CHESS

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODSTYLE -

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.

● Send your news to thechess­nik@gmail.com

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