Garry Kasparov in Naples

4/9/2011 – It cost $1000 for a place in the simul, $5000 for a blitz game against the famous World Champion. The money went to an organisation called Revere America, and the event took place in the private Collier Automotive Museum, in Naples, Florida. Garry gave the visitors a pleasurable evening, the visitors took home photos and signed memorabilia. One of them, Keith Trainor, sent us his impressions.

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Garry Kasparov in Naples

By Keith Trainor

The evening started at five p.m., but many people arrived up to an hour earlier. They had a caterer serve hors d'oeuvres and wine starting at five. All together I would estimate there were about fifty spectators. Garry Kasparov wore a light blue suit. His wife Dasha and daughter Aida and assistant Mig Greengard were with him.

Garry arrived just before five p.m. and walked in the front door like everyone else. He was very approachable and gladly posed for pics and autographs and loved to talk chess and politics. Then all the people who were playing him got to take their picture with him.


That's me with the chess legend

You would stand with Garry. In front of you was a small table with a chess board and a few pieces on it. Two kings and two queens that were all placed in the center of the board. The board was tilted forward so it would show in the picture. Behind you and Garry was a McLaren F1 automobile. One of only 68 in the world. The world's fastest street legal automobile.

When Garry was done posing for pictures with the players he would face, he took some photos with spectators who brought their own camera. He then sat by the simul area to sign all of the certificates. Each player received a certificate signed by him to commemorate the evening. While he signed these he happened to be sitting in my seat at the simul board. So I approached him and we talked chess for a couple of minutes. I asked him if he played 1.e4 and I countered with a6 what would he think of that. He said he knew the game, it was Karpov-Miles. And that he was there when it was played. He said he was board eight then and he walked over and glanced at their board and was trying to figure out how the heck the game started. I asked him whether, if I played that tonight, he would he consider it an insult. He laughed and said no.

Karpov,Anatoly (2725) - Miles,Anthony J (2545) [B00]
EU-chT (Men) 07th Skara (1.1), 01.1980
1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.Qe2 e6 6.a4 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Nbd2 b4 9.e5 Nd5 10.Ne4 Be7 11.0-0 Nc6 12.Bd2 Qc7 13.c4 bxc3 14.Nxc3 Nxc3 15.Bxc3 Nb4 16.Bxb4 Bxb4 17.Rac1 Qb6 18.Be4 0-0 19.Ng5 h6 20.Bh7+ Kh8 21.Bb1 Be7 22.Ne4 Rac8 23.Qd3 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 Qxb2 25.Re1 Qxe5 26.Qxd7 Bb4 27.Re3 Qd5 28.Qxd5 Bxd5 29.Nc3 Rc8 30.Ne2 g5 31.h4 Kg7 32.hxg5 hxg5 33.Bd3 a5 34.Rg3 Kf6 35.Rg4 Bd6 36.Kf1 Be5 37.Ke1 Rh8 38.f4 gxf4 39.Nxf4 Bc6 40.Ne2 Rh1+ 41.Kd2 Rh2 42.g3 Bf3 43.Rg8 Rg2 44.Ke1 Bxe2 45.Bxe2 Rxg3 46.Ra8 Bc7 0-1.

I didn't play it, though. So it was time for the simul to begin. Everyone was seated.

Some spectators were standing behind the players but the ones who paid $200 got to watch from the next floor up, with a great bird's-eye view of the event. My girlfriend sat up there and took some pictures.

The games began. Mine was the first game to start. Garry said: "Here you go, Keith," and played e4, then walked around clockwise. He didn't rush. There was no need to. If you needed more time he would just skip you and catch you the next time around. One player lost in only a couple of moves.

The only female playing was the second person out. She didn't notice an easy checkmate by Garry. I was the third to lose. Here are the moves of my embarrassing game:

Garry Kasparov-Keith Trainor: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 f6 4.c3 a6 5.d4 b5 6.Bd5 Nge7 7.0-0 Nxd5 8.exd5 Na5 9.dxe5 fxe5 10.Nxe5 d6 11.Qh5+ g6 12.Nxg6 resigns: 1-0.

Garry seemed to made quick work of everyone. The person who held out the longest looked as if he was around seventeen years old. As soon as Garry had won all twelve games they did the drawing to see who would play Garry at speed chess, and the kid who won the drawing was the same one who held out the longest in the simul. He also had the opportunity to play Garry in speed chess a second time, since he had paid for that as well. So Garry played him twice, once with White and once with Black.

During the first game it was discovered that the clock wasn't working right. Time was coming off Garry's clock but not from the other one. So a spectator ran to his car and brought back a digital clock for them to use. After Garry won both speed games (one on time) he played two speed games with a visiting young FIDE master who had traveled from a South American country. Garry easily won both of those games.

All the players from the simul were allowed to keep the board and pieces, and Garry would sign the boards, the cases that held the pieces, your scoresheet and anything else you wanted him to sign. I was very impressed by the quality of the boards and pieces.

The night was wrapped up around 8:30 p.m., and the last half hour was for touring the car museum, which is usually closed to the public. Garry walked around with his family and explored the museum, as did my girlfriend and I.

Lots of old vintage cars that were 70 and 80 years old. I just wanted to see a Ford Model T, and they had a really nice one there. They had tons of old Rolls Royces, Jaguars, Bentleys, Lotus, etc. All in all, it was a fun night. My only wish was that Garry would be selling some of his books there, but he didn't.


The invitation

  • Play A Simul Game – up to ten boards, includes entry into a draw to play a blitz game against Kasparov, $1,000 each

  • Play A Blitz Game – play one-on-one with Garry, only two blitz games offered, $5,000 each

  • Sponsor A Student for the Simul-Game – (through high school level only) – up to ten boards, $500 each, accompanied by two adults

Players must be true amateurs who have 1999 Elo points or fewer, no exceptions. No player who has ever held a rating of 2000 or more is permitted. No coaching or computer assistance is permitted.

Revere America defines itself as "a non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing common sense public policies rooted in our traditions of freedom and free markets." Revere America Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization.

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