Thursday 10 July 2008

The Worlds Strongest Amateur

I was discussing the future chess career of GM Zong Yuan Zhao with a couple of fellow players last week, and suggested he very well may become the worlds strongest amateur. By that I mean a player who makes his main living not from chess (or chess related activities such as writing or coaching), but still plays at 2600+
In reply IM Andras Toth stated that that title had already been taken, suggesting Hungarian GM Peter Acs as the most likely claimant. Mathew Sadler was another named mentioned in conversation, although G. Kasparov was not.
Any other suggestions? And does the criteria I have given above adequately describe an "amateur" but not necessarily a "player"?

Here is a game from 2002 when Peter Acs was still a professional player, and carried the reputation of a "drunken machine-gunner"

Van Wely,L (2681) - Acs,P (2591) [E48]
Essent Crown Hoogeveen NED (6), 19.10.2002

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Nge2 Re8 8.0-0 Bd6 9.a3 Ng4 10.h3 Nh2!(D)
11.Re1 Nf3+!! 12.gxf3 Qg5+ 13.Kh1 Qh4 14.Nf4 Bxh3 15.Ncxd5 Re6 16.Nxe6 Bf5+ 17.Kg1 Qh2+ 18.Kf1 Bg3!! 0-1


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