Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kasparov Has Hairy Back

With an estimated population of about 3.25 million people, Armenia is a small country. In chessic terms, however, the Armenians are a powerhouse. Exactly how did this small nation come to achieve such distinction?

That's the question that David Edmonds seeks to answer in his article for Prospect magazine last month. Now I could have quoted any number of more relevant passages, but I really cannot help myself and must quote this:

The long-time world champion and now political activist Garry Kasparov was born Garry Weinstein, but his mother was Armenian. Levon Aronian has an Armenian mother and a Jewish father too. With those genes, he said mischievously during a break in the competition, “my genius was guaranteed.” He was eating supper in the dingy dungeon dining hall along with Arianne Caoili, a rare female player who accompanied Aronian to the tournament. “But you have two advantages over Kasparov,” said Caoili. “You speak better English, and your back is less hairy.” Three years ago, when Armenia won the gold medal at the chess Olympiad for the first time, Caoili briefly and inadvertently helped propel the game into the mainstream news. The brainy, beautiful Filipino-Australian, a master-strength player, was dancing with Aronian when an English GM, Danny Gormally, became jealous and punched him. Another Armenian took umbrage at this assault on his nation’s idol and later thumped Gormally back. Typically, Aronian proved the more astute tactician; he and Caoili are now together.
Which naturally begs the question: how does our beautiful Ari know the hairiness of Garry Kasparov's back?

The entire article, "The lion and the tiger", can be read here. There is also an accompanying photo essay by one of my favourite photogs, no less than Magnum photographer, Stuart Franklin.

Some of our non-Pinoy readers may wonder about Aronian's attire in the photos. That is a Barong Tagalog, a traditional formal wear for Filipino men.

1 comment:

ham204 said...

Which naturally begs the question: how does our beautiful Ari know the hairiness of Garry Kasparov's back?

exactly!!