Alabama Shakes Add New Tour Dates To Schedule

first_imgThe Alabama Shakes aren’t about to let a few Grammy awards stop them from hitting the road. The band has been touring non-stop throughout 2016, hitting venues nationwide in support of their acclaimed 2015 release, Sound & Color. The band has added five new tour dates today, spanning from September 16th through the 24th. The new dates find the group touring through the Southeast and Southern US, with stops in Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. They’ll also be joined by Corrine Bailey Rae for four of the five dates.You can scope the tour dates below and head to the band’s website for details.Alabama Shakes New Tour Dates*9/16 – Portsmouth, VA – Portsmouth Pavilion*9/20 – Tallahassee, FL – Capitol City Amphitheater*9/22 – New Orleans, LA – Champions Square9/23 – Austin, TX – Austin 360 Amphitheater*9/24 – The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion* with Corrine Bailey Raelast_img read more

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Gov. Wolf, Lt. Gov. Fetterman: New Task Force for Health Disparity to Address How COVID-19 Affects Minorities

first_imgGov. Wolf, Lt. Gov. Fetterman: New Task Force for Health Disparity to Address How COVID-19 Affects Minorities SHARE Email Facebook Twitter African American Affairs,  Asian Pacific American Affairs,  Latino Affairs,  Press Release,  Public Health Amid growing concern for how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting minority populations in the state and adding to existing health disparity issues, today Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced the creation of a COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity that will help communicate issues with how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and vulnerable populations.“We know of instances in Pennsylvania where major COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred in vulnerable communities, including ones where people do not speak English,” Gov. Wolf said. “We’re working to improve our data collection so we can get a better statistical understanding of how the virus has affected different groups of people. The Lieutenant Governor will be chairing a new Health Disparity Task Force that will work to identify short- and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in our vulnerable communities.”The Task Force is comprised of members of the Wolf Administration, led by Lt. Gov. Fetterman and including the executive directors of each of the governor’s five commissions representing minority populations, members of the Department of Health’s Health Equity Response team and those that serve as the contact for stakeholders, constituents and legislators on issues and concerns surrounding health disparity in Pennsylvania’s vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.In addition to multiple information-gathering meetings each week, this working group will proactively reach out to leaders in these communities to collect feedback, ideas, and general comments on this issue.The goal of the task force is to prepare recommendations to the governor that will address the short- and long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state’s minority and vulnerable communities.“It’s unconscionable for Black, Hispanic, and Asian-Pacific Pennsylvanians to be hit harder by this pandemic, which has highlighted the systemwide inequity that already existed in these communities,” said Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman. “It’s our job to keep all Pennsylvanians safe, and we need to reach into these communities and create a line of communication straight to the governor, so we can stop the spread of COVID-19.”The Department of Health releases daily data on those affected with COVID-19, but data on race has been in short supply.“Currently we are missing that vital race information from approximately 70% of the data we are receiving from providers,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the Department of Health. “Yesterday we issued a reminder to hospitals and other providers that it is mandatory to report race data. We need to gather this information for a complete picture of how the virus is affecting black or African-American, Hispanic and other vulnerable communities. An increase in reporting race data means less anecdotal evidence and more facts to rely on for accurately tracking where and how we can best serve our minority populations.”“By working proactively with leaders of different communities across our commonwealth, we can better ensure nobody gets left out as we start to recover from this crisis,” Gov. Wolf said. “We all need to continue to work together to get through this pandemic. We need to continue to care for one another. We need to continue to support each other. And we need to continue to be mindful of how our actions affect others.”View this information in Spanish.center_img April 15, 2020last_img read more

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Stones sees positives for Everton

first_img “The break was massively important to regroup and regenerate and to look back on the games we played and look at the positives and negatives and try to put them straight,” said the centre-back. “We always have to keep in mind where we are going wrong but, especially for us, it was a great break to get away, pick a few key points which were going wrong in games. “Everyone enjoyed it, particularly in the warm weather, and we got closer and bonded more. “We have looked really solid at the back. We work hard on that and on trying to express ourselves going forward and I think we showed that in parts but not enough to go and get goals. “We have really turned a corner and we are looking on the up in the second half of the season.” If holding their near-neighbours, who have clicked into another gear since the turn of the year, at bay took organisation and determination that and more will be required against the Premier League leaders on Wednesday. Everton have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1994 but Stones believes they can face Chelsea confident in playing their own game. “We will approach it as any other game, go in with a positive attitude and see how we can do,” he added. The Toffees went into the 224th Merseyside derby with the fifth-worst defensive record in the Premier League but the goalless draw earned a third successive clean sheet. Two of those, which have brought four points, have come since the squad returned from a warm-weather break in Qatar, where there was not only plenty of team-bonding but a large amount of time spent at looking where things have gone wrong this season. Everton defender John Stones believes a period of introspection and assessment has helped put wrong some of the side’s problems. “They have a better balance in their team (than last season). Jose Mourinho is very good at picking his players and we have to go there with a plan, stick to it and see how we can break them down while playing our game. “If we can do that, put a stamp on the game, and make Chelsea afraid of us in some sense I don’t think we will do too bad. “The gaffer wants us to play from the back so we will keep it moving on how we bring it out and start our football from the back. “We will definitely go to Chelsea with that mentality of getting it out, playing it how we do, with a positive attitude.” For all the talk of positivity there was not much on show at Goodison Park. Liverpool created more chances – the best of which saw 19-year-old Jordon Ibe strike the post on only his second Premier League start – and it was not until the 86th minute that the hosts registered their first effort on target when full-back Seamus Coleman forced Simon Mignolet to save. But, on the plus side for the Blues, they defended solidly and welcomed back influential midfielder James McCarthy for his first appearance since December 28. They will hope to have Leighton Baines back for the trip to Chelsea after he missed the game with a knee injury and while winger Aiden McGeady is out for longer with bone bruising on-loan Tottenham wide man Aaron Lennon made his debut in the derby and offers a like-for-like replacement. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Limerick hit by injuries for Clare match

first_imgPhoto: © limerickgaa.ie Gearoid Hegarty is also only rated at 50-50 for the match. Limerick will be without two of their best young hurlers for Sunday’s Munster Championship semi final with Clare in Thurles.Shannonsiders boss John Kiely has confirmed to the Limerick Leader that Diarmuid Byrnes and William O’Donoghue will miss the game.Both players are ruled out injured.last_img

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Quick Kick…Ides of March

first_imgWILLIE COLON Caesar: “Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue shriller than all the music cry “Caesar!” speak” Soothsayer: “Beware the ides of March.” Caesar:“What man is that?” Brutus: “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.” (Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19) The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting ready, really ready to face the Kansas City Chiefs on the upcoming prime time stage called MNF or known to common folk as Monday Night Football. No, of course not; this is not anywhere near ‘the ides of March because turkeys will be crying in a shrill voice soon but please hear this. The Steelers have been guilty in the past of playing up or down the competition. However, I don’t think that this will be the case this time around; well at least as far as Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon is concerned.“We are taking these guys very seriously” Colon says matter-of-factly. “Defensively and on paper they have a lot of first round guys. They are very athletic. This is one of those games that if you fall asleep you may find yourself in a hot dog fight. As far as us needing motivation their [the Chiefs] record doesn’t really show what we see watching them on tape. They can really get after guys.”Steelers’ running back Issac Redman echoed the sentiments of his colleague on offense. “These guys play us tough; they have for the past couple of years regardless of their record. We squeaked out a win last year we had about four turnovers and still only squeaked out a win 13-9. They’re turning the ball over at a high level right now but when they’re not turning the ball over they’re a tough team to beat. They showed that in the Baltimore [Ravens] game, but we aren’t the best right now at getting turnovers.”It is the opinion of a few prognosticators that the Steelers should have a slight advantage on offense based on the fact that their offensive coordinator Todd Haley is the former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Redman doesn’t read too much into that scenario.“I don’t think that it’s a big advantage but he’s given us a few pointers on what a couple of the defensive guys like to do in regards to their strengths and weaknesses.” Ladies and gentlemen on paper or papyrus the KC Chiefs do not remotely appear as if they should even show up on Monday night but beware, beware; “the ides of November.” If the Steelers want to remain around the postseason hunt in the “not for long league” (NFL) they had better play lights out football every week regardless of who they may be facing and what their record is.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the “Odd Couple Sports Show” where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11am during the NFL season. Listen to Aubrey’s archived “Odd Couple” segments on: www.worldspeakconnnection.com click on “Fair Catch.”)last_img read more

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Draymond Green on Game 2: ‘Aggressiveness starts with me’

first_imgTORONTO – Draymond Green had plenty to say, and the substance certainly boded more importance than whatever he said to Drake.Green had talked trash with the hip-hop star that moonlights as the Toronto Raptor’s ambassador following the Warriors’ loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Later, though, Green’s words reflected humility, self awareness and perhaps a sneak preview on what is in store for Game 2 on Sunday.The subject: Toronto forward Pascal Siakam finished with a post-season career high …last_img

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The Internet Is Convinced That Joe Lunardi Is Wearing A Toupée, And Is Unimpressed

first_imgA rack of NCAA basketballs.SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 21: NCAA basketballs in a rack on the court during the shoot-around proipr to the game between the Florida Gators and the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Florida defeated Fresno State 66-49. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)ESPN’s Joe Lunardi is one of college basketball’s most well-renowned bracketologists, but his most recent bracket isn’t what has Twitter abuzz during today’s early college basketball games. Many noticed something…strange about Lunardi’s hairdo, and are convinced that he’s wearing a toupée.Joe Lunardi is not fooling anyone with that toupee #CmonBro— Josef (@Joeyy_Steeze) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee has upped its OOC schedule and is in as a solid 7 seed right now— Andrew Rush (@idiotsonsports) February 28, 2015I currently have Joe Lunardi as a one seed in my “worst toupee bracket”— C Payne (@FakeCPayne) February 28, 2015I’ve got Joe Lunardi’s toupee as the 8th seed in the east #bracketology pic.twitter.com/iOeo7I3RZd— Jordan Jones (@theRealjwjones) February 28, 2015Lunardi needs to fire his toupee guy pic.twitter.com/MyK0CjyFD8— Rob Preslan (@RPreslan) February 28, 2015Why does Joe Lunardi keep up the facade of that awful toupee. Just let that bald head breathe!— M. Butler (@mbutlerOK) February 28, 2015Joe Lunardi’s toupee is projected to be a 14th seed in the NCAA Tourney!— Miran Maric (@MiranMaric) February 28, 2015Marv Albert is wondering what Joe Lunardi is doing with his 1986 toupee— ChicagoTerps (@ChicagoTerps) February 28, 2015Lunardi has been asked about this in the past, and denies it, for whatever that is worth.last_img read more

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Vaginal hygiene products like sprays wipes creams linked to infections study

first_imgTORONTO – Doctors have long advised women to avoid vaginal douching because of the risk of infection and other adverse effects, but a new study suggests other feminine hygiene products may be just as harmful.The University of Guelph-led study found that 95 per cent of almost 1,500 Canadian women surveyed about their use of over-the-counter sanitizing gels, anti-itch creams, moisturizers, sprays and wipes had used such products at least once in their lifetime.But the study also found that women who use feminine hygiene products are three times more likely to experience some type of vaginal infection. In some cases, women purchased a product to address an existing vaginal issue.“The study does not establish whether it is the products causing the infections or whether women are using the products in an attempt to address the infection,” said principal researcher Kieran O’Doherty, a social psychologist at the Ontario university.“However, the results do provide important evidence for strong correlations that need further research.”For example, women who used gel sanitizers — whether externally of internally — were eight times more likely to have a yeast infection and almost 20 times more likely to have reported bacterial vaginosis.Vaginosis is caused by the overgrowth of certain bacteria, a condition that occurs when the natural balance of microbes in the vagina is disturbed.“These products may be preventing the growth of the healthy bacteria required to fight off infection,” said O’Doherty, noting that emerging evidence has linked disruption of vaginal microbial systems with health problems.Pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, reduced fertility, ectopic and pre-term pregnancies, and bacterial and sexually transmitted infections are among the problems related to an abnormal vaginal microbiome, he said.The study, published in the journal BMC Women’s Health, found that women who used vaginal moisturizers and lubricants had 2.5 times higher odds of reporting a yeast infection and 50 per cent higher odds of a urinary tract infection, or UTI, compared to those who didn’t use those products.Women using feminine washes were almost 3.5 times more likely to have reported a bacterial infection and 2.5 times more likely to have had a UTI. Feminine wipes were associated with double the risks of a UTI.Dr. Chelsea Elwood, a reproductive infectious diseases specialist at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, said the study is one of the first to look at the use of these products in the Canadian context and it reaffirmed that their use is becoming more commonplace.Elwood, who was not involved in the research, stressed that the study found an association between use of vaginal hygiene products, but can’t determine whether they caused increased infections.“So it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg conversation,” she said from Vancouver.“Did they have the yeast infection and they reached for the vaginal moisturizer because they thought it would be helpful? Or did they reach for the vaginal moisturizer daily and then got a yeast infection because it disturbed what should normally be there?“This type of study can’t answer that question, but it makes us think that maybe this should be explored further, and that all of these products that are advertised to women are perhaps not as benign as they are advertised to be.”As a general rule, Elwood said she recommends that patients give feminine hygiene products a miss.“So moisturizers, anti-itch creams, wipes, douching, waxing as well as shaving, in particular, I encourage women just to leave things alone down there.”In a previous study, the Guelph researchers looked at why Canadian women might use the array of feminine hygiene offerings on the market, which the authors say represent a $2-billion industry in North America.“One of the findings was that women often spoke about how they used these products to feel ‘clean and fresh,’” a phrase that manufacturers often use to promote their goods, O’Doherty said.“Our thinking here is this connects in part with double standards around what is expected of men and women in terms of personal presentation,” he said. “And it has to do with body shaming of women.“And these products are very cleverly designed to fit into that niche.”O’Doherty said societal and cultural attitudes have perpetrated the notion of female genitalia as unclean, leading many women to believe they need feminine hygiene products to be acceptable, especially to a sexual partner.Some women interviewed for the previous study reported that their partners encouraged use of the products, while others said their partners were happy with them being au naturel.Despite such assurances, he said many women reported “this very strong internal need that ‘I have to be clean. I would die if there was any smell coming from me.’”O’Doherty said corporations are profiting by marketing products that women “don’t really need, but are made to feel they need. And on top of that, not only do they not need them and are paying money, they (may be) bad for their health.”His advice to women: “Think twice before buying these things.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

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SC seeks details on detenues release in Assam

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Assam Chief Secretary to file an affidavit before April 25 recommending better measures for the release of detenues in the state detention centres. The Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, observed that the centres were in a dilapidated condition. The court directed the government to come up with possible methodology to release the alleged illegal foreigners, especially those who have been held up for long. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The Bench took into consideration the government plea that observations made during the hearing of the case could impact the parliamentary elections in the state, and therefore, the plea should be heard after April 23, when Assam goes to the polls. The petition will be heard on April 25. The court discarded the government’s claims that the detention centres were “not in extremely bad shape” and said it was not a place where anybody would like to be. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The court was informed that 915 people were in the detention centres. The CJI directed the Chief Secretary to conduct a meeting with all stakeholders in the case and file an affidavit on or before April 23, with all the details of releasing the detenues. During the hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan suggested the detenues could be released on the assurance or surety of being Indian citizens, and in case of criminals, technology could used to keep a track of them. Bhushan mentioned radio tagging the people with criminal background.last_img read more

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American Chess Is Great Again

Wilhelm Steinitz was “a fat phlegmatic little man, with a fine forehead and mussed hair and clothes,” according to one newspaper account. He was also the favorite at the inaugural world chess championship, held in 1886, and an émigré to the United States — Steinitz had adopted the U.S. as his own after emigrating from Europe, later changing his first name to William.The championship match was a grand tour of the country, beginning in New York, ending in New Orleans, and stopping in St. Louis in between. With $4,000 on the line, Steinitz struggled in the early games and fell far behind. But by the time they reached New Orleans, he had recovered, and America’s first chess champion was crowned.“It was from Steinitz that the era of modern chess began,” wrote Garry Kasparov, possibly the best player of all time.But American chess was in the midst of a bleak century, only rarely punctuated by triumph. Paul Morphy, the great chess genius and Steinitz’s unofficial predecessor, died of a stroke in the bath at age 47, just a couple of years before Steinitz won. Contemporary reports described him as “insane,” walking the streets “chattering to himself.” Steinitz died, penniless and mentally ill, in a state hospital in 1900. Bobby Fischer, the only modern American world champion, failed to defend his title in 1975, descended into paranoia and anti-Semitism, and later praised the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Since Fischer’s exit, no American has ever been ranked the world No. 1. Only two Americans — Fischer and Gata Kamsky — have played in the world championship finals in the last 100 years.But this string of misfortune may be about to end, thanks to some quintessentially American ideals: mobility and prosperity. A trio of players — both native and immigrant — have found their way to the U.S., and each now ranks in the top seven in the world.1All the world rankings and Elo ratings mentioned in this article are accurate as of the beginning of August’s Sinquefield Cup tournament.Those three, along with the reigning Norwegian world champion, are currently assembled in St. Louis for one of the strongest chess competitions ever held. And that American city has become a lighthouse for the game, featuring top-flight tournaments, world-class venues and varsity chess programs. And fueling it all is an aging multimillionaire who has made the success of American chess his life’s quest after growing up in an orphanage and falling in love with the game as a teenager.Can the American dream be leveraged into chess glory? 4Spain41– RANKPLAYERCOUNTRYWIN PROB. 2Germany55– 3Canada44– 1United States89– On Oct. 10, 2016, at a rally in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, then-candidate Donald Trump was riffing on what he saw as the unfortunate complexity of existing U.S. trade deals. To understand them, he said, “You have to be like a grand chess master — and we don’t have any of them.” At the time, the United States had 90 grandmasters.Rex Sinquefield was listening to that speech, and he wasn’t pleased. He reached for his cell phone, flipped through his contacts, and rang up Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.“I left a long message. I said, ‘I want to explain to you, first of all, what’s going on in St. Louis.’ I said, ‘There are plenty of grandmasters.’ I said, ‘At any point in time, there are probably 25 grandmasters in St. Louis,’” Sinquefield recalled. “Pence called me back … He said, ‘Rex, I had no idea what was going on in your city.’ He said, ‘This is absolutely amazing.’ He said, ‘I’m going to tell Donald. He said, ‘He will be embarrassed and amused.’” (Sinquefield never heard from Trump.)Sinquefield and I met in St. Louis in April in the midst of the national championship. We sat on the second floor of the well-appointed chess club he founded in 2008. On one side of the room stood chess tables prepared for battle. On the other hung the spoils of the game — gleaming trophies and old photos of American legends, including Fischer. Sinquefield wore a windbreaker over a polo shirt, both emblazoned with the insignia of his club, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.Sinquefield — a multimillionaire or billionaire, depending on your source — is somewhere between a Medici and the Wizard of Oz of American chess. He was raised in Saint Vincent Home for Children, an orphanage just outside the city, and went on to make his money pioneering index funds, after earning an MBA at the University of Chicago. His current home, an 8,000-square-foot mansion on a private street a few blocks from the club, bears some resemblance to a rook.He pours millions a year into this chess hamlet he’s built within the city’s tony Central West End. Within a literal stone’s throw, there’s the three-story club, which has dues-paying members and hosts elite tournaments, a grandmaster-in-residence, and a high-tech production facility; a hall of fame and museum which houses an impressive collection of Fischer artifacts; a chess-themed diner which shows Cardinals baseball games and chess games on side-by-side TVs; and three “chess houses” which are home to a rotation of visiting players. That’s all on one block, and doesn’t begin to mention the sidewalk chess tables and the 14½-foot-tall king that keeps watch over the street.A 2015 New York Times article strongly suggested that Sinquefield footed the bill for Caruana’s transfer to the U.S. It’s a suggestion Sinquefield denies. “He paid that fee entirely himself,” Sinquefield said. “We didn’t pay a penny of it.” In either case, there’s no denying that the cash he has laid out has helped attract Caruana and So, and helped to launch a real bid for the world title. Sinquefield predicts an American world champion by 2020. If an American looks poised to qualify, he insisted he’d do everything he could to negotiate with FIDE to bring the match to St. Louis. He even had a venue picked out.What’s in it for Sinquefield? Is this like some other billionaire owning a baseball team? “This is infinitely more fun than that,” he said, adding that he’d turned down a chance to take an ownership share in the Cardinals.Instead, Sinquefield says the answer is twofold: First, it’s a passion — a retirement hobby for a wealthy Missourian. He learned the game when was 13 from his Uncle Fred. When we spoke, he had 19 chess games in progress online, and he takes a weekly lesson from Shahade, the women’s national champion. He’s on a first-name basis with most of the best players in the world, and he haunts the club during tournaments, keeping a close eye on the games.Second, it’s an investment. Sinquefield is a financier, a public policy wonk, and a fiscal conservative. (Another lifelong passion is the elimination of income tax.) He expects that his privately funded improvement in American chess will yield public returns. These could come, he explained, in the form of educational and health outcomes. His club is working to put chess in local schools and, in an effort to improve community relations, to train cops how to teach kids the game. And he’s keeping a close eye on studies in a local hospital on the potentially ameliorative effects of chess on dementia and Alzheimer’s.“It’s several million a year, easily,” Sinquefield said about what he’s putting into the game. “So far it seems well worth it.”“It’s a dream — this is the Mecca of chess,” Shahade said. “Obviously, the financial contributions are so considerable and so generous. But a lot of the passion to donate that money is that Rex really absolutely loves chess and sees the multifaceted nature of the game. And he really loves history.”Sinquefield is only a year younger than Fischer would be if he were alive. The 1972 world championship, and the historic performance that led up to it, struck a nerve, and Sinquefield has been obsessed with Fischer and the game ever since. He effortlessly rattled off Fischer’s conquests on his way to the world title. “It had an impact on everybody,” Sinquefield said, speaking about the patriotic frenzy around the match. “We were all captured by it.”And we may be again.Graphics by Rachael Dottle.UPDATE (Aug. 8, 5:01 p.m.): This article has been updated with comments from Lotis Key on the timing of events surrounding So’s departure from Webster University. Who might challenge Carlsen?Top players’ chance of winning Candidates Tournament (and challenging Carlsen), based on Elo ratings Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So playing in the London Chess Classic in 2016. Ray Tang / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images 6Mamedyarov🇦🇿10.8 The three best American chess players: Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana. Getty Images More players transfer to the U.S. than to any other countryNations that received the highest number of player transfers, 2000-17 3Caruana🇺🇸19.1 Includes the most highly rated players as of Aug. 1, and the defending world runner-up, Karjakin.Based on data from 2700chess.com 7Bosnia and Herzegovina32– Caruana and So’s transfers did not go unnoticed.Caruana’s transfer required a fee of $61,000, paid to the Italians and FIDE, the game’s international governing body. According to the Italian Chess Federation, Caruana was also offered more than $200,000 a year by the Americans. Some top players, including Carlsen, scoffed at what they saw as a mercenary approach to building an American roster. If the Candidates were held today and all three top Americans qualified, which they would if their official ratings are any guide, the Americans would have a better-than-50 percent chance of sending a challenger to face Carlsen, according to my simulations. (Sergey Karjakin, last year’s challenger, qualifies for the Candidates automatically.) Assuming any American that won the Candidates had a fighting chance against the Norwegian, we arrive at something like the following: There is a 1-in-5 chance that the next world chess champion will represent the United States.Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women’s chess champion, had a similar outlook, although she hadn’t run any simulations. “I’m also a poker player,” she told me, “and it’s definitely good odds.” She put the chances of an American challenging for the world title in the next two cycles at 55 percent.Last year, Caruana missed a Candidates victory by one devastating game. The world championship was then held in New York City, where Caruana spent some of his early years, and American observers saw it as a missed opportunity for the game in the States. Few think the full-blown 1972 Fischer fever will take hold again in the U.S. — fueled, as it was, by Cold War implications — but everyone seems hopeful that another chance at glory will come.“That will be the final sealing of the deal, to say U.S. chess is the best chess in the world, which is the goal,” Ashley told me as he was being miked up to broadcast the next round at the nationals. “That’s how we roll. That’s essential: to be the best.”Only So himself struck a melancholy note at the whole prospect. “I sometimes feel sorry for [Carlsen] because the pressure is terrible,” he told me over email. “If he even draws a game, people are disappointed. People think they have a right to every bit of his life. I don’t want to live like that.”But a world championship is the goal. And it’s being pursued with that most American of fuels: money. “A world championship would be spectacular,” said Walters, the U.S. Chess president. “And there are forces here in St. Louis who would put that very near the top of the list.” 5Russia36– Wilhelm Steinitz, right, was a chess great who adopted the U.S. as his own after emigrating from Europe. Getty Images 2So🇺🇸25.2% In April, two American grandmasters stood over the shoulder of a third, watching him struggle through a winnable tournament. Hikaru Nakamura (current world No. 7), stood with his arms crossed beneath his floppy dark hair and sideburns. Fabiano Caruana (world No. 3), sparrowlike and wearing a white dress shirt, stood next to him, squinting, with his arms gathered leisurely behind his back. They are two of the three best chess players in the country, and all were vying for the title of national champion. Seated in front of them was the other, commanding a black wooden army of pieces, Wesley So.As the tournament, which stretched from March 29 to April 9, reached its crescendo, So sat at the board bundled in an eggplant-colored sweater while tied for first place. Tied? He should’ve been crushing this field, and he knew it. He’s the next great hope, after all — the top-rated American and the world No. 2. He still found his way through the remaining games, and held on to win the national championship a couple of days later — his first.So has an acutely poised approach to a game of chess. His arms hang at his sides. He clasps his hands, left fingers over right, on the table in front of him. He hovers over the wooden battle unfolding on the board, like the figurehead on the prow of a ship. The USS So. Occasionally, if the position is difficult, the USS So takes a hard turn starboard, and the grandmaster stares at the wall and ponders. Every so often, if that doesn’t work, the ship turns port, toward the spectators. Rarer still, he stares right at you.So is a recent addition to an elite American lineup that now boasts three of the world’s top seven players. The three found themselves in St. Louis on that sunny spring day — and playing under the American flag — in very American ways. Nakamura wasn’t born here (he was born in Japan), but he moved here when he was 2 years old. Caruana was born here (in Florida), but moved away (Spain, Hungary, Switzerland) to train. So wasn’t born here either (Philippines), but moved here (Missouri) to attend college.It’s not easy to describe what makes So’s game unique — or Caruana’s or Nakamura’s, for that matter. The difficulty arises not only from chess’s vastness, but also from the creeping influence of computers. Chess is a more homogenized game than it once was. “It’s harder to differentiate the thinking of the different players because they’re all using the same programs,” John Donaldson, an international master who captained the U.S. team to a 2016 Olympiad win, said in a phone call.That being said, some differences do remain. Caruana and Nakamura have very aggressive styles, and Donaldson said occasionally they have to remind themselves to temper this aggression. But a more placid temperament comes naturally to So, and it’s precisely this cool on the board that distinguishes him. His play is consistent, calm and highly theoretical. Unlike the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who is known for not being especially well prepared when it comes to his opening moves, So takes theoretically established lines and adds in his own fresh strategic ideas.The three U.S. players’ journeys to the precipice of a world championship have differed, too, but all have been long and some occasionally scandalous. But all hope they’ll end with a world title. Nakamura, 29, is the old hand. He first clinched the country’s No. 1 spot in 2005, and has suffered the Fischer comparisons for years now. “There are very few people out there who have the ability to, I don’t want to say change the world, but make a very big impact, and with chess I feel like I really have that chance,” Nakamura told the Riverfront Times in 2011. So came next, switching his chess allegiances from the Filipino team to the U.S. in 2014. (At the time, he was No. 14 in the world.) Caruana, 25, followed shortly after, defecting from the Italian squad in 2015. “I think I will be world champion someday,” Caruana told The New Yorker. Amid this chess-world furor, So’s play has remained placid, and he described his adopted family as a supportive team. “They have had a lot of foster kids over the years and because they are Christians they believe in helping others.” So, too, relies heavily on his Christian faith. And it’s precisely his monkish calm and ascetic approach that fuel his game and intimidate his opponents. “I do not go to parties. I do not ‘hang out,’ I do not play games or use the internet,” So said in an email. “I don’t drink alcohol, use drugs or eat junk food. I don’t even have a cell phone.”Maurice Ashley, a grandmaster and chess commentator, described So as “playing the best chess” in the world right now, and others agree that So is on the brink of chess’s highest prize. “It’s like he’s in the high Himalayas climbing, and it’s the last 1,000 feet toward the summit, toward the world championship,” Donaldson said. “He’s in rarefied air.”As I sought to find out more about America’s best chess player, Key got wind of my inquiries. “Why did you try to establish contact with his estranged relatives?” she asked about my having tried to reach his biological family. “Aware that his enemies are always trying to hurt him, we wondered at the curious timing of your trying to locate them in the weeks just before the tournament began.”I never did reach So’s birth family, and my efforts to arrange more meaningful time with the grandmaster through his adoptive mother were unsuccessful. Key insisted that all communication be funneled through her. “You probably consider our precautions extraordinary,” she said. “Yet consider that when you want to stop an elite skater you try to break her leg. With a chess player, you must break something else.”The World Chess Championship operates like a fiefdom. The reigning champion, currently the Norwegian Carlsen, is the overlord. He sits in his throne waiting while the rest of the super-grandmasters bloody each other over the course of a grueling two-year cycle. A triumphant performance in several Grand-Prix tournaments, the Chess World Cup or the official world rankings lands a contender in the Candidates Tournament, in which eight survivors battle each other one final time. Exactly one of them wins the right to challenge the defending champion for the title in yet another lengthy series of games. The next Candidates is slated for March 2018 and the next championship match for the following November. Their locations have not yet been announced. The U.S. Chess Federation recognizes its role in building the American roster this way, but is shy with details. “We get involved because a player of So’s stature carries with it some heavy funding requirements,” its president Gary Walters told me. “FIDE has penalties when you cross and change flags … When you’re Wesley So, we’re talking about tens of thousands of euros to make the transfer. That money has to be paid through U.S. Chess … We typically do not make the payments for players, but we will facilitate the payments.” (FIDE lists So’s transfer fee at 5,000 euros.) The federation operates with a total annual revenue of about $3.8 million in 2015, according to its tax documents.Who did pay? “I don’t know who paid the transfer fees,” Walters said. The New York Times reported that the United States Chess Federation had created a charitable fund “to help recruit and pay the fees of foreign players interested in moving to the United States.” So has said he paid the fee out of pocket.Despite their far-flung origins, the American players have, as a group, achieved early success. The U.S. won gold at the Olympiad, the top team chess competition, last year. It was the first time the country had taken gold in 40 years. But the triad aren’t close, and remain professional rivals. At the closing ceremonies after the nationals, as Nakamura nursed a beer at a ballroom table in St. Louis waiting for So to receive his trophy, Nakamura explained to me that his friends generally aren’t top chess players. They’re his competition, after all. I also asked So, over email, if he had good friends in the chess world. “No. This is not a team sport,” he responded. (Although there are occasional team events, such as the Olympiad.) “We respect and admire each other but mostly keep to ourselves because sooner or later we are going to have to play each other and then you might have mental conflict.”U.S. chess’s plan to shift players to its team has worked out beautifully on the surface. Beneath it, though, its top player has wrestled with family strife and the growing pains of a new life under chess’s spotlight.At the end of the 2015 national championship, So posted this message to his Facebook page: “Let me state right at the top of this that I write my own emails and NO ONE controls my communication, or when and how I choose to communicate. I am not cut off, isolated, drugged, in bondage or kidnapped. I do not belong to anyone but God. I am a man who wishes to be let alone to find his own life.” He had been forced to forfeit a crucial game for writing notes to himself on a piece of paper, in violation of tournament rules. The indiscretion came, So has explained, as the result of a bout of stress following an international family dispute.At a dinner party in Minnesota in 2013, So met Lotis Key, a former film actress who has starred in over 75 Asian movies, and Renato “Bambi” Kabigting, a basketball star while in the Philippines. The couple lives in Minnetonka, a leafy Minneapolis suburb. The trio hit it off, and by the end of 2014, So had left college and moved in with them; he began calling Key mom.According to an account Key gave the Star Tribune, the dispute at the tournament occurred when So’s birth mother, Eleanor So — who now lives in Canada — showed up at the tournament, demanding that he return to school and threatening to cut all ties to the family. A minor scuffle — arm grabbing, yelling — ensued outside the chess club. Eleanor So told the paper that, “Since someone is blocking us access to our own son, we had to try and see him in person to help him.”The meeting was orchestrated, Key told the Star Tribune, by Wesley So’s former coach at Webster University, Paul Truong, who was upset at having lost his star player when he dropped out. Truong denied this and told me that So’s scholarship had been revoked, although he said he couldn’t discuss why. “We knew that he was going to go through some rough times, and we just wanted to protect him, so we never bothered correcting what the media said,” Truong said. Key told me that So decided to leave school, and turn pro, weeks before his scholarship was withdrawn. “The simple fact is Wesley left because he was unhappy at Webster and had decided to play chess professionally,” she said in an email. A spokesman for Webster declined to comment on why So left the university.Several years before, Truong, in a separate incident, had been accused of posting obscene messages online under the name of a rival in a campaign to get elected to the U.S. Chess Federation board. (Truong continues to deny those accusations, although they were confirmed by a private investigator hired by U.S. Chess.) He was later ousted from the federation, and the legal dispute was settled.Despite a strained relationship with So, Truong was optimistic about his future. “Out of all the current players in the United States today, I believe that [So] would have the best chance to be the next world champion,” he said. 10Austria29– 12Karjakin🇷🇺3.3 9Turkey31– 5Aronian🇦🇲12.5 7Nakamura🇺🇸8.4 2017 data as of April 11.Source: FIDE COUNTRYNUMBER OF TRANSFERS 8Croatia32– 8Vachier-Lagrave🇫🇷6.2 4Kramnik🇷🇺14.5 6France34– read more

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