Friday, May 30, 2008

A Note from Olala Chess

Grandmaster Arthur Kogan (Israel) sent me an email overnight in response to my post on "Justice or Entertainment?". That's the same guy who found himself in the middle of that so-called African Nightmare that Aussie IM Alex Wohl was also connected with.

Here's Arthur:

I completely agree with you TCG!

Most of the chess professionals including me are leaving professional chess, looking for other jobs. The situation is super critical and so sad mainly because the great potential of CHESS was hardly ever used.

But there are still so many GMs that look for 'JUSTICE'. With all the respect to GM Rogers, come on! It is really amazing and so childish. There is no point to laugh, but it is more logical to cry I guess.

Kramnik, Topalov, Anand and friends have no problems with good invitations and making money, but what about the rest of the GMs? Many of them where not less talented, but didn't get so far and so now they are forced to change profession. Big 'JUSTICE'!

Instead to 'grow up', as you correctly say, and to open the mind, to find new ways to make chess more attractive, to get more sponsorships and more of the public in; instead to work for a better future for more professionals who dedicated almost all their lives for chess but didn't get to the top.

Most grandmasters are still living in dreamland searching for JUSTICE. Come on! What is JUSTICE in chess? That a GM rated 2650 can hardly survive the month while a ranked number 300 in the world in tennis is living as King!? Does the more clever person always win the game? Does the one who play all the games well but lost due to his nerves and blundered deserve to lose?

OK, this is a subject for discussion but a result is a result and MUTUAL RESPECT and GOOD EDUCATION are basic for all of us. It's clear that Irina Krush proved to be a bad loser and this is another proof of the need for more articles like yours to open the mind of chess pros and in any case case, of course, behaving well during and after a game is a great idea and could help for many chess lovers.

I will even consider it as a subject for lecture in my chess academy. Irina is invited! :-))

I should mention that our friend GM Kogan runs a chess training academy in Spain. He and fellow GM Alexander Delchev call themselves the Masters of Olala Chess. That's right, Olala Chess, meaning "new perspective based on a POSITIVE WAY OF THINKING ABOUT CHESS that search for harmony, and the search of pleasure in our games!"


Anonymous said...

GM Kogan seems to think that chess owes him a living. That's like a surfer saying that because he is good on the waves, people should pay him to do it. Some get paid but they are just lucky (and ususally very good).
If he's in chess for the money, he should be in a different profession. Can't he conceive of doing something because he loves it, and being paid for that just being a bonus.
In any case, his argument in favour of Armageddon games is very weak - why is an Armageddon game better than a pair of blitz games for a sponsor or the public?

Anonymous said...

i think kogan is a bit like one of those philosophy students who went through a lowsy undergraduate arts degree [maybe did well] and complains that he is working in macdonalds. chess, like any sport - it takes crem de la crem to be at the top. talent, hard work and many other things. kogan has had just as much opportunity as kramnik did, or even now days - levon aronian, temour radjabov, shak mamedyarov - all had to battle it out on 1000 bucks a month and play lowsy tournaments and struggle. but they've worked hard. look where they are now, earning 200k+ per year. good on them. it is called the top 10 because it is the top 10, and 10 does not include the hundreds.


Anonymous said...

Interesting answers of people that obviously have never get the GM title in Chess and tried to improve something in the Chess world(Chess world= all professional chess players including top 10,hundreds of GMs that improve the chess level + all chess fans + all chess organizers + all chess sponsors ).Unfortunately CHESS needs less comments that in general sound like "nothing to do chess is not Tennis or only 10 can make living from their favorite game..." and more people that work on improving the Chess situation that the young players will feel motivated and respected to study and improve their 'chess future' as any other well organized sport like tennis, football golf....ect.I just think that you didn't 'catch' Kogan's idea.

Anonymous said...

still, the world championships should not be decided by armageddon.

rogers is right. kogan only wants more chances to scratch at some money. its a glass roof, artur.

Anonymous said...

Seems clear that GM Kogan that won many tournaments and teach a lot is because he loves this game and want to teach and share this love to others as explained on his site. Having so many students probably he can't complain about money. But his arguments are of care to chess, to describe an alarming situation in the chess world where GM's that dedicated all their life for chess and are the top of their countries earn nothing for that,and without choice they need to find another profession...Isn't it pitty that this days so many great players that are not top 10 are moving to POKER ??? about armagedon?! -Sponsors pay,organisers work hard- so is normal they put there own rules and players can choose to play or not,and even Anand and Kramnik signed,so why to complain?!rapid chess, blitz or even coin,somebody have to be declared winner and these days any creative way to atract public and sponsors is welcome!

Anonymous said...

Like so many other debates, IMO only history will decide who was right all along, the arguments are simply conjecture.

Though personally I see the potential of something happening in chess that has never happened before. Something truly grand, and it involves sponsors helping to ignite a modern-day renaissance, or flowering of the arts and culture. (Though cultured folks don't angrily whip wieghted Chess pieces at enthusiastic onlookers when they lose. Bad form. Pure and simple. Then they turn around and blame the rules of engagement Which they agreed to beforehand, for their bad behavior. And so erupts an international debate as to whether or not the rules were fair?? Sponsors Love Controversy and Childish behavior.)

Q. Why do many of the top players have the ability to develop their talents, and reach the elite level where sponsors happily await? (Or, reach the branches with fruit?)

A. Strong natural talent, Kindness, Honesty, Humility, Hard work, and perhaps the most valuable quality of the individual seeking success: "Faith" (Without Faith, little else matters. Faith is also that unquantifiable strength that helps pick us up when we have fallen, and grants us the ability to continue to fight when others around us cry that all is lost.)

It takes courage and Faith to climb onto an airplane, fly halfway round the world to compete in an event where "Only winning" will make the trip worthwhile. Where success is based on the merits of the individual player, and not some entitlement.
In other words, "There are no guranties in a free society, and there shouldn't be."

In any sport, industry, or other social endeavor, there will always be those walking away crying "Sour Grapes", while others politely smile and enjoy the sweetness of the abundant fruit...

Anonymous said...

The search for justice is childish says Mr Kogan - I hope he never has to do jury duty!
Seriously, the winner of a tournament should be the person who plays best. Armageddon just randomises the result. I'm not surprised Krush is now asking to share the US title.

Anonymous said...

To lose and than to ask to share the title is not childish , but completely ilogical now...
The claim had to be one week earlier during or directly after the game,and u could see that Krush even smiled in the closing ceremony as nothing bad happened without even apolozing...
Surely I agree there is no logic to give a title of one type of chess due to win in another type ,but this could be discussed before the tournament and not after agreement of playing in such conditions...(sponsors want show for there money of course and u decide if u want to give it for certain price or not!)
To show a bad loser manners and than to claim something is just imature...somebody as Botvinik would probably claim that only 1.5 hour per 30 moves is no justice nither :-)
So No point for Rogers (Thomas call 'Sour grape' to super-champion of Australia??! Why the Golf champion is not 'sour'!?) or Krush to search justice's childish or too late-call it as you wish:-) Leave it to the jury and complain to FIDE or other federations to change laws,but seems that the 'Jury' had its word about the last 'Crush'...CASE IS CLOSE! :-)
Keep the OLALA SPIRIT guys,FUN is part of chess nothing is personal here and would be nice to be respected before somebody ever met me...all is in the name of LOVE for CHESS and for a BETTER FUTURE!
I realy thank GOD everyday for the great BONUS of making living by sharing my LOVE with others!
Try it yourself guys :-)


Anonymous said...

No. I call no hero of Australia sour grapes. No way. I call those who agree to rules then attempt to surreptisiously change them....

Anonymous said...

GM Kogan seems to like abusing people and then saying he is sharing the love of chess. A total hypocrite.
Closet Grandmaster was simply stating that, unlike GM Rogers, he liked Armageddon as a way of deciding the World Championship. But his argument is getting completely lost in GM Kogan's abuse, especially against IM Krush, who must be feeling pretty bad already.

Anonymous said...

Artur has a point! I don't see any abuse in his post. Krush is truly a bad loser, and she doesn't want to accept the reality. If she thinks she is better, she can find a sponsor and ask Anna to play a match.