Hidden talents

by Johannes Fischer
1/15/2015 – Chess talent and a love for the game are fine things to have. However, many good chessplayers also had and have other passions. Emanuel Lasker held a PhD in Mathematics and liked to play Bridge and Go, Paul Keres was an excellent tennis player, and Anatoly Karpov owns an exquisite collection of stamps. Top players often reveal surprising skills.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


For years now Elisabeth Pähtz, 2002 Youth World Champion U18, 2004 Junior World Champion U20, has been Germany's number one women player. She is very active and claims to be "at home when at chess tournaments". Hovever, on the occasion of her 30th birthday on January 2015 she revealed to the German newspaper Thüringer Allgemeine other passions apart from chess. As she said, if not for her chess career, she would have liked to study voice.

Elisabeth Pähtz visiting Hamburg

Not without reason. As the following performance at the Chess Olympiad 2014 in Tromso showed.

The song "Can't help falling in a love again" has been a favorite of many interpreters, the most famous one was arguably Elvis Presley - who, incidentally, was also born on January 8 1935, on the day 50 years before Elisabeth Pähtz.

And did you recognize the man on guitar accompanying Elisabeth Pähtz? It is no other than outspoken columnist, eloquent commentator and former World Championship challenger Nigel Short. In fact, Short not only knows how to put pawns and pieces on the right squares and to explain chess but also knows how attractive a guitar can be.

His ironic, sometimes acerbic wit, and his extensive knowledge of the game and its history also make the two ChessBase DVDs, on which he retells his career, entertaining and a pleasure to watch. No wonder he called them "Greatest Hits 1" and "Greatest Hits 2".

Nigel Short, Greatest Hits in the Shop...

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register