On a slow week for live chess, our Best of the Web is a set of advertisements featuring World Champions (and three challengers).
Who do you think makes the most appearances?
Several World Champions have endorsed chess products: Staunton gave his name to the standard piece design used everywhere, and Karpov and Kasparov have both let their names appear on dedicated chess computers in the 1980s. The following are all non-chess-related advertisements.
Kasparov for AltaVista
Kasparov is steamrolling his way through a simul, until he meets a boy with a secret weapon: he searched the internet with the question "How Can I Beat Kasparov's Evans Gambit?"
Note to youngsters: "google" hasn't always been a verb meaning "to search the internet". In the early years of the internet, long before google existed, search engines roamed as freely and stupidly as buffalo on the prairie: Archie, WebCrawler, Ask Jeeves, Hotbot, DogPile, Lycos, Yahoo, AltaVista.
Kasparov for Pepsi
Kasparov vs the Neutron 9000: Kasparov wins the chess game, but the "stupid machine" gets its revenge.
Spoiler: It's Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" reversed; there, Hal 9000 wins the chess game but the human gets even.
Anand for Memory Plus (photo above)
“I trust Memory Plus” is the caption from a 1996 pint ad featuring Vishy Anand holding a bottle of the pills. After 1998, no one trusted Memory Plus after it was found that the company manufacturing the pills, Nirvan Herbal, included only about 13% of the effective dose of the (supposedly) effective ingredient from the brahmi plant.
Anand for AMD 1
Every Indian boy wants to play cricket; luckily, Vishy Anand found a game that was better for him...
Anand for AMD 2
The conversation in the train recreates an actual conversation and advice given to Anand by a well-meaning older Indian man who didn't recognize him.
Anand for Crocin Cold and Flu Max
Hindi ad shows a cold medicine turn a losing Vishy into a winner
Aruna Anand for Union Bank of India
Vishy's wife... "because your dreams are not yours alone".
Carlsen for G-Star RAW
2014 advert for the fashion company where Carlsen is challenged by model Lily Cole.
Carlsen for Altibox
Alitbox is a broadband provider in Norway. This action-movie style ad shows the Play Mangus app turn into a battle for life and death between Magnus and a CGI Angel of Death.
Victor Kortchnoi for milk
The 1978 and 1981 Challenger is 100% in character when he loses to a lovely opponent:
Nigel Short for MindLab Pro
1993 Challenger Nigel Short's 2016 testimonial for a nootropic:
"Now that I have been trying MindLab Pro for some time, and have seen the benefits of this in competition I will be recommending it to some of my friends and my colleagues, but I will not be recommending it to my closest competitors. :)" - Nigel Short
Frank Marshall for Camels (photo below, click magnifying glass for full view)
The 1907 Challenger, who lost to Lasker +0 =7 -8, had been the US Champion for 25 years when he made this 1934 ad for Camel cigarettes.
"Championship chess is a test for anybody's nerves! I smoke steadily -- whether I'm playing or not -- and I find that Camels never jangle my nerves or disturb my concentration." - Frank J. Marshall