Nostos Festival 2021 Sneak Peek

by Frederic Friedel
7/1/2020 – Did you miss it? The Summer Nostos Festival, an international, multidimensional festival that gives us a week bursting with art, conversation, ideas, music, dance, performances, entertainment, and sports, for visitors of all ages, last Saturday streamed a preview of next year's edition. Watch it all, or just the in-depth discussion with Garry Kasparov and Judit Polgar.

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How has Technology Transformed Chess Competition?

The Summer Nostos Festival welcomed back Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov — widely considered to be the greatest chess player of all time. He was joined by Hungarian chess grandmaster Judit Polgár, the youngest of the renowned Polgár sisters, known as the greatest female chess player of all time.

In this sneak preview of next year’s Nostos University, Kasparov and Polgar examined how technology has transformed competition in chess and beyond. This topic is inspired by the 2021 SNF Conference’s theme of Humanity and Artificial Intelligence. You can learn how these two legendary players embraced chess as children in a world so different from the one chess players know today. You can find out about the barriers they broke through on their way to success and their contributions to major advances in competitive sports.

This stimulating discussion was hosted by former professional football player, mathematician, and chess super-fan, John Urschel. You also get to meet ChessBase co-founder and chess journalist Frederic Friedel, who explains surprising historical details from the early days when chess met computers. Finally, Greek grandmaster Hristos Banikas brings questions from some of his top young students.

The discussion with Kasparov, Polghar and Friedel begins at 1:21:58 into the video. If you want to see the introduction to the with GM Banikas (Greek, with subtitles) go back to 1:12:31.

Festival entertainment

The entire video that was streamed on Saturday is four hours and forty minutes long. Apart from the chess there is quite a bit of entertaining performance to watch. Here some suggestions:

Mark Mitton

He is a professional magician who is fascinated by using magic to better understand how we see the world. In addition to performing at private and corporate events all over the world, and creating magic for film, television, the Broadway stage, and Cirque du Soleil, Mark tirelessly explores the theme of ‘Misdirection’ from an interdisciplinary standpoint. He has performed for Mick Jagger, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Salman Rushdie, Sienna Miller, Mark Messier, Sting, Sylvester Stallone, and many others; at festivals in Europe and Asia; at the Olympic Games; in war-torn Liberia; in hospital wards around New York City; and in a Mexican orphanage with members of the band Guster. You can read more about him on his home page.

Mark and his wife Susanna are consulting producers of the Nostos Festival. They staged the video discussion with the chess experts. At Christmas 2019, in preparation, they visited Frederic Friedel in Hamburg, and Mark thoroughly enchanted the Friedel family (above Fred's son Martin and grandchildren Hennes and Enders) with his close-up magical tricks. Here's Mark performing at the Nostos Festival:

There are many other parts of the SNFestival RetroFuture video stream you might enjoy watching. In case you do not have 4¾ hours to watch it all, here are some recommendations:

Watching the above will give you hours of enjoyment. Perhaps it will animate you to make a trip to Athens for the 2021 Nostos Summer Festival?

Photo gallery of all the events

Videos of the 2019 events




Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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