Who is Mig Greengard?

by ChessBase
7/23/2002 – He has seldom been seen in public, hardly anyone has actually met this reclusive person. But now the Dutch chess magazine New in Chess, in a desperate search for new material, asked ChessBase columnist Mig to fill out their last page questionnaire. It contains the sordid details of Mig's life, his likes and dislikes, his development from a cute little kid to the character he is today. If you have the stomach for it you will find it here...

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The famous Dutch Magazine New in Chess recently suffered such a desperate lack of material that they asked ChessBase columnist Mig to fill out their last page questionnaire. With NIC's kind permission we reproduce it below, adding some links and several answers they didn't have room to print. (Or maybe they just thought better of it.)

Name: Mig Greengard
Date of birth: June 9, 1969
Place of birth: Northern California, USA
Place of residence: New York City
Current Elo: I am not a number!
Current position in world rankings: Reclining

What is your favorite color? The hue of my beloved's cheek when the morning sunlight glances off her sleeping face. No, wait, purple.

What is your favorite kind of food? Anything lethally spicy. Food should cause your scalp to sweat.

Which is your favorite drink? A free one. Or a White Russian (Kahlua, vodka, cream) ordered in Moscow, where they'd never heard of it and, after much confusion, made something with whipped cream.

Who is your favorite writer? Fiction: Salman Rushdie. Non-fiction: Gore Vidal. (Hon. mention HL Mencken)

What was the best or most interesting book you ever read? Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children.'

What is your all-time favorite movie? 'It Happened One Night.' Movies have gone downhill since 1960.

Who is your favorite actor? Cary Grant. Accept no imitations.

And your favorite actress? Uma Thurman. At least I hear she acts.

What music do you prefer to listen to? Modern rock, hard rock, tango orchestra. Really.

What is your favorite music record? That changes weekly. Currently it's "White Blood Cells" by the White Stripes. And they're called CDs now.

Do you have a favorite painter or artist? Chardin.

Which is the best chess game you ever saw? (Assuming this means seen in person.) Shirov-Polgar, Buenos Aires, 1994 was very entertaining for spectators. Kasparov-Kramnik, Moscow, 2001, Game 2 was a tremendous seven-hour battle.

Is there a chess book that had a profound influence on you? Nothing about my chess is profound, and most of my early books were complete crap. My first was a Reinfeld-Horowitz potboiler ("How to Think Ahead in Chess"), supposedly for beginners, that recommended always playing the Colle Stonewall with white and the Dragon Sicilian with black. My dark-squared bishops have been schizophrenic ever since.

What is the best chess game you ever played? "The Immolation Immortal." Greengard-Rivero, Buenos Aires, 1995. (Right) I sacrificed queen and rook for a mating attack and five moves later he gave back queen and rook to escape into a lost endgame.

What was your best result ever? In 1989, when I got to third base with Allison Fritts on our first date.

Who is your favorite chess player of all time? David Bronstein.

What is it that you appreciate most in a person? Wit.

Who would you have liked to be if you hadn't been yourself? Oscar Wilde, but without the buggery and the prison.

What is your best character trait? A sincere desire to make people happy, whether they like it or not.

What is your worst character trait? Vindictiveness. There's nothing in my dictionary between "forge" and "forgo."

Do you have a dream? The usual stuff. Fame, fortune, Uma Thurman.

What is your greatest fear? To one day discover I'm not as marvelous as my mother says I am.

Do you believe in the future of chess? Yes, but I've learned to keep my resume up to date.

Has chess made you happy? Definitely. However, I do sometimes wonder what I might have otherwise done with the tens of thousands of hours I've spent on chess. Then I go play some blitz.

As originally appeared in New In Chess magazine 2002/4 in modified form



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