Friday, May 02, 2008

Most Influential Chess People

Time magazine has just published their "World's Most Influential People" list for 2008. I was quite happy to see Aussie PM Kevin Rudd in there. Anyway, I remembered that last year ex-World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov made it to number 61, under "Heroes & Pioneers", so the first thing I checked this morning was to see if there is another chess personality in the list this year. Nope, there isn't one.

But tonight, over my Peroni and pizza, I wondered: if we had to draw up our own list, who are the chess world's most influential people? Possibly not a very straightforward task as there'd be plenty of things to consider. Influential in what sense, for instance? Opening theory? Administration? Politics? Events organising? This list can go on.

Just for fun, though, I'll persevere and start my own list, limited to just the top 10. Note that I take a worldwide scale here, ignoring local Aussie matters for now. So here goes.

1. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
2. Magnus Carlsen
3. Vladimir Kramnik
4. Vishy Anand
5. The ChessVibes crew
6. Chessbase crew
7. Silvio Danailov - all it takes is one complaint letter from this guy
8. Jan Timman/Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam - editors in chief of NIC magazine
9. Genna Sosonko - editor of NIC Yearbooks
10. Murray Chandler - managing director of Gambit Books

Naturally, I've left out a lot here. How about the organisers of those big events like Linares, Wijk, etc? The bloggers? Kirsan's lieutenants? Well, you tell me. Change or add to my list.


Ryan said...

Mig's daily dirt is surely THE top blogger...

Shaun Press said...

Some of the names on the list have visibility (Carlsen, Chessvibes ,and maybe even Anand) but not necessarily influence.
For influence I'd be inclined to add Geoffrey Borg (Global Chess), and possibly Nigel Freeman (FIDE Treasurer). Of course if Chessvibes becomes the market leader in Web Chess 2.0 then their influence will increase.