- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Kentucky basketball Coach Adolph Rupp's move in benching All-America Cotton Nash for most of the Georgia Tech game (and for all of the two overtimes), a game Kentucky lost, was not based on any sort of long-range psychological maneuvering. Rupp was simply trying to beat Tech, Nash was having a miserable night and his replacement—Ted Deeken—played well (13 points, 14 rebounds). Of course, it also involved Rupp's firm belief that Nash should play outside, where he can best utilize his deadeye long shot. Nash, on the other hand, believes people will think he is shying away from action if he doesn't move into the foul lane. It was there he was playing against Tech.
In practice after the Tech game Nash hit 26 of 33 from outside, but in the next game (against Vanderbilt) he went back into the foul lane in the first half and made exactly one basket. In the 13 minutes he played in the second half before fouling out, Nash stayed outside and threw in eight baskets and a total of 19 points. "If he didn't learn anything from that, he never will," Rupp growled after the game.
The annual tournament for the chess championship of the U.S. ran its grueling course in New York, where 12 top-ranking masters played 11 rounds and in the process demonstrated that as a group chess players are perhaps the greatest crowd displeasers in modern sport. Traditionally, of course, chess masters are as aloof and temperamental as concert pianists, frowning with awesome solemnity before making the simplest move, pacing desperately back and forth no matter what the state of the game, and limiting their attention to their audience to hoarse growls of "Quiet, please" or "Shut up."
Even so, the demonstration this year was striking. In the first round Robert Steinmeyer, a newcomer playing in his first championship tourney, defeated the defending champion, Larry Evans; another unknown, William Addison, easily walloped Sammy Reshevsky; and to make the triumph of the newcomers complete, Edmar Mednis, never a serious contender before, knocked off Bobby Fischer. This was akin to three small-town pros outplaying Palmer, Sncad and Nicklaus. But was there elation and excitement? Did three new chess heroes come beaming on the national scene? No. Taking their cue from tradition, the newcomers were taciturn and brooding, and it appeared that any master could become a crowd pleaser by the simple expedient of not snarling at the audience.
The tournament plodded on. By the eighth round, Arthur Bisguier, a relatively amiable veteran, had beaten all the newcomers and was in first place, leading Fischer by two points. Four times national champion, Fischer did not defend his title last year, and this year, at 19, he was determined to have it back. He did. He won a phenomenal six of his last seven games, a rare feat in chess where draws prevail. When Fischer met Bisguier in the last round, with the television cameras playing upon them, he was frowning darkly: Bisguier still had a chance to tie. When Bisguier finally resigned, giving Fischer the championship, there was a light flurry of applause, quickly stilled amid annoyed glances from the players whose games were still going on.
"I think I played pretty well," said Fischer, with a steely glance at a television interviewer. Why did he think the crowds were so small at chess events, asked the interviewer. "Aw, they don't advertise," said Fischer, jumping up abruptly and stalking out into the night.
What most impresses the casual visitor to New York's 53rd annual national boat show is the ease with which a landlubber can become a blue-water sailor. Where the construction and commissioning of an oceangoing sailboat once involved time, patience and dependence on the specialized skills of many artisans, a man can now buy a windjammer as easily as he buys the family car.