|Player Profile (November 2003)
Richard P. Fleming (2505U)
USA Co-Champion in 2003, 1st
Email United States CC Championship
I grew-up in Colorado during the Fischer chess boom. My opportunities for chess play and information were limited but I followed Fischer’s advice and played games constantly against myself. I read and studied any bit of chess information I could find (the local library being my main source) and essentially taught myself a few of the nuances of the game.
In high school I played board one for our team for three years. Quite wonderfully in 1971 I was able to travel to Denver to watch Fischer rout Larsen 6-0 in their Candidates match. Entering college meant that chess could no longer be much of a concern and I gave up the game almost completely for a decade. My chess interests never completely died but I knew I would never have the time for over-the-board tournaments. So I looked into correspondence chess. I tried postal chess but it was frustratingly slow and full of problems. But then came the Internet and email—what an asset it is for many chess players. (While these days I am a philosophy professor at Bucknell University, I greatly dislike the computer obsession that follows us everywhere and I refuse to use University email or have a computer in my office. I only use a private email address for my chess activities.)
I was very much interested in the Kasparov Vs The World game and followed joyfully the postings of Irina Krush and several others. When that game ended, a few of us tried to keep some of the World Team together. In recent years the World Team has played games against IM Yin Hao and GM Nick de Firmian. My contact with World Team discussions and later with Yin Hao (one of his World Team games is published in Tim Harding’s 64 Great Chess Games) was quite helpful in my chess improvement and for my return to serious correspondence play. While I see no reason for someone like me to play chess for anything but intellectual stimulation and fun, I do take it rather seriously these days.
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