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December 31, 2005

Igor Ivanov 1947 - 2005

There are thousands of chess-players around the world who knew Igor Ivanov. They opened their homes and their hearts to his brilliant mind, to his kind soul, to his hearty laugh, and to his friendship. He was always respectful of others, and I never heard him utter an unkind word to anyone. He was a Grandmaster while most the the rest of us were patzers, but he treated us as equals. His respect for us didn't dim when we played chess with him. We almost always lost, but we always left the board feeling good. He brought out the best in everyone. It wasn't that he didn't have strong opinions he did. I often disagreed with him about politics, but it was never personal, and we agreed on all the important things in life, a love of music, of literature, of chess, and the value of good friends. I remember that day in March when he called and told me he had cancer, and how it was inoperable. We both knew that he didn't have long, but his spirits were high. I asked him if he'd heard the Monty Python song, "Always Look on The Bright Side of Life." He hadn't but was anxious to hear it. I sent him a copy and a few days later he was back on the phone. . He didn't start with his usual hi Norm it's Igor instead he said "I love that part where they say You come into life with nothing and you leave with nothing, what have you lost nothing." and then that infectious laugh of his. That is how I'll remember Igor laughing and embracing life while facing death. Igor is gone now, but our memories of him remain. Here are a few of mine, but first a few pictures of Igor, the background music is Chopin's Fantaisie-impromptu in C sharp minor, a piece I heard Igor play many times. (this is from a recording by Vladimir Ashkenazy) Click on the picture to play the video Quicktime Video 16.8MB 4'46...

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August 3, 2005

Susan Polgar

Susan breaks all records 03.08.2005 She strode 9.1 miles, in high-tech sneakers, drinking orange juice. She faced 321 opponents simultaneously, scoring an unprecedented 99.03%. After breaking the Guinness Book's simul record Susan Polgar went on to break a few more, like 1,131 consecutive games played in one session. 1,131 Consecutive Games Played: Overall statistics which included 551 opponents: 1,112 wins, 16 draws and 3 losses = 99.03% (previous record: 1102 games by WGM Anna-Maria Botsari, Greece)...

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