Friday 14 August 2015

His own private 737

Top GM's (and I mean very top GM's) make a decent enough living from chess, due to appearance fees, prize money, and in recent times, product endorsements. However they generally have to ask for them on a case by case basis, and I suspect there isn't a list of standard conditions that the 2750+ GM's are expected to receive.
But for all the conditions, inducements or other payments that players have received over the years, it would be hard to top what Nigel Short just scored on a trip to southern Africa. While flying from South Africa to Zimbabwe, GM Short found he was the only passenger on an Air Zimbabwe 737. This was a fully equipped plane, that can seat anywhere between 85 and 212 passengers (depending on the model), and a full service crew. Apparently 4 people had booked this flight, but when the plane took off, the other 3 passengers had cancelled, leaving Short with a 737 all to himself. As befitting his role as the sole passenger, the in flight announcements were addressed to him personally, and he received quite good in flight service. The only complaint from Nigel was that they did not give him an upgrade from economy!
After the flight he both shared this on facebook and even did an interview with the BBC Newsday. You can catch a replay of it here.

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