Archivo de la categoría: Historia

Cuando el análisis era apuesta

 Renaut de Montauban (circa 1462-70) "Partie d’échecs dégénérant en assassinat"

Renaut de Montauban (circa 1462-70) “Partie d’échecs dégénérant en assassinat”

Es habitual cuando las partidas finalizan que los jugadores analicen su desarrollo. También es habitual que a ese análisis acudan espectadores. De ellos, siempre hay algunos que se caracterizan por meter la mano continuamente en el tablero sugiriendo líneas, a veces interesantes. Pero frecuentemente asistimos a la presencia de personajes que continuamente tratan de aportar líneas tras un proceso reflexivo mínimo. Se hubieran encontrado en su salsa en la Castilla del siglo XIII y anteriores.

Debido a la lentitud del desarrollo en el ajedrez medieval la resolución de problemas era una de las más extendidas actividades ajedrecísticas. Un ejemplo es el que se conoce como el problema de ajedrez más antiguo, el problema de Dilaram.

En 1276-77 el rey Alfonso X con su “Ordenamiento de las tafurerías” (tafurería era el nombre que recibían las casas de juego de la época) prohibe cualquier actividad de apuesta, tanto en casas de juego como en hogares privados, en la que medie dinero. Pudiera ser que la razón fuera evitar los incidentes que las apuestas generaban (véase la imagen que encabeza esta entrada). Como también se apostaba en problemas (menos a juego completo,dada su lentitud), cita expresamente el juego de ajedrez entre los juegos prohibidos, excepto cuando se juegue en casa de caballeros y apostando pequeñas cantidades:

35. Tafurerias de dados nin de otro juego ninguno non se fagan en todo el rreyno por ninguna manera, nin pongan tableros conoscidos nin den dineros a ensenas nin a tablaje. nin se ayunten tafures en plaça nin entauerna nin en otra casa ninguna; e sy en casa del rrico omme se fisiere, viede gelo el rrico omme, e synon gelo vedare pierda el mió amor, saluoende caualleros de su casa que jueguen tablas o xedres o pequenno juego, de guisa que se non desbaraten délo que touieren; e sy en casa de cauallero o de otro fidalgo se fisiere échenlo déla tierra, et sy fuere en casa de otro omme peche cient mrs., e synon ouiere la valia rrecabden le el cuerpo para ante mi; e otros que fueren fallados jugando de otro juego en que se pierdandineros do quier quelos fallaren pechen cada vno dies mrs. la meytad parael quelo acusare e la otra meytad para mi.

Fuente: Organizing the Greed for Gain, Ulrich Schädler.

No hay duda de que el ajedrez tenía imagen de juego de caballeros aunque para el pueblo llano su consideración fuera similar al juego de dados.

Previamente a la prohibición de Alfonso X, los aficionados a meter mano en los análisis tenían que aflojar la bolsa. Desconozco si de alguna manera se siguió practicando la apuesta o, desde entonces, los apostadores se dedicaron a esperar a que finalizaran las partidas para continuar con su actividad preferida durante el post-mortem ;-)

¿Quién es Caïssa?

CaissaCaïssa es la musa del ajedrez pero no es ningún personaje menor de la mitología griega o romana como muchos aficionados piensan. Caïssa nació en 1763 de la imaginación de, como reinterpretación de un personaje previo de un poema mas de dos siglos anterior, de la pluma de Sir Williams Jones que a los 17 años de edad escribió el poema titulado “Caïssa o el juego de ajedrez” en el que la musa del ajedrez es una ninfa que promete al dios de la guerra Marte que le corresponderá si idea un juego interesante. La concepción original de Caïssa nació realmente en 1527 del poeta Marco Girolamo Vida, bajo el nombre Scacchia en su poema “Schaccia Ludus”. A pesar de ello, no fue hasta el siglo XVIII cuando el personaje cobró popularidad en la encarnación de Caïssa y no de Scacchia;  “Caïssa o el juego de ajedrez” se publicó en la revista de la que años después sería editor Labourdonnais y desde entonces se viene asociando el nombre de la musa Caïssa al ajedrez.

Por tanto, Caïssa no era una musa “original” de la mitología grecorromana tal y como la mayoria de los aficionados piensan, porque simplemente ¡en la antigüedad clásica no se conocía el juego del ajedrez!

A continuación, el poema original de Sir Williams Jones (de “Schaccia Ludus” no se encuentra ninguna traducción al castellano en la Red; pero sí el original latino y su traducción al inglés):

CAISSA

or

The Game at Chess; a Poem.

Of armies on the chequer’d field array’d,
And guiltless war in pleasing form display’d;
When two bold kings contend with vain alarms,
In ivory this, and that in ebon arms;
Sing, sportive maids, that haunt the sacred hill
Of Pindus, and the fam’d Pierian rill.
Thou, joy of all below, and all above,
Mild Venus, queen of laughter, queen of love;
Leave thy bright island, where on many a rose
And many a pink thy blooming train repose:
Assist me, goddess! since a lovely pair
Command my song, like thee devinely fair.
Near yon cool stream, whose living waters play,
And rise translucent in the solar ray;
Beneath the covert of a fragrant bower,
Where spring’s nymphs reclin’d in calm retreat,
And envying blossoms crouded round their seat;
Here Delia was enthron’d, and by her side
The sweet Sirena, both in beauty’s pride:
Thus shine two roses, fresh with early bloom,
That from their native stalk dispense perfume;
Their leaves unfolding to the dawning day
Gems of the glowing mead, and eyes of May.
A band of youths and damsels sat around,
Their flowing locks with braided myrtle bound;
Agatis, in the graceful dance admir’d,
And gentle Thyrsis, by the muse inspir’d;
With Sylvia, fairest of the mirthful train;
And Daphnis, doom’d to love, yet love in vain.
Now, whilst a purer blush o’erspreads her cheeks,
With soothing accents thus Sirena speaks:
“The meads and lawns are ting’d with beamy light,
And wakeful larks begin their vocal flight;
Whilst on each bank the dewdrops sweetly smile;
What sport, my Delia, shall the hours beguile?
Whall heavenly notes, prolong’d with various art,
Charm the fond ear, and warm the rapturous heart?
At distance shall we view the sylvan chace?
Or catch with silken lines the finny race?”
Then Delia thus: “Or rather, since we meet
By chance assembled in this cool retreat,
In artful contest let our warlike train
Move well-directed o’er the field preside:
No prize we need, our ardour to inflame;
We fight with pleasure, if we fight for fame.”
The nymph consents: the maids and youths prepare
To view the combat, and the sport to share:
But Daphnis most approv’d the bold design,
Whom Love instructed, and the tuneful Nine.
He rose, and on the cedar table plac’d
A polish’d board, with differing colours grac’d;
Squares eight times eight in equal order lie;
These bright as snow, those dark with sable dye;
Like the broad target by the tortoise born,
Or like the hide by spotted panthers worn.
Then from a chest, with harmless heroes stor’d,
O’er the smooth plain two well-wrought hosts he pour’d;
The champions burn’d their rivals to assail,
Twice eight in black, twice eight in milkwhite mail;
In shape and station different, as in name,
Their motions various, not their power the same.
Say, muse! (for Jove has nought from thee conceal’d)
Who form’d the legions on the level field?
High in the midst the reverend kings appear,
And o’er the rest their pearly scepters rear:
One solemn step, majestically slow,
They gravely move, and shun the dangerous foe;
If e’er they call, the watchful subjects spring,
And die with rapture if they save their king;
On him the glory of the day depends,
He once imprison’d, all the conflict ends.
The queens exulting near their consorts stand;
Each bears a deadly falchion in her hand;
Now here, now there, they bound with furious pride,
And thin the trmbling ranks from side to side;
Swift as Camilla flying o’er the main,
Or lightly skimming o’er the dewy plain:
Fierce as they seem, some bold Plebeian spear
May pierce their shield, or stop their full career.
The valiant guards, their minds on havock bent,
Fill the next squares, and watch the royal tent;
Tho’ weak their spears, tho’ dwarfish be their height,
Compact they move, the bulwark of the fight,
To right and left the martial wings display
Their shining arms, and stand in close array.
Behold, four archers, eager to advance,
Send the light reed, and rush with sidelong glance;
Through angles ever they assault the foes,
True to the colour, which at first they chose.
Then four bold knights for courage-fam’d and speed,
Each knight exalted on a prancing steed:
Their arching course no vulgar limit knows,
Tranverse they leap, and aim insidious blows:
Nor friends, nor foes, their rapid force restrain,
By on quick bound two changing squares they gain;
From varing hues renew the fierce attack,
And rush from black to white, from white to black.
Four solemn elephants the sides defend;
Benearth the load of ponderous towers they bend:
In on unalter’d line they tempt the fight;
Now crush the left, and now o’erwhelm the right.
Bright in the front the dauntless soldiers raise
Their polish’d spears; their steely helmets blaze:
Prepar’d they stand the daring foe to strike,
Direct their progress, but their wounds oblique.
Now swell th’ embattled troups with hostile rage,
And clang their shields, impatient to engage;
When Daphnis thus: A varied plain behold,
Where fairy kings their mimick tents unfold,
As Oberon, and Mab, his wayward queen,
Lead forth their armies on the daisied green.
No mortal hand the wond’rous sport contriv’d,
By gods invents, and from gods deriv’d;
From them the British nymphs receiv’d the game,
And play ech morn beneath the crystal Thame;
Hear then the tale, which they to Colin sung,
As idling o’er the lucid wave he hung.
A lovely dryad rang’d the Thracian wild,
Her air enchanting, and her aspect mild:
To chase the bounding hart was all her joy,
Averse from Hymen, and the Cyprian boy;
O’er hills an valleys was her beauty fam’d,
And fair Caissa was the damsel nam’d.
Mars saw the maid; with deep surprize he gaz’d,
Admir’d her shape, and every gesture prais’d:
His golden bow the child of Venus bent,
And through his breast a piecing arrow sent.
The reed was hope; the feathers, keen desire;
The point, her eyes; the barbs, ethereal fire.
Soon to the nymph he pour’d his tender strain;
The haughtly dryad scorn’d his amorous pain:
He told his woes, where’er the maid he found,
And still he press’d, yet still Caissa frown’d;
But ev’n her frowns (ah, what might smiles have done!)
Fir’d all his soul, and all his senses won.
He left his car, by raging tigers drawn,
And lonely wander’d o’er the dusky lawn;
Then lay desponding near a murmuring stream,
And fair Caissa was his plaintive theme.
A naiad heard him from her mossy bed,
And through the crystal rais’d her placid head;
Then mildly spake: “O thou, whom love inspires,
Thy tears will nourish, not allay thy fires.
The smiling blossoms drink the pearly dew;
And ripening fruit the feather’d race pursue;
The scaly shoals devour the silken weeds;
Love on our sighs, and on our sorrow feeds.
Then weep no more; but, ere thou canst obtain
Balm to thy wounds, and solace to thy pain,
With gentle art thy martial look beguile;
Be mild, and teach thy rugged brow to smile.
Canst thou no play, no soothing game devise;
To make thee lovely in the damsel’s eyes?
So may thy prayers assuage the scornful dame,
And ev’n Caissa own a mutual frame.”
Kind nymph, said Mars, thy counsel I approve;
Art, only art, her ruthless breast can move.
but when? or how? They dark discourse explain:
So may thy stream ne’er swell with gushing rain;
So may thy waves in one pure current flow,
And flowers eternal on thy border blow!”
To whom the maid replied with smiling mien:
“Above the palace of the Paphian queen
Love’s brother dwells, a boy of graceful port,
By gods nam’d Euphron, and by mortals Sport:
Seek him; to faithful ears unfold thy grief,
And hope, ere morn return, a sweet relief.
His temple hangs below the azure skies;
Seest thou yon argent cloud? ‘Tis there it lies.”
This said, she sunk beneath the liquid plain,
And sought the mansion of her blue-hair’d train.
Meantime the god, elate with heart-felt joy,
Had reach’d the temple of the sportful boy;
He told Caissa’s charms, his kindled fire,
The naiad’s counsel, and his warm desire.
“Be swift, he added, give my passion aid;
A god requests.” – He spake, and Sport obey’d.
He fram’d a tablet of celestial mold,
Inlay’d with squares of silver and of gold;
Then of two metals form’d the warlike band,
That here compact in show of battle stand;
He taught the rules that guide the pensive game,
And call’d it Cassa from the dryad’s name:
(Whence Albion’s sons, who most its praise confess,
Approv’d the play, and nam’d it thoughtful Chess.)
The god delighted thank’d indulgent Sport;
Then grasp’d the board, and left his airy court.
With radiant feet he pierc’d the clouds; nor stay’d,
Till in the woods he saw the beauteous maid:
Tir’d with the chase the damsel set reclin’d,
Her girdle loose, her bosom unconfin’d.
He took the figure of a wanton faun,
And stood before her on the flowery lawn;
Then show’d his tablet: pleas’d the nymph survey’d
The lifeless troops in glittering ranks display’d;
She ask’d the wily sylvan to explain
The various motions of the splendid train;
With eager heart she caught the winning lore,
And thought ev’n Mars less hateful than before;
“What spell,” said she, “deceiv’d my careless mind?
The god was fair, and I was most unkind.”
She spoke, and saw the changing faun assume
A milder aspect, and a fairer bloom;
His wreathing horns, that from his temples grew,
Flow’d down in curls of bright celestial hue;
The dappled hairs, that veil’d his loveless face,
Blaz’d into beams, and show’d a heavenly grace;
The shaggy hide, that mantled o’er his breast,
Was soften’d to a smooth transparent vest,
That through its folds his vigorous bosom show’d,
And nervous limbs, where youthful ardour glow’d:
(Had Venus view’d him in those blooming charms,
Not Vulcan’s net had forc’d her from his arms.)
With goatlike feet no more he mark’d the ground,
But braided flowers his silken sandals bound.
the dryad blush’d; and, as he press’d her, smil’d,
Whilst all his cares one tender glance beguil’d.
He ends: To arms, the maids and striplings cry;
To arms, the groves and sounding vales reply.
Sirena led to war the swarthy crew,
And Delia those that bore the lily’s hue.
Who first, O muse, began the bold attack;
The white refulgent, or the mournful black?
Fair Delia first, as favoring lots ordain,
Moves her pale legions tow’rd the sable train:
From thought to thought her lively fancy flies,
Whilst o’er the board she darts her sparkling eyes.
At length the warrior moves with haughty strides;
Who from the plain the snowy king divides:
With equal haste his swarthy rival bounds;
His quiver rattles, and his buckler sounds:
Ah! hapless youths, with fatal warmth you burn;
Laws, ever fix’d, forbid you to return.
then from the wing a short-liv’d spearman flies,
Unsafely bold, and see! he dies, he dies:
The dark-brow’d hero, with one vengeful blow
Of life and place deprives his ivory foe.
Now rush both armies o’er the burnish’d field,
Hurl the swift dart, and rend the bursting shield.
Here furious knights on fiery coursers prance,
but see! the white-rob’d Amazon beholds
Where the dark host its opening van unfolds:
Soon as her eye discerns the hostile maid,
By ebon shield, and ebon helm betray’d;
Seven squares she passed with majestic mien,
And stands triumphant o’er the falling queen.
Perplex’d, and sorrowing at his consort’s fate,
The monarch burn’d with rage, despair, and hate:
Swift from his zone th’ avenging blade he drew,
And, mad with ire, the proud virago slew.
Meanwhile sweet smiling Delia’s wary king
Retir’d from fight behind the circling wing.
Long time the war in equal balance hung;
Till, unforseen, an ivory courser sprung,
And, wildly prancing in an evil hour,
Attack’d at once the monarch and the tower:
Sirena blush’d; for, as the rules requir’d,
Her injur’d sovereign to his tent retir’d;
Whilst her lost castle leaves his threatening height,
And adds new glory to th’ exulting knight.
At this, pale fear oppress’d the drooping maid,
And on her cheek the rose began to fade:
A crystal tear, that stood prepar’d to fall,
She wip’d in silence, and conceal’d from all;
From all but Daphnis; He remark’d her pain,
And saw the weakness of her ebon train;
Then gently spoke: “Let me your loss supply,
And either nobly win, or nobly dir;
Me oft has fortune crown’d with fair success,
And led to triumph in the fields of Chess.”
He said: the willing nymph her place resign’d,
And sat at distance on the bank reclin’d.
Thus when Minerva call’d her chief to arms,
And Troy’s high turret shook with dire alarms,
The Cyprian goddess wounded left the plain,
And Mars engag’d a mightier force in vain.
Strait Daphnis leads his squadron to the field;
(To Delia’s arms ’tis ev’n a joy to yield.)
Each guileful snare, and subtle art he tries,
But finds his heart less powerful than her eyes:
Wisdom and strength superior charms obey;
And beauty, beauty, wins the long-fought day.
By this a hoary chief, on slaughter bent,
Approach’d the gloomy king’s unguarded tent;
Where, late, his consort spread dismay around,
Now her dark corse lies bleeding on the ground.
Hail, happy youth! they glories not unsung
Shall live eternal on the poet’s tongue;
For thou shalt soon receive a splendid change,
And o’er the plain with nobler fury range.
The swarthy leaders saw the storm impend,
And strove in vain their sovereign to defend:
Th’ invader wav’d his silver lance in air,
And flew like lightning to the fatal square;
His limbs dilated in a moment grew
To stately height, and widen’d to the view;
More fierce his look, more lion-like his mien,
Sublime he mov’d, and seem’d a warrior queen.
As when the sage on some unfolding plant
Has caught a wandering fly, or frugal ant,
His hand the microscopic frame applies,
And lo! a bright hair’d monster meets his eyes;
He sees new plumes in slender cases roll’d;
Here stain’d with azure, there bedropp’d with gold;
Thus, on the alter’d chief both armies gaze,
And both the kings are fix’d with deep amaze.
The sword, which arm’d the snow-white maid before,
He noew assumes, and hurls the spear no more;
The springs indignant on the dark-rob’d band,
And knights and archers feel his deadly hand.
Now flies the monarch of the sable shield,
His legions vanquish’d, o’er the lonely field:
So when the morn, by rosy coursers drawn,
With pearls and rubies sows the verdant lawn,
Whilst each pale star from heaven’s blue vault retires,
Still Venus gleams, and last of all expires.
He hears, where’er he moves, the dreadful sound;
Check the deep vales, and Check the woods rebound.
No place remains: he sees the certain fate,
And yields his throne to ruin, and Checkmate.
A brighter blush o’erspreads the damsel’s cheeks,
And mildly thus the conquer’d stripling speaks:
“A double triumph, Delia, hast thou won,
By Mars protected, and by Venus’ son;
The first with conquest crowns thy matchless art,
The second points those eyes at Daphnis’ heart.”
She smil’d; the nymphs and amorous youths arise,
And own that beauty gain’d the nobler prize.
Low in their chest the mimic troops were lay’d,
And peaceful slept the sable hero’s shade.

— Sir William Jones (1763)

(Esta entrada fue publicada originalmente el 31 de diciembre de 2002 en esta web; los sucesivos cambios de sistema de gestión de contenido la habían dejado un poco desconfigurada así que es un buen momento para republicarla y mejorarla)

Capablanca vs Alekhine: los Mozart y Salieri del ajedrez

Alekhine vs Capablanca, Buenos Aires, 1927

Posiblemente, la mejor historia que haya leído sobre la rivalidad Capablanca-Alekhine, algo así como el Karpov-Kasparov del periodo de entreguerras. No dejéis de leerlo, merece la pena.

Record de España de simultáneas en el patio de la Universidad de Oviedo (1948)

Antonio Rico, 8 de septiembre de 1948, en el patio del Edificio Histórico de la Universidad de Oviedo, 100 tableros. El record sigue vigente hoy en día. Quién quiera saber más, no debe dejar de visitar el blog de la Comisión de Historia de la FAPA, ineludible para quién quiera saber más sobre el pasado del ajedrez en Asturias.

Patio del Edificio Histórico de la Universidad de Oviedo

Karpov-Kasparov 1984, reportaje en TVE

Estas pasadas semanas, el documental Karpov vs Kasparov de Informe Robinson y emitido en Canal+ ha estado en boca de todos los blogs, tuits o muros de Facebook ajedreceros. Una hora de documental que podéis seguir en el anterior enlace. Por variar, aquí os voy a ofrecer algo distinto, casi un viaje en máquina del tiempo a 1984 cuando se estaba disputando el que sería el match más largo (e inacabado) por el título mundial.

Un documental del programa Informe Semanal de RTVE del año 1984, proféticamente titulado Karpov-Kasparov: el jaque más largo ; producido mientras el match aún se encontraba en juego, Karpov ganaba 5-1 y se presagiaba que mantendría el título. Todo un viaje al Moscú y al ajedrez de 1984, sin ordenadores y con tableros murales para seguir las partidas. Que lo disfrutéis.

Las causas del patronazgo de Santa Teresa

Hace ya casi dos años dábamos cuenta en una entrada del curioso hecho de que en 1941 la FEDA había nombrado a Teresa de Jesús abogada y patrona de los ajedrecistas españoles. Las causas no estaban claras pero ahora Carmen Romeo, Presidenta de la Comisión de Historia de la FEDA, me envía las pertinentes aclaraciones que con su permiso transcribo a continuación.

Para poner el hecho en su contexto debemos considerar en primer lugar que en la época de Felipe II toda familia de clase media alta o semi-alta que se preciase, acostumbraba, entre otras cosas, a que sus vástagos (sin distinción de sexos) aprendieran ajedrez, era una mas de las condiciones de la educación.

En la sesión del órgano rector de la Federación Española de día 2 de Febrero de 1941 en el punto 10º se dió cuenta de que el Sr. Juncosa de Zaragoza y otros aficionados, pedían a la Junta de la FEDA que se designase a Santa Teresa de Jesús como patrona de los aficionados al ajedrez aduciendo los siguientes datos.

Entre 1564 y 1567 Santa Teresa escribió una obra ascética que denominó, “Camino de perfección” en la que aparecen interesantes menciones al ajedrez (uso la edición de Espasa–Calpe, Madrid 1958).

El capitulo XVI que lleva como epígrafe: “Que trata de cuan necesario ha sido lo que queda dicho para comenzar a tratar de oración”. El texto comienza así:

“Y no os parezca mucho todo esto que voy entablando el juego como dicen.

Pedisteme os dijese el principio de la oración. Yo, hijas, aunque no me llevó Dios por este principio (porque aun no le debo tener de estas virtudes), no sé otro. Pues cree que quien no sabe concertar las piezas en el juego de ajedrez, que sabrá mal jugar; y si no sabe dar jaque, no sabrá dar mate.

Ansí que me habéis de reprender porque hablo de cosa de juego no le habiendo en esta casa ni habiéndole de haber. Aquí veréis la madre que os dio Dios, que hasta esta vanidad sabía. Más dicen que es lícito algunas veces.

Y cuan licito será para nosotras esta manera de jugar, y cuan presto, si mucho lo usamos, daremos mate a este rey divino, que no sé os podrá ir de las manos, ni querrá. La dama es la que más guerra le puede hacer en este juego y todas las otras piezas ayuda.

No hay dama que ansí le pueda rendir como la humildad …”

Siguen unas disposiciones sobre la humildad y las demás virtudes y al final del capitulo, retoma la comparación ajedrecística:

“Mas contemplación es otra cosa, hijas. Que este es el engaño que todos traemos, que en llegándose uno un rato cada día a pensar sus pecados (que esta obligado a ello si es cristiano de más que nombre), luego dicen es muy contemplativo, y luego le quieren con tan grandes virtudes como esta obligado a tener el muy contemplativo, y aún él se quiere, mas yerra. En los principios no supo entablar el juego; pensó que bastaba conocer las piezas para dar mate y es imposible; que no se da este rey sino a quien se le da del todo”.

Hay otros Santos ajedrecistas mas antiguos, que consideraban que jugando con sus frailecitos era como se sentían mas próximos a Dios, San Genadio y San Rosendo, obispos mozarabes del siglo X, pero esa es otra historia.

La Junta Directiva de la FEDA aceptó la petición y tres años después, el 14 de octubre de 1944, el Arzobispado contestó aceptando el nombramiento.

El presidente de honor del sindicato

Tras todo un volumen IV de la serie “Mis grandes predecesores” poco podrá añadir Kasparov sobre la figura de Fischer en el ajedrez. Pero a cuenta de una crítica que realiza en The New York Times sobre un nuevo libro acerca de la figura del genial norteamericano no está de más recordar lo que quizá haya sido la gran aportación de Bobby Fischer al ajedrez: la parte financiera. ¿Después de leer la siguiente cita quién pondrá en duda las palabras de Spassky acerca de referirse a Fischer como “el presidente honorario de nuestro sindicato”?.

(…) the chess world of the pre-Fischer era was laughably impoverished even by today’s modest standards. The Soviet stars were subsidized by the state, but elsewhere the idea of making a living solely from playing chess was a dream. When Fischer dominated the Stockholm tournament of 1962, a grueling five-week qualifier for the world championship cycle, his prize was $750. (…) Ten years after Stockholm, the purse for the 1972 World Championship between Fischer and Spassky was an astronomical $250,000, plus side deals for a share of television rights.(…) My epic series of matches against Anatoly Karpov from 1985 to 1990 fanned the sponsorship flames into a blaze—we were not going to play only for the greater Soviet glory now that we knew there were millions of dollars to be had. We had learned more from Fischer than just chess. Last year’s world championship match, in which Viswanathan Anand of India defended his title against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in Sofia, had a prize fund of nearly $3 million despite receiving no real publicity outside of the chess world. In spite of corrupt federations and no coherent organization among themselves, the top players today do quite well without having to also teach classes or write books while trying to work on their own chess at the same time.

— Gary Kasparov