April 13, 1963 —
In the mid-70s, a young boy named Garry Weinstein was on his way to becoming a chess prodigy. One problem: his last name was rather obviously Jewish, which would have hindered his progress in the aggressively antisemitic USSR. So, with the blessing of his family, Garry's mother changed it to a more ethnically ambiguous Kasparov. (Although, as he grew older, that nose became a dead giveaway.)
That said, how do we deal with Kasparov? Do we celebrate him for being the greatest chess player of all time, and one of the smartest men alive? Or do we bash him for losing to a computer, therefore starting a downward spiral for all humanity, leading to a bleak and not-too-distant future where we'll all be enslaved by machines?
Maybe we shouldn't be so hard on Kasparaov. After all, he claims that he didn't lose fairly: the computer supposedly cheated. So we'll have to side with him. It's not like Deep Blue had to deal with antisemitism, right?
Verdict: Borderline Jew.
February 1, 2007