How To Become a World Chess Champion, 1987

This little tidbit in the back of the September 18, 1987 Thresher caught my attention a while back:


And here’s a picture of him playing all those people in the RMC:

But the Thresher never really followed up and I had to go the the Houston Post archives (September 21, 1987) to get the real story. First, the lecture sounds fascinating. What an unusual character Spassky is, so unlike anything in the academic world. And of course I’m a big fan of psychological ploys. But the account of the 50 player challenge is also unexpectedly intriguing. I love Janet Gibson, who not only shows up as the lone woman in the game but also surprisingly compares chess to football. We never find out exactly what happened, as I suspect that once the reporter had enough for a story she simply took off before it was all over:

I’d love to know what he thought about all this.

Bonus: April 8, 2020. March 6, 2020.

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1 Response to How To Become a World Chess Champion, 1987

  1. Doug Coleman '90 says:

    Mike Ingram maybe ’87 set this up. Both he and I were from El Paso and played competitively in High School. Mike was really good, I played less as I played sports in HS and had less time, (my older brothers were very good, including Russ Coleman ’82 and it was a family tradition). I played in the simultaneous exhibition because a spot came open and he needed to fill it. These were the rage in the ’70’s and 80’s, we all wanted to be Bobby Fisher.

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