Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pablo Williams in Montreal

Calling himself the Jamaican Chess Champion (but he's not really), Pablo Williams basically makes a living by playing chess on the streets. I first met him in Peter Parr's shop here in Sydney. Then at the ANU Open, in 2004 I think, the organisers busted his ass. It turns out that Pablo was from New Zealand and had a rating there of about 1400+.

From Sydney, Pablo flew over to Europe where he was spotted in places like Madrid and Berlin. Then in July 2006, a reader in the UK sent me a tip to say that Pablo was in Brighton.

Last week, courtesy of the Canadian chess forum Chess Talk, we discovered that our mate is now in Montreal. Photos are available here.

10 comments:

David Llada said...

BerlĂ­n, 10th July 2005:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/56/163192995_6345678e81_b.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/77/163192988_c3c83d36e2_b.jpg

He has to be a very weak player (or maybe it wasn't his day), as it's not easy to lose 8 games in a row with me ;-)

My friends all over Europe told me that there have been sights of him in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, London and Brighton (UK).

He is a nice and polite guy and it was a pleasure to came across his (long) way...

If said...

Pablo was playing outside Iceland in Brixton this evening. He still uses the Jamaica No. 1/dying father story on his placards, which also say he needs to raise £300 by Dec 7. He resembles Jamaican champion Equitable Brown, so at first I thought he was legit and asked for an interview (I'm a journalist.) He said he was too busy. But he did give me his first name. Then I asked him how the fund-raising was going, and whether he had already booked his flight. He became evasive, claiming a travel agency was holding a ticket for him and he's paying for it in stages. Hmmmm. He's a charming guy and he provides great street theatre, but I disapprove strongly of the cancer angle. That's fraud. I've had cancer myself and a friend of mine died of it recently. I was considering just giving him the £300 if his story checked out. Pablo, if you ever read this, please stop duping people. I've got half a mind to turn you in.

Anonymous said...

He was in Cardiff, Wales last week. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2409/2085252690_c49b780859_m.jpg

Anonymous said...

Greetings Closet Grandmaster from Tokyo Japan. A book is to be published on my travels later this year in europe. I stop in Sydney November this year to open possibilties for sales there. No chess work on the street while im there only publicity for my book. My time travelling the world with chess is nearing its end. It would be a blast from the past to catch up with u in hyde park again Pablo XXV..

B said...

i played with him today in Glasgow, and i won 2 times for 6 games. On internet im rated around 145€0, he said that he is 2100. I realy cant belevie that hes cheating about his father... but
it's obvoius that hes not "Jamaica no. 1". Sorry for my english, im polish not british :)

Anonymous said...

he was in belfast northern ireland for a week [about that length of time] and left on wednesday/thursday the 17/18 or whatever dates those were...

I think he's a really sound guy, but the cancer thing isnt cool.
awell, his coolness makes that trick extremely minor

gilysse said...

I saw him today in Bugis, Singapore. He was still using the same father-dying-cancer-very-urgent story, I actually fell for it and felt kinda sorry...

Until my Spanish chess player boyfriend show me your entry!!

Picture 1

Picture 2

Zeno said...

OK, on October 10 2010 I saw him in Vienna. Same story, dying father (prostate cancer this time)... Whatever. I said to myself the dude has got to make a living after all and if you're not really a top GM (ELO 2600+) giving away games for amateurs in the street isn't that bad. Much to my surprise his play didn't impress me at all, in spite of his no.1 claims. Although I don't play blitz in the street, I am not a bad player myself, and quite able to judge one's playing strength.
Eventually I googled for Jamaica's top player. Of course I ran over several articles such as this one. Bottom line - he's not a bad player, but far from what he claims to be. As about his "dying father, mother, puppy" a.s.o. stories are to say the least tasteless and I feel sorry for those who believe them... So if you meet the guy, feel free to have fun game with him, but don't get impressed by his made up stories. Yeah, and don't give him money of course.

Anonymous said...

ATM Pablo is in far north WA planning to fly to Germany in December and staying in Europe indefinately. Visa?? Not a problem ..just travel between EU countries... smooth charming polite guy.. Maybe running away from a marriage and baby?? Take care when you meet him!!

Anonymous said...

Pablo will be in Germany and all over Europe soon!! Nice enough guy be careful!!