Thursday coffee,chess, potpourri and nonsense!

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COFFEE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!

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Many thanks to Michael Bacon for pointing this out to me!  The story line is that Copi discovers an amazing cherry called coffee bean and broadcasts a newsreel of information about the facts of coffee. Propaganda, ofcourse, but I need no pressure to convince me of how great a cup of coffee is…The video won some awards: 92nd ADC Awards + Animation Bronze; 2013 Adobe Design Achievement Awards Semifinalist.

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THE UGLY AMERICAN(S)

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The UGLY AMERICAN is a  1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that became a best selling phenomenon of the time.  John F. Kennedy was so impressed with the book that he sent a copy to each of his colleagues in the United States Senate. They even made a film based on the book

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The book has became an iconic symbol in the modern world, the term “Ugly American” today used to refer to the “LOUD AND OSTENTATIOUS” type of visitor in another country… CURIOUSLY, in today’s chess world, some high-profile American players work hard to MERIT being compared to the term.

Notice some stuff I came across this past week:

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American chess prodigy–and the current champion–Nakamura, while being a GREAT player, has a very POOR reputation even amongst American chess fans. Known to be (when there is no camera around) arrogant, often rude or simply unapproachable, Nakamura reminds me very much of one of the greatest American chess prodigies, Samuel Reshevsky (born 1911, and who also went out of his way to irritate fans):

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Actually, they even LOOK ALIKE, don’t you think?!

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ANYWAY, while I personally have no negative experiences with Nakamura (he has always been a perfect gentleman with me), at the World Cup in Baku, some were very happy when he lost the first game of his mini-match with Eljanov:

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AND when Nakamura could only draw the second game (and hence lose the match) there appeared the following twitter post:

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To be fair, Nakamura was a perfect gentleman when he lost the match and tweeted the following:

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Coming up next: Susan Polgar!

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Though I haven’t yet read Jennifer Shahade’s best selling  ‘CHESS BITCH’, I have heard from someone who actually read the book that Jennifer probably bases her fictional character on the real-life experiences of none other than Susan Polgar.  

However, JOKING ASIDE, Susan Polgar is an incredibly talented individual and since retiring from competitive chess (she won several world titles) she has probably done more to promote chess in the USA than any other person, Sinquefeld and Kasparov included. Dozens of talented players have received university scholarships, financial support and tournament/training invitations thanks to her tireless efforts…

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HOWEVER, Susan and her second husband Truong, have ruffled a lot of feathers enroute to these achievements and as a result Susan’s reputation among chess fans has suffered greatly.

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Besides being often accused of unashamed, outrageous and even misleading self-promotionSusan and her husband have found themselves involved in multi-million dollar lawsuits, political scandals and all sorts of high-profile controversies.  

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In particular, the public feud between Susan and Nigel Short is still going strong…

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While legions of loyal Susan Polgar fans are not lacking, there are even larger numbers who wince whenever her name comes up…I received the following email from one of my readers last week:

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”This morning I went to youtube to watch a Go video by Michael Redmond, the only westerner to reach the grade of 9-dan—the highest grade. 

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