Okay I have to admit that since the day I became truly obsessed of playing chess, there is no other contemporary chess player that really caught my imagination or spent many hours studying the master's games other than Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik's style of chess is more finely crafted than anyone I know of, not even Anand or Karpov (in my own personal observation) can match the way Kramnik transformed the dull looking sixty four squared chess board of opposite color and its thirty two stagnant pieces into something that is structurally beautiful like the Temple of Partheon or Mozart's 41'st "Jupiter" symphony. Simply put, Kramnik is my chess hero. And with all that said, it is quite ironic if I declare that I'm partially rooting for Anand against Kramnik in their championship match. And for what reason? I'm not hesitant to admit that I always prided myself (so as many Filipino chess fan's do, I believe) every time I heard on how Anand talks about getting started in chess as a young boy in his early days in the Philippines especially on how a popular chess television show help him to hone his tactical skills. In his first DVD in the series, My Career Anand fondly recalls:
“My sister found a chess club nearby when I was 7...A few years later my father got posted in Manila, in the Philippines, in 1979 right after the Karpov-Korchnoi match in Baguio. There was a 1 hour television show on chess everyday. My mother would record the game with pen and paper and then play it over with me when I got home from school. And we would also solve the puzzles. Eventually I solved so many of the puzzles that they invited me down to the television station. Each time you solved the puzzle they gave you a free book. Eventually they told me to come there and take all the books I want, but please don't enter the puzzle contest anymore!”
And if I'm not mistaken (please do correct me) that chess television show mentioned by Anand was hosted by no other than FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes?
But anyway, Of Anand and Fischer who took residence in the Philippines for a couple of years, share the same good memories and both talks fondly of the days they spent in my country.
Thanks to Fred Lucas website for allowing me to post this beautiful picture here in ChessHeroes.