Bridge, Chess and Mathematics- by Paolo Enrico Garrisi

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 The world chess champion, the Indian Vishwanathan Anand, has yesterday played simultaneously against forty mathematicians, a selection from the participants to International Congress of Mathematicians at Hyderabad, in India.   

The result has been Anand 39,5-Mathematicians 0,5 i.e. Anand has won 39 games and draw one. (Note: this doesn’t say that Anand is forty times more intelligent than a mathematic: it just says that he has studied more chess technique.)

 Many have played successfully both games: we remember the Cuban José Raoul Capablanca, world chess champion since 1921 to 1927; the American Emanuel Lasker, he too world chess champion, defeated by the same Capablanca. Lasker wrote the chronicles of the Anglo-American match Culbertson-Buller in 1933, the first Schwab Trophy. Last but no least, Lasker has been a “strong” mathematic: his researches have driven Emily Noether toward her discoveries (for mathematicians: see the Lasker-Noether theorem).

 Need to signal also Victor Korcnoj and Bobby Fisher: they hadn’t been strong bridgeplayers, but loved our game.

 The best Chess-Bridgeplayer of today is a woman: Irina Levitina. She has won three Venice cups and, when younger, has been runner up twice  in world female chess championship.


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