around them. He had a controversial intimate relationship with Filipina Marilyn Young who lives in Davao.

Anatoly Karpov’s first wife was Irina Kuimova and they have a son, Anatoly. His second wife is Natalia Bulanova with a daughter, Sophia Garry Kasparov’s private life is messy. He has a daughter by his first wife Masha, who won a court order forbidding his daughter from visiting Kasparov in Moscow for fear she would not return to the US. He had a son with his second wife, Yulia, but they are also divorced.

On Dec. 30, 2006, Vladimir Kramnik married French journalist Marie Laure Germon, and had a daughter named Daria. His wife has retained her own surname, rather than becoming Mrs Kramnik, but Vladimir said this was largely for professional reasons (she
is well-known in journalistic circles).

Aruna Anand is as vital—perhaps even more so—to Anand’s wellbeing both as player and as person, than his computer. They live in Spain and have become Spanish citizens.

This was the main reason why Anand refused an honorary doctorate degree from a
University in India.

There had been 13 Women World Champions.

In 1937, at 31 years old, Vera Menchik married Rufus Henry Streatfeild Stevenson twenty-eight years her senior.

Lyudmila Rudenko was married to a scientist named Lev Davidovich Goldstein Xie Jun is married to her former coach GM Wu Shaobin.

In 1994, Polgar married computer consultant Jacob Shutzman, and lived in New York, but later divorced. In December 2006, she married her long-time business manager and friend, Paul Truong.

Zhu Chen is married to Qatari Grandmaster Mohamad Al-Modiahki, and now plays for Qatar.

Alexandra Kosteniuk is married to Swiss-born Diego Garces, who is of Colombian descent, and 25 years older than her.

The other Women World champions are Elisabeth Bykova,Olga Rubtsova, Nona
Gaprindasvili,Maia Chiburdanidze, Antoanette Stefanova, Xu Yuhua and the current world champion 16 year old Hou Yifan, the girl wonder of the chess World.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2011.

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