Gata Kamsky, the only American player in the World Chess Championship Qualifying Tournament in Russia, scored first blood today in his match against the French wunderkind Etienne Bacrot by playing an aggressive defense known—appropriately enough for a match being held in Russia—as the Leningrad Dutch. Mig Greengard has a nice discussion of the game—Bacrot flagged on the clock in an apparently drawn endgame when he failed to make his fortieth move in time—on his Daily Dirt blog on the ChessNinja Web site.
While Kamsky was preparing for the game, I took my son to an early morning showing of the interminable “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Sandwiched among the previews shown before the three-hour film was a Hyundai commercial. When the announcer described a Hyundai car buyer as “smart,” the commercial reinforced the intellectualism of the buyer with an image of a chess game in progress.
Perhaps my favorite advertisement that makes uses of chess was a TV commercial for milk, in which a cow defeats the legendary curmudgeonly grandmaster Victor Korchnoi.