Rogoff on chess addiction and why he had to give up the game

by ChessBase
12/16/2011 – One of the highlights of the London Chess Classic has been the visits of a large number of important and interesting people. One of them, the Professor and world-renowned economist Ken Rogoff, is also a chess grandmaster. He was whisked away from the VIP room at Olympia for an interview with the BBC, in which he very frankly discusses the dangerous side of his former chess career.

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Ken Rogoff on chess addiction and why he had to give up the game

Kenneth Saul Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He has served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and has also been an advisor on the team of a recent presidential candidate.

As a former chess grandmaster, who at the height of this career he was ranked number forty in the world, Ken has not been able to abandon his love of the game. Last year and this year again he visited the London Chess Classic, and in fact even joined in the live commentary of games. In the VIP room he was consulted by practically everbody, especially at a time when the world economy seems to be in serious trouble and the European monetary union on the verge of collapse.

Rogoff explaining things to GM Nigel Short and Pakistani women's champion
Dr. (Med.) Nida Siddiqui, who was playing in the Open

On the free day the sponsor give a private dinner for special guests: organiser Malcolm Pein,
Ken Rogoff, sponsor Peter Davies, Garry Kasparov and Natasha Rogoff, a film producer in New York

Every year Harvard Economics Professor Ken Rogoff says he recieves an unsolicited letter from one of the world's top chess players. It is a different one every year but the question is the same: how can I get out of chess.

Because Ken Rogoff is one of those exceptional people who has managed to excel not just in one field but in two.

Professor Rogoff has been chief economist at the IMF, he's worked the Federal Reserve, but he had a life before economics. As a child Ken developed an all-consuming passion for chess. He left home - and school - at 15 to pursue this passion and he did very well indeed. He became an international grand master -- the highest title in chess and was once ranked 40th in the World.

Justin Rowlatt asks Ken Rogoff why was forced to decide to stop playing the game he loved.

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