Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chess: the Marc Esserman Challenge

Last week IM Marc Esserman set up shop at A Bon Pain

across from Harvard Yard Cambridge. Marc offered extra Queen Odds, or minus knight odds, or him having 45 seconds to your five minutes for $5 if you lose.

Last Wednesday and Thursday hundreds of people surrounded the chess table as Marc wiped out all comers.

I personally tried it (using a normal set 45sec/5min: no extra queens)

and resigned just before I was about to get mated. Marc having 13 seconds remaining. Although I started off well I got kind of overwhelmed and fell apart. (Full disclosure: Marc is my chess coach)

Marc's chess knowledge and his physical ability to move so quickly allows him to give such odds.

The chess community has received this challenge with mixed emotions. In fact some people are quite upset.

My feeling is that this is something out of the ordinary hum drum of life. You have to watch the challenge to get a feel for it. To me there is as much street theatre as there is chess involved: very Andy Kaufmanesque.

What do you think about the Esserman Challenge?

Please Comment.

Thank You.

Mike Griffin


(photos by Tony Cortizas)


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