Sunday, 8 July 2007

GM Ian Rogers retires a winner

GM Ian Rogers, Australia's number 1 player for over 20 years has won the Lidums Checkmate Open that has just been completed in Adelaide. Ian finished on 6/7 after defeating IM Andras Toth in the final round, with his two closest competitors GM Dejan Antic and Sam Chow drawing their final game.
At the closing ceremony he then announced his retirement from competitive chess, due to health reasons. Unfortunately Ian has a medical condition that is exacerbated by the stress of tournament play and therefore cannot compete at the highest level.
He played in the Adelaide tournament to fulfill a commitment he made to the organisers, knowing in advance that this would be his last tournament.
Having known Ian for many years, and organised a number of tournaments he has played in, it is fitting that his final tournament, and final victory, was in an Australian weekend event. Ian has for a long time been the biggest drawcard in Australian chess, and merely by playing in the many weekend events he helped build up the chess culture in this country, even if the tournament conditions may not have matched a player of his stature.
Of course Ian will still be involved in chess, both through his writing and his coaching. And I'm sure his services will be in great demand as a team captain/coach for chess teams in the various European leagues or countries at the Olympiad.


Anonymous said...

News about the retirement of GM Ian Rogers sounds like a poor excuse. Its like Roger Federer not playing anymore tennis after winning 5 Wimbledon titles in a row? Ian is one of Australia's all-time greats in Chess. Should he have some responsibility for his countries chess future? Australian's young chess generation will lose Ian's experience and knowledge. Is this a selfish attitude - remember he is about 47 years old - and very few chess GMs retire at this age - at the near top of their career?
Also, when is Ian's book of best games coming out?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a great career Ian!

Anyone who knows Ian can only have the greatest respect for his contribution (normally poorly compensated) to Australian chess in every form.

Good luck with your future!

Andrew Allen.

Anonymous said...

Hi 'Anonymous' (July 9),

How 'selfish' of GM Ian Rogers to be suffering from a debilitating medical condition. A 'poor excuse' and generally poor form all round.
Yeah, right...

Just WHAT is your problem?! Ian has been one of the all-time finest ambassadors for Australian chess and arguably our best ever player. Even if he didn't have medical problems shouldn't he be allowed to retire in his mid forties (like GM Yasser Seirawan for instance) without cheapshots from your ilk? You are giving all us other Anonymouses a bad name ...

Yours etc, Another 'Anonymous'

Bill and Jean Egan said...

Anyone who knows Ian Rogers would know that he would never give up his passion, competitive chess, for other than genuine reasons. As for responsibility for his countries chess future, no one has contributed more to Australian chess, in a totally unselfish manner, than Ian and he will continue to be an inspiration to coming generations of juniors (and Seniors!)for years to come, along with his equally committed partner Cathy

Bill Egan

Anonymous said...

I have met Ian and he does not need an excuse he is our greatest in all areas. But because chess is considered a sport many drugs are illegal to use so he cannot treat his condition. He has gone without for a number of years affecting his health and I hope now he can have some very well earned rest. There should be a story on the front page of all Australian papers celebrating all he has done.

Phil Willis said...

A sad day for Australian chess.

Congratulations Ian on an incredible career. (Who else can say they were the best at anything in Australia for 20 years?)

We will miss you.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately Ian has a medical condition that is exacerbated by the stress of tournament play.. and therefore CANNOT COMPETE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL..." yea right! he was never at the highest levels in chess. australians are just making a legend out of an average GM because AUSTRALIA HAS NO CHESSPLAYERS.

Unknown said...

to anonymous above,

According to your logic then, anyone not in the top 10 world FIDE list should not be remembered.

I would like to see you do better since you don't seem to have a very high opinion of rogers.

Anonymous said...

you're right, i dont have a high opinion of rogers. come on, the guy was never in the top level of chess, at least the level that would grant him to be a "legend" [the chess idol that you australians seem to consider him as]. he invented nothing substantial and chess is not better off from his existence. it has nothing to do with being in FIDE's "top ten". it's to do with quality...and of course, class.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who can criticise Rogers is an idiot so far as I am concerned. He was the first Australian GM which is a big achievement considering that chess probably was not that popular there at the time. Health comes first and so him retiring is a wise decision. Perhaps he can play correspondence chess and still enjoy the game without suffering the tension and stress of over the board play or maybe coach some of Australias younger talent for the future. Best wishes to Ian Rogers for the future.

Anonymous said...

well, if he is so sick then howcome he isn't worried about doing the blindfold simultaneous today? haha

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said
"australians are just making a legend out of an average GM"

Yeah, like there's such thing as an average GM. You obviously have no idea how good GMs are compared to average players like you.


Anonymous said...

well, looks like someone has no understanding! a grandmaster title does not qualify one to be a legend. [a legend- the sort that has contributed to the game of chess- the sort that in 20 years time we will look back on and marvel at fantastic novelties and strategems that he invented or evolved].

there are many GMs. ian rogers is one of the many on the list whose games will not be remembered or analysed for an extraction of richness...ever

so stop making a fuss of him


Anonymous said...

I remember Rogers from around 1980, when I played a couple of tournament games against him in New York. The New York chess scene was very strong, including some awesome ex-Soviet GM's. I remember thinking that Rogers was extraordinary. How did he get so strong in Australia? He more than held his own in every tournament here and in Europe.

I don't want to run on too much because I'm not writing an obituary; he's still alive and still in chess. Perhaps he should write some books. There must be a powerful lot of chess knowledge in that small package, waiting to get out :-)

Anonymous said...

i doubt it

Anonymous said...

"well, looks like someone has no understanding!"

Yes, and that someone is you. To be a grandmaster requires technique, creativity and ability, qualities which I doubt you have.

One can be a legend by popularising chess in a country, being the first grandmaster and top in a country where chess is not popular, both of which Rogers has done, playing in the top minute fractions of a percent of all players in the world. Of course that should be celebrated and appreciated.

Sounds like you are another lonely kid out there and have self-esteem issues.

Anonymous said...

i disagree. taking your new criteria in distinguishing a legend: if you look at popularity - arianne C has made more contribution to chess popularity in australian than ANYONE in the past, present and probably future. rogers cannot compare. if you look at actual chess technique - he cant be a legend there either, since his play is nowhere near the qualitative chess play of the players we look at for deep knowledge. you wont be looking at roger's chess in 50 years and marvelling. he didnt come up with anything significant. so...legend?

Anonymous said...

well arianne C is a legend, for other reasons :) But people are looking at roger's chess NOW and marvelling, plus only GM in his country, hence legend.

Anonymous said...

Also you seem to be suggesting that it isn't possible for Caoli and Rogers to both be legends which is illogical.

Anonymous said...

alright, for the arguement of rogers being a legend or not - you win! ONLY in the sense of: rogers is a legend BECAUSE he is the only significant GM in australia [i mean, you cannot take GM darryl johansenn's title seriously]. for this reason and this reason alone is ian rogers a "legend". for, as can be seen from the long list of these comments, his "legend" status does not meet other [in my opinion, more weighty] criteria.


Anonymous said...

I am not Australian.

Anonymous said...

that is irrelevant

Anonymous said...

Actually it isn't. Rogers is a worldwide legend instead of an Australian legend.

Anonymous said...

oh really? want to take a random sample from common chess players in europe or america, if they have ever marvelled [or seen] a game of ian rogers? 10% may know his name. of that, 50% will know he comes from some "oh yea, a weak chess country". and if you would like to take this random sample up the ladder - and ask proffesional chess players if they know rogers - 80% will say yes, "he is from australia i think yea?".

one fact is clear: the overwhelming majority of both of these random samples will not define rogers as a legend in the chess world.

that is why, *your* nationality is not relevant. you are one person, who probably has a link to australia anyway [i mean, sean presse's blog isnt that known even amongst australians]. and if im wrong about that, yipee.

my point is made. and hey, i'm not against rogers. i'm just putting the word "legend" into perspective.

Anonymous said...

one fact is clear: the overwhelming majority of both of these random samples will not define rogers as a legend in the chess world.

I suppose you have done a random sample then!! You speak for the whole world! Nice statistics. What you fail to understand is that the legend status is entirely subjective. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN DEFINITION. Furthermore your disregard for facts is endearing. What is clear is Rogers is in the top fraction of players in the world. Mark Crowther on TWIC (world famous) links to this site, and gives Rogers's games to marvel at. So once again you're wrong. Rogers also played in the 4NCL in England, the games of which are widely published.

Okey doke. No-one's ever seen his games, righto. No-one's ever heard of him. Time to stop wasting time on this, I've better things to do.

Anonymous said...

haha. and your site has, what, 3 hits per day? no need for statistic samples on that one :)

Anonymous said...

I don't have a site. Think you misunderstood yet again.

Anonymous said...

well no. i am drawing a logical conclusion that only losers such as you and myself would be online arguing about the so called legend [very rapidly and regularly, might i add]. and with the very minimal amount of people who visit "chess express", and, in particular - the page of comments on ian rogers - as regularly as you and i do, [as proven by our conversational postings), make me conclude that it must be the webmaster that i am arguing with.

logical enough for you, chess player? ;)

Anonymous said...

Nice logic ;) Unfortunately there are other people out there who have to do particularly boring things, like me. Posting here relieves some boredom, trust me.

By that logic you must be the webmaster.

Anonymous said...

You're still wrong, that's my final word. Time to move on to other things. See ya!

Anonymous said...

oh! you just contradicted yourself. i am "wrong". i thought we agreed that LEGEND is a subjective term?! :)

Anonymous said...

and the webmaster would not be attacking his own post, which states rogers as a legend. nice logic, eh?

Anonymous said...

I am from England, and I can well imagine that Ian Rogers would be regarded as a legend by chess players in Australia, for the reason that he has been their best player for many many years. He is also very well respected in England for his writing. Best of luck to him ans a shame he has had to give up playing

Anonymous said...

well, thats why i said he is a legend in the minds of australians

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I believe legendary status is relative and Ian Rogers can rightly be called a legend without being compared to Fischer or Kasparov.

There are many countries and territories who have legends (multi-time national champions) or people who have made an impact on a national level. That is quite an honorable thing.

I live in the U.S. and I have known about GM Rogers over the years and remember his Center Counter games. He motivated me to find answers against 1...d5!? after seeing him win with it against strong players. He played the opening when it was not considered a viable option against 1.e4.

Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Anonymous said...

A view from a third (and neutral?) country Bangladesh. I think, to all Asian and UK / US chess players who have played chess in 80s and 90s, Ian is a legendary name. Being an old ameteur myself, merely the news of his retirement brought me to the link and all the comments.

I wish him good health and expect valuable works on chess from him.

Anonymous said...

GM Ian Rogers is a Legend. Good Luck Mate

Anonymous said...

GM Ian Rogers is NOT a legend. An Australian chess player - the best, no doubt. End of story.

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Anonymous said...

Rogers is indeed a legend of Australian chess. He was our first GM and, despite aspersions made here, far from a "bunny GM". Several of his opening innovations appear in NCO as well as many of his observations being well regarded by the international chess community.

The chief naysayer in this thread does have a point - he was never a top 10 player and never even a Super-GM but he remains a player who could defeat said naysayer 1000000 out of 1000000 if time would allow such a thing.

Rogers remains Australia's most notable Grandmaster and nobody can deny his contributions to opening theory.

Anonymous said...

I think these comments are classic! I love how some 10 year old clown comes out and bags Ian Rogers and then some even bigger clown wastes his time trying to argue with the neanderthal. It's so entertaining, thanks guys :) Classic!

PS Ian Rodgers well done, most of us don't know incredibly difficult it is to get to the higher echelons of any endeavour, let alone an insanely complex game like chess. Are you a legend, probably not, but you have done Australia proud by performing at a high professional level and flying our Aussie flag at many tournaments. good job.

Mike Salter said...

I'm very late on this one I know, but thought I should add my best wishes to the others on here. Ian was an inspiration to me and to all of the other Oz junior players of my era; his achievement in becoming a GM despite growing up in Australia, a world away from the centre of gravity of world chess, was a remarkable one in anyone's language.

And later when I got to know him (and play against him a few times), I admired him even more for his endless good humour, his willingness to help other players, and his enormous knowledge of the game.

Enjoy your retirement Ian, you'll be sorely missed.

Best regards,
Mike Salter.

Anonymous said...

My name is Guy Rogers. Ian is my half brother and a guy I love very much.

I dont know much about chess, having taken the path of martial arts rather than following in Ian's world, but we have one thing in common and that is passion for what we do.

Whether Ian is a 'legend' in the chess world overall hardly matters, he did amazing things for chess in australia and, when last I went and saw him, was still giving to his sport and the community in so far as coaching at a school for kids with autism on the Gold Coast.

And when I travelled across Europe a few years ago I still rememember people coming up to him and talking to him about games and so on. He is the most humble and kindest guy on the planet and i know how upset he was to retire from something he loves so much. It was a desicion forced on him rather than chosen by him.

And anyone that feels it is OK to bag someone who has spent most of their life chasing their dream but doesn't have the intergrity to put a name to what they have written, well, what can I say. . . If you where to tell me that you where anyone of any signifigance in ANY world, I would be amazed.

But to everyone else who has supported and left such nice messages of suport for my brother (as I consider him to be), thank you. I am honoured to be related to Ian and am eternally proud of him, regardless of what others think or say.

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Anonymous said...

Legends are made by people who contribute great things. Ian was a great player but more importantly, he made a huge contribution to Australian chess. Additionally, he was a gentleman. I have fond memories of his support for Queensland chess and playing Ian in the last round of a tournament. I played the Grunfeld and Ian gave me a copy of our game along with other Grunfelds he had played. I was very grateful he removed my last 2 desperate moves which were rubbish. A true gentleman!
Thanks Ian and enjoy your retirement,
best regards
Mike Wilkinson

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Anonymous said...

Ian Rogers was a great Australian player, I played and lost a friendly game against him when he was about 13 years old, at his parent's home in Heidelberg.
However there is a greater Australian chess player than Rogers, this man was the first Australian Grandmaster, the first World Champion in Corresponce Chess(both in 1953) and proberly wrote the book that taught Ian Rogers to play chess. His name is Cecil John Seddon Purdy 1906 - 1979.

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Anonymous said...

We used to go the the Ivanhoe Chess Club together every Tuesday. Ian, myself and the the West brother, driven by Mr.s West, so I knew Ian from school age.

Ian went on, and I followed his career even though I travel extensively. People should let him retire undefeated. I can see how the stress has taken its toll on his health.

If you are reading this Ian, Cheers mate!
Michael Sharp, Macleod.

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