My very unusual life!
February 16, 2011 • General
Greetings to the world from Memphis, Tennessee on this fine Wednesday evening! I have not blogged in a bit and as I have some free time right now, I thought I would add a blog entry about what has been happening in this crazy chess life which I lead!
Coming off of my victory in Wijk aan Zee, I spent several days back home in New York with my parents who deserve more recognition than anyone else for all of their tremendous support over the years. Many times, my stepfather, Sunil Weeramantry has made comments such as “I hope you become a GM before I die”, or “I hope I get to see you play in Monaco.” After winning such a strong tournament, I can only hope to fulfill the one last unachievable goal in his lifetime of becoming World Champion! So, once again, I can never do them justice, but I will always say thanks for everything!
After arriving back in Saint Louis, I came back to the unfortunate reality that there was a lot of work to be done as I had to annotate games for New In Chess and Europe Echecs. There were also several interviews I did for 64, Chessbase and The New York Times. Most readers will probably notice there is a glaring lack of American publications listed above. It is simply a fact that American chess still has a long ways to go before it starts garnering widespread media attention. However, I hope that as I continue to go forward and chase the ultimate my goal things will eventually change. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but it is something that us American chessplayers can certainly hope for.
I have also been involved in the organizational aspect of my speech&simul at Washington University in Saint Louis which will be happening on February 26th which is being made possible by the Washington University Chess Club in association with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. This is certainly an exciting event and I look forward to it.
Before I get to all the excitement of this week, I thought that now would be an opportune time to discuss my withdrawal from the 2011 US Chess Championship. I first competed in the US Championship way back in 2003, and I have had some of my most memorable moments and experiences during these very special and prestigious events. Going forwards towards my goal of becoming World Champion, it simply does not make sense to take a step backwards and compete in events which do not help me towards accomplishing this goal. I wish GMs Kamsky, Onischuk and Shulman the best of luck in the upcoming tournament which will once again be held in Saint Louis.
This past Monday evening, I got in my lovely 1998 Honda Accord (120,000 miles and still going strong) and drove down to Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis has always had a very special place in my heart as some of my best friends and contacts live here. It has always been very relaxing to have a few drinks on Beale Street (I would recommend Silky’s, BB King’s) and catch some good jazz music or take in a show at the Orpheum. However, unlike past trips, this week has been something special as I received the key to the city to Memphis yesterday down at city hall. After this, I proceeded down to the Peabody Hotel to have a cocktail while taking in the world famous Peabody Duck March. Amidst all of this hoopla, I went down to the FedEx Forum to catch a basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies (Why can’t they move back to Vancouver??) and the Philadelphia 76ers. I have nothing else planned over the next two days, so I will probably spend some time enjoying downtime and studying a little chess! On Friday, I am giving a simul at city hall against the council members and perhaps the mayor will even show up! Saturday promises to be quite busy as I will be appearing on the Saturday morning news with Kontji Anthony on WMCTV 5. On Sunday, I am making an appearance at UMemphis for a local chess event. A very busy week, but promoting chess is very important!
To paraphrase a very famous Gandhi quote, Be the change you want to see in the chess world!
That is all for now, but I hope everyone enjoys the blog and the few pictures I am attaching below. There will be a bigger report on www.uschess.org once all the great promotional activities of this week have concluded.
A nice folder!
A nice piece of paper which makes me feel like I am doing something important with chess!
The key to the city. A true honor!