Best of the Web: week 23

Do you have a passion for chess? Probably. But the important question is: do you enjoy Arnold Schwarzenegger's charisma? If so, then I think I'm about to make your day. 25 years ago, Arnold and a man named Jim Lorimer started a multi-sport event name the "Arnold Classic". It is the largest multi-sport event in the world, and Schwarzenegger personally insisted chess be represented. During the simul of IM Luis Rodi, Arnold himself played a few moves, to "help out the IM"! You can find the official website here, and you can click on the following link for a Chessbase article.

Next up, I would like to recommend a series of events has been organizing, called "Death Matches". The idea is simple: get two strong rated players, offer a 1000$ prize pool, and lock them in a room together for 3 hours of non-stop blitz/bullet action! Sounds like fun, right? I have been pretty impressed by the caliber of grandmasters the events are attracting, especially the latest one, which featured GM Vladimir Andreikin (2722 FIDE) versus GM Liem Le Qang (2712 FIDE). Watching the games live, with commentary from the always-caffeinated Danny Rensch (who also posts really fun "Bullet Brawls" on Youtube), was very entertaining! You can find the results of the latest event here. I'm sure they will be hosting another one of these soon; just pay attention to the big banner they put on their main page!

Some of you might remember the article about visualizing chess data that I posted a while ago. Along the same lines, here is an attempt to look at chess ratings worlwide by using interactive maps you can explore at your leisure. It constitutes a nice little interlude if you have a few minutes to spare, and are curious about how different countries compare in terms of ratings, rated players per million, etc. I had no idea Haiti's best player was rated 1782, or that Egypt's top grandmaster is rated 2654!

Finally, what better way to conclude than a nifty miniature, which was played at the European Senior Team Championship between GM Cebalo and GM Vasyukov. It only took 13 moves for Cebalo to win, and the game features an incredible queen sacrifice! You can find the original Huffington Post column here, and a Chessbase article here.

See you soon!