THE CHESS WP annual awards ceremony takes place today at Curro Durbanville Private School.
Apart from the awards speeches and presentation of colours, a great struggle hero will be remembered.
Jerome “Jerry” Bibuld died in New York on October 22 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 85.
Bibuld was an eloquent opponent of apartheid who fought hard to keep the former South African Chess Federation out of international competition. He was a political activist during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s in the US.
He was active in fighting for the advancement of chess in Africa and was instrumental in helping several federations in their nascent years, including the post-apartheid organisation, Chess South Africa (Chessa).
André van Reenen, who brought the Chess Association for the People of SA into Chessa, speaks warmly of Bibuld’s material support. “Bundles of equipment, books and magazines arrived regularly, without which we could hardly have kept going.”
Bibuld was a member of the Fidé three-man team that came to this country in 1991 to investigate the state of chess. He returned to be the chief arbiter at the 2001 SA Open in Cape Town. The US Chess Federation obituary notes: “A lover of opera, classical and jazz, Jerry also developed a fondness for chess. However, it was not only the passion of playing, but his passion for documenting chess in all its glory.”
I remember his anecdotes about some of the world’s leading players, such as the fact that Mikhail Tal could quote Mark Twain at length.
● The fourth world championship match game in Chennai between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen ended in a draw after 64 moves, leaving the 12-game match tied at two-all.
Garry Kasparov, tweeting from Chennai, said: “My feeling is Magnus is trying to reach ‘his’ positions, where he can play with little risk. It’s hard to switch to ‘win’ mode if you are playing with the mentality that a draw is a good result. So far, it’s like wrestling, with Magnus trying for a clinch and slow squeeze and Vishy handily fighting out of it, but not pushing hard for more. It will be interesting to see if Magnus is content to keep circling like this or if he ‘takes the bait’ and plays a sharper line.”
In game four, Carlsen, playing black, did play a sharper line and came close to winning.
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