September 26, 2010
"Chess players are not movie stars — no one has ever stalked a chess player, at least not for playing chess — but some fans go to great lengths to meet and even play against the game’s best. Jonathan B. Crumiller is a fan, and he lived out a dream this month.
Crumiller, who is a master but certainly not a top player, is the chief operating officer of Princeton Consultants and lives and works in New Jersey. On Sept. 8, he was in London at a fund-raiser for Anatoly Karpov, the former world champion, who is running for president of the World Chess Federation. As part of the event, there was an auction to play a consultation game with Garry Kasparov, another former champion, and Nigel Short, who played Kasparov for the world title in London in 1993. Crumiller was one of two high bidders and teamed up with Kasparov against Short and Rajko Vujatovic, the other winning bidder. Crumiller and Kasparov were Black and alternated moves, as did Short and Vujatovic. After an interesting game, Vujatovic blundered, losing a rook, and he and Short soon resigned.
Six days later, Magnus Carlsen, the world’s No. 1 player, played 14 people simultaneously at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan as part of a promotion by Arctic Securities, one of Carlsen’s sponsors. Crumiller was one of the opponents. Interestingly, as Crumiller’s game began, it followed the Kan Sicilian, the same opening he had played with Kasparov.
Carlsen beat the other 13 players, and after the last of those games had ended, only Crumiller was left. Over the last 10 moves, he played Carlsen one on one, holding him to a draw.
After the game, Crumiller told Carlsen that he had played with Kasparov the week before and was surprised to hear Carlsen say, “I know; I realized it when you played the Kan Sicilian.” As Crumiller told the Web site the Week in Chess, the draw with Carlsen “finished up the most amazing chess week of my life.”
Excerpted from: "New Jersey Man Plays Out a Dream"